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Efforts toward a west coast Nats

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Are we even still on a "rotation"? I honestly don't know anymore. If so, would Omaha count as "west" (it is in the western half of the country) or :central" as it is in the central time zone?

 

Sucks to hear about your cancer!! Praying you come thru with flying colors and minimal side effects from the treatments.

 

James, Omaha in not in the west by any measure except west of the east coast. The true geographic center of the US is around Lebanon Kansas, at least that is according to the USGS. Roughly 200 miles west of Omaha. Looking at a population density map(see Ralphs posts) The mass of the population is between the east coast and the Mississippi river. Base on that, Omaha is on the west edge of that mass. To catch the majority of the west coast population you would have to be within a couple of hundred miles of the Pacific ocean and anywhere along the coast from Seattle to San Diego. If you are talking about a population to draw from the area west of Omaha to the west coast is pretty sparse. Anything in that area is not likely to have a "local"(some suggest a days drive)population to draw from. I really think that taking a good look at a population density map really does a better job of sorting out east from west than distance when it comes to selecting a "western" site. By the way, I grew up about 400 miles west of Omaha but still in Nebraska, and we always considered Omaha as the western edge of the east both culturally and socially.

Edited by PeteJ

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What about considering a complete paradigm shift in all aspects of the convention and the society?

 

1) Go to a 3 year out convention process instead of the current 2 year cycle. This could be done regardless of whether the other changes occur. Would this help clubs get better deals?

 

2) Repeal (or at least modify) the rotation changes. Rotate the convention. The only exception would be if no club in that region bids, but require a return to that region as soon as a club bids.

 

3) Redraw the map of IPMS/USA. Create 4 regions - East Coast, Central, Plains/Mountains, West Coast. This would move conventions more completely across the country while also having the additional benefit of perhaps putting 2 conventions within a modelers "personal travel distance" every 4 years rather than 1 every 3 years.

 

Just trying to think outside the box...

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Robert,

Some good ideas, But like everything in life, there might be issues.

 

1. Finding a venue that will hold a price for three years,

2. I see no need to repeal this. Every club knows what is due and this keeps it (hopefully) from never having no club bid and no club has to jump through hoops to try and get one. I, for one, am real glad we have always had at least one bid so far....knock on wood.

3, I don't think this will change anything either. you could call the West the Newbie region and it still wouldn't change the outcome.

No matter where you have the convention, only so many people will be able to attend. If we actually had one in Seattle or Portland, then those that would normally drive would be upset. It is just a fact of life and those of us on this coast are used to it. I really don't think any changes to the current situation will allow more West Coast bids to be won. I think the only way would be to have a West Coast (I mean Coast) in an OFF Season month as this would bring down the overall costs of the bid. This however, would also create more problems with modeler's who travel with family members.

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No matter where you have the convention, only so many people will be able to attend.

 

Bingo. Once we accept the fact that any single convention will be accessible to just a small part of the membership, we can set our expectations accordingly. There’s no need for a west coast convention to as profitable or more profitable than an east coast convention. IMHO, the only expectation should be that it be profitable. Now, what constitutes a “profit” is another conversation that we can discuss over a 3-5 page thread. LOL

I don’t know. My gut tells me the convention should be periodically made available to all the members.

Steve

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I could probably reproduce such a map - I don't have the complete member DB info though. I think being able to handle density - the # of members in a specific area - is the only thing I don't quite know how to manage...

 

E

 

 

James,

 

Just my opinion and wish I had the resources to update it. I offer it to serve at least as a rough approximation illustrating our:

1. Wide distribution of member clusters

2, Convention location consideration obstacles and/or opportunities.

 

Such maps, even outdated, can be helpful.

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Eric,

 

When I did the membership distribution map I used the following procedure;

1. Using the active membership list (need only member Zip Codes)

a. Sort by Zip Code

b. Sum number of members in each Zip Code into minor groups

 

2. Append applicable latitude and longitude to each Zip Code minor group

a. Sort by minor Zip Code groups in decending number of members order

 

3. Starting with the largest minor group

a. Calculate the mileage difference based on difference in latitude and longitude) between the next Zip Code groups

b. If the milage difference is less than, say 15/? miles, then

add the second smaller group to the larger group

and Delete the second group from the list

c. Continua for remaining Zip Code minor groups

 

4. Repeat Step 3 starting with the next largest group until all Zip Code minor-groups have been assigned to Zip Code major groups.

 

The remaining Zip Code major groups will be central and include smaller groups within 15/? miles.

