This years Hobby Expo in Petaluma, California was quite the grand affair. I admit having missed the last couple of years and the show has grown quite a bit since then. This year the show, put on by the IMPS Santa Rosa chapter, had a panel of ILM model makers who talked about their early experiences as modelers and at Lucasfilm. Skywalker Ranch is just over the hill from Petaluma so there are many people at the show who work in the entertainment industry.
Star Wars collectors were likely tickled to find none other than Steve Sansweet at the show. His home has been turned into Rancho Obi-Wan where he has one of the largest collections (if not the largest) in the world. Steve even had a few items a Hobby Expo on display. One of these was an original module of the Death Star from Star Wars (1977). The block, which was one of many making up the surface of the shoot, even had scarring from an obvious pyrotechnics explosion. Steve does private tours of Rancho Obi-Wan and you can find more about that here: www.ranchoobiwan.org
There were lots of other clubs and groups at the show besides scale modelers. There were RC, train, and miniature engine folks, as well as Historical reenactors and gaming (like Warhammer) enthusiasts as well.
Enjoy the photos!