Thanks for your response, but with respect, I'm a bit confused as to what we're agreeing on. If it's that generalisations aren't helpful then I'm fine with that. There are many reasons for the format of UK shows and gaming itself, just as in the US, I'm sure. The key one is that many shows aren't really about gaming on the day for a lot of UK wargamers. I find it hard to believe that most of us don't have several clubs within 60 minutes' radius and I've never had a problem finding people local to meet up with.
If American gamers are under the impression that Salute is typical of UK shows though, then that's a big misconception that could do without being encouraged. It's the 900lb gorilla of shows with 9000+ attendees, ~150 traders, 100+ games, (60% participation) and still put on by one club, like most. There are many shows of varying types and sizes across the country and these two pages seem to have most covered between them.
https://sites.google.com/site/tringwarg ... ames-shows
Hammerhead (which has been 100% participation for over ten years) provides around 70 games and almost 60 traders for the 5 hours or so that ~1500 punters are there in numbers. I wouldn't class that as small fare. Whilst I do feel feel that demo games have a purpose of their own at many UK shows, as this is an international site there may be those reading who are debating whether to attend one. As someone who regularly puts on participation games I would hate for them to think that their only option is to watch people play or attend tournaments.
As for me, I'm quite looking forward to attending Crisis next year, if I can make it.