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On another topic, I really like the layout at LaVista. The Cabellas across the parking lot provided some "entertainment" on it's own.

It would be nice if Hammons would clone that center in several other locations and we could possibly get a multi-year deal with them. It could save the society big bucks.... especially if they are not built in top-tier cities where the rentals and hotel rooms would be less.

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>I believe I heard July 27 - 30, 2016

 

or 2017 perhaps?

 

Sounds like it might be 26-29th, those dates are Thurs-Sun in 2017.

 

Thanks

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I believe it's July 26-29, 2017

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Nick, I will respectfully disagree . 13k vs 40K in profit is the reason. Quite frankly I'm a bit put back by the society making that kind of profit off the back of members. After all were a non profit outfit. If a chapter can make that kind of profit off a deal with their venue then they need to kick money back to attendants/members and Vendors. You say costs for one are higher and yes you are correct, that's why there is such a difference in the profit so what is Omaha's excuse if they are not paying for the hall?

 

Jim

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Hm...

 

I look at it another way, if either bidder over-estimated their profits or there were other issues which raised costs, there would be far less margin for error to prevent things from going in the red. And while IPMS is a non-profit, taking a loss on the Nats would not be a good thing, especially when we have enough issues getting any clubs to step up and bid.

 

I'm also assuming that the Committee members voting on the bid get to see more detailed budget information and perhaps there was something they saw that made Omaha the better option.

 

Eric

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ON the surface Omaha's bid was indeed better. I counter that there are (many) reason behind the scenes as to why. Yes it sounds like sour grapes for everyone looking at the parties involved but it really isn't. It's more of a logistical problem within the organization. At this point questions need answered so to elaborate now is pointless until further information comes out.

 

Jim

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I’d like to quickly clarify a common misconception. A non-profit organization is permitted to make a profit. The key distinction between a non-profit and other types of organizations is that a non-profit’s earnings are not permitted to be given to board members, shareholder, or individuals. In addition, those profits are generally not taxed in the same way as corporate profits are. Many non-profits generate a great deal of revenue and profit and save it for future use...as IPMS does.



Steven Brown


IPMS #48592


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Thanks for the clarification. Still all that profit is coming form the members. At what point is enough , enough ?? Are we a society out to gouge members or have model conventions with a modest profit and not loose money. Everyone's mileage will vary on that one I'm guessing.

 

Jim

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Income, much less profit, does not come solely from members. Consider that there is an amount of "Day Pass" traffic who are not IPMS members, and then there is income from vendors. An attendee can determine if pricing for accommodations, banquet, and any entry fees are out of line by simply comparing these expenses with the same expenses from previous conventions, or if available, numbers from non-IPMS conventions in the same facilities with the same room/night scenario.

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As any business man will tell you, there are three ways to increase profit. One is to charge more for whatever it is you are selling, the next is to sell more of whatever you are selling and the third is to reduce your costs in producing whatever it is you are selling. Registration, vender table costs and room rates, the three things that most closely effect the average member, were pretty much equal in both bids. One was a little higher in one area and the other higher in another but there was no great disparity in any category except one, venue. Phoenix had $46,000 some odd dollars of venue expenses where Omaha had $7000. Phoenix's total expenses were $122,613 while Omaha's were $93,750. Omaha's predicted profit was decidedly NOT a case of a profit extracted from the membership, but from lower costs.

 

This is not to say the profit was the only factor in the decision, because it was not. It's to put to rest that aspect of this discussion that alleges the convention, and therefore the national, is making money off its membership. If anything, we'er trying to control and/or reduce costs while maximizing return.

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Respectfully Ron the lower venue costs as you state are why they and the national are making 40K in projected profit. If they can get the facility that cheap then then those costs/saving need to be passed along to the membership in lower registration fees and table costs for Vendors. The bottom line is the fact they can make a bigger profit. If one offers 13K in profit and the other is 40K and the members are the ones paying for all this then yes both parties are making money off the membership.

