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Peter, you have the right idea, but I think you're using the wrong criteria (mileage). In my experience (25 Nats since '77), the cut-off for driving is 8-10hrs. If people can make it there in that time or less they consider it "drivable" and try to attend. The hard core you mention will stretch that of course (I did 12-13hrs each way this year), or they'll fly instead. You're generally correct that for the hard core the difference in cost isn't the deciding factor, they attend if they can afford it, even if it costs more to fly.

 

Also, your idea of population centers explains why some shows are SO much more successful than others. Columbus (for example) has a HUGE area to draw from when you draw that 8-10hr travel circle around it. The same goes for Atlanta and the central east coast. This is why the east and mid-west Nats are always the best attended and the least risky for profit/loss. The farther west you travel, the more those populations shrink since there so much more open space between the cities. This doesn't discount west/west coast shows, it just makes them generally smaller in attendance, and slightly higher risks. There's also fewer clubs in those regions which cuts back on the number that can even consider bidding from the start. That's why we're discussing such things as "subsidizing" a facility cost and centralizing Nats committee jobs; and any other ideas that would make it easier for more clubs in the smaller (and/or more expensive) population centers to have a better chance of trying to host a Nats.

 

As Ron points out, IPMSUSA is NOT an attraction worth the attention of most city's tourist bureaus. While it might be great if municipalities bid for our Nats, it won't happen because we're just not worth the effort when it comes to the dollars we bring to town when compared to other conventions.

 

Dick Montgomery's comments go a L-O-N-G way in explaining why little to no changes or improvements in the way the Nats is run have occurred up til now. He sat on the Eboard and obviously wasn't interested in change. His comments show that he likes the way it's been done for the last 20yrs and isn't interested in change, even if it's done in an effort to involve MORE IPMS chapters and perhaps make it possible to go places we haven't held a Nats before, or in a very long time. He cites a lack of benefits from centralizing Nats committee jobs while that's EXACTLY what has made the computerized registration and the awards program work so well!

 

He cites a lack of information, but he's mistaken. As a past club president and the current chapter contact I can say that I've gotten a letter from the 2nd VP EVERY year when the Nats bids are solicited. For a long time that letter had extra financial info with past convention details so interested bidders would have an inkling of what was needed. If anything, that might have actually made it look more daunting than it is. Now the letter merely refers to the info being available for those truly interested in bidding. Tips, links to people with past Nats experience, and all the statistics you need are already available, and is NOT the reason more chapters don't bid. Most chapters aren't interested (period), and others are certain that their particular city would not be a place people would view as desirable to go to for a Nats (difficult geographic location, lack of museums, etc.). So, there's probably only about 1/4 of our 200 chapters that would even fleetingly consider making a bid, and then that number shrinks from there for all of the reasons and problems we're trying to overcome.

 

Now we're trying to discuss taking the idea of centralization a step farther and Dick's worried about people getting free room nights at the show. While we're a volunteer Society, and many people do a lot of stuff with little or no compensation, I don't see any reason not to have some sort of carrot attached to the work stick we're offering, especially when it involves multi-year commitments from people.

 

I think we have a very good National Convention. I've watched it grow, and in many ways it's more fun now than it was when it was smaller. I think most of us agree that we want to try to make changes that will either maintain what we have, or even allow it to grow more. But, as Ron points out, we may have reached a point of pricing ourselves out of the space we really need, at least under the conditions we've been using to bid and award conventions til now. Dick is correct in that we've never failed to have a bid for a Nats, at least not YET! However, it has gotten MUCH more dicey over the last 10yrs, as well as more expensive. We've had more repeat bidders the last 20yrs than the previous 30yrs. We HAD to give up the east-central-west bidding rotation just to be sure we WOULD have bids. And, there's been a decided downturn in west coast Nats in that time, which is something IPMSUSA WILL need to address if it wants to hold the Society together nationwide. It's better to plan for change and implement it as needed than to sit back and ignore problems because you like the status quo and "local flavor".

 

GIL :smiley16:

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None the less the last two West Coast bids were turned down by the E-board, which raises a question what's more improtant - profit or serving the IPMS members. I realize that the old model of the Eas

Dave, You can spin numbers anyway you want. I can draw out your number out to 16 years and the east and Midwest get 4 more conventions while we don't get any. What I am saying is the E-Board doesn't a

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 t

I believe it mostly on the vendor side Nick, especially the first day, and also when load out occurred Sunday morning. The only other time was when the ladies all jammed the hotel elevators at the same time. I know Jerry and I climbed 7 floors of stairs since we'd have been waiting 20+ minutes for elevator space.

