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Watching and straining to hear the awards presentation from the corridor outside the banquet room is unacceptable. No consideration to several dozen attendees in this situation is unacceptable. No thought to closed-circuiting the proceedings to another room? Suffice it to say, this is disappointing.

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Correct. The idea was to get the banquet attended for the people paying so that the Columbus group met the hotels requirements. They did not provide for others. Happened that way before also. The room was only large enough for the banquet

 

Dave

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That's why I always buy a ticket to the banquet. It's a ticket to the show and helps the local with their hotel contract.

 

Jim

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First off, I'd like to say that I believe the folks in Columbus did a great job hosting the Convention in a difficult facility. Most of the less than optimum conditions were easily dealt with. I'd prefer one or two large vendor rooms instead of the 1/2 dozen needed at the Hyatt. The elevator situation on Saturday evening was obnoxious, but completely out of their control. The low lighting in the model room was what it was.

 

But, I was very disappointed in 2009 that there weren't accommodations made for those who didn't do the banquet to be able to view the awards, and this year was no different. I very much believe that anyone who pays the convention registration fee and enters a model in the contest is entitled to a comfortable seat at the awards.

 

When this subject came up after the 2009 convention, a standard answer was that if you wanted to see the awards, buy a banquet ticket. Let's disregard the blatant unfairness of that position, and look at the reality that even if everyone who wanted to se the awards wanted to buy a banquet ticket, there wasn't enough space for them.

 

I realize that other than the model room the Hyatt doesn't have a room big enough to accommodate the banquet and those that only want to attend the awards. So why not hold the banquet, then move across the hall to another room that's set up with only chairs for the awards. That way, the folks who like the banquet can have their dinner, and everyone who registers for the convention can enjoy the awards.

 

I really hope the guys in Columbus bid again. They do a great Convention, and it's easy to get to.. But if they do, I really hope they find a way to accommodate everyone at the awards.

 

Mike

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That might work Mike, but that might also involve having to shut down yet another vendor room early (as they did the Union room for the banquet), and that would upset yet more vendors and attendees, including those who have NO interest in the awards or the banquet. Also, now you have to "move" 400+ people from the banquet to the awards venue-which takes more time, and you also have to duplicate at least the podium and microphone set up. If you don't move the banquet attendees first and give them prime seats there, then they lose part of the incentive to buy a banquet ticket, which risks a higher set of costs for the host club and IPMSUSA (due to an underfunded banquet), not to mention making those who did buy a banquet ticket unhappy that they didn't get better seating for the awards.

 

There's no easy solution when you're at the mercy of the facility AND also have to operate within a budget. If the room can only hold so many bodies (and not violate the fire code too!) then there's not much that host can do.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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So, what extra cost would it have been to set up a CC camera and broadcast the awards to, say, the Fayette Room that was used for the seminars? I stayed four nights at the Hyatt, so I helped with the room nights for the local chapter. I registered and entered the competition. I (and many others) were left to drift in the corridor? No, I left and went to my room. There were then perhaps 125-150 others waiting outside the ballroom for the banquet attendees so the doors could be opened.

Since this apparently happened before at this venue, I submit we can do better.

Edited by Kranman

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Ok, some of you may not like this answer but if we make accommodations for those who don't participate in the banquet then the banquet dies off. We have to have hold one according to the rules as they were stated to me. That and the hotel usually requires a food package of some sort. So there ya go...

 

Jim

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Jim, I don't believe there is any IPMS rule or bylaw that requires a banquet. It's Ben bandied about on these forums plenty of times that something else might be done to meet the venue's food and beverage requirement. As I understand it the only requirement is for the convention.

 

But that's beside the point. As it stands now there is a group of folks who travel to the convention, pay the money for the convention, support the convention, and then because they either choose not to attend the banquet, or they don't get a ticket in time, they are excluded from participating in the awards program.

 

I'm with you (to a certain extent) that change for change's sake can be a mistake, but when you have folks excluded from something they feel they've paid for, I think "so there ya go" doesn't quite cut it. I'd like to know that the board hears us and will at least make an attempt to make sure that everyone who registers for the convention and wants to participate in the awards program can.

 

Mike

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Our situation was purely one of budget and logistics. We did have a food/beverage minimum, so a banquet was more or less required. We wanted to add chairs in the banquet room, but there just wasn't room. We couldn't use another room as that would have meant closing a bigger vender room early. To set up closed circuit TV would have been prohibitively expensive and would also have required closing a second vender room early.