As I have said before. If Omaha can get the facility this cheaply then IPMS needs to take a hard look at going there every year. It's centrally located, The society won't loose money and in fact can make a boat load. I would offer that not only do we go there every year but it sure looks like we can and should offer lower fees to everyone while doing it and still make money. It's the fiscally responsible thing to do. It also solves the ongoing problem of getting chapters to bid on time. The local members there have been over heard saying they do it better than everyone else so it sure seems to be that they have the member numbers and willing attitude to put this on year in and year out. So I ask why not?

 

Jim

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Jim,

 

Based on nothing more than I've been reading in this thread, having the Convention in the same centrally located city every year makes sense. Particularly if the costs can be kept down, lower fees can be offered to attendees, Omaha is ready, willing and able to shoulder the load every year and we still make a decent profit when all's said and done. That said, there's a slew of us who would rarely if ever make another Convention. Is this fair? Not hardly...but life, as has frequently been said, isn't fair. Of course, any of us who REALLY want to make a Convention can always start saving for two or three years down the road. The problem there is that savings have a nasty tendency to be absorbed by various unexpected emergencies at the worst possible moment.

 

Maybe my observation makes sense. Maybe it doesn't. Maybe there's a better solution. If there is, I'm all for it. Maybe the best thing we can do is keep rocking along the way we have, on the premise that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." After all, the way we're doing now has worked for a lot of years.

 

Comments anyone?

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I personally believe that a convention in the central location (unless that location is in a really interesting place, which most likely be unaffordable) will eventually result in a much lower attendance. I for one like going to conventions because I get to visit places I would not otherwise visit and get to explore local museums. If the convention is in the same place after several years I'd run out of the places to see and will think twice about going there again. Maybe I'm unusual, but I believe that there are people like me who go to the conventions not only for the models.

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I do not favor a single site for the national convention, or even a rotation through three sites. (West, Central, East) I believe that we would see a decline in attendance, a centralization of location of winning entries, a very rapid burnout of the local club(s), and a social and organizational stratification of membership based upon whether one is a member of the host chapter or non-host chapter. None of these problems currently exist due to the location of a national convention. They will become issues if IPMS goes to a single location. I agree with Vlad.

Edited by Dick Montgomery

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$100 would still be cheap by other conference standards.

 

Two examples from my work life...

  • Penn State Web Conference - two day event, 600ish attending - $550(ish) for early registration, $700 for regular. Plus $300 for a single workshop, $500 for both.
  • Drupal Con (another web conference) - 4 day event, 2500ish attending - generally runs $700 to $800 and tends to pick large cities (LA, Nawlins, Austin) where hotels, even with conference rate, run $200/night

So this is what we're 'competing' with... so trying to get a decent (IPMS) rate, is gonna be kinda difficult, IMHO.

 

Eric

 

How is this relevant? Attendees of events like this have the tab picked up by their employer, or write it off as a business expense. Some people save for years to go to an IPMS National event.

 

When was the last time the Nats were held in the NE....huge population centers(Boston, NYC, Philly, etc) with potential for lots of walk ins.

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Ron's explanation about projected higher than average profits for the 2017 show in Omaha puts to rest the idea that said moneys will be bled from the attendees, and that's good to know. However, the specter of IPMSUSA "making money off of the Nats" is still something to consider, and I don't see it as a bad thing. However, As Jim pointed out, WE (the membership) need to know exactly how such exceptional profits (when made) will benefit the membership; and it should be used to benefit the members.

 

Just off hand, if the Omaha guys make a ton of do-re-mi for IPMSUSA, I would suggest any or all of the following:

1) Use a chunk of it it to subsidize a show (west coast?) in an area that might otherwise not get to host one

2) Use a substantial part of it to put together a "special Journal" issue, perhaps one that celebrates our 50years of magazines

3) Use some of it to sponsor a couple of extra "celeb" speakers at the next Nats, which could help boost attendance, or to pay for a more elaborate tour than would normally be possible

4) Use some of it to run a decal print to be included in the Journal for all members

 

I'm sure many of you can think of other worthy ways to spend some (not all) of such an "excess" profit. Some of the suggestions only benefit convention attendees, and others benefit the entire membership. The point is for the Eboard to roll some of that profit back into benefits for the members, and then be transparent about telling the members how they'll reap those benefits.

