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So, who wants to host in 2024, 2025?


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An east coast show would please a bunch though might make it hard for those of us out west but I would like to go to Atlanta, New Orleans, Philly, someplace in Florida.

Would be good to have another closer to home.  Would be great if the locals here in SLC would go for another.  Albuquerque, Seattle, Portland, Denver all would be good also.

 

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11 hours ago, philp said:

An east coast show would please a bunch though might make it hard for those of us out west but I would like to go to Atlanta, New Orleans, Philly, someplace in Florida.

I would love New Orleans.   The WWII museum there is fantastic.   Base the convention at the Higgins hotel just nextdoor.

To be realistic, any East Coast convention situated north of Richmond would be just too expensive, both in venue costs and in hotel room night charges.

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I would love for Orange County to host again, but the last time I floated that idea here, I was vilified by many who couldn't put 2007 behind them. A number of us had met to discuss the idea of offering a bid and I even went so far as to ask for a convention how to information book from the National organization. I never got it, and once everyone else heard of the negative reaction on here, the idea fizzled.

 

As I don't expect to ever be able to attend another Nationals, I don't have a dog in this show; but it will be interesting to see who gets it next.

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New Orleans is very expensive, Ed. I've explored Mobile but manpower is a huge obstacle to overcome here on the gulf coast. We have two clubs here in the Panhandle and 2 around Nola, with nothing in between.

A better option would be somewhere close, but then there is a lack of available space and manpower.

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On 1/25/2022 at 1:45 PM, Mark Deliduka said:

I would love for Orange County to host again, but the last time I floated that idea here, I was vilified by many who couldn't put 2007 behind them. A number of us had met to discuss the idea of offering a bid and I even went so far as to ask for a convention how to information book from the National organization. I never got it, and once everyone else heard of the negative reaction on here, the idea fizzled.

I thought that 2007 was a great show. Who has all the heartburn about it?

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I also had a great time in 07.  Think it was the first time we set up a What If SIG table.

Unfortunately there were some tech issues that a few people complained about.  I never saw them and had a great time.

The chances of a SLC show are also slim  due to their one Nats in 1980.  This was before the Board got more involved and the local crew lost a lot of personal money.  I keep asking but may be a while longer before they think about it again.

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On 1/28/2022 at 1:18 PM, philp said:

The chances of a SLC show are also slim  due to their one Nats in 1980.  This was before the Board got more involved and the local crew lost a lot of personal money.  I keep asking but may be a while longer before they think about it again.

That was 42 years ago - long memories...... 😉

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SLC was the reason why IPMS/USA established a convention fund so such losses could be avoided at future conventions. I, too, would love to go to NOLA, but the big convention hotels on Canal Street are very expensive and the suggested Higgins hotel has nowhere near the space required. The East Coast would be nice, but again, prices there are very high. As a matter of fact, the prices in ALL of the larger cities are pretty much out of our reach. We have a better chance in the second tier convention cities or their outlying districts. And remember, there has to be a large enough group of members in the area that want to take on this task. There are other convention alternatives, all of which have been beaten to death on this forum at one point or another, that could be used, but I don't know if the membership is ready for any of them.  

Edited by Ron Bell
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To expand on Ron's comment, these centers often rely on room bookings and food sales to underwrite the Convention space.

IPMS doesn't offer the "density" to be affordable for most convention centers to be interested in our business. We aren't profitable enough for them to care, especially in the first tier market, and often in the second tier market as well. Most members are unaware that the annual budget for the Nationals is well in excess of $100K when the "hidden" costs are broken out.

Omaha is unusual in that the center was built in the middle of nowhere (if you went to the 2011 show, you'll remember the only thing nearby was the Cabellas! The area has since been developed.) And the attached hotels are actually too small for our needs. Other conventions have had to deal with the attached hotels not offering enough rooms at the show rate, forcing attendees to stay at other places, thus the host chapter looses those room nights raising their hosting costs. IPMS manages to sell out multiple room blocks every year, so we are lucky that way.

A third factor is the infamous "cheap bastard syndrome": there are guys who will stay at the cheapest possible hotel, often across town, just to save money for the vendor room and complain about the drug deals in the hotel parking lots. Las Vegas was a bonanza for them. Not only did they not help the host chapter by staying in the Rio nor registering for the show, rather there were suddenly lots of new "cousins" buying the family GA week pass, at least while I was at the GA desk on Wednesday and Thursday. Omaha needs to be aware that there will be many similar "cousins" trying to get the $15 family pass. Define what a family is on the signage.