 

Three further points;

1. You only need to use the first 3 digits of the member Zip Codes to group members. I think I applied a break-point programming technique to do this.

2. There are lots of formulas on the Internet that measure distance between two map coordinates

3. Find a Plotter that will plot and size the Zip Code major membership group's coordinates on a US Map outline.

 

Of course I'll be happy too help where I can.

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Mark,

First, very sorry to hear about your health issues. I'm sure that everyone wishes you the best of wishes and thoughts, and that you will, indeed, see a West Coast Nats.

 

Thanks. That is in God's Hands now, all I can do is continue to follow my treatment regimen and leave the rest up to Him.

 

Thank you for your reply to my request for an expanded explanation. In that expanded version you said, "The impression to these members was that the board didn't seem to care about ever scheduling a Nationals in a West Coast city as the attitude seemed to be that the west coast was too expensive and difficult for the majority of the members to get to."

 

I can tell you that during my time on the EB there was no such attitude presented by any EB officer toward a bidder.

 

Perhaps there is a different explanation, that being that when a decision doesn't meet one's expectations then a tendency would be to blame the decision makers for being biased or unfair. I submit that this is the most probable explanation for the attitude that you describe in your post.

 

That is possible, as I only heard it through others or through eavesdropping. I for one however, feel that as was mentioned by others here; it is more about money and the membership doesn't matter as much. Granted, the Society has been having financial issues lately, which resulted in an increase in membership etc., but if the board had wanted to be truly fair and unbiased to the entire country equally, then they would have accepted Phoenix and asked Omaha to come back the following year with their bid to host it afterwards. In this way, they would have been fair to the whole Society overall, and would still have gotten their higher profits the following year.

 

I would point out that another statement in your reply appears to contain a bias....and that statement is, "Still, I would think that if all modelers in IPMS USA were equally important to this organization, then Phoenix should have gotten the nod and Omaha gotten it in 2018" It appears that you are advocating that the bid should have gone to Phoenix even though Omaha had the better bid. Your statement shows a bias for those on the West Coast. Whether a bias favors East or West, it is still a bias, and as such, does not have a place in the decision-making process. I suggest that the better bid should always win out regardless of what part of the country it comes from. It is up to those presenting a bid to put forward a bid that they think is competitive and reasonable. It is up to the EBoard to select one bid as being superior. Not everyone will be pleased and that's the nature of the process.

 

If you wish to call my statements biased towards the West, then there's nothing I can do to change your mind; but it does show how little you know me personally. All I was asking for was a call to the Board to be as fair as possible to ALL members across this nation and having Phoenix awarded the convention in 2017 would have been more fair in that we on the west coast would finally (after five years) have a convention within driving distance for most of us; as you on the East Coast have had for (now) five years and more.

 

You're right; bias doesn't have a place in the decision making process; but the consideration of the entire society does; or at least should. One other thing; if you see a bias in my words; then it could be argued that the Board has a bias of it's own: an event that makes a higher profit than another that doesn't. I submit that this isn't the case; however, as one other member here mentioned; the West Coast is and will always be at a disadvantage in bidding because a place like Omaha will always be able to show a higher profit due to the cost of venues and such out here. Therefore, your contention that the better bid will win out all the time confirms that the West Coast won't have another convention again until ONLY West Coast clubs compete for a bid.

 

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Eric,

 

When I did the membership distribution map I used the following procedure;

1. Using the active membership list (need only member Zip Codes)

a. Sort by Zip Code

b. Sum number of members in each Zip Code into minor groups

 

2. Append applicable latitude and longitude to each Zip Code minor group

a. Sort by minor Zip Code groups in decending number of members order

 

3. Starting with the largest minor group

a. Calculate the mileage difference based on difference in latitude and longitude) between the next Zip Code groups

b. If the milage difference is less than, say 15/? miles, then

add the second smaller group to the larger group

and Delete the second group from the list

c. Continua for remaining Zip Code minor groups

 

4. Repeat Step 3 starting with the next largest group until all Zip Code minor-groups have been assigned to Zip Code major groups.

 

The remaining Zip Code major groups will be central and include smaller groups within 15/? miles.

 

Three further points;

1. You only need to use the first 3 digits of the member Zip Codes to group members. I think I applied a break-point programming technique to do this.

2. There are lots of formulas on the Internet that measure distance between two map coordinates

3. Find a Plotter that will plot and size the Zip Code major membership group's coordinates on a US Map outline.

 

Of course I'll be happy too help where I can.

 

Here's a distribution of US attendees for 2014 in Hampton. The dots are individual registrants by zipcode, with the states shaded by total registrants per state. I could do another for current members, but I'd have to get Bruce or MJ to send me a new database as the latest one I have was from the end of our show.

