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The Convention Banquet has always been a nice way to end the Convention. But we seem to have slipped into a rather careless attitude about it.

 

We see people attending the Banquet very carelessly dressed - well-worn Jeans, faded T-sirts, wearing Hats during the meal, etc. Hardly the dignity expected at such an occasion - We are not eating at MacDonolds.

 

The first Convention Banquet I attended (Washington, D.C. 1968) most of us wore a Coat and Tie and were neatly dressed. I realize that was a long time ago and "casual" is more popular today.

 

But there are various degrees of "casual". I prefer "Upscale casual". That is; clean long pants, a Shirt with collar, and no hat worn during dinner.

 

I propose we consider adopting "Upscale Casual" per above as the "suggested" Convention Banquet Attire.

 

Your Thoughts?

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I'll echo your lament in that the banquet seems to have gone from a dining experience to an informal gathering with food. In my mind, it simply reflects the casualness in society at large compared to the past. The best example is how commercial flying has changed. Remember when it was a "treat", and you dressed accordingly? Now getting on a plane is so common place it's like riding a bus, and people now dress for the bus instead of the plane. As for hats at dinner, generally they shouldn't be worn indoors at all (though almost everyone accepts ball caps); and I agree that they are inappropriate at meal time.

 

As to whether we can change that....I doubt it. You have two problems. First, as you mentioned and I acknowledged, society has accepted casualness as being acceptable more often than not. That boat seems to have sailed and you won't find too many people who care as much as you still do. Second, hosts have a self interest in selling the maximum number of banquet tickets. They will NOT want to impose "fashion rules" that would more than likely turn people off from attending a meal which is already generally viewed as being over priced and unnecessary to the "convention experience" by many, many of the attendees.

 

I actually view the banquet as a great social experience that is in many ways completely different from the rest of the National convention activities. You spend almost the entire convention in jeans, tees, and ball caps hustling from the vendor rooms to the contest room to seminars; while dashing off for a quick bite and a beer with some friends if and when you get a chance. The banquet is a chance to put on some fresh clothes with a bit more style, sit down with friends for 2-3hrs, and have a more relaxed meal while being "entertained" (somewhat).

 

I agree in wishing it was a more stylish affair than it has evolved into, but doubt it can be formally changed to make it that way again.

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges

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To be honest, I can't recall what other folks were wearing at the banquet. It's just not important to me. I will say this though; If I can't wear what I want to feel comfortable, I ain't goin'.

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In Columbia we've learned that when the thermometer hits 100+ outside, shorts are an acceptable fashion item. If I recall, all of us (Convention Staff) were wearing shorts and a Staff shirt for the banquet, and those not in shorts were wearing jeans. So, I'm good with slacks, jeans, or shorts and a collared shirt (golf/polo or button) and closed shoes (or nice sandals for the ladies who like to wear them)--no "Holy Pants", no T-shirts, no flip-flops. Also, add that they should be clean and in good condition...

 

As for the hats inside, that has become a huge problem. My wife has to constantly remind her students that hats are not to be worn indoors, yet every semester she'll have at least two students who will wear a hat all the time.

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I believe that the membership has a good handle on attire (and behavior) that is appropriate to the moment. No apologies here to the hosts, but I'll wear what I wish to wear. I also think that everyone else in the room can wear what they wish to wear. I can say this without too much concern about seeing someone wearing (or not wearing) something that is clearly inappropriate for any meeting of any size in which there will be a mixed population, including young people. Every organization has a unique population that behaves in a way that is designed to be controversial and "attention seeking". There are two basic paths forward with these folks. First, ignore them. The benefits to those in attendance are self-evident. Secondly, if the behavior reaches that level at which it is actually in violation on any kind of community standard and is serious enough to actually warrant a response from the host (or convention center staff) just ask Security to handle the situation.

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I agree with all. The attire doesn't matter. I suspect that if we could find a way to financially do away with the banquets and do only the awards, it would be a popular choice. It doubles the price of the convention necessarily for the hotel (and Columbia's food was certainly good)

 

I also suspect what we see is the diversity of IPMS. We have people who are doctors, lawyers, directors of companies and then welders, cooks, etc. and that is one of the things I like. This hobby pulls all types together into a cohesive unit. I wouldn't be surprised if some might not own a suit. In my case, my one suit is for weddings and funerals so I wear slacks but I have also worn shorts. It was hot in Va BEach that year

 

Dave

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While all the above points are good ones, ultimately, I must agree with Ralph! Earning an award at our National Convention is a significant achievement and the Banquet where these awards are announced should be attended with dignity and respect. It is also the only time all year a large contingent of the membership gathers together. For these reasons, some degree of formality in dress is appropriate. I also, however, concede that notions of formality and dignity and respect in this country are becoming extinct as society descends into sartorial slovenliness! Nick Filippone

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I agree with Ralph, too. If it were my convention I'd have the following on the banquet invitations:

 

"Professional casual attire is greatly appreciated by not required."

