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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.

 

And that right there is the problem - most of the time, the organizers must guarantee a minimum for meals in order to get the rate on the facility. Enough attendees feel the same as you, they don't get the numbers, and the costs skyrocket.

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On top of that you are actually reserving the room used for the Banquet on Friday and the Awards Ceremony on Saturday for both nights which probably means it is free on Friday for the Banquet but an additional cost on Saturday night for the Award Ceremony. Remember the food is what usually subsidizes access to a large room like that for most venues even from day to day (the hotel could probably rent out the banquet room to another group if we are not using it for a night so I am sure they would want to be compensated for using it for two nights instead of one.

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It all depends on the facility (as I said). Very often, if you meet the room night requirements, you get the other stuff for free. If not, then you have to make other arrangements, or it's simply a case that you cannot follow my suggestion due to costs.

 

I also addressed the idea that IF you make the sort of change I suggested, you DO need to find other incentives to go to the banquet. I agree with Ralph, in that the social aspect is enough for myself. However, for others, they might need a speaker who they're interested in. Heck, you can even hold a few special raffle drawings for top-drawer prizes limited to those who attend the banquet. There are ways, we just need to adapt to them If and when the opportunity arises.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I have no problem with a separate awards ceremony, but I think doing the banquet on a different night would entail a logistic tail that adds to an already complicated schedule/work load. In addition, finding a speaker who will appeal to a wide range of our members that will speak for free AND be a good speaker, would be a challenge. I know there are many vets, old soldiers, and supposed experts who would speak for free or little, but are they any good and would they draw a crowd? Remember, they're the only reason many would come to this thing.

 

I remember one year (one of the Virginia Beach shows?) where we left the banquet room and went to a theater setting and had the awards ceremony there. Plenty of comfortable seats. Of course, most venues don't have that but maybe we do the banquet in one room and the awards in another set up theater style. Now, if there's a cost involved, then we have to look at how that's paid for. Higher registration? Pay to see the ceremony? There was even one year when you could watch the ceremony in your hotel room on cctv. I have no idea what that cost or would cost now or if its even possible with various venue systems, especially if the con is in one building and the hotel is separate. I enjoy the banquet and consider the cost just part of the convention, but others may disagree or just need to watch their costs. Without the awards ceremony, I doubt we'd get many to attend a banquet just for "fellowship" and any speaker would have to be a pretty big draw to justify the $40-$50 meal. It all comes down to costs. As long as our convention is dirt cheap to attend, we have to accept requirements such as food and beverage purchases and need to find ways to work around that.

 

I see three ways to go:

- Make sure the banquet room has adequate room for the people who want to see the ceremony but not eat.

- Have the ceremony in a different room set up theater style and pass on any cost in some way.

- Figure out a way to satisfy the food/beverage commitments w/o a banquet and just have an awards ceremony Sat. night.

 

Just some thoughts.

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Just out of curiosity, and if it is elsewhere on the site, I apologize...

 

At this year's convention -

 

1) How many banquet tickets were available and how many were sold?

2) How many actual model entrant numbers were issued? If possible, please indicate how many entrants were part of family groups (using the same IPMS number).

 

This will allow everyone interested in this discussion to see precisely how many attendees could see the awards ceremony and what percentage of entrants that represents.

 

Thank you,

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I{ believe we cut off the banquet at 300. Unfortunately, we don't have the number of entrants. Entries, yes, entrants, no. I suppose we could count them and filter the family members, but quite frankly, I don't think that's going to happen, at least not for a while as we're all pretty tired of convention "stuff" at the moment.

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I{ believe we cut off the banquet at 300. Unfortunately, we don't have the number of entrants. Entries, yes, entrants, no. I suppose we could count them and filter the family members, but quite frankly, I don't think that's going to happen, at least not for a while as we're all pretty tired of convention "stuff" at the moment.

 

Well, this is a bit disheartening. If we cannot have this information to make comparatives, we're not going anywhere with the discussion. Ron, are you saying you cannot provide a number of how many IPMS members participated in this year's contest? I just expected that would be a fairly available number.

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Yes that is what I am saying. We did not, nor have we records of those numbers from any contest before us. We just haven't tracked it. We could find out if we went back into all the records and made a list of all the IPMS #'s and then cross checked for family members, but this is not a computerized part of the show so it would all have to be done manually.

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As a former contest director, I too am a bit surprised that the number of registrations cannot be produced as it is one of the few firm numbers I needed to know.

 

The number of entrees is really a meaningless number because it is not tied directly to income and a single registrant can bring numerous models at no additional cost. The number of registrants on the other hand tells the host, the national organization, as well as anyone who wishes to inquire (i.e. the membership), precisely how much money should have come in from that source.

