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CaptainAhab

IPMS/USA Member
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CaptainAhab last won the day on February 14

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About CaptainAhab

  • Birthday 01/24/1960

Profile Information

  • FirstName
    Michael
  • LastName
    Tsoumpas
  • IPMS Number
    33704
  • Local Chapter
    IPMS Phoenix
  • City
    Sun City West
  • State
    AZ
  • Gender
    Male

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  1. Ralph, please don’t confuse arrogance with seriousness, there are arrogant people in all aspects of life and always will be. They can tell you to take a hike, but they have no power over you to make you take a hike, and in my experience, both at the chapter level and national, those members are in the minority, as they are in life. We do welcome all modelers, I agree with Gil, we should not hide or run away from our roots about plastic models, we took out the requirement at the national contest that models had to be “all or mostly” plastic, and I’ve never seen a chapter that excluded anyone because of their preference. I think IPMS does welcome all categories of modelers, no matter how you like to build. I like to scratch build, I enjoy it, all of it, from research to building to finishing, it’s my relaxation/therapy/pastime, even if I’m not as good at it as others, I don’t disparage those who don’t any more than those who do more or better then I do. I wouldn’t say someone who builds all wooden ship models from scratch, bending and shaping the hull planks with steam, and making/sewing sails out of cloth does it to please people with flashlights, but I would call them serious about what they do, AND, if that person or any other takes it to a contest, it will need to be rated and differencated from the other models. I take being a serious modeler as anyone with more then 2-3 unbuilt models, or more then a shoe box of paints/modeling tools, in my experience those that actively and/or want to build, even if they don’t finish many, are serious modelers. But, I don’t think IPMS should change its philosophy just to get members.
  2. I don’t completely disagree with the name issue, I find that the vast majority of non-hobby people that hear I built scale models have no clue what it means, and even some that do don’t understand the “depth” of what I do until I show them some completed models and my work bench. From my experience though anyone who is even remotely involved in building models does not dismiss it as playing with toys, but then I’ve gotten pretty good at sizing people up before I share my hobby, I never did at work for instance, no one there seamed to be a modeler. I’m just not sure I see a name change making much difference, at least in the U.S. Now the journal, for me a change would make a difference, I’m indifferent about print or digital, if digital would save a lot of money to use on other things I’d be alright with it. But content, that would make a difference for me, there are things that I find more interesting than others in the journal. More focus on new products, and by new I mean anything that’s come out within the last 1-2 years, and coming releases. I’m with Noel, I don’t need to have breaking news on products. But I do really find it really useful if the news is in one place as long as it’s still in production. If the journal was just IPMS news/business and product news I would be happy, but that’s just me I’m sure. That said the journal, in any form will never be a reason for me to quit IPMS. The biggest issue I see is competition with other publication's that pay people for their content, and can attract a steady stream of content they can pick and choose from. But then if the only thing someone got for belonging to IPMS is the journal, it would be $7.50 a copy, not $18-20+ a copy, and I don’t find those worth that most of the time.
  3. Welcome Joe! Glad your here!!
  4. Gil hit this nail on the head, hasn’t IPMS always targeted a more “serious” modeler as Gil put it? I always saw IPMS as a craftsmanship based society, promoting that over other aspects, so yeah, it’s not for everyone, not because it excludes anyone on purpose, on the contrary, it welcomes everyone who wants to embrace that philosophy. We have never been a huge group, we are larger now then ever, San Marcos had just over 3100 models in the contest, entered by 534 people (about 4 models per person) Omaha the year before had just over 2700 entered by 475 people (about 4.5 models per person), I would bet chapter level contests/shows have about the same percentage, of course it doesn’t average out like that, some bring 1 and some bring 20. The point being that the modelers who enter contests more than not probably lean towards Gil’s “serious” definition, just not a huge group. And our over all member number shows that too in my opinion. I don’t see any of this as a problem. There is overlap in reasons people join IPMS and chapter/clubs as pointed out, builders, collectors, support for IPMS/club operations, socialization, all great reasons and I don’t see a problem with any of that. And I still haven’t seen any evidence that the national convention and/or contest, changing anything about it or not, is going to grow or even save IPMS. I agree that targeting Gil’s “serious” modelers is a better idea than trying to appeal to everyone for everything. Find out what appeals to that group, what would get them to join, is it building education, technical details, collaboration, collecting, socialization, whatever it is, but gear it to that group. And as far as I’m concerned there are lots of modelers that are interested in IPMS’s philosophy of modeling, it’s finding what will get them to join and pay the $30 bucks a year for it that needs figured out.