 

We apologize for any inconvenience as it wasn't our intent to exclude anyone. It was pretty much a rock and a hard place type decision.

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For as long as I can remember, awards have been a part of the banquet and vice-versa due to requirements imposed by the venues. Some may feel that they are entitled to attend the awards ceremony because they have paid for everything but the banquet, but that's never been the case. Bottom line: If you want to attend the awards, then buy a banquet ticket.

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For as long as I can remember, awards have been a part of the banquet and vice-versa due to requirements imposed by the venues. Some may feel that they are entitled to attend the awards ceremony because they have paid for everything but the banquet, but that's never been the case. Bottom line: If you want to attend the awards, then buy a banquet ticket.

That sentiment is fine...up until the banquets are consistently selling out and members are being turned away from the awards ceremony as a result. At that point, everyone who says, "buy a banquet ticket" is just not being realistic. You cannot buy something that is no longer available, can you?

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While I can see the points being made, the question begs answering is, then, how many banquet tickets went unsold? If the banquet was sold out, there are still attendees - IPMS-USA members - who were shut out with no alternative than to sit in the corridor or go elsewhere.

 

This is not an inclusive event and I respectfully disagree with Michael's assessment that any member who participated in every other aspect of the convention, be compelled to buy a banquet ticket to witness the awards ceremony. Even the schedule had three distinct events listed and please feel free to correct me if needed:

Cash Bar @ 5:00PM

Banquet @ 6:00PM

Awards Ceremony @ 7:00PM.

 

Ron, can you offer what estimates you received for setting up a closed-circuit link to quantify "prohibitively expensive"? And, why couldn't the Fayette Room (IIRC) have been used as it was already set up and used for seminars?

 

As I may have stated, this is only my second Nats I've attended. I can only presume this situation has presented itself before and if it has, I again state we can do better.

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Ron,

 

Thanks for the clarification. I pretty much assumed the banquet was a facility requirement (as it usually is). I also understand that many if not most of the folks who attend the banquet do so because they like it. I also know that no matter how hard you try, you just won't make everyone happy. However, this one does seem to be important. The contest is a primary focus of the convention, so access to the awards should be a primary focus. I can also appreciate the challenges of juggling the vendor rooms. One thought for the "next time" if there is one. You need to close one room early so it can be set up for the banquet, which would take some time due to all the tables. Could it be possible to take the other large room, and close it at say 3pm and still have time to convert it over to just seating and a small stage?

 

Michael,

 

Your statement is nothing more than the good old, it's always been this way, so it's good enough, live with it. I'm sorry, there is NOTHING in any convention advertising that says if one want's to see the awards program, one must buy a banquet ticket. That may be good enough for you because you understand that's the way it's always been, but what about the poor guy who has never been? And why can't we try to make it better? Do I feel entitled to a seat at the awards, you bet. Like I said above, I paid my way to the convention, I paid for 4 nights in the convention hotel, I paid my registration fee, I entered my models, I judged. I did decide that I would go to dinner with some modeling friends rather than join the banquet, but I see no where in any publication that says that precludes my attending the awards.

 

Again, as I've said, I think the folks in Columbus did a great job, and the challenges of the facility were pretty much out of their control. I also appreciate Ron risking the flak and jumping in here. However, it seems that a great many folks feel that because partaking of the banquet has grown to be "understood" to be necessary if you want to see the awards program, it's ok. Well, maybe more emphasis needs to be put on making the awards open to everyone who has registered for the convention and wants to attend. There may be places (and Columbus may be one of those) where there just isn't an acceptable work around, but that shouldn't be taken for granted and accepted out of hand.

 

Mike

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Francis,

 

I don't have any idea of how much a CCTV quote was, or would have been for the Columbus venue, but I did see on a lower level wall that PSAV is the IT vendor for the facility. I can tell you from experience putting the Chattanooga bid together a few years ago, that PSAV's rates are obscene. For the money they wanted to charge for LCD projectors and screens for 3 seminar rooms, we would have been MUCH better off buying our own projectors and screens as we have folks in our chapter who could easily have supported those. However, setting up a CCTV system would likely been well beyond what we could have supported, were the equipment even available to us. I can easily believe that a CCTV set up was well out of the budget in Columbus.