 

And (of course) the idea of a healthy profit margin from a Nats will always be used to secure more Journal printing and delay or avoid dues hikes. So, let's not be to quick to condemn the idea that IPMSUSA needs to be "careful" about making money off of its premier show!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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To address the idea of a single venue, or a rotating set of the same venues; I'm open to either. Personally, I do not go to the IPMSUSA National Convention because of where it's held. I go because it's our national convention! It's one of the largest and most prestigious contests in the world. It has the world's largest hobby shop for 3 days. And, it's where I get a chance to see great friends and make more new ones. WHERE it's held is almost irrelevant.

 

Can it be more fun if I get to do some sight-seeing that I might not otherwise get around to? Sure. Is it helpful if it's more of a "family vacation location"? Yep, much easier to sell to the wife! However, those are merely gravy, and not the bottom line of whether or not I'll attend. I go as long as I can get the time off work and can afford it! I believe this is the attitude held by most of the regular (by which I mean almost yearly) attendees; the "hard core". Since we cannot ever satisfy everyone with a perfect location, I think what we really need to do is to start pushing the rest of the membership to look at it as what it is, our National Convention, and they should attend whenever they can in support of IPMSUSA without regard as to whether it MIGHT come nearer to them in the future.

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges

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By attempting to limit the Nats registration fee - by keeping it low, splitting out the Banquet, or other means - the funds available to spend on the logistics of the event will always be limited, which will restrict the choices of available venues. Especially if other events, like Web Conf & DrupalCon, can outspend IPMS to book the same facilities.

 

So places like NYC, Boston, and Philly will probably remain out of reach.

 

Looking at recent shows, none have taken place in major centers of population for a while. (I was going to try to find the number of people living within 100 miles of each venue, but no luck yet.)

 

2001 Chicago, IL - 2.7 million

2005 Atlanta, GA - 5 million

2010 Phoenix, AZ - 4.4 million

2011 Omaha, NE - 900K
2012 Lake Buena Vista, FL - 10(?)
2013 Loveland, CO - 71K
2014 Hampton, VA - 137K
2015 Columbus, OH - 835K
2016 Columbia, SC - 133K

 

 

 

$100 would still be cheap by other conference standards.

 

Two examples from my work life...

  • Penn State Web Conference - two day event, 600ish attending - $550(ish) for early registration, $700 for regular. Plus $300 for a single workshop, $500 for both.
  • Drupal Con (another web conference) - 4 day event, 2500ish attending - generally runs $700 to $800 and tends to pick large cities (LA, Nawlins, Austin) where hotels, even with conference rate, run $200/night

So this is what we're 'competing' with... so trying to get a decent (IPMS) rate, is gonna be kinda difficult, IMHO.

 

Eric

 

How is this relevant? Attendees of events like this have the tab picked up by their employer, or write it off as a business expense. Some people save for years to go to an IPMS National event.

 

When was the last time the Nats were held in the NE....huge population centers(Boston, NYC, Philly, etc) with potential for lots of walk ins.

 

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Ok, even with what I said above, as it stands now, due to the way our convention is run, the man-power needed, the hotel rooms needed, and the venue space required; we will NOT be able to shrink to ONE location or even a "set" of venues. Without significant changes to how we do things, we are stuck with what we currently have.

 

So, the real task at hand is to find ways to make it easier for almost ANY chapter to host a show. We complain about not many chapters bidding because of various factors, all of which are real deterrents at this time. We even have to worry about the possibility of NO ONE bidding if all of the regulars are burned out and/or circumstances simply conspire to the point no one is willing to step up voluntarily.

 

IPMSUSA has already taken huge steps towards doing this. The financial side is all IPMSUSA, so it doesn't require a "rich" chapter to bid. The registration system is now "canned" and can simply be handed to the host chapter, IF IPMSUSA doesn't actually take this over too in the future (and it probably should!). The same goes for the awards presentation, which has run like clockwork for the last several years. The fact is, that due to the efforts of some very gifted and generous IPMS members, it's easier than ever to host an IPMSUSA Nats.