 

Steve

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What is Professional? In my area people wear cowboy hats and jeans to weddings, quinceaneras, funerals, job interviews, and all manner of events. In Hawaii, many of the staff at a hotel are wearing shorts and Hawaiian shirts.

This is a non-issue. I have yet to see a person attending an IPMS banquet wearing attire that can be considered inappropriate. Other than the occasional jerk who might wear a shirt printed with a profanity, we are talking about folks who dress appropriately for the occasion and comfortably. As stated previously, if a person is wearing attire that violates the local set of standards then there are ways to handle that situation. The expectation that modelers are going to wear coats and ties to a banquet is unreasonable. The inclusion of such a preference stated in convention literature is a waste of space.

I need to go wash my jeans now.....I have a formal luncheon to attend in a few hours.

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The good part of this is that those to whom more formal attire is important, can dress accordingly. Those who don't feel that need can dress more casually. That's why it's probably not a good idea to put some sort of dress code in place. While the banquet may indeed be one of the highlight's of the convention (though I think the cocktail hour has higher priority :smiley2: ), there is no true need for everyone to look alike!

 

I remember attending a regional banquet (remember THOSE?) back in the day and one man and his lady went completely formal with a tux and gown. They out shown the rest of us by far, and I thought it was a "good look" for the banquet. Yet, I never felt the desire to take it that far myself! :smiley20:

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Casual attire is fine with me as long as T-shirts do not have an offense message. Jeans with blown out knees and backside are definitely not appropriate.

 

Although this next topic has nothing to do with attire it does have an impact on the banquet participants, speaker(s) and the presentation ceremony: people who talk to other members of their table when a speaker is at the podium. I had a situation a few years back at a convention when two men were having a rather loud and lengthy conversation during the opening comments. Their conversation when on and on, until I went over to their table and asked them to refrain from talking during the presentations. They were embarrassed and obliged my request. Later I was approached by a gentlemen who apologized to me for his friends behavior. It was obvious his friends were being rude, but they seemed not to recognize that behavior as out of line.

 

Be it attire or other behavior during the banquet let us all be aware of the generally accepted rules of casual society. Be considerate of others.

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In the 25-30 National Conventions I've attended to; I've only witnessed 2 minor, but unpleasant, behavior problems.

 

IPMS/Worldf members are exceptionally pleasant people to associate with.

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I'm sorry, the convention is my vacation, and I intend to be comfortable while on vacation. And I am most comfortable in shorts. Given that I work from home, I wear shorts year round. Most of the guys in my chapter have never seen me in long pants. i don't typically attend the banquet, but a requirement or a strong suggestion that I dress in long pants would ensure I never attend...a fact that might well prompt such a rule!

 

Seriously, times and customs change. A relaxation of the "dress code" at the banquet seems a pretty minor thing. Like I said, it's a vacation, let's let folks be comfortable. If that means dressing in a coat and tie, or slacks and sport shirt, or shorts and a decent t-shirt, it's all good to me.

 

Mike

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It's a Scale Modeling society. Rather than worry about formality of dress, encourage entrants to dress in a style to suit their entered models.

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Ralph has certainly been to far more conventions than I, but I have been witness to more "behavior" issues. None of these issues reached a degree at which "Security" had to be summoned. All of these issues were eventually resolved to the satisfaction of the Society and/or the host chapter. And no, I won't share any of these issues......think of it as being in compliance with HR standards in a private enterprise.

The point is, such issues are so rare, or are handled and defused rapidly, and, if required, addressed with that person after the convention to preclude a repeat performance. I've found that conventioneers are, almost without exception, reasonable people, who behave appropriately, and have no interest in behaviors that could be described as less than acceptable. To quote a biology teacher friend of mine..... "It's a rare bird that craps in its own nest." That doesn't mean folks can't be twitchy from time to time, but civility is usually met with civility.

 

Now, lay hands on my model and you better be a judge or there will be words! (Of course, my models are generally of such quality that you could drop them on the floor and the judges would never know the difference.)

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I am a little younger than Ralph but not a lot. I still remember when a suit and tie or sports jacket were de rigueur for men in many places. I recall having to be so dressed for airline travel, church and any job that involved a desk. Most upscale restaurants required jackets for men. Many had a selection of jackets that they would “loan” you if you showed up without one. I remember dress blues for most office style jobs in the Air Force. We wore a tie for mission planning at the squadron. We only wore flight suites on the day of the flight. It was all about a “Professional” appearance.