3WTZ1u2.jpg

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It would be interesting to plot this data from the last Omaha show and see if there we more west coast registrants or if the data is still skewed more to the east.

 

Ken

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Omaha in not in the west by any measure except west of the east coast. ... The mass of the population is between the east coast and the Mississippi river.

 

 

 

The population center is west of the Mississippi River in south central Missouri, by that metric Omaha is in the west. So Omaha is in the "western" half of our population - barely. It is also in the "northern" half if that matters. I enjoy heading west for the shows, I tried to talk Woody & Lindy into putting together a bid for 2018 in Oregon to no avail.

 

 

I still don't have an answer for the offical rotation part of my question, tho.US_Mean_Center_of_Population_1790-2010.P

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Great work Jared.

 

That's a great graphic. I have a favor to ask. Anyway you could do that for the distribution of the current IPMS members? Maybe a heat map to best illustrate the data?

 

I'm curious to see the distribution of the membership.

 

Thanks,

 

John

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Very informative chart! I can maybe kinda guess what the Omaha one will look like. Would also be intrigued to see this plot for the previous PHX & CO Nats, if that data is available. Anecdotal info suggests that there is an underserved center-of-gravity in the far west. The map graphic may help a decision as to whether PHX/LSV is 'good enough', or maybe it is worth spotting some national-level funds to push it all the way west, given the economics of the left-coast. Just curious.

 

Hawaii, probably not...but how cool would that be!?

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Jared, Ken, And James,

 

Thank you for your very interesting plots. Obviously, the technology has really advanced since I did my plot over 45years ago.

 

Ken, I hope the Omaha group has, and will provide their data from their last convention.

 

Jared, I might be able to help with the National membership plot(?).My e-mail address is: ralf7@verizon.net I think all you really need is the member's Zip Codes --->>> stay tuned....

 

Guys, I think we are on to something very promising here :-)

 

More later and TAKE CARE,

Ralph

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The distribution for the Hampton Nats - aside from an obvious boost from Northern VA - looks a lot like the population density of the entire US; the clusters of registrations in the west basically correspond to the population centers (suggests the percentage of people willing to fly across the country for a model contest is the same everywhere).

 

Spend some time getting driving distances out of Google Maps and you'll see that no cities in the west are really driving distance close - at least not in the way that Baltimore is close to Virgina Beach - except for Phoenix and Los Angeles (about 400 miles apart). Add in the fact that Phoenix is not a major tourist draw like the coast, and that it is a Southwest Airlines hub and I think its hard to beat as a western location.

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Hi all,

I've been interestingly reading for the past 4 pages. IMHO we are just going round and round. I'll volunteer to be the a-hole for a minute and say "so what" to all of this. :huh: The west coast guys want a show? Let 'em have it.

 

IMHO again, since IPMS/USA has done away with the rotation system it looks like the club just looks at profits.

It's common knowledge that many members won't travel far for "The Show", and prefer to wait for it to come to them. So is that a reason to keep it in the most dense part of the country? Nope.

Even tho the cost of living is different around the country, it's 2015; everyone knows that the Convention Cmte. isn't going to get rooms for $69 anymore. Everyone realizes that certainly places charge for parking. Unless we're a club of Sheldon Coopers :smiley2: adjustments can be made. And really "The Show" is only 4 days.

 

So saying there are fewer people west of the US's center point - besides having to have a Hotel(s) and a Convention Hall --

Occasionally is it *really* a big deal if the Org makes $5K v. $20K?

Occasionally is it *really* a big deal if there's 800 models v. 2K models on the tables?

Occasionally is it *really* a big deal that there is only one organized tour v. four?

Occasionally is it *really* a big deal if the choice of the banquet is chicken or chicken? :smiley2:

 

I jest a bit but, If it comes down to making a dues paying section of the Org happy in that they get to participate in "The Show", Is it *really* a big deal where It's held anywhere in the country? My answer is none of that is a big deal to me. IMHO occasionally a "smaller" show isn't going to ruin the Org.

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Omaha in not in the west by any measure except west of the east coast. ... The mass of the population is between the east coast and the Mississippi river.

 

The population center is west of the Mississippi River in south central Missouri, by that metric Omaha is in the west. So Omaha is in the "western" half of our population - barely. It is also in the "northern" half if that matters. I enjoy heading west for the shows, I tried to talk Woody & Lindy into putting together a bid for 2018 in Oregon to no avail.

