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RoyBatty

Clubs are not active web pages or facebook

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Why are so many IPMS clubs non active on facebook or a web page anymore? Some states have groups meeting but no way to get new modelers involved.

If IPMS/USA wants more members why not get the regional coordinators to communicate with these clubs and get them motivated to do something.

Facebook is free! Even if you have only a few members start one!

If IPMS/USA does not care then the regional coordinators won't care and then the clubs won't care then members.

Should IPMS/USA make regional coordinator positions elections every year? This might get other more motivated members to take up the cause. 

I believe some RCs keep the job but do little to further IPMS/USA campaign to recruit new members.  

Also local and regional contest are on the decline. Hosting a contest is easy you just need to know what to do I.e ask a RC and they should have all the answers.

I believe all regional should be 2 day events and award presentations at about 6 pm.

I don't want to go 200 miles to another state only to have the hours 10am to 4pm neither do vendors.

Feedback please.

Thanks

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OK- my thougths only

RC's are in there job to not get members, that is the clubs function. Some clubs have active web pages, some don't and don't want to be bothered. And Facebook has little activity if you check the clubs that do have pages. Most members come from local shows and word of mouth. Plus we still have a lot of members who would rather build a model than spend time on line so not sure if technology is the answer for recruitment.

As for electing them, it is hard enough to find volunteers to work for nothing so elections don't make sense when there are so few candidates

As for regionals being two days, many are already. Those that aren't , want it that way. Some are formal with banquets and all, some aren't

As for the number of contests, that is dictated by success. Some of the clubs no longer hold them due to not making money or more importantly, over saturation. Our region at one time had a contest every two weeks from mid Sept to start of Nov. It thinned out due to the number and people picking and choosing which to go to...Currently, there are over 100 contests listed this year alone. Seems like it is not declining much at all..might even be growing

 

Dave

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My thoughts as to the reason some regionals are two days and some are one is the cost of renting the venue, cost of a hotel room (and if they can get a discount for the rooms) and what there is to do in the area.  I know at my old club in the bay area of California it was really hard to find a venue that didn't break the bank for the club just for our one day contest.  I realize that California is not the normal for costs but still that's the main issue for clubs.  Also if there is nothing to do outside hanging around a contest for 2 days I would just go for 1 day.  Yes, you can say there are seminars but still if none interest me then I won't go for 2 days.  There is also the issue of getting enough volunteers to run a 2 day contest.  I've only been to one contest in the area I currently live in but still at that one they were still having trouble finding enough people to judge the contest.  I joined a team so we had 3 people but at times had only 2 because of one person being entered in a category we had to judge.  

Just my two cents.

Eric

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A few random thoughts...

Contest venues are expensive.  Our one-day show in Columbia, SC is held at the National Guard Armory, and we pay $1,000 a day.  That could be why it seems that contests are in decline.  Perhaps, too, people are tired of the need to compete, the need to win at all costs, so they don't go.  Perhaps they don't get anything out of a contest, so they stay home.

As far as the misguided notion that contests are money-makers, that's largely hogwash.  Any club that hosts a show as a fundraiser is going out far on a weak limb.  Most shows break even, at best, and that's fine.  The true goal of a show should be to offer exhibition space for folks who want to show their work, as a recruiting aid, and as the public face of the club--i.e., show the public what it is you do, and give them the avenue to get involved. 

Unless you have a compelling reason to host a two-day show, folks get tired and leave.  Pushing the awards to 6PM on Sunday is a non-starter.  Back in my Region 11 days (Florida), most shows that ran for two days wrapped up by Sunday at Noon.  The last two day show I was involved with in South Florida (near Calder race course and whatever they call Joe Robbie Stadium these days), the venue cost $1,200 a day.  For the four hours we occupied the venue on Sunday, we paid the same $1,200 as we did for the entire day Saturday (and this is 1999 money, I'd hate to see what the get these days!)--the show broke even (actually, it cost both host Chapters about $100 each).  We could have saved the money and done the awards at 5PM on Saturday.  Hotels cost money.  Not everyone wants to pay for a night or two at a hotel for a local or regional show.  Not everyone can do that.  Even if you have seminars, they need to be compelling enough for folks to stick around to sit through them.   