 

Oh, well...

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Well, this is even more disappointing that I first thought. For a national organization to be unable to tell how many members attended their national convention's contest seems very strange to me. I had the thought it would be a number that would have been tracked all along.

 

Getting back to the Columbus awards ceremony, all I can say is there were dozens sitting in chairs and standing at the doorways during and scores waiting in the prefunction area outside the model room afterwards. Until real numbers can be associated with these members, it'll have to remain subjective; e.g., 'dozens' or 'scores' of members.

Edited by Kranman

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I've been doing this for over 14 years and you guys are the first to really ask for the number. We just haven't needed it before. Sorry you're disappointed in us. We did our best.

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Ron, not to be argumentative, but I have a sheet from when we bid for 2014 that shows a bunch of statistics, including the number of convention registrants each year from 2001 to 2010. There has to be a simple way to get to the total number of convention registrants from the CMS. Maybe Graham would have that? And if there isn't, that's something that REALLY needs to be addressed.

 

And to note, at least speaking for my part, there is no disapointment with you guys. If that number isn't easily available, that's a shortcoming of the CMS, not your group.

 

Mike

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One question, clarification. Are we talking about registrants which should be easy I would think or people who entered the contest as they are not the same number . Many people seem to go and don't enter the contest. Which number is everyone looking for?

 

Dave

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Dave, you're right, they are different numbers. I could be wrong, but I would think the percentage who register but don't enter would be pretty small. Either way, I would think either number should be pretty easy to get to. If it's not, we should definitely be looking at modifying the CMS so those numbers are easy to get to.

 

Mike

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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

Jim - because I'm your friend and can get away with this, you need to think of this statement in connection with your concerns about "western nationals" - saying it "is what it is" about the banquet is the same thing as saying "is what it is" about the west.

 

That said, I know a LOT of folks that don't want to spend the money on the standard hotel "rubber chicken" banquet, but do want access to the awards presentation. I am in TOTAL agreement with Mike Moore's statement that if you pay to register, you should have a seat at the awards show.

 

And buying a banquet ticket doesn't always work that way, as in Virginia Beach, I remember buying the banquet ticket only to get shuffled down the hall to a theater. That same group of friends decided that very year that they were never buying a banquet ticket again. They make a point to find a local high-end restaurant and make a big evening of that before coming back for the awards show.

 

it's a tough thing as there are contractual obligations that have to be met, but the awards show should be very much viewed as an open event and exclusive from the banquet.

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Paul> Jim - because I'm your friend and can get away with this, you need to think of this statement in connection with your concerns about "western nationals" - saying it "is what it is" about the banquet is the same thing as saying "is what it is" about the west.

 

 

Yes you can get away with it ;-) But here's the difference. IPMS won't admit it's about the money when we all know it is. Sure we in the west can't compete, it is what it is but by doing that you are abandoning a whole section of the country and not just a few people at a particular convention.

 

Jim

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This is purely a guess, but I "heard" the number of registered "attendees" was somewhere around 800, give or take 50 or so. That is about normal for a East/Midwest Nats (more than 700, but less than 1000). According to Ron, the banquet was capped at 300, so about 30% attended the banquet. This seems to me to be about the norm in my experience. Most banquets seem to have 200-400 attendees, depending on the overall attendance and the price charged for the meal.

 

As for the number who actually entered the contest, my "guess" would be at least 700-800. I'm thinking that at least 90-95% of the registered attendees also enter the contest. There's no other reason to pay the registration fee, unless you just want to attend the seminars without entering the contest. If you're not doing either of those, it's cheaper to buy a multi-day pass instead of register for the convention. I'm sure that there are a few who register just to support the show and/or get the decals and registration packet stuff, but I'm guessing that's a VERY low percentage.

 

So, if you're trying to get an idea of how many seats are needed for the awards program, I'd go with 90-95% of the registered attendees. East of the Mississippi its a safe bet that you'll need 600-800 seats on average. The Western shows might only need 500-700, since their overall attendance figures are usually slightly smaller.

 

Another way to look at this is a host needs to plan on DOUBLING the seating for the awards when the banquet is over. That should tell you immediately that many of our facilities do NOT have the capacity to do this, no matter what the hosts and attendees wish for!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Gil,

I don't enter any models but I register, get banquet tickets for myself and wife (throwing off the whole registrants vs banquet seats discussion), and get the pin, the decal, and the bag, etc.

 

Also, rule II.20 Judges .... "Only Judges fully registered at the convention are eligible to join judging teams."

 

Now I'm sure no one checks, and I don't even agree with it, but the rules are the rules ....