 

GIL

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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.

 

Paul, unless I am misremembering how it works now, Art's message about tax implications and such were addressed by the EB and the show's finances are handled directly by the Natl Society for tax reasons plus it saves the expense of establishing a repeating IRS expense. All payments, in and out, go thru the Treasurer now.

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Perhaps you are correct, IPMS/USA should pay them instead (as Ron suggested) - this was an alternative to save the society funds by using "freebies" usually given by the host hotels in exchange for selling out a room block. IPMS/USA should ALWAYS use the free option when available instead of spending our treasure, IMO.

 

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

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Nick,

The main issue with the 31 group was that since they were in town at the same time, all the other hotels were committed to them, so we could neither expand our room block at the Hyatt nor house anyone anywhere downtown.

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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 this is the biggest challenge facing the Nats, and I believe Ron is right, may I suggest that one of the goals of the new e-board be to explore alternatives to the typical hotel/convention center venue that we’ve used for the last 30-40 years. This is the "paradigm" shift that Ron mentioned.

What is our plan as we face these increasing costs? Is the leadership and membership okay with the possibility of one day not having a national convention? Better yet, are we ready to brainstorm alternatives? We’ll be quick to identify the challenges that come with any alternative, but are we open-minded to find ways to overcome those challenges?

I think this will be a crucial issue facing the new or a near-term e-board. It's time for a plan.

Steve

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Perhaps you are correct, IPMS/USA should pay them instead (as Ron suggested) - this was an alternative to save the society funds by using "freebies" usually given by the host hotels in exchange for selling out a room block. IPMS/USA should ALWAYS use the free option when available instead of spending our treasure, IMO.

 

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

 

I do not believe that this step is necessary. Let's take a slice of conventions and look at them, say............from 2000 to the most recent show in Columbus July, 2015. Identify what the most significant problems were at these conventions. In my view, the biggest issues were that the local leadership were not communicating effectively with the 2nd VP regarding their intentions and procedures. When some of the procedures went "flat", the EB in office at the time, took steps to establish guidelines and requirements that narrowed the potential for repeats of those issues.

Those guidelines and requirements, still in effect by the way, have an excellent track record.

So why, with a string of successful conventions, is there a need to replace local leadership with national leadership...which you advocate gets paid to do a job that is currently being done well by the locals for free?

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I'm curious. What were "all the issues we had at Columbus with CCH and 31?" I was there for the whole Convention. What did I miss? Nick Filippone

The "issue" "per se" was how many women there were. A member was talking to some of them and it turns out that there was going to be almost 20K of them. Forget about using the elevators in a timely manner - forget about using any of the restaurants in the convention center/ hotel and in the nearby area.

When I opened the blinds in my room in the morning and looked out, all you saw out in the streets were a sea of pink T-shirts. :D There was so many of them that I believe they also used the Arena that was a few blocks away.

 

Seems there was also 2 bookers for the hotel/convention center and apparently they didn't talk to each other which led to the overlap.

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The issues with CCH and 31 were:

 

Setup was severely restricted for some vendors, not getting into the rooms until as late as 6:00 on Wednesday because of overlap between when the CCH group was to shut down their event and when IPMS was to start ours.

 

For 31, it created logistical issues again - not only did it clog the hotel rooms, elevators, etc. It did the same with area restaurants. Also, they literally took over the town, so things like load out on Saturday were restricted because they had all the loading/unloading areas congested with their busses - and a complete unwillingness on their part to allow us to load up. It was bad enough that even the Hyatt staff, which was VERY helpful, struggled to tell us where to load out. It illustrated what a small fish we were.

 

If you were just an attendee, you probably didn't notice those things as much, but, man, vendors are important to our show, and they got several raw deals at this show.

