Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi Ron,

 

You've made a great start and I agree with where you're going.

 

1. Standard(ish) Awards - I'm a big fan of this idea. I believe establishing a relationship with an award vendor will drive down some costs for future events. Additionally, the 'national' standard award will be just that, a standard award. Sorta like gold at Euro or Moson or KMK. However, there will be people who say they love the individuality of the awards. I feel your idea of slight customization can somewhat solve their concern.

 

2. National Contest Committee - this idea is spot on where the show needs to go in order to survive. The number of members willing to put on a show is shrinking, not many new clubs are hosting Nationals and the old ones are getting burned out. Each of the chairs you pointed out could have a subcommittee of 2-3 individuals to help out as well. I don't expect a few guys to take all the load. The internet is a wonderful thing and so many services have been digitized making these positions even easier.

 

If you want help let me know. I'd be happy help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I'll even volunteer to work with those interested to build the proposals of how it would work. Obviously, it would be VERY different from the host chapter method, so when considering this, you really must decouple your thinking as to how the "old way" works, as this would be VERY different (but to the attendees the convention would be the same).

 

 

 

I'll quote myself here - I'll volunteer to head up a team to determine the feasibility of this.

 

Ron's on the right track with his approach.

 

Atlanta is already considering a bid, maybe that's the time to have the national team run the show and then hand off from there. if we write up a dedicated RFP that we can send to host cities, then they can get in the process of bidding for the show. Again, CITIES, not CLUBS should be bidding.

 

FWIW, short of one line of code, we did have the biggest and most successful show in IPMS/USA history.

 

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Its not accurate to say that we can't hold a Nats in big city - we can't hold a Nats in a big city that is not a convention city. Places like Orlando have worked because they have the necessary infrastructure in volume; there are many competing convention sites there to keep the prices down.

 

 

I disagree with this assessment. While using a University or some such other place may not be a great idea, every city with an airport has hotels and restaurants nearby. The infrastructure is present in cities without a dedicated convention center.

 

As for the alternative sites for holding a convention, that is not a convention center....the Marriott Renaissance was a few blocks away from the Hyatt in Columbus. I'm curious as to what the costs would've been had the convention been held there? Looking at their meeting space page, it seems that the space they have would be adequate.

 

I have no idea if that hotel was even looked at by the Columbus chapter, it's just something that I was wondering while I was there. They may even have had better lighting. :) Maybe someone involved with the planning of the Columbus show can shed some light here....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James,

To put it in perspective, the Marriott you mention has 22,500 sq/ft of "meeting space". The Hyatt Regency has 70,000. We used 15,800 sq/ft for the contest room alone. We just would not fit in that Marriott. We were in the Hyatt for one reason, it's the only facility around bar the actual city convention center which is extremely expensive, that we fit in. This goes back to the old, much cited problem, that we use so much space for what is in comparison so few room nights.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James,

To put it in perspective, the Marriott you mention has 22,500 sq/ft of "meeting space". The Hyatt Regency has 70,000. We used 15,800 sq/ft for the contest room alone. We just would not fit in that Marriott. We were in the Hyatt for one reason, it's the only facility around bar the actual city convention center which is extremely expensive, that we fit in. This goes back to the old, much cited problem, that we use so much space for what is in comparison so few room nights.

 

That is, indeed, some perspective. Yikes.

Thanks Ron.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At this point I wonder what happens to clubs that put in a bid (not any of the ones that have been mentioned and/or held Cons before) and loses out? I distinctly remember a club in mid to Northern Calif had a good bid IMHO. They lost out to who I forget, but they never bid again.

Does losing out put that much of a bad taste in club's mouths that they won't try again?

Edited by Roktman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some do and some don't Kevin. It sort of depends on the circumstances they "lose" under. Go back a couple of pages and read my post that addresses this to get a more thorough explanation.

 

GIL :smiley16:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And it's not just losing bids, it's certain things that can happen between the national organization and the host chapter(s) - I've heard from a couple of recent hosts that they're not going to hold the show any longer because of things that happened behind the scenes.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This might bear looking into. If we could find 4-6 individuals willing to take this on for room/travel expenses, that would be great. I'm not sure about having two teams. That would mean one team would be bidding out/organizing a convention that the other group would have to pick up mid-stream and run.

 

Seems like a good start. One thing to think about from the beginning is how to keep the core committee staffed. People will burn out over time, so making it a "for life" position may not be a good idea, but you also want continuity on the committee and the ability to draw replacements from an experienced pool. Maybe each host chapter should appoint a "liaison" to work with their committee counterpart, that would create a pool of known candidates to draw from.