 

So, the last two big buggaboos are manpower and venue space.

 

I believe manpower is not too hard of a nut to crack. There are already many people who volunteer their time at almost every Nats they attend. Sometimes they're rewarded, and other times they're not. What's missing is an IPMSUSA Volunteer Incentive Plan. I'm suggesting that IPMSUSA get used to the idea that they need to rely on attendees more than a local host chapter to man the convention. THAT is a MUCH bigger pool of people to draw on! Advertise for the help year-round. Sign them up and reward them after they show up and work. I would suggest anything from discount banquet tickets, to free banquet tickets, to extended IPMSUS memberships (half-year extensions, etc.) for manning prime areas, or even just free raffle tickets for a few hours of doing simple door guard duty, or other less critical staff jobs. Once this is in place, smaller chapters are more easily able to throw their hat in the ring to host a Nats, and that expands the possible places to have one.

 

As to venue, this is much tougher. We need a LOT of space, and that limits the number of places to even consider going. The other half of that is that some very nice places we MIGHT go are VERY expensive (such as the NE corridor). So, what to do? Perhaps it's time that IPMSUSA give consideration to occasionally subsidizing the cost of a venue, IF all other things seem to be lined up within the "norms". I'm not suggesting that IPMSUSA pay for it completely, only that they might be willing to take a smaller slice of the pie for one year, or (more likely) use big profits from a previous year to help fund a more expensive venue 2-3 years in the future.

 

Until we can figure out how to do this "professionally" (with entirely paid staffs), we're going to have to find ways to help more clubs feel they CAN host a Nats. That (IMO) is the only way we can truly reopen up our Nats to more areas of the country than we can go to now.

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges

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Kevin: to answer your question directly:

 

The last NE Nats was in NYC in 1980. There have been no others closer than Washington DC and coastal VA since that time. To my knowledge, NO club from R-1 has even bid on a Nats, due to the expense of the possible venues and/or hotel room costs, not to mention the competition for that space with big business conventions that make IPMSUSA look like paupers with hat in hand.

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges

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To address the idea of a single venue, or a rotating set of the same venues; I'm open to either. Personally, I do not go to the IPMSUSA National Convention because of where it's held. I go because it's our national convention! It's one of the largest and most prestigious contests in the world. It has the world's largest hobby shop for 3 days. And, it's where I get a chance to see great friends and make more new ones. WHERE it's held is almost irrelevant.

 

Can it be more fun if I get to do some sight-seeing that I might not otherwise get around to? Sure. Is it helpful if it's more of a "family vacation location"? Yep, much easier to sell to the wife! However, those are merely gravy, and not the bottom line of whether or not I'll attend. I go as long as I can get the time off work and can afford it! I believe this is the attitude held by most of the regular (by which I mean almost yearly) attendees; the "hard core". Since we cannot ever satisfy everyone with a perfect location, I think what we really need to do is to start pushing the rest of the membership to look at it as what it is, our National Convention, and they should attend whenever they can in support of IPMSUSA without regard as to whether it MIGHT come nearer to them in the future.

 

GIL :smiley16:

 

Like I said - results may vary. To each his own, but it would be a mistake to assume that your point of view is the only correct one. If you start "pushing" people, people will start voting with their money and go somewhere else.

 

BTW - I'm fairly sure that making it a "family vacation" is not a good thing in relation to the convention. I've heard multiple complaints when people go with family that they do not get to enjoy the convention at all, since they need to entertain the family.

 

Vladimir

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"Pushing"....Not my best choice of words, but couldn't think of a better way to put it into one sentence.

 

I didn't mean pushing the idea of either one location or a set of rotating convention locations. I meant changing the attitudes of our members towards attending the Nats. As it is now, most STILL have the "wait til it comes to me" attitude when considering attending, and that just isn't something they can count on anymore.