The fourth factor is the food. These centers have "restaurants" which rely on weekend food sales to provide the profit margins of the entire convention center. The $50+ rubber chicken dinner doesn't go over well with most of the members wo go. We don't know what the banquet cost will be this summer, but people that drive to the show often begin their drive back other vendor room winds down, especially if they haven't entered anything in the contest.

All of this needs to be considered by any group looking to place a bid. It isn't as easy as Micky & Judy made it look in their movies.

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A couple of us spend about an hour discussing this yesterday.  We hit these points.

First, the days of the $99 hotel room are gone.  I recall the wailing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth when the $100 barrier was broken; then again when the $125 barrier fell.  I attend a number of hobby conventions each year, some are my wife's conventions.  We consider a room at $175 to be expected and have paid in the $225 range.  Then add taxes and fees.

Second, there is indeed a gap between those who want to economize and those who are willing to pay for the convention hotel.  I find, at IPMS and other cons, that there are some who decide to stay in a relatively cheap venue ... but who want the "full" convention hotel experience.  I see it when lobby and hallway seating is filled by 7am by attendees staying elsewhere and then parking (or having someone else park) in that seat for the entire day.  I see it when the fast food wrappers pile up and overflow the trash bins.  Hey, I do it myself; but I don't go out to get fast food for every meal.  However, for Nats, the host hotel is usually booked within hours of the rooms being released (or several days before...but that is another issue) ... so room nights should not be a problem.   Unless......

Third, there is the practice of IPMS members reserving hotel rooms for the Nats, just in case, and then cancelling two weeks out.  I was on a Nats convention hotel waiting list and got called about 10 days out and told that there were ample rooms suddenly available.  Too late.  These cancellations must cut the room night count.

Fourth, I have no insight into the accumulation of cousins arriving at the registration table.  I don't doubt that it happens.  The only thing these newly acquired relatives miss is entering the contest.  It seems that the host chapter needs to assess the risk and charge accordingly.

Fifth, it appears that, as the daily cost of a Nats has increases, folks are dropping days at the beginning and end of the convention.  When leaving a day early or arriving a day later saves $200+, a shortened stay is tempting.

Sixth, and this is my main concern, it seems that there are fewer chapters willing to host a Nats.  The rotation of East, West, and Middle has eroded away.  In our Region, getting a chapter to host a Regional is now an issue ... typically a regularly repeating chapter contest is dubbed a "Regional".  This Regional offers nothing beyond what the recurring local contest offers .... no additional categories or awards.

HST, I am personally willing to pay more and stay longer when the Nats city offers attractions that I haven't experienced before.  I'm familiar with NOLA; I'd go back in a heartbeat.  I'd love to check out Nashville or Knoxville or New York or Boston or Boise or SLC or a dozen other cities.  I've grown fond of Omaha over the years.  Not everyone has my POV.  However things evolve, I am very grateful to the host chapters who do the immense amount of work and are sometimes rewarded by negative comments that the Nats was not perfect.  Good on you guys! 

 

Edited by Highlander
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11 hours ago, jcorley said:

...the annual budget for the Nationals is well in excess of $100K...

I, for one, had no idea the costs were that high. I had guessed it was less than half of that number. I've always thought Nats was a bargain. Now I know it is.

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4 hours ago, jcorley said:

Heck, Highlander

Why not Albuquerque? We haven't been there in 30 years or so.

Albuquerque was my 3rd Nats.  I have also made it to a Regional there and would go back again in a heartbeat.

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For the curious, there are financial statements online for the 2016 and 2021 Nats:

https://ipmsusa.org/sites/default/files/minutes/files/2021nationalconventionstatementofactivity10092021.pdf

https://ipmsusa.org/sites/default/files/minutes/files/ipmsusa2017businessmeetingpresentation.pdf

Remember that the 2021 Nats were unusual in many ways (no 2020 Nats and in a higher cost city than typical); the 2016 Nats (in Columbia SC) are probably closer to typical. 

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The 2021 Nats turned a 15% "profit"; not bad.  2016 turned 33%, much better.

At to Albuquerque hosting a Nats, one would need to query the older, bigger, more experienced club -- actually located in Albuquerque.  Our much smaller, younger, strikingly handsome, novice club, from an Albuquerque suburb, would not and could not pull off a Nats.  But, come to think of it, if the greater Albuquerque club hosted a Nats, I'd go.

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1 hour ago, Highlander said:

The 2021 Nats turned a 15% "profit"; not bad.  2016 turned 33%, much better.

