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Just a thought. THE INTERNATIONAL MODEL CAR BUILDERS MUSEUM hosts a bi annual competition in Salt Lake City at a regular venue.

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1 hour ago, noelsmith said:

Just a thought. THE INTERNATIONAL MODEL CAR BUILDERS MUSEUM hosts a bi annual competition in Salt Lake City at a regular venue.

Every other year but that is coming to an end.  I believe the next is listed and the last one. 

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I personally like the moving convention because my family uses it as the base for the family vacation.  Sometimes it's in spots where you'd never think to go on your own. So far, and I've been attending Nats since 2006, there hasn't been one spot (within driving distance) where there was absolutely nothing to do or see.

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The "moving venue" is, in my view, an excellent approach. As Kevin mentioned, attendance at the convention can be built in to the "family summer vacation". Wife and I have visited all fifty states/state capitols/multiple National Parks and Monuments, State Parks, beaches, mountains, prairie land, and historic sites of all kinds as we travel to and from a Nats. This is a definite advantage that the  current system has over a permanent and fixed location, or even two or three fixed locations.

I would suggest that having a fixed location would result in the need for the hiring of a professional staff to plan and execute many of the administrative functions at a convention. Some immediate effects would be
1. conventions become more expensive with higher costs being placed on the attendees, and
2. a huge burden being placed on the nearby IPMS Chapters who would, year after year, be called upon to provide staff to run the convention activities.
3. Fewer participants would attend from those areas farther away from the convention, an issue that we currently experience, but that would be multiplied year after year as those out-of-towners  loose interest in returning to the same city, or 2 or 3 cities, year after year.
4. I don't believe any research has been done in this area, but a sedentary venue would most probably result in a concentration of attendees within a single day's driving distance from the event, and an unintended concentration of winning entries from that same radius of attendance. Over a number of years such an issue could have a very negative impact on IPMS.

The current system allows for any chapter, in any part of the country to offer a bid for one of two convention dates, either two years out or three years out.

In many cases, bid preparation results in a number of chapters working together, leading to cooperation in other areas among those chapters in issues not related to a bid.

The current system creates opportunities for attendees in the nearby area to volunteer their time during the convention, serving in staff positions. The fact that the convention will rotate to another part of the country means that these volunteers will not be expected to serve every year in these roles, and that others who cannot travel long distances to conventions will have the opportunity to serve on staff.

The current system does not favor those living in an area that is close to the convention site year after year, benefiting from lower transportation costs. That particular happenstance rotates through the IPMS population due, in fact, to not having a permanent location.

Clearly, my personal preference is to continue the current system which allows for bids from any chapter, located anywhere, relying on the Host chapter(s) to plan and execute a successful and enjoyable convention. And, at the same time, providing attendees the opportunity to visit a part of the country they've not visited before, or visit that part again due to the variety of sites and activities which call for a 2nd visit.

I'm very much looking forward to going to the Chattanooga Convention in July/August of 2019. Wife and I have not visited Nooga and we've already got a list of places to eat and things to do on our way there, while on site, and on the way home.
 

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The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA)  - used to rotate their Nationals every year. It got harder and harder to find suitable venues to host all the different flying events, so they now hold their event at Muncie, Indiana, every year.  They made the change in the late 80s, IIRC.  

When they made the change, they did the necessary change to have the National Organization take over managing/running the event.....

Their models are a lot bigger than ours...!

It CAN be done.  Whether it SHOULD be done is a matter for debate.  The AMA was forced to do it by outside forces (flying site issues)- they adapted, the membership adapted, and the event continues annually, 30 years later.  Absent the external pressure, I don’t see the Society getting the necessary consensus to make such a dramatic change....

Personally, I’m ambivalent. As a New Englander, the Nats is almost always too far away to drive to. (Virginia being the exception.). So if I’m flying anyways, it doesn’t matter where to as much.

- Bill

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While I agree a permanent location might not be practical, I do think it would be good to establish a particular hotel chain to use. Love Embassy Suites, not fond of Marriot. Columbus was a big let down as far as room quality. I doubt the Marriot in Chattanooga will be a great hotel, either.