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Of course, a popular convention site is going to attract lots of conventions. We are and always will be small potatoes compared to organizations like Mary Kay and 31 and CCH- whatever that was. Given all the problems we are having finding anyplace affordable, we can probably expect these conflicts with other people's conventions will go on-especially when these hotels and facilities have the temerity to actually try to maximize their space and room utilization and therefore their profits! Shocking! Nick Filippone

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There was a "secret" freight elevator behind the hotel check in desk. When the big ladies and their bigger, um, "bags" showed up, my girl and I used that exclusively. No lines, no wait, no worries. In fact, it was so secret, that there was a ginormous sign advertising it in the main elevator alcove. Which is how I learned about it.

 

Also, why are comped rooms for the volunteer leadership such an issue? It shouldn't be. They earned it.

Do the members of the Eboard receive comped rooms at the convention?

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FYI-Per the CB&L only the President receives both travel and a room for the convention. I do not know for sure but I assume that room comes out of the comped room block received by the convention but if not it is paid for by IPMS. The rest of the Eboard is expected to attend and not reimbursed at all (even the 2nd VP that is essential to assisting the host chapters). As far as I know the disposition of any comped rooms is entirely left to the local hosts. I would assume they are used for their key staff to avoid commuting and be more available to serve the convention needs.

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So why, with a string of successful conventions, is there a need to replace local leadership with national leadership...which you advocate gets paid to do a job that is currently being done well by the locals for free?

 

So, why, did IPMS/USA take over the financial aspect of the Nationals as well as mandating a standard registration & awards program?

It was done to save the society the expense and trouble of reinventing the wheel every year.

This discussion is merely an extension of the policy. Nothing has been decided, but we might end up with a new President who is interested in exploring ways to save the society money (and the aggravation of reinventing the wheel with regards to certain positions) - one key way appears to be expanding past the two year bid cycle.

 

There are many things we no longer do the way they were done in the 70s, and others that some believe need to never change. Geologic history is filled with examples of systems that didn't change to adapt to the future. Will IPMS/USA be one more example? That could be the choice we make with regards to whether or not we adapt this aspect.

 

Of course, in the long run, I don't think the Society can survive in it's current form. The average age of the membership is slowly creeping up past the average life expectancy in the western world. I am in the youngest quintile (that's the youngest 20% "for those of you in Rio Linda"), and I don't see very many significantly younger than me. If we don't change to fit the demographics of the younger guys who build models (there are quite a few at the LHS) we will end up entirely irrelevant and collapse when the last dozen of us, much like the Doolittle Raiders, decide to fold the tents up and go home.

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FYI-Per the CB&L only the President receives both travel and a room for the convention. I do not know for sure but I assume that room comes out of the comped room block received by the convention but if not it is paid for by IPMS. The rest of the Eboard is expected to attend and not reimbursed at all (even the 2nd VP that is essential to assisting the host chapters). As far as I know the disposition of any comped rooms is entirely left to the local hosts. I would assume they are used for their key staff to avoid commuting and be more available to serve the convention needs.

 

Close, but not quite:

 

ARTICLE 5 - MEETINGS Section 3. National Conventions
I. The National Convention Host Chapter shall provide the most economical round trip air fare for the National President of IPMS/USA or the official designated to represent him at the National Convention.

 

If the host chapter CHOOSES to give a comp room to the President, that is fine - it's their show. If the President DEMANDS a comp room, then it can become a very large problem if a host chapter doesn't have them written into their hotel contract.

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The reason the National took over the finances was dictated by the IRS. To keep our 504/c/$67.39 or whatever it is tax status, the national organization needed to have tighter control over all its funds.

 

Around 10 years ago, one host offered the President their room free. They used a comped room. Then one year the Pres. drove, so the travel expenses were minimal, so they offered him a room instead. I don't know how common it is now but it is NOT required or asked for.

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Thanks Ron. (504/c/$67.39 !!!! That's funny!) Being a 501c-7 does require controls over funds and the current financial system being used facilitates that requirement. It has little to do with the Local vs National question.

 

I know two things to be true:

1. The current system is not static. It is under constant review and revision. It is an evolutionary process and not a revolutionary process.

2. The one person who has the responsibility of monitoring and steering the convention process at the national level (which also provides guidance to the local leaders) is the 2nd VP. The current 2nd VP is the person who, in my view, knows more about the convention process and its evolution to its current status than anyone else in the Society. And the only person who has announced their candidacy for that office has a wealth of experience gained from his role as a leader in a convention that was a huge success. The office of the 2nd VP is, and will be in the immediate future, in experienced and knowledgeable hands. It is unimportant that I may, from time to time, disagree or question a decision made by one or both of these gentlemen. The main point is that I have immense respect for their knowledge, for their experience, and for their judgment. I trust them to make the proper decision, based on those characteristics.