 

I meant IPMSUSA should start pushing the membership to reconsider their attitude to attend the Nats as often as they can, determined only by personal circumstances (work, family obligations, finances, etc.) and NOT according to its location each year.

 

I agree with you that a vacation location (like Disney) can actually have drawbacks for some attendees and even the vendors. Time and money can be focused away from the convention, making it less fun and./or financially successful.

 

As for the future of Nats locations, I'm personally open to any paradigm. I see insuring the conventions successful future as being the top goal; not pushing for any one of the 3 possibilities. That's why I listed things that can be done to help improve the current bid system, as well as being useful to switching to more permanent digs in the future if the opportunity arises.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Gil makes some good points that I'd like to build on.

 

Finding an affordable venue is a major roadblock to hosting a convention, but I wonder if we’re too narrow in our vision? Has anyone explored creative alternatives?

Consider…. Does the convention have to be held in a traditional hotel/convention center? I don’t think so. Sure, the convenience is great, but can we consider alternative venues, such as a university? Many have large facilities that could accommodate our needs, and given that the Nats is held in the summer, demand and prices may be lower.

What about accomodations? Well, I can go onto any number of the big travel web sites such as Travelocity and quickly find a dozen hotels in practically any city and at rates that are much more affordable than what we typically see for the Nats, like $75-100 rather than $150. That might make the trip more affordable for some members.

We’d still have to discuss how to handle the banquet and awards presentation, but creative thinking could allow us to bring the Nats to new locations.

Steven Brown

IPMS #48592

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Eric:

You have the city limits population for Columbia. The population for the metropolitan area is 737k just an FYI.

 

By attempting to limit the Nats registration fee - by keeping it low, splitting out the Banquet, or other means - the funds available to spend on the logistics of the event will always be limited, which will restrict the choices of available venues. Especially if other events, like Web Conf & DrupalCon, can outspend IPMS to book the same facilities.

 

So places like NYC, Boston, and Philly will probably remain out of reach.

 

Looking at recent shows, none have taken place in major centers of population for a while. (I was going to try to find the number of people living within 100 miles of each venue, but no luck yet.)

 

2001 Chicago, IL - 2.7 million

2005 Atlanta, GA - 5 million

2010 Phoenix, AZ - 4.4 million

2011 Omaha, NE - 900K
2012 Lake Buena Vista, FL - 10(?)
2013 Loveland, CO - 71K
2014 Hampton, VA - 137K
2015 Columbus, OH - 835K
2016 Columbia, SC - 133K

 

 

 

$100 would still be cheap by other conference standards.

 

Two examples from my work life...

  • Penn State Web Conference - two day event, 600ish attending - $550(ish) for early registration, $700 for regular. Plus $300 for a single workshop, $500 for both.
  • Drupal Con (another web conference) - 4 day event, 2500ish attending - generally runs $700 to $800 and tends to pick large cities (LA, Nawlins, Austin) where hotels, even with conference rate, run $200/night

So this is what we're 'competing' with... so trying to get a decent (IPMS) rate, is gonna be kinda difficult, IMHO.

 

Eric

 

How is this relevant? Attendees of events like this have the tab picked up by their employer, or write it off as a business expense. Some people save for years to go to an IPMS National event.

 

When was the last time the Nats were held in the NE....huge population centers(Boston, NYC, Philly, etc) with potential for lots of walk ins.

 

 

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Thanks for the clarification. Still all that profit is coming form the members. At what point is enough , enough ?? Are we a society out to gouge members or have model conventions with a modest profit and not loose money. Everyone's mileage will vary on that one I'm guessing.

 

Jim

Jim:

 

One thing to consider. Much of the money comes in from vendors, walk-ins and sponsorships which is not IPMS members (although they could be)

 

Also, if you want to think that way, there was a convention that lost $10-15,000 which means the members would have to pay that also. That is part of what the profit does- beside funding the Journal, keeping membership low, paying mailing costs for the reviewer corps, and subsidizing the make and take plus wounded warriors it guards against a losing convention which is paid for by the national group so as not to burden the club losing the money

 

Dave

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