Then came casual Friday! People dressing down one day a week. People discovered that jackets and ties did not improve the quality of work they did. In fact, the work improved with personal comfort. Yes a tie is not the most comfortable thing to wear. This spawned a dressing style know as business casual. However, many people have taken that too far. I suspect that like most things young people tend to be the trend setters in this respect. My generation had the bell bottoms and wild printed shirts, long hair and beards made a comeback. Clothes have always been a statement of nonconformity for the young.


Over time we have come to accept this but if you are going to share the company of others it is still best to dress in a way as to make all comfortable with your appearance. I see no problem with “business” casual as a suggestion for the awards banquet unless you are going to serve a four star meal with high end alcohol and fine cigars, in which case I would go with black tie.


Perhaps a gentle reminder that dressing with others in mind would not be out of line.


Edited by PeteJ

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My T-Shirt at the next banquet will be one of those faux tuxedo T's.

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It's a Scale Modeling society. Rather than worry about formality of dress, encourage entrants to dress in a style to suit their entered models.

 

Hmmm, I'd better go find a tanker's uniform then for the next banquet. LOL! :smiley2: :D :army7:

 

 

 

 

 

Apologies... just trying to lighten the mood.....

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Well, you should at least take your hat off while eating.

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I had thought of wearing something nice to the banquet in Columbia this year, but circumstances being what they were (and knowing that since I was kinda on duty, getting too fancy would have created some problems if I got called in to do something), I decided to just swap my staff shirt for a nice top and a black blazer, and kept my jeans and sneakers. It struck a decent balance between businesslike and casual, and worked out fine since immediately after the banquet I was all over creation helping with loadout anyhow.

 

I'm not one to tell people what they should wear, with the exception of my firm belief you don't wear a hat at the dining room table or in my classroom (and if you have a problem with that, talk to my mom and dad, who taught me that early on). I'm therefore reluctant to say there should be a dress code at an IPMS/USA banquet. I will, however, state something I tell my students while preparing them for the workforce: how you present yourself not only influences how seriously people will take you, but also indicates the respect you have for where you are, who you're with, and why you're there.

 

Jodie Peeler

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It's a Scale Modeling society. Rather than worry about formality of dress, encourage entrants to dress in a style to suit their entered models.

 

That could end up being rather unappetizing based on some of the voluptuous miniature figures I've seen and the modeler in question.... :)

 

--David

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Could just wear the official IPMS uniform:
Khaki cargo shorts
Club T-Shirt
Sandals with socks

This way everyone would only have to pack 1 outfit. :smiley14::smiley14::smiley14:

Edited by tgidcumb

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Jodie

 

First - Thank You for your "Superb Work" on the Convention Staff. I enjoyed talking with you after the Banquet in the Model Room.

 

You said - "I tell my students while preparing them for the workforce: how you present yourself not only influences how seriously people will take you, but also indicates the respect you have for where you are, who you're with, and why you're there.'

 

VERY WELL PUT and another excellent guideline for one's life.

 

My wife was a 1st and 2nd Grade Teacher for 43 years and you Teachers do a wonderful, and grossly under appreciated, job for us all (children, parents, and society). Living with a teacher I saw the dedication and hard work you devote to both your classwork preparation and preparing your children for their life ahead.

I'm a retired Engineer and my wife worked harder than I ever did - I kid you not!

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Thank you very much, Ralph, for the kind words (I enjoyed talking with you too!). And I have all the respect in the world for what your wife did. What I do for a living (teach college) is nothing compared to what grade school teachers do, and my hat's off to anybody who chooses that as a career. But your wife doing that for 43 years is...well, superhuman levels of dedication, and worth all the admiration in the world. Which she definitely has from me.

 

Jodie Peeler

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Put me down on the casual side. Like Mike Moore, I am on vacation at most Nationals so I prefer to be comfortable. Suits are reserved for church, funerals, job interviews, some weddings and business functions in my case. This time after working the convention up till a few minutes before the start of the banquet last thing I wanted was to put on a coat and tie! But, like Jodie said no hat at the dinner table(those undergoing cancer treatment not included). No host is going to impose something that will restrict attendance to the banquet as that does hurt the bottom line and whether some want to admit it or not, the convention is first and foremost a business and has to be treated as such from the financial perspective.

 

The banquet is what helps make the convention affordable to put on.So in that case it is necessary. Food sales help offset the rental costs and this makes the large venues we require affordable to the society. Without the banquet you would probably see registration costs skyrocket. So while the banquet is not for everyone, supporting it does help keep the convention more viable cost wise.

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