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As an ex-president, the rooms are given out of the free block when they can as a convenience. In my four years as president, it was done three of the four years. The other year, I was close

 

As \said, not required and the rest of the E-board gets nothing as far as compensation

 

Dave

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One thing the rotation did was kept the west relevant. Even if no one bid we were still in the mix. Now with an at wide bid we can't compete. At least if someone in the west bid in the rotation it forced IPMS's hand. Now they are free to do as they wish. So would argue that's life deal with it. Well that's true but I didn't think alienating members is what IPMS was about. We have contest rules so no one take all the prizes so then why are we so willing to toss legitimate bids just because more money can be made elsewhere. So sweeps is ok when awarding conventions but not models? It's still the same philosophy and if were about spreading the wealth then this should in my opinion go across all aspects of the society right or wrong. You can't have your cake and eat it too as they say.

 

Jim

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The average age of the membership is slowly creeping up past the average life expectancy in the western world. I am in the youngest quintile (that's the youngest 20% "for those of you in Rio Linda"), and I don't see very many significantly younger than me.

 

 

What is the average age of IPMS/USA membership? (Not directed to James, rather someone on the e-board who can definitively answer.)

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One thing the rotation did was kept the west relevant. Even if no one bid we were still in the mix. Now with an at wide bid we can't compete. At least if someone in the west bid in the rotation it forced IPMS's hand. Now they are free to do as they wish. So would argue that's life deal with it. Well that's true but I didn't think alienating members is what IPMS was about. We have contest rules so no one take all the prizes so then why are we so willing to toss legitimate bids just because more money can be made elsewhere. So sweeps is ok when awarding conventions but not models? It's still the same philosophy and if were about spreading the wealth then this should in my opinion go across all aspects of the society right or wrong. You can't have your cake and eat it too as they say.

 

Jim

 

Jim:

 

I suggest you check your facts before making such a statement. In the last 12 years, each area of the country has had 4 conventions each- 4 west, 4 Midwest and 4 east (assuming Columbus is Midwest). So it has been spread fairly amongst all regions for over a decade

 

West- Phoenix, Anaheim Loveland and Phoenix again

 

Midwest, Columbus (x2), Omaha and KC

 

East- Florida, Va. Beach (x2) and Atlanta

 

If you call Columbus east, the Midwest guys are the ones being shortchanged, not the west. Granted, the last time in the west was 2 years ago but the spread is even.

 

And the selections are based on the "best" presentations and packages and this year, it was Omaha

 

Dave

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One point that "may" be leading to some of the west coast animosity, is the number of conventions truly on the west coast.

 

While Dave is correct about the "western region" contests in the past 12 years, you will note that only one, Anaheim, was actually on the coast.

 

In the first 26 national conventions, fully 5 were in California and 2 were in Seattle...7 conventions on the west coast. Since then, in the past 26 conventions, only 2 have been in California and none in any other west coast city.

 

Now, I don't have a dog in this fight, but this might help explain why the west coast is starting to feel a little "left out".

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I suggest you check your facts before making such a statement. In the last 12 years, each area of the country has had 4 conventions each- 4 west, 4 Midwest and 4 east (assuming Columbus is Midwest). So it has been spread fairly amongst all regions for over a decade

 

West- Phoenix, Anaheim Loveland and Phoenix again

 

Midwest, Columbus (x2), Omaha and KC

 

East- Florida, Va. Beach (x2) and Atlanta

 

If you call Columbus east, the Midwest guys are the ones being shortchanged, not the west. Granted, the last time in the west was 2 years ago but the spread is even.

 

And the selections are based on the "best" presentations and packages and this year, it was Omaha

 

Dave

 

 

How is Loveland = West? It's 1200 driving miles from San Francisco. It's only 500 miles from Omaha, More over it's 1300+ miles from Seattle and only 1400 miles from Atlanta, so I would submit to you that it is central, rather than West.

 

Plus you are cheating by including the conventions that were done when there was a rotation. In the 7 years (2010-2017) since the rotation went away we only had one western convention - Phoenix and even that was 7 years ago.

Vladimir

 

Vladimir

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