 

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The idea of a "National" Convention committee sounds like it's well worth investigating. While my experience is limited to bidding on a Nats and being the Show Chairman for the Chattanooga show, I'd certainly be willing to participate. As for committee burn out, I do like the idea submitted earlier that there essentially be 2 teams who handle alternating shows. That should relieve some of the burden. Replacements should be continually recruited. If we were to end up with 3 teams as a result, I don't see any harm. I'm sure there would be some logistics to be worked out regarding hand offs but those should be surrmountable.

 

Mike

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many hands make light work. And if the system becomes repeatable, it gets a lot easier. I know when we ran our first few local shows way back in the early 90s, they were a big hassle and a lot of work. By the time we got to our big annual regional events leading into the 2005 show, the shows were pretty easy, as we just did the same thing every year.

 

I absolutely believe this becomes the same situation with the National Convention. There will be some trying times the first couple of years, but after we work out the kinks it'll be a lot easier. And if we pull from the pool of past national coordinators, then it will be easy to spread the load over those "many hands."

 

In order to make this effective, we have to stop thinking about the current "bid" cycle, and start thinking about the shows as a continuum.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At this point I wonder what happens to clubs that put in a bid (not any of the ones that have been mentioned and/or held Cons before) and loses out? I distinctly remember a club in mid to Northern Calif had a good bid IMHO. They lost out to who I forget, but they never bid again.

Does losing out put that much of a bad taste in club's mouths that they won't try again?

Business (and the Nats is a business) is largely about relationships, so if I were in a National leadership position I’d take the losing bidders out to dinner and have a sincere conversation about the bids and, assuming they had a strong bid, encourage them to not give up, to bid again in the future. There’s no reason for anyone to walk away from the process with a “bad taste in their mouths” as long as the bidding process is honest and the communication is open.

Then, in a couple of years, I’d reach out to them and ask if they’d be interested in putting another bid together and offer the organization’s help to make it a success.

In fairness to those in leadership positions today and in the past, maybe this has been done. I’m speaking only from a place of what my tendency would be.

Steven Brown

IPMS #48592

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies gents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ron, you misinterpreted what I meant. One team, would would focus on each show for two years. For example: The Even team would run and present the show for 2018 (just a hypothetical) beginning their work after the conclusion of the 2016 show. This would be low intensity chores that set the stage for the 2018 event, things like sending feelers out to potential speakers, getting input for decal themes, etc. Then at the 2017 the Even team would be tasked with manning a table for the 2018 event, doing things like selling vendor tables, pushing the wares of the host city's convention bureau, etc. After the 2017 show, they would go into high gear getting ready for their own show the following summer. The Odd team would follow the same pattern a year later. This would let one team have most of a year to rest and recover while the other is working hard.

One team doing it all would lead to fast burnout, IMO, and would require new volunteers almost annually for at least one position. Managing a Nationals is extremely intense for about 2-4 weeks, moderately intense for 3-4 months and less so the rest of the time. Using a cookie cutter approach to run this would make that much easier if National "vets" were involved instead of potentially new people every year.

 

 

This might bear looking into. If we could find 4-6 individuals willing to take this on for room/travel expenses, that would be great. I'm not sure about having two teams. That would mean one team would be bidding out/organizing a convention that the other group would have to pick up mid-stream and run.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

Remember Rusty Brook's pledge?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before this got any further, i thought I should check the CBLs to see if it was prohibited. It isn't specifically prohibited, and changes (if any) the EB decides to make can be easily handled through the National Convention Operating Parameters. There would be no reason for the Society to not accept "bids" from local chapters, as they would naturally form the nucleus of the labor pool we would have to draw upon during the show. They would also be responsible for the theme, venue selection, etc., just not the actual execution of the event. This alone might encourage some otherwise unwilling potential host chapters to bid as they would not have to worry as much about the manpower needed. perhaps the Facility Chairman & Logistic Chairman Ron mentioned should be from the host chapter as they would be on-site and able to handle things as they occur. ARTICLE 5 - MEETINGS Section 3. National Conventions

  1. A national convention should be held every year.
  2. The National Convention and Contest shall be conducted in compliance with the National Convention Operating Parameters set by the Executive Board and the National Contest Rules and Categories provided by the National Contest Committee.
  3. The procedure for selecting a location/host chapter for the National Convention will be determined by the Executive Board and will be communicated by the Second Vice President to all Chartered Chapters. At a minimum, this procedure should include the ability of the general membership to review each of the bids at a National Convention before the location is selected.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I wrote those specifically so our hands would not be tied if we wanted to change. Specific operating systems don't belong in such documents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Contest coordinator/chairman sounds interesting. That was the roll I was to fill had we won 17. If this sprouts wings I may be interested in that spot especially so if there are more than one team for alternating years.