  5. I agree, if venders were not making a good percentage I doubt they would be showing up in the first place. But from others posts here I think there are other areas that need attention first, just my thoughts, *Someone registered adding a bunch of others as “family” for starters, basically getting a group in cheaper is a problem. *A system of access control that doesn’t have to be reinvented every year by the hosting chapter(s) that allows for a relatively easy way to distinguish members from non-members. And for my two cents any member who “forgets” their membership card it’s on them, too bad. *Daily entry prices that highly favor members and make becoming a member much more attractive. I agree with this 100% unfortunately, but in my view the internet is just not the same thing. Yes and maybe no. All most all the calls for change have been about the national convention, but that has never been a membership generator, it seems that as many that join to go each year quit, and it happens year after year. The chapters are were a real difference could be made in my opinion, I belong to a chapter with around 110-120 members, 10% of them might be IPMS members (less then 25), if every chapter doubled their IPMS members we could see total membership go up by thousands, if it went to 50% I bet our current membership would almost double. Of course HOW is the question, HOW do we get people to see value in paying a LOUSY $30 bucks a YEAR to be part of a group of people who like what they like. I mean honestly, I’ve spent far more on ONE meal that it turned out I didn’t care for. I do believe there are things to try, but it will take more involvement from national.
  6. I agree this information should be tracked, but not just the first hour. How many day passes are sold each day? How many overall? How many are members? How many are nonmembers? I realize this takes some work but would be very helpful for the board to form strategies moving forward, if that is what is wanted. I can see Gil’s logic about controlling access, and completely agree about entry charges. I am just going to say it, I was surprised when I went to my first couple of conventions and you could go without registering for the convention, AND you didn’t have to be a member. No other organizations (professional or volunteer) that I had or have been involved with ran their conventions that way, you HAD to register for the convention regardless of how much of it you attended, AND be a member of the organization. Before I get flogged… I understand that is probably a hill too far, but the charges for attending could be structured to passively encourage and make it a much better deal to become a member and register. I would start with day passes, they are too low IMO, I haven’t seen what Madison’s are yet but IMO they should be higher for nonmembers than members, and should be higher period. For members I would say a day pass would be a little more then half of what registration costs, so going for two days makes registration a better deal, for nonmembers I would say more than that. I am NOT talking about a sudden change, but over 2-3 years gradually increase these prices, people can acclimate to a slow rise in temperature better than a sudden one. I’m NOT claiming to know better then those who have been involved in putting on a national convention, I have been involved planning and running chapter contests at two different chapters, and larger conventions (1000+people) in my career, so just sharing my experiences from those.
  7. I agree, I don’t think limits on vendors or entries is the answer, or on displaying models, it’s what we are about. But could there be other ways, I look at the cost to go to our convention and I’m always amazed, at how low it is all travel/hotel costs aside, at usually right around $50 bucks to register for a four day convention is dirt cheap in my opinion. Look at other hobby conventions, NMRA for instance is $195 for members (companion/spouse $100) and includes an early entry to some events. These are the questions I have; Are the costs to vendors comparable to other like events, table costs, etc? Are table costs the only fee convention organizers for like events charge vendors? The banquet is usually mandatory to get a better price on the facilities, so why is it voluntary for registration? If the current number of banquet tickets sold brings the facilities rate down what would double that do? If anything? Access, I understand the reasons to let non-member attend, try to make them members, but what does a member get for registering that say day pass attendees don’t get? Besides entering the contest, judging and the ability to go to the banquet why register? Or for that matter join IPMS?