 

 

I still don't have an answer for the offical rotation part of my question, tho.US_Mean_Center_of_Population_1790-2010.P

 

:lol: Ok, James! You win that one, but that is digging pretty deep to call Omaha west. I still can't call a convention in Omaha a "Western convention" Middle for sure but west just chokes getting the words out. California, Wyoming, Washington(all places I have lived) are west easily, though I find it highly unlikely that they will ever host a Nat's in Wyoming. :smiley16:

Edited by PeteJ
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The distribution for the Hampton Nats - aside from an obvious boost from Northern VA - looks a lot like the population density of the entire US; the clusters of registrations in the west basically correspond to the population centers (suggests the percentage of people willing to fly across the country for a model contest is the same everywhere).

 

Spend some time getting driving distances out of Google Maps and you'll see that no cities in the west are really driving distance close - at least not in the way that Baltimore is close to Virgina Beach - except for Phoenix and Los Angeles (about 400 miles apart). Add in the fact that Phoenix is not a major tourist draw like the coast, and that it is a Southwest Airlines hub and I think its hard to beat as a western location.

My daughter happens to be in town from Baltimore and she mentioned to me that west coast driving is different than east coast driving in many respects. We westerners consider a 500+ mile drive as not out of the ordinary and no big deal. That is because most of our interstate highways have a 70 to 75 mph speed limit and are laid out for cross country driving. There are 6 metropolitan areas in California larger than Omaha and a total of 10 that are about the same size and all are within "driving" distance of each other. I would consider an area bounded by San Diego up to San Francisco over to Las Vegas(or even Salt lake) and down to Phoenix to be reasonable for Nat's purposes. I also don't see the Seattle area as that far out. The issue is getting a chapter large enough and willing to host the event. No, the west doesn't have the population density of the east, but that is certainly no excuse for bringing it to the left side.

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A bid is "in time" if it is presented at the national convention. That's it. The eboard likes to have them a little early so we can look them over and ask questions about little detail stuff that can hang up a presentation, but it is not required by the C&BL. We use to use the Jan. 1 date because if we didn't have a bid from the "right" region by that time, then any other chapter that might want to bid from another region would still have time to put together a bid.

 

However, we were getting no bids from the correct regions (note NOT just the west) and having to open up the process. So we, and since this was done by a vote of the entire society I mean we in the broadest sense, decided that it would be better to just open up the process so we could be somewhat more assured of getting bids from somewhere. We'd consider the rotation, but we would go with the best bid.

 

It has been suggested here that we not necessarily go with the best bid if some area of the country has not had a convention in a while. I'm not sure I agree with that. The Eboard is charged with maintaining the financial security of the society and the income from the convention is a significant part of the operating budget. How much are we willing to lose in income in a given year? Who can tell what contingencies will come up?

 

Finally, I've sat in on these deliberations every time since 2000 with the exception of the two Columbus bids, and the only west coast bias I've ever noted was the eboard wanting to put a convention on the west coast, but they felt that the best bid had to get the nod.

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The distribution for the Hampton Nats - aside from an obvious boost from Northern VA - looks a lot like the population density of the entire US; the clusters of registrations in the west basically correspond to the population centers (suggests the percentage of people willing to fly across the country for a model contest is the same everywhere).

 

Spend some time getting driving distances out of Google Maps and you'll see that no cities in the west are really driving distance close - at least not in the way that Baltimore is close to Virgina Beach - except for Phoenix and Los Angeles (about 400 miles apart). Add in the fact that Phoenix is not a major tourist draw like the coast, and that it is a Southwest Airlines hub and I think its hard to beat as a western location.

My daughter happens to be in town from Baltimore and she mentioned to me that west coast driving is different than east coast driving in many respects. We westerners consider a 500+ mile drive as not out of the ordinary and no big deal. That is because most of our interstate highways have a 70 to 75 mph speed limit and are laid out for cross country driving. There are 6 metropolitan areas in California larger than Omaha and a total of 10 that are about the same size and all are within "driving" distance of each other. I would consider an area bounded by San Diego up to San Francisco over to Las Vegas(or even Salt lake) and down to Phoenix to be reasonable for Nat's purposes. I also don't see the Seattle area as that far out. The issue is getting a chapter large enough and willing to host the event. No, the west doesn't have the population density of the east, but that is certainly no excuse for bringing it to the left side.

 

 

Now San Diego, Las Vegas or Salt Lake would be great locations. I think LA and San Francisco would be more costly but still great locations and a lot of things to see and do. I personally would like to attend a west coast nationals. I missed the last one there, I think it was 2007??