At to Albuquerque hosting a Nats, one would need to query the older, bigger, more experienced club -- actually located in Albuquerque.  Our much smaller, younger, strikingly handsome, novice club, from an Albuquerque suburb, would not and could not pull off a Nats.  But, come to think of it, if the greater Albuquerque club hosted a Nats, I'd go.

Usually you get 3+ clubs working together to make one happen and that just gets you a start on manpower.

I have volunteered to man the doors or help with placing models and, of course, judging.

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When some of the 2010 Nats crew approached Albuquerque back in 2011/12 about bidding for a convention, the reason they eventually declined is because the only facility that could hold the contest and vendor room was the Albuquerque Convention Center and at that time, the Convention Center hadn't been refurbished since the last time Albuquerque hosted the Nats (1994?). And as near as I can tell, it still hasn't been refurbished.

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5 hours ago, Highlander said:

The 2021 Nats turned a 15% "profit"; not bad.  2016 turned 33%, much better.

At to Albuquerque hosting a Nats, one would need to query the older, bigger, more experienced club -- actually located in Albuquerque.  Our much smaller, younger, strikingly handsome, novice club, from an Albuquerque suburb, would not and could not pull off a Nats.  But, come to think of it, if the greater Albuquerque club hosted a Nats, I'd go.

I wouldn't be so quick to declare a chapter "too small" to host a Nats.  I would classify IPMS Metro OKC a small to medium sized chapter when we hosted the Nats in 2003.  The secret to our manpower was the commitment from two other Oklahoma clubs to help us out when the big day arrived and us having qualified chairmen to pull the main load of organization.

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A few things that have been touched upon:

Smaller cities.  Atlanta, Miami, NYC, LA, etc., are pretty much out of anyone's budget.  That's why (here in the former East rotation, anyway) we've seen Columbia, Chattanooga, and Hampton Roads host conventions in recent years.

Resort cities:  Orlando and Vegas had good shows, I'm told, but that comes at a price, especially when IPMS/USA touts it as a "family vacation".  How many of you guys had to curtail your vendor room expenditures in those two cities because mom and the kids wanted to go see the sights?  As they say, you pays yo' money, you takes yo' chances...

Multiple hosts.  The first "official" convention hosted by multiple Chapters was Orlando in '99.  While they flew under the "IPMS/Florida" banner, it was a collection of members from the various R11 Chapters.  That was also in the days before the National office was directly involved on the financial end of the Convention, too...

Fast forward to 2016:  We (IPMS/Mid-Carolina) co-hosted with the IPMS/Piedmont Scale Modelers.  Having a co-host makes it easier, especially if both clubs are small. 

A few other notes from 2016:

We had a small committee of 6 people.  Everyone had clearly-defined jobs.  The more members you have on the committee, the more confusing things can get.  We had heard of some conventions that had 20 and 30 people just on the committee alone, not to mention the work force.  Our total work force for the Convention was around 20 people...

You have to have buy-in from your Chapter members.  Without them, you are sunk.  Come game time, you need to have your aces in their places--and, as the commercial says, you need to have "no cussin', no fussin', and no backtalkin'"...everyone should be ready to go, and they should know their jobs. 

We made a deal with the Columbia Visitors and Convention Bureau before we even thought about bidding.  If you work with the municipality, have past numbers handy--get the last three or four financial statements.  Why?  Because any good CVB will ask "What will this do for us economically?"  Be Johnny-on-the-spot with numbers.  See what they're willing to do for you--we wangled a deal where the convention center came to us at no charge IF we filled a certain number of room nights at the Convention hotels.  (By the way, for you guys that squeeze the nickels until you get buffalo chips, this is the prime reason you should consider staying at the "official" hotel.)

So, yeah, cities like Knoxville, Tucson, Charlotte, Greenville (SC), Richmond, etc., might be good choices.

And who knows?  If someone on your organizing committee in, say, Daytona Beach, San Diego, or Jacksonville, has an "in" with the CVB, you might get lucky...

It is the age old thing.  You never get anything if you don't ask.  What's the worst that can happen?  They can tell you "no".

 

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All of which leads me back to my main concern.  Who is out there working on a bid for 2024?  2025?  There are usually rumors by this time in the convention cycle; I've heard none.

Another factor, I think, is the disappointed bidder.  A chapter, or consortium of chapters, bids, fails, and says, "Never again."  It has happened.  The E-board has a delicate task trying to keep those folks interested and encouraging them to try again.  In another of my hobbies, astronomy, our local club bid for and won the 2020 National Convention.  We got considerable pressure to move up our bid to 2019 -- as no other club had bid.  We steadfastly refused ... cause it was gonna be hard enough with two years lead time.  Covid pushed the Convention to this year ... and pulling it off is in question.

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