  8. Yeah, I would love high speed trains in the U.S., but I think Gil’s time estimates on ever seeing it are low, I would go with 20-30 years easy and that’s not country wide. The issue with travel time/travel costs has been identified as the main thing keeping people from attending for years now, but attendance at the convention has been growing and that is bringing a different issue that we have been barely skirting around to the forefront, the size of the facilities/hotels where they are held. We have known for years that in the scope of events our space/area needs are very heavy compared to registration numbers, in other words we don’t have the “weight” in registered attendees to negotiate more, guest rooms, convention space, whatever. We are growing, and are or have out grown our current mode of operation facilities wise, regardless of geographic location, and the only answers are going to cost more, this in my opinion is the most urgent issue to work on, just look at the hoops the Madison crew is needing to jump through to put theirs on, and they are not the first.
  9. Welcome, you’re in good company, if I quit buying kits right now (at 64) I MIGHT have a chance, but that’s not going to happen!!
  10. I agree, but I’m leery of surveys/polls, they all depend on to many variables. Who you ask, what is asked, how the questions are worded, how the results are presented and interpreted. There were almost 1000 registered attendees at San Marcos, just over 500 of them entered the contest, maybe the same whet to the banquet, if all 1000 were asked if they like/don’t like those aspects of the convention is that really going to give an accurate representation? The survey from SM showed for the contest the answers between neutral/like/really like were overwhelming. To ME that is a clear answer to the question, besides tweaks and improvements to the existing format leave it alone, but it seems others see something different. I think other rubrics give a better sense of popularity, like attendance/participation and number of entries.
  11. True, I thought about the impact of attendees from Europe. It would be interesting to see the impact in numbers of attendees from outside the U.K. Just for fun…..
  12. That would be the “answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything “ and it’s not 42. Historically west coast conventions have always seen lower attendance than east coast, and Midwest has fallen in between. 80% of the population of the U.S. live east of the middle of the country, I would expect to see more attendance in Virginia, but not close to double, Texas was great, but Virginia is closer to far more people. The fact that conventions in higher density areas have more attendance makes sense, a LOT more people can get there conveniently and in less time, it’s a matter of opportunity. The chapters are a microcosm of the society as a whole, there are 5 million people in the Phoenix metro area, the Phoenix Chapter has a little over 100 members, other larger metro areas (Seattle) have about the same, I don’t know about east coast chapter numbers maybe someone else can chime in. My first convention was Seattle in ‘92, to me it was fantastic, huge compared to any model event I had ever seen. Other people were complaining about how small it was, I was a little put out about that honestly, but after 20 of them now, some on the east coast, it was, comparatively. But attendance has been trending up ever since, west coast too.
  13. I think it would be a great help to track the numbers from the Nat’s for other than registration. It would really help to understand members vs. non-member participation. This was from the final report for San Marcos; There were 958 registered IPMS members, thats 19% of our 5000 members. Unfortunately walk in day passes are not included, I believe those far outnumber registered members, and a good amount are IPMS members who don’t want to register for the convention, but the numbers have never been published so we don’t know. IPMS/UK has just over 4000 members, I don’t know Cameron, I read the article you linked, and I’ve looked at lots of photos and videos of the event, I’m just not seeing that kind of crowds, I too would find it interesting and helpful to see harder data on the numbers then “about 10,000 people are expected” news reports, that goes for the IPMS/USA convention too. Regardless of all that, in my opinion the convention is a success already, a bigger success would be getting more existing members to attend, but I think that means overcoming the travel and cost of issues involved, and in that regard I’m not optimistic.
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