 

Ken

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It has been suggested here that we not necessarily go with the best bid if some area of the country has not had a convention in a while. I'm not sure I agree with that. The Eboard is charged with maintaining the financial security of the society and the income from the convention is a significant part of the operating budget. How much are we willing to lose in income in a given year? Who can tell what contingencies will come up?

Ron,

 

It sounds like - and please correct me if I'm wrong - you're saying the "best bid" is the one that makes the most money for IPMS. That seems short-sighted. The Nat's is one of the main assets of IPMS - people join up just to attend. We want as many IPMS members - from everywhere - to attend regularly, and have a good time, and not feel like they're getting squeezed for every nickle IPMS can get (leave that to the airlines for the trip to the show), so they keep coming back every time they have a chance.

 

To my mind, IPMS should set a target for revenue based on experience and minimizing the risk of a loss, and set a target for cost-to-attend based on what we know members are willing to pay, and if you've got two bids that meet those targets, than they're equal there and you can look at the rest of the package: tours, seminars, and geographic coverage. By making those targets public, the bidders will know what they need to be competitive, and they can try to juggle everything else to make their event fit the finances and still have the best package. As long as there is a revenue share, the hosts will have an incentive to do better than the target, but I'd sooner see the hosts spending to make the show better than trying to maximize the profit.

 

Don

Edited by Schmitz
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As far as accepting western places to host Nats, I'd be careful what you ask for. I've attended 4 in the past (Phoenix x2, Seattle, and Semi-Valley) and enjoyed them all. I missed the others simply due to being unable to get the time off or lack of funds; but never because it was "too far".

 

That said, I'd remind everyone that Salt Lake City is the ONLY Nats that was a complete financial failure. It seems to be the only time someone gave a party and no one came! In fact, Hasagawa actually donated some of their sales proceeds (from the 1/32 Storch, if I recall) towards helping IPMSUSA pay off the bills from that show. I'm not saying that this would happen again, but I'd want the Eboard to now exactly why it occurred back then so as not to repeat our past mistakes.

 

I'd also view any Vegas bid with a wary eye. While it would be (seemingly) a very popular destination, I'm not sure how successful it would be, especially for the vendors. We got a glimpse of this in the last Orlando show at Disney. It was great family vacation attraction, but the attendees spent more money outside of the convention as opposed to in the vendors areas. While this may seem like a simple trade off, the vendors know this, and they might not support a convention in such a place knowing that they may not make the money they need to to justify their expenses for a Nats. And, if you take away the vendor table money, the host (and/or IPMSUSA) will be short a HUGE hunk of the normal Nats income.

 

All this is to say that while we want to try to get the Nats out west, we have to look past the location and consider the risks that come with them.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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though I find it highly unlikely that they will ever host a Nat's in Wyoming. :smiley16:

 

 

 

There has to be a chapter first, one would think!

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though I find it highly unlikely that they will ever host a Nat's in Wyoming. :smiley16:

 

 

 

There has to be a chapter first, one would think!

 

I'm holding out for Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico Conventions!

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though I find it highly unlikely that they will ever host a Nat's in Wyoming. :smiley16:

 

 

 

There has to be a chapter first, one would think!

 

I'm holding out for Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico Conventions!

 

A ha ha. Oh ho ho. A hee hee. And I thought MY jokes were bad! B)

 

The Hawaii Mafia has on numerous occasions kicked around the possibility of hosting a Nats here, and the guys get pretty excited whenever the subject comes up. But if we managed to pull it off, it would go down in the books as the Nats with the fewest models per entrant ever. The logistics of hauling a delicate model across at least 2,500 miles of open ocean would make it look like a shoebox model contest (i.e. model has to fit inside a shoebox). Plus we already know that you guys will just dump your entries into the contest room and immediately head out to the beach or golf course! Yes Hawaii is perfectly geared for tourism, and we could put together some really great activities for the whole family, but I feel that the distance will put a crimp on the model entries. 1/32 bombers? Uh-uh. Giant dioramas? No way. Fully rigged sailing ships? Fuhgeddaboutit! And I don't think the airlines will allow U-Haul trailers onto the plane!

 

How about Alaska? It would be nice and cool in August!

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The below URL is the IPMS/USA Membership Map I made on a CalComp Plotter in 1969. I expect the membership is approximately the same today.

 

http://i604.photobucket.com/albums/tt124/HappyRalph/IPMS_Membership_Map_1968.jpg

 

 

 

The distribution map is 46 years old. I respectfully disagree.

 

I agree James. A LOT can change in 46 years. I would certainly like to see an up-to-date graphic map.

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