 

Mike

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Mike -

I completely get it that there'll always be a cost associated with all these things; I work at a university and see CCTV setups on campus from time to time there. Even our IT department gets reimbursed for their efforts...

I'm in no way looking for heads to roll on this - I've been to many regionals where those who were not partaking in the banquet were present at the awards portion of the evening. I'm just trying to bring light to the fact that convention participants, like me, were essentially shut out of the ceremony. I completely agree and understand that venues are all different, requirements change and options are sometimes limited (fiscally, technologically, and otherwise).

What I'd like is for an option to be provided because, as you stated above, just because that's the way it's been needn't mean that's the way it should remain. When I can Skype my brother in Tennessee from Pennsylvania, it's not a huge leap to think we can provide something akin to that to the next room over. Then, more *members* can participate in the whole event.

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I suggest that instead of posting all this on a Forum topic that at this point can't change anything, that those with a concern in this area contact the organizers of next year's convention in Columbia. They have the ability to make changes if needed, Columbus does not. I was told their web site will go up in September. I'm sure they will have contact info there.

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I see your point Ron. However, I think it's still appropriate here on the chance you guys bid again, you should know that it's important to people. And the board should know its important to people. The folks organizing Columbia aren't the only folks who need to know.

 

I'm sure that since you guys just got done running a fine show, a couple guys sqawaking about acceess to the awards program seems like an insult. I don't mean it to be, and if it's being taken as such, I apologize. I only think it's worth keeping in mind if you were to bid again, and as I say, the board should know that at least some feel that access to the awards program is important.

 

Mike

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No promises but we will look into this for 2016 and see if something could be worked out given space and budget. Website is now live with the information we have now, more will be added as it becomes available!

http://www.ipmsusa2016.com

Edited by hplott

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No offense taken. We knew about it, but just didn't have the space/resources this time around.

 

And thanks, Hub, for the info on your web site.

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Jim, I don't believe there is any IPMS rule or bylaw that requires a banquet. It's Ben bandied about on these forums plenty of times that something else might be done to meet the venue's food and beverage requirement. As I understand it the only requirement is for the convention.

 

But that's beside the point. As it stands now there is a group of folks who travel to the convention, pay the money for the convention, support the convention, and then because they either choose not to attend the banquet, or they don't get a ticket in time, they are excluded from participating in the awards program.

 

I'm with you (to a certain extent) that change for change's sake can be a mistake, but when you have folks excluded from something they feel they've paid for, I think "so there ya go" doesn't quite cut it. I'd like to know that the board hears us and will at least make an attempt to make sure that everyone who registers for the convention and wants to participate in the awards program can.

 

Mike

Mike,

 

No, there is no requirement in the C&BLs for a banquet, but there is a requirement for an awards ceremony.

 

At almost every venue, if you have a banquet, you get the room for free. The venue makes their money on the food and beverages.

 

If you don't have a banquet, you have to hire a room for $12,000 to $15,000 if memory serves. That would add around $15 to every registration, assuming 1,000 registrants. West coast conventions are usually a little smaller, so the price per person could go up more. It doesn't appear the folks who are willing to pay for the banquet mind that they are subsidizing the awards ceremony. When my job permitted me to go to the Nats, I always attended the banquet and considered it money well spent for an enjoyable evening.

 

I would suspect that moving the awards to a different room from the banquet negates the advantage of having a banquet, as the awards ceremony room would be an additional charge.

 

Regards,

Bruce

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While I can see the points being made, the question begs answering is, then, how many banquet tickets went unsold? If the banquet was sold out, there are still attendees - IPMS-USA members - who were shut out with no alternative than to sit in the corridor or go elsewhere.

 

This is not an inclusive event and I respectfully disagree with Michael's assessment that any member who participated in every other aspect of the convention, be compelled to buy a banquet ticket to witness the awards ceremony. Even the schedule had three distinct events listed and please feel free to correct me if needed:

Cash Bar @ 5:00PM

Banquet @ 6:00PM

Awards Ceremony @ 7:00PM.

 

Ron, can you offer what estimates you received for setting up a closed-circuit link to quantify "prohibitively expensive"? And, why couldn't the Fayette Room (IIRC) have been used as it was already set up and used for seminars?

