Pres. Christ began by pointing out that the information in this presentation is current to the first of July 2015.
Membership has leveled out, Christ said. (page 5)
Treasurer report (pages 6-9): There has been a significant reduction in our insurance costs. Christ says it come close to equalling four issues of the Journal. (page 7)
Journal may be over budget for the year due to the larger size of the convention issue. This comes as no big surprise.
DLC report (pages 10-15): Make and Take cap of $10,000 likely not to be hit this year.
1VP report (pages 16-19): Over 1000 reviews published in 2014! Reviewer Corps at 106 members. IPMS/USA produces more build reviews than any other Web site.
Webmaster report (pages 20-23): A new electronic shopping cart is on the way. Will be rolling it out for use with the Columbia Nationals.
At the end of the presentation, the meeting was opened up to member questions. (Questions listed with name and IPMS/USA # of person asking)
Bill Strandburg, 999: What chapters do we have that are located outside the U.S.? the outside chapters?
1VP David Morrissette: According to our website, we have chapters in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Canada. Pres. Christ: Canadian chapters area allowed to joint for insurance purposes.
Pres. Christ: Revell has stopped providing make and take (MNT) kits. When they announced this, we bought the rest of their MNT stock. We as a society need to make a case with Revell for why they should reinstate the program. The society needs to find ways to convince them this will be in everyone's best interest.
Jim Woody, 33899, and Tim Burke, 33715, asked if we could we get the webmaster to put something like a form letter online for members to fill out and send to Revell.
Christ said the point is to show Revell the benefit of the MNT program.
Jeff Jensen, 25028: We've been doing MNTs for at least a decade, has the society seen any benefit? Is there any data showing a benefit?
Christ: We haven't taken any data on this that says this is the case. In general, MNT is an outreach program to introduce kids to modeling.
Jensen, 25028: Has the society seen any benefit from MNT?
Christ: Financially, no. Putting our name out there (name recognition), yes. The program may not immediately, if ever, generate new memberships.
Bruce Radebaugh, 14166: Have we a false assumption that this program brings new people into the hobby as compared to being an activity for kids to do at conventions?
Christ: Our local chapter is doing MNT as a summer event. One of the questions asked by parents afterward is where do they buy kits.
Scott Hackney, 18274: We hold events like this at our SAC museum. There is opportunity there if you take it. Both parents and children understand that this is a bonding moment and that's what it's all about.
David Goudie, 6340: I hear annecdotal but no real numbers.
2nd VP Bell: Since the M&T is really a membership issue and that is the focus of the Round Table, I suggest that we discuss this at the round table meeting happening later this morning.
1st VP David Morrissette: Our Reviewer Corps published over 1000 reviews last year. An impressive number. We get approached by manufacturers to build their kits and post reviews. We supply information and a provide a valuable function for manufacturers.
Christ: I noticed that Hasegawa sends out a Facebook blast whenever we post a review of one of their kits.
Morrissette: Some manufacturers have stopped sending review kits. This is putting us in the position of possibly having to purchase them ourselves in the future.
David Goudie 6340: Why aren't independent reviews posted?
Morrissette: We stopped accepting unsolicited reviews years ago. Will take this under advisement and will discuss in a later board meeting.
Dir. Publications Jim Pearsall: I have done unsolicited reviews in the past. I always ask first to make sure they are needed.
Herb Plott, 31328: I ask the reviewer corps first to see if they have a kit we haven't been able to get otherwise.
Christ: Web site going reasonably well. Percentage of people registering online: At least 50%
As a comment about continuing problems on the discussion forums, Christ said that the quote "Just because you started this hobby as a child, there's no reason for you to continue to behave as a child." is something that members should read and heed when using the forums.
He also said that he would be hosting a member roundtable following the bid presentations. Christ hopes the meeting will begin the discussion about how to increase our membership and better serve our members. Don Schmitz, the chairman of our new promotions committee, will be in attendance. Everyone was invited to attend.
On a personal note, Pres. Christ thanked everyone for their support during his presidency. He was grateful for the opportunity to be president of the IPMS/USA.
Mark Vittorini, 35077: I'm gonna be the bad guy for just a second. Air Capital IPMS hosted a regionals. We handed out flyers for our show, did the outreach program and planned for all of region 6 to attend. They didn't. It was poorly attended despite all sorts of promotional efforts. It was a big flop. My point is that you need local chapters to support your regional conventions. They count on you.
Nick Fillipone, 969: We face the same issue in Region 1. We moved to