 

FWIW.

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A couple points if I may, as I'm the one who started this whole thing...

 

Dave Morrissette, the number we're talking about is the number of IPMS entrants in the contest, not the registrants nor the entries of models. That number could then be used to weigh how many entrants, less the number of banquet attendees, are denied (in some manner) access to the awards ceremony.

 

Secondly, my disappointment in this is limited to the fact that one number cannot be pulled from our convention data. It stems from my fairly commonsense (to me) notion that we, as a society, hold a yearly convention yet we cannot ascertain how many entrants participate in the contest portion of the convention. With all the mincing of data I see from the yearly breakdowns IPMS/USA provides in their convention activities, this should be a number that should have been kept from day one, so it's not really a knock against the Columbus folks, Ron Bell, please do not take it as a reflection on the whole of the convention. I and the guys I was with had a great time. The fact we do not track that number puzzles me.

 

Third, while the vast majority of banquet-goers are probably IPMS members, how many dine with their spouses - who may or may not be members? That would skew the numbers of members attending as well.

 

If we're trying to find out how many members in attendance are shut-out of the awards ceremony due to unwillingness/inability to pay for or unavailability of banquet tickets, that number of entrants in the contest is required.

 

I simply reiterate the fact that several dozen IPMS members and contest entrants were sititng in the corridors in Columbus, trying to catch a glimpse of the ceremony. This, I find, is wholly unacceptable. Not surprisingly, I agree with Paul Cotcher and Mike Moore in their assessment that a member and contest entrant in good standing and in attendance, should be afforded a seat at the awards ceremony, banquet notwithstanding.

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I do think the "wives" angle throws this off a good bit, as they do attend the banquet, but are rarely entered in the contest. Additionally, the wives do attend the awards show (as do family members). This year, my daughter was the only entrant in the family, yet there were four of us total that wanted to see at least the juniors part of the show.

 

For Columbus, they are space constrained by the facility. They put on an excellent show. Despite the challenges with setup and tear down, everything else ran very well, and attendance was as good as it always is at the Columbus show. The only other place they might have had a space to hold the awards show is in the atrium area outside the contest room. I remember that space being pretty big. Also, for as much as I didn't like paying for the banquet in Virginia Beach only to be moved to a different spot for the awards show, this may be a model to be considered on a go-forward basis when the banquet room is too small.

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I wandered onto this dated thread. In reading it, a memory arose.

 

The last Nats banquet I attended involved the room's doors being opened right before the awards ceremony. A flood of people, well over 150 of them, charged in and the chairs up against the rear wall were quickly occupied. Although most of the non-banquet folks made were courteous, a goodly number stood in the aisles between the tables -- blocking the view of the banquet attendees. When asked not to block the view, words resulted and resulted in other words.

 

I particularly remember one response to the request not to block the view -- "I have the right to see the awards presented and I can stand wherever I want. So, go ...." It sort of ruined the awards ceremony, which involved looking at about six people's backs.

 

Now, without referencing other threads discussing the worldview of some IPMS members, that incident does raise questions -- "Do those who pay for the banquet have a right to view of the screen? Can those who didn't pay for the banquet obstruct the view of those who did? What exactly should a non-banquet attendee be afforded in terms of seating and views? Depending upon the venue, should the organizers limit the number of non-banquet folks to the number of seats available to seat them -- and how would they control the flood upon the doors opening -- and the irate folks not permitted entry?"

 

My table was half wives. I can empathize with someone who chose not to pay for the banquet and then could not attend the awards ceremony due to spouses sitting who did not register for the convention.

 

I'm glad I don't have to deal with these issues. But I think that managing the expectations of non-banquet awards ceremony attendees may not have always been well handled. And, per my example above, the expectations of banquet attendees were also not well managed.

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This may need to be handled in the future in the following way:

 

You buy a ticket for the banquet AND awards ceremony. The host advertises it in that manner. They also make sure that all literature for the convention, especially where it concerns the banquet and awards ceremony info emphasizes that although every accommodation will be made to seat non banquet attendees for the awards after the meal, the fire codes will be adhered to and they will NOT guarantee anyone's ability to see the awards if they don't buy a ticket. This is actually the way that it's always been! However, it seems that future hosts are going to have to put this in writing to avoid misunderstandings and cover their collective butts.

 

I think an air of "entitlement" has sprung up among those who enter the contest. They believe that because they paid to enter the contest, they're entitled to see the awards show. That's not necessarily so! Their entry fee pays for the award they may get and pays to support the convention itself. No where does it state it entitles the registrant to attend or see the awards presentation. In fact, their award (except for any Special award) is already sitting on the table in the contest room!