 

As I may have stated, this is only my second Nats I've attended. I can only presume this situation has presented itself before and if it has, I again state we can do better.

 

In answer to your question, I bought 3 tickets for the banquet at 3PM THAT afternoon. There was an announcement over the PA that there was tickets left, and I walked over handed in my money and got my tickets. I believe the woman behind the desk said there was about 20 left over at that time.

 

IMHO the banquet/awards room is up to what the venue has available. I did pay for three tickets and by nature of how the ppl filed in, we sat off to the right of the stage. While I could hear fine, the view of the screens was pretty bad. So the ppl in the hall directly in front of a screen may not have heard the show, actually got a better view. I'm not complaining, that's the chance you take. Each venue room is going to be different.

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I suggest that instead of posting all this on a Forum topic that at this point can't change anything, that those with a concern in this area contact the organizers of next year's convention in Columbia. They have the ability to make changes if needed, Columbus does not. I was told their web site will go up in September. I'm sure they will have contact info there.

 

Instead of posting to next year's convention's website, can anything be done on a level where every member will be able to participate in the awards ceremony? I think if you handle it on a year-by-year basis, that doesn't address the issue. If the C&BLs already mandate there be an awards ceremony, this member feels that event should be made available to all members in attendance. As others have mentioned, the banquet is all well and good but... A: Not all members choose to attend it and B: Not all members may be allowed to attend it (limited attendance). And, since the banquet and awards ceremony have been morphed into one event, perhaps some allowance should be made to those members withing to attend the latter.

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I look at it this way - The Banquet is a very good dinner, with modeling friends (old and new) around the table, is an excellent way to end an enjoyable Convention - and they all are IMO. Besides, the Banquet (one $$ price) really doesn't cost that much more compared to a nice decent dinner (Meal$$ +Drink$ +Desert$ +Tip$) outside the Hotel. BTW, How many of us spend more at the Vendors on a model kit/s (which we may or may not actually build) that costs as much as the Banquet Ticket.

 

I go to the Banquet every year - Except one! I skipped the Banquet and ended up sitting on the floor outside the Banquet Room. I've regretted it every since and vowed "Never Again!"

 

Now I look at it the Banquet Ticket as a good buy IMO.

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I think there's an important point being missed here: EVERY Nats banquet tries to allow for EVERYONE they can squeeze into the room for the awards presentation. NO Nats host has EVER designed the banquet to exclude people from the awards just because they didn't buy a ticket.

 

The problem is that every host is at the mercy of their facility. Some have the room to allow plenty more people in. Others have limited room and only so many chairs can be added, especially when the local fire codes are considered. About the only thing a host can truly do is ADVERTISE to the membership ahead of time when their space is severely limited so attendees know just how much more important that banquet ticket might be in getting a seat for the awards ceremony.

 

I've long advocated separating the banquet from the awards ceremony. In my opinion, as long as the host has a room that can host a banquet and NOT have to shut down a vendor room, the banquet should be held on FRIDAY afternoon/evening, from 5pm-7pm. The judges would go straight from the banquet to judging and lose no more time than they do now (or perhaps only 30mins at most). Then, that same banquet room is used on Saturday night for the awards ceremony with theater seating for as many as the room will hold, and it runs from 5pm-8pm. This also has the benefit of getting everyone out and back to pack up their models at a decent hour that doesn't require so much rushing around.

 

This isn't a perfect scenario, as now there's less reason to buy a banquet ticket. You solve that by reviving the tradition of having a "named" speaker as an attraction. The local host can also take 15mins to get their "thank yous" out of the way on Friday evening, clearing the way to get a faster start on the rest of the awards on Saturday night.

 

Yes, this would take some time management. You'd limit the speaker to 30mins for his official program, and have him start half way through the food service. Last I checked, people can listen and chew at the same time! The same would go for the local hosts, who wouldn't be able to drag out their pats on the back as long as many do now. It might also require that the judges have reserved tables that are served first so they can be sure to have plenty of time to eat without being rushed, since they would HAVE to leave at 7pm to go start judging. However, since they're volunteering to work, why shouldn't they get a little preferential treatment at the banquet?

 

In any case, I really don't think we have to continue to do it the same way just because it's always been done that way. Food for thought (pun intended!). :smiley9:

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I like It Gil. I would save the money as I wouldn't need to attend the banquette any longer just to get a seat for the awards show.

 

Jim

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