Facebook is a hot issue.  Some refuse to go near Facebook because of their well-publicized security issues.

As for the RC's, Dave has it right--they volunteer.  Finding a replacement RC is sometimes a long, drawn out process due to the lack of volunteers. 

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So what happened? 10 years ago IPMS clubs and members used to be so enthusiastic. Clubs had to compete to host a regional.

Most clubs had web sites of one form or another. I would think more members would volunteer if properly motivated instead of just saying "anyone want to help?"

The shows used to be called "regional Conventions" not just regional model shows.

Model train clubs still pull off regional conventions (up to 4 day long) all across the country.

Just curious what has recently changed about model clubs in the U.S.

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11 hours ago, RoyBatty said:

So what happened? 10 years ago IPMS clubs and members used to be so enthusiastic. Clubs had to compete to host a regional.

Most clubs had web sites of one form or another. I would think more members would volunteer if properly motivated instead of just saying "anyone want to help?"

The shows used to be called "regional Conventions" not just regional model shows.

Model train clubs still pull off regional conventions (up to 4 day long) all across the country.

Just curious what has recently changed about model clubs in the U.S.

I’m wondering—. Where is the data that leads you to say “clubs don’t have webpages anymore”??    Here in New England, I don’t see it.  There are 8 clubs within a couple hours driving distance for me.  All but one of them have a website, some are on bookface too.  (The exception is IPMS Central Connecticut, a club that formed in 2012, and is only on BookFace. )

I do get the sense that the Region 1 (Northeast)  event isn’t as popular as it used to be.  But I also don’t recall any cases where R1 clubs were “competing” to host the event in the last 20 years.  In the last 10 years, several clubs (mine included) have decided that it isn’t worth it. We are already hosting a very successful annual contest, and no one has the appetite to take on a second, larger show, one that will be significantly more work and carry a larger financial risk.  

I also would challenge your statement that “10 years ago IPMS members and clubs used to be so enthusiastic.”   I”d say they are still as enthusiastic as ever,  just not about hosting Regional Events, for all the reasons others have mentioned.  Our club is growing—  because our focus isn’t on IPMS Competition.  

 

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I agree with Bill that many clubs now choose to host local shows that are less a financial and organizational risk than a regional show. 

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In Region 1, attendance at the Regional has declined steadily. And this is despite various formats, locations and dates. Our greatest challenge is the plethora of one day shows with which our Regional Convention must compete and which, as Rusty correctly points out, are easier and less chancy to host  and are less expensive to attend. Further, at least here in Region 1, there are many other non- IPMS shows that also represent more choices still! Our show “season” is short in Northeastern U.S. Any date for a show between November and April is risky. But if the weather is too good, people won’t get the ok from their “boss” to spend a day indoors at a model show. Summer is out. Spring venue costs are especially high because of weddings. Easter and Mother’s Day weekend are out. Do the math!

There is one other inexorable trend. When IPMS began, these shows were THE source of information exchange for my generation ( I joined IPMS IN 1965) of modelers. We are now old, have lost interest, or are dead. The Internet is now where people socialize and exchange ideas. Likewise, the Internet has supplanted the Vendor Room. The only thing left for the contest to do is provide trophies, and that can be easily done in one day.

Too grim an outlook? I personally love the shows, regardless of length, and I attend as many as my “boss” will allow. Regards,  Nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nick has laid it out grimly, but also accurately. I too have been attending shows for decades (since '78) and have seen the evolution in them. The biggest difference in "Regionals" then as compared to today is in formalities. The Regional was SUPPOSED to be bigger, more special, and perhaps have a banquet (holding with being more formal), and thus carry a bit more prestige.  Most of the reasons for the changes in a Regional have been mentioned above.