 

I understand the idea that people want to have a chance to see the winners and also (perhaps) enjoy their 15 minutes of fame. I also know that EVERY host has ALWAYS made EVERY attempt to cram as many people in the room as possible; and that includes Columbus. Heck, I can remember St. Louis, back in the '80s, even used a closed circuit TV broadcast when they had to use multiple banquet rooms. The point is that EVERY host DOES what it can within the limitations and abilities of their facility, and always has. What seems to have changed in the last couple of years is that a bunch of people feel like they should get more than they actually paid for.

 

As for people standing in other peoples way...that is just rudeness! Future awards emcees, if and when they see this, should stop the presentation, or refuse to start it until these rude people have been relocated.

 

There are many choices Nats attendees get to make. They choose whether or not to register. They choose whether or not to enter the contest. They choose whether or not to go on tours. And, they choose whether or not to buy a SEAT for the banquet and awards ceremony. Choices have consequences, and while every host should make the effort to open the awards to as many as possible, the attendees have to be made to understand they have a responsibility on their end too if they seek a guarantee.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Gil,

 

Well said in your usual manner.

 

I've been to many Conventions since 1968 with the clear understanding of the what and why of a Banouet Ticket purchase.

 

I did skip the Banquet one year, ended up sitting on the floor in the back of the room, and regretted it every since. Never again!!

 

Most of us old Graybeards have learned to; 1. Register for our Convention Hotel room as EARLY as we can ✔️ AND purchase a Banquet ticket.✔️

 

There, I've played my old guy card for today.

 

See you in Columbia,

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As another "graybeard" (greyer than Gil, not as grey as Ralph, but balder than both), the issue of banquet attendance is another reminder of an old and tiresome attitude amongst many members of IPMS with regard to banquets at the Regional or National level. " I can get a better meal down the street for the same money." Never mind that it is an opportunity for members to break bread together as civilized people do to celebrate important events. Never mind that by attending the banquet, those members support the host chapter by making sure enough banquets are purchased toward the required contractual minimum. Never mind that it is the only time all year we gather as one body. If you don't think enough of this organization to spend a couple of hours at a table with your fellow members from around the nation and the world, how important can you think the awards are?

 

As for me, I have and will continue to support the banquet. So, bring on the rubber chicken or overdone beef! It's always a lot of fun- especially if I have a few drinks first! Nick Filippone

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Another Graybeard here, younger than Nick, Ralph, and Gil, but still literally a graybeard. And a dissenting opinion. There are likely many reasons for not attending the banquet, only one of them is not wanting to partake of what may be perceived as an over priced, poorly cooked meal (though I have had some excellent banquet food in recent years).

 

Another reason for not attending the banquet is the simple fact that most times, there isn't room at the banquet for everyone who actually registers for the convention. The day we are prepared to seat every registered attendee is the day, in my opinion, we can take the blanket attitude that if you want to see the awards, buy a ticket to the banquet.

 

Can anyone name another event where one pays to compete and isn't entitled to attend the awards? It seems to me that it makes more sense that someone registers and pays for the convention, which includes automatic entry to the contest, and feels entitled to view the awards than it does to tell them no, there is no entitlement there, if you want to see the awards you have to pay an additional fee for the banquet.

 

The reality though is that not only can we not always guarantee that everyone can have a seat at the banquet, but also not everyone wants to attend the banquet. It's not right, it's not wrong, it just is. Another reality is that nowhere does it state that if one wants to attend the awards one has to purchase a banquet ticket in addition to registering for the convention. We need to do everything we can to accommodate everyone who has registered for the convention at the awards. On the other hand, when that is not possible due to venue considerations, we should make note of that up front, and let everyone who registers for the convention know that seating at the awards will be limited and the only way to ensure a seat at the awards is to purchase a banquet ticket and those will be sold on a first come, first serve, no refunds allowed basis. But first, every effort needs to be made to assure every entrant to the contest will have a seat at the awards, even if that becomes a consideration in awarding the convention.

 

Every Nationals I've attended to date, 9 of the last 11, has done an outstanding job of doing everything possible to make sure we all get a seat at the awards. Some, like Virginia Beach in 2008 with the separate auditorium for the awards, had it made in the shade (though to prove you can't make everyone happy, I know there were some who bought a banquet ticket solely to guarantee a seat at the awards that were then upset at the move to the auditorium), while others, like Columbus are very limited due to the venue. But everyone did their best.

 

But it's wrong to take a dismissive attitude towards someone who is new to the Nats experience and feels like paying for entry to the convention and contest entitles them to the awards as it is a logical conclusion.

 

Mike

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