Dak

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It is true about that flea bag in Columbus! They put 5 mattresses on my bed and I could still feel the pea under them. Nick Filippone

 

 

 

 

 

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Compared to the fine rooms at Omaha, the Marriot was a dump and all the staff had their hand out for a tip, at every turn. That may be fine for those at some business conference who can right it all off, but it cut into my ready cash and reduced my squandering it in the vendor's room.

Tiny bathroom, no microwave in the room. Lousy parking.

I'm just saying it might appeal to more people if we picked a venue hotel that provided better services.

Dak

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It is always about cost. It is always about the host chapter being able to find a venue that is affordable with a room price that is not out of the attendees’ price range. It is a complex calculus that cannot be replicated in every city, year in and year out.The host chapters put so much work into putting on these shows that as a membership we should nit-pick less about such trivialities and, instead, enjoy the show for the reasons we go. If it’s high class, Park Avenue style you seek, you are definitely in the wrong hobby! Nick

 

 

 

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I disagree, Nick. Nit picking is complaining about the restaurant not having diet Dr. Pepper. Having to pay for daily parking or having to walk several blocks is not. That is incredibly poor planning by those hosting the show.

I do know how hard it is to put on an event, but with no feed back, no one will try to make improvements. 

Omaha and Loveland were great venues. The Marriott in Chattanooga May be wonderful, but based on my reading of their amenities, it doesn’t sound great. 

In the future, perhaps those choosing the venue will be more thoughtful about the overall facility.

Dak

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“ I do not know how hard it is to put on an event...” Therein lies the classic disclaimer of those members who are uninformed about the process but positively overflowing with criticism! IPMS is never lacking for members who have no understanding of or appreciation for the effort these groups of VOLUNTEERS put in each year to entertain us, and who themselves have never lifted a finger to help and actually learn something.

Your last sentence would be almost funny if it was not so insulting to our hosts- especially coming from someone who, by his own admission, is completely ignorant of the challenges involved in hosting a National.

Perhaps you are so well off and so sophisticated that mundane matters such as cost never have to concern you. How fortunate. Many members, I bet, are quite willing to do without the rose water in the lobby and free fluffy slippers of which you have so great a need, just to be able to attend a National at all! 

When we get to Chattanooga, I’ll be sure you get a turn-down for your bed each night and a chocolate on your pillow. 

Nick

 

 

 

 

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You misquoted me. I said I do know how hard it is to put on an event. 

Dak

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4 hours ago, Nick Filippone said:

 

Perhaps you are so well off and so sophisticated that mundane matters such as cost never have to concern you. How fortunate. Many members, I bet, are quite willing to do without the rose water in the lobby and free fluffy slippers of which you have so great a need, just to be able to attend a National at all! 

Now, you are just being insulting for no reason. For many, this is a vacation and we like to be comfortable. I like a microwave and refrigerator in the room. I want a bathroom big enough that I don have to step in the bathtub to open the door. I don't want to be expected to tip everyone at the hotel, at every turn. ( I went down to the store and bought a soda and candy bar, and when done paying, the clerk said, "No tip?") I don't want to pay to park. Cost is part of my consideration for every convention. IMO, everyone got far more for their money at Omaha, than Columbus. For what Marriott charges, I felt ripped off in Columbus. I had a very good time at the show and thought they handled that part very well. I just found the hotel to be of poor quality. I have a room at the Chattanooga Marriott, but don't expect it to be as nice as the Embassy Suites.

I am well aware of the difficulties of planning an event several years out and that some locations don't offer the accommodations I prefer. I am also aware there are not scads of chapters offering to put on a National. So, you take what comes because each event is almost unique. Still, I think more thought can be given to the venue amenities and how they will effect the costs for the convention goer.

Disney World was a lousy venue. From all accounts, the vendors did poorly because so much money was spent at the park. Sure the families loved it, but I specifically did not go because I knew it would be far more expensive than I was willing to pay and based on what those who went said, I was correct.