Our Jaxcon show here in FLA in two weeks is our Regional for R-11 this year. We are trying to do a little bit "extra" for the occasion. We'll have a speaker, we are taking pics for FSM once more, and will have a couple other things we hope will add a little extra "flavor" for our attendees. However, we can't afford to expand to a second day. I can tell you that any time we've polled vendors and attendees about whether they want a 1 or 2 day show, it's been SPLIT down the middle. Half of them want one, while the other half prefer the other; so there's NO "advantage" to pleasing either side! A club simply has to do what is financially best for themselves.

Also, any attempt to have any dinner is out as that requires guarantees of a certain amount of sales, which if not covered, leaves the club on the hook for. Note that this is also the reason that even at the Nats, there's so many attempts to do it a bit differently because people just don't want to pay for the "rubber chicken dinner", even though those of us who regularly attend KNOW it's so much more than that. It's a HUGE expense that often doesn't pay for itself, and thus diminishes the profit the club and IPMUSA has at the end. The budget at the Nats, where 600-900 people pay to attend, can afford to absorb those costs.....local clubs holding shows with only 1/5th or less of that sort of attendance cannot.

In my view, the bottom line that's changed is that most shows are now judged simply on their size, and THAT is used to gauge their success. It sort of makes sense...the bigger the show, the more competition there is, and the more prestige that's attached to a harder fought "win". But due to any number of circumstances, those shows may or may not be the "Regional" for that year, and that doesn't seem to matter so much anymore. And, of course, the ability to GET to a show (proximity) plays a huge part. Shows with a more central location can more easily grow than those on the extreme ends of a region, generally speaking. And (if I'm an RC) I want to try to have my Regional in those central locations to make it easier for the most people to get there, and thus the clubs on the extremities may be less likely to be named for a Regional through no real fault in their show.

As to club presence on the internet, I think it's a good thing. Our First Coast club has both a website and a FB page. I believe a club should have a webpage for all of the nuts and bolts about the club, its meetings, its members, and anything else they want the interested public to know. The FB page I think seems to serve more of a "contact" place where it's easier to converse and post items of interest, especially between meetings. BUT, as mentioned above, it takes a volunteer or two to have those things. A club has to be well enough organized AND also have people who WANT to create, establish and maintain those pages, and perhaps even several people. I know our FB page has had problems since its creator died and only he was an admin. In short, it takes an effort from those running a club, over and above all of their regular duties, to have those nice "extras" like a presence on the internet.

In conclusion, I have to differ with the over all negative tone of the initial post. He makes the correct point in that things have evolved and changed, especially as compared to what many of we "old timers" experienced in (what's now) the previous century. On the other hand, there seems to be as many shows to attend today as there were 20yrs ago, even if the sites may have changed. The shows may indeed be a bit less formal and seem "cheaper", but then costs have risen and clubs have adapted accordingly. While some clubs may seem less formal, and have fewer "dedicated" members, many club members who cannot regularly attend meetings can now feel they're a part of their club by being on their web pages. Vendors areas may seem a bit less awesome than in years past, but that's due more to our abilities to access those things between shows now than to any change in what we see on the tables at shows.

I believe this is a much more golden age of both model building AND being an IPMSUSA member than in the past. You just have to take the changes in stride and try to keep the right perspective! Cheers!

 

Gil :smiley16:

 

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Wow this has been a great discussion.

I was glad to get some different points of views on this.

 

Thank you all.

 

 

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Wow! What a great read. I feel IPMS/USA is alive and well. As for shows I have to say I miss those parts of the Society the most. Living in Hawaii the shows are very far away and talk about expense of getting there - over the top. However, I am really looking forward to the 2021 Nationals in Las Vegas as Las Vegas is known as the ninth island here in Hawaii and there are a lot of flights from here to there so I will be there and hopefully with a couple of models to show off.

Keep building.

David Von Almen, Gentleman modeler (in paradise)

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David, it'll be great to meet you there in Vegas!

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