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you talk through the roles that will help determine what is really needed.

 

For example, the contest coordinator is the local role that facilitates the communication between the Competition Committee, the judges and the results (Eileen) folks. If you've centralized the convention management, I honestly am not certain this role is needed. The contest is the ONE part of the show that runs pretty smoothly.

 

To truly plan this we need to talk through a typical nationals project plan, what happens when, and decide how each step would be impacted by this change. Once you have that, you'll have a better idea of what the volunteer requirements would be.

 

Again, this will be complicated and just like running a locally hosted national convention for the first couple of years, but then after you smooth process, the workload will go down.

 

Standing by!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gonna disagree, Paul. A contest coordinator will be needed. He determines the room lay out, makes sure it gets set up accurately, allocates the category spaces, runs the model registration system, re-allocates space and answers a myriad of questions during the show and then provides for the needs of the NCC and recorders. After the show, he maintains all the records of what was entered where. All that pre and post judging stuff has to be done by someone. True, some of it will become more routine, but if we change venues every year, that means a new lay out, etc. and that has to be done by someone.

 

I do agree with you that if we talk through this whole thing, some roles may change, but at this time, I can't see a situation where we would not need at least overall, registration, vender, contest and program chairmen. Each of those roles is a full time job for any show.

 

And remember, this right now is all theory and not a proposal. I don't want people to get expectations up and then feel we let them down when this idea doesn't come to fruition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I look forward to the local ambience and atmosphere associated with the National Convention. I hope that future conventions continue to have that "local" appeal that may go missing if a centralized committee were to be created.

I do not favor members of a future central committee getting a free ride to the convention.

I do not favor a central committee being given the power to run the convention with the locals serving as minions. This centralized committee arrangement may lead to the institutionalization of a person serving in a particular role year after year. All sorts of negatives come from such arrangements in the long run, and those negatives far outweigh any positives from such an arrangement.

 

While some bid cycles have seen only one or two bids, and some cycles have seen bids that come in very late in the cycle, no year has seen zero bids coming in, at least in "modern" history.

 

The problem isn't a lack of a national central committee....the problem is a lack of information about bid preparation and a lack of interest on the part of a local club due to the perceived work load or lack of understanding of the work load involved in bid prep. Both of these problems are easily addressed.

The 2nd VP is the person to whom questions about bid preparation can be addressed. Perhaps a higher profile on the website might lead local chapters toward the 2nd VP? Perhaps semi-annual or annual email reminders to that effect can be sent to the chapter contacts by the DLC or 2nd VP? Perhaps a reminder in the Journal, which provides the contact info for the 2nd VP can be printed in lieu of the Editor's column once a year?

 

The 2nd problem, that of a lack of understanding of the work load, can be addressed, once again, without resorting to a central committee. Perhaps a Tips Sheet could be made available that would take much of the mystery out of the process and offer a rather thorough description of what is involved. I know that if I were involved in a bid prep I'd contact the leadership of the teams that ran the last two or three conventions and solicit their advice. This kind of information can be documented and provided to the "bidding public".

 

I just don't see the need for a central committee. That would introduce problems that are best avoided and there are other workable solutions to the problems a central committee would be founded to handle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ Ron - I agree about laying out the room, but as far as registration, I see that being required from a different area of coordination. Again, finding ways to standardize these processes is key. We're saying the same thing, just have different organization ideas.

 

@Dick - I'm sorry, but I very much disagree that all the problems are lack of understanding of bid preparation and coordination with the 2nd VP.

 

The problems that we're trying to overcome are not related to bidding, the problems are related to funding and manpower requirements. These are invasive on the local host at this point.

 

1. Bids can only happen two years ahead of time, when the planning cycle on some facilities are 5 years plus, it becomes difficult to get good dates. Plus, we end up being shoe horned in with other conventions running at the same time - see all the issues we had at Columbus with CCH and 31.

 

2. Local hosts cannot fund what they need because they cannot collect until after the previous convention passes. When paying deposits, they are required when contracting with further deposits required before the one year out mark. Often times, these are hard to make - even with the seed money that can come from IPMS. I recall this being an issue with deposits for the 2005 convention. We had to twist arms to make the dates work, but the one year funding horizon causes issues.

 

3. Legal establishment - local hosts should establish 501C3 status to make sure they're protected on the tax front. IPMS has this, local chapters don't. We spent a lot of money to get this done in Atlanta. Some other hosts have done it, others haven't. The list of liabilities from not being incorporated are long, especially for locals having to sign contracts worth tens of thousands.

 

4. Equipment rentals - if the equipment could be standardized, it would make things much smoother. Also is an unnecessary expense to have year in and year out.

 

5. Further standardization and training on registration processes - admittedly this one can be corrected either way, but each year, it feels like some of the local host folks have no idea how to process registrations, simple things like name tags are major headaches. This could be dramatically streamlined with more national oversight.

 

I'm not suggesting that we have one or two people take it over, nor had I ever said that it should be done as a way to get free travel and room nights for the show. However, if we spread the volunteering over all the folks that have experience, it does become more workable.

 

Maybe it's just a simple as the national office being wiling to put some funding into the show's infrastructure. Pay for a professional staff to run the show, if they can run something like the 31 show, then we'd be simple by comparison. All the registration, etc. could be drastically simplified.

 

Moving the convention around gives you the local flavor, having a local host should not impact local flavor in any way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem isn't a lack of a national central committee....the problem is a lack of information about bid preparation and a lack of interest on the part of a local club due to the perceived work load or lack of understanding of the work load involved in bid prep. Both of these problems are easily addressed.

 

Agreed. (Emphasis above is mine.)

 

It would be interesting if a member of the NCC reached out DIRECTLY to the presidents of IPMS chapters around the country who run successful, annual contests to find out if they’ve ever considered hosting the Nats. Some would politely say, “No thank you,” because they’re not interested, but others might say, “We’d like to but don’t have the resources.” That’s a huge opportunity and that is where the NCC should make an effort to help.

I think of Mosquitocon here in my neck of the woods. (And I’m not a member, so this comment is purely theoretical.) IPMS New Jersey's annual contest is very strong, and I think they’d be well positioned to run the Nats. However, I can imagine them saying that finding an affordable venue in the area is a challenge. What then could IPMS do to help the club? At the moment, not much, because we don’t think beyond the norm, but there could be creative ways to host the Nats in a region that most dismiss as too expensive.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About that "31' convention, there were 14,000 of them! There were less than 900 of us. And while we just squeaked by our room night minimum to get the facility free, the 31's almost filled up the rest of the entire downtown hotel inventory for up to five days. When our 300 or so went to our banquet in that one room to meet our food and beverage requirement, their affair was held in the Nationwide Area that holds 21,000 for concerts and has over 650,000 sq/ft for exhibit space. We are so small potatoes that it isn't a case of us sharing with them, but rather them sharing with us. It wouldn't matter if we offered the venues a life time deal, we'd get nothing in return because they don't have to. Here in Columbus they are expanding the main convention center and building more hotels for one reason, to attract more and bigger gatherings. In a few years, we may not be able to afford it anymore or even get in the door to ask about it.

 

Our problems are not in man power, or committees or any of that other stuff. It's MUCH more basic. We just use too much space for the room nights we provide and the facilities cost more than our rather, shall we say, frugal membership is willing to pay to attend. If we charged $100 registration or a bit more and/or started charging by the model for the contest two things would happen. We'd have more money to maybe afford more places and with fewer entries because we would not have those guys who show up with 10-20 models, we'd need less space. Of course, attendance would probably go down as well. It's Churchill's conundrum wrapped in a problem. If we don't keep the current, highly economical and dare I say successful system, we will have to have a major paradigm shift that will literally change everything and who knows what that would bring.

 

Just some rambling thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is kind of a random thought for the participants of this thread. That is what I will call reachable population. My first number that I will flat out say is just shy of capricious is 500 miles. I would say that that is about the maximum that I would call a "days drive". I am not opening this number up to discussion. It is just what I would consider reasonable for me. Given that I would suspect(again without proof) that a large portion of the modelers that would attend are within or very close to that distance. With air fares being what they are, I would suspect that those who fly into a convention would not find the difference in fares a deterrent for going.

 

Having laid all this out, I wonder if anyone has considered population within a given radius as a consideration when selecting a site. For example, using the top 25 metropolitan centers(not perfect by a long ways but usable) Omaha would have a rough population within 500 miles of about 20 million(and please, I'm not bagging on Omaha) Knowing that you can't force a bid out of any club, if you look at Las Vegas, they have a population of about 36 million within 500 miles using the same criteria. To me this also explains why the east coast centers around the Chesapeake have great success. A similar number for that area is about 63 million within 500 miles. Phoenix would have a number of 31 million.

 

I am not saying that this should be a major criteria but it is certainly wouldn't hurt to consider it when encouraging bids.

Edited by PeteJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...