Maybe you enjoy roughing it, but I have reached a stage in life where I want to be comfortable. When you come to turn down my bed and put a mint on the pillow, don't expect a tip. 😀

Dak

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Nick,

Your answer to Dave was intentionally insulting.  Let's continue with courtesy for all.

Edited by Rusty White
Clarity

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Judging by some of the comments made...….Why does expected tipping appear to be endemic in the USA ?

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In part, because of low pay in certain jobs. But in places like convention hotels, many guests are on an expense account and tip bigger because it is not directly out of their pocket. The hotel staff tends to believe ALL convention goers are that way. 

Dak

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Yes, Rusty, my remark was intentionally insulting! It was a measure for measure response to insensitive, uninformed and insulting criticism of those members of IPMS who bust their rear ends to entertain us each year at the National Convention. If one is going to dish it out, one should be prepared to take it! Mr.Kimbrell’s remarks are why so many people think IPMS stands for “ International P***ing and Moaning Society.” I offer no apology. Nick Filippone

 

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As moderator I ask again for everyone to be civil when posting.  The post has been reported for review to the webmaster in hopes this is as far as it goes.

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My remarks were polite, specific, and informed.

Dak

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It's tough to make a criticism of a Nats convention hotel here in the USA without coming off as a bit whiny.  We're simply at the mercy of the venue the host chooses to use. They, on the other hand are at the mercy of the "calculus" Nick describes in balancing costs vs. what we cheap model building convention goers are willing to pay (and we make Scotts look like drunken sailors! :smiley2: !) And, the E-board, who ultimately decides which host gets to throw the Nats is at the mercy of who bids, IF more than one host does for any particular year....

Are some hotels and "chains" better than others? Sure...and even within certain chains some franchise owners are better than others, so that's why one Marriott might not measure up to another. It's tough to beat Embassy Suites...I mean- FREE HAPPY HOUR and FREE BREAKFAST!?? But not every city/host has one of those available. And, some cities have great convention centers but NO connecting hotels, meaning we have to walk more than we want. And parking? Heck, we've been VERY fortunate for the most part so far....I paid $65+/day in downtown Philly this last summer (off site too)! I cannot recall any convention approaching that (yet).

Want to talk Nats hotels?  How about the MOTEL used in DC in the 80's? How about the Phoenix show hotel where we had to walk 3 blocks in 100+degrees to get to the convention center (but there were nude statues to cavort on along the way....)? Or the hotel (Oklahoma?) where the second floor on one side of the main lobby didn't connect to the 2nd floor on the OTHER side of the lobby (very sad story behind that one actually)? Or the downtown Miami hotel where you might not want to linger in the parking lot or tour the neighborhood it was in? Or the St. Louis hotel that had banquet rooms SO small that many of us had to watch the awards via closed circuit TV? And those are just MY experiences.....

The solution is to simply reserve and stay where it suits you. While most modelers actually scrimp and save a few bucks by opting for a local motel and NOT staying at the convention hotel; you can always book yourself into a hotel with ALL the amenities you're seeking, even if it costs a few bucks more per night. Don't like walking? Find a cheaper motel and use the difference for cab fare back and forth. In other words, MAKE it work out so you get what you want or need when it's not handed to you.

The bottom line is that every host does the best they can to give the best "bang for the buck". Some hosts are simply better off when it comes to a hotel chain and convention center combo. Others have to take what they can and make the best of it. I've never know ANY of them to not try to give us the best that they can for the price range we've all become accustomed to expect for a Nats. We're accustomed to "rock bottom" prices and we've actually been spoiled more often than not for those low prices!

And as for working a "deal" with a chain.....that's been tried and tried. The sad truth is that IPMSUSA is not worth their time and effort, especially when they look at all of the other business conventions that use more room nights and less floor space than we do. We come with some baggage (space needs) that most conventions our size don't; and we just cannot compare or compete with the others. And then there's the fact we tip lousy.......so do NOT look for us to work any deal with anyone nationally anytime soon.

I have to agree that in the end, it's the SHOW that sticks in my mind more than any hotel room much more often than not. And, even the shows with less than ideal hotels often seem to become funny stories and flavorful backdrops to those shows where we had to be inconvenienced a bit.

 

GIL :cool:

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