Yes, it's seen as a curiously important thing to do, to take your engines out for a walk on regular occasions. I hover - no mean feat for me! - between working on them in monk-like seclusion and exhibiting. I enjoy both, the former is problem solving and the latter is an excellent opportunity to talk to friends and punters to whom I have virtually no responsibility - a nice change for me!
I like club life and have been a member of one club or another since I was at school, so I am quite happy to support my club (Wessex SE Club)at crank-ups and it's annual rally. However, as the club night (Mondays) is a
50 mile country roads round trip, I don't go & thus miss the chat and camaraderie. I understand there are frequently fifty odd present, being the biggest SE club in Britain AFAIK.
The Bristol SE club, to which I also belong, issue no newsletter and the one club night I went to was OK, but I soon forgot when the next one was as I had no newsletter to remind me!
There is certainly an expectation of one's presence at crank ups - & we are harangued in no uncertain terms if we do not turn up in numbers to support the annual rally ! Luckily, there are always a good number of engines at crank - ups (35 - 40 say) and with a big membership, one is not always walking around looking at the same old wheezers, to say nothing of the engines ;o))
I remember when I was a well-known figure in archery in the late '60's, the overbearing peer-group compulsion to take part in the postal shoot and to represent the club at shoots, just because I happened to be a good shot. The pressure was so great, I actually gave up modern target shooting and was soon shooting exclusively with a Longbow and wooden arrows.
Anyway, I make a conscious effort to take an engine that I see infrequently at events and often take something else to show that is not necessarily stationary engine related (like a barrel from a Bristol Peggy XVIII) on the basis that one oddity may well attract another - and it does often work, too!
That all said, I personally find it strange that some of the most important, well respected and recognisable people in our hobby, people that obviously still get a big kick out of being involved, rarely exhibit, some actually no longer owning any Iron Toys. I stand to be corrected, of course, but I cannot think of parallels in other pastimes which have generated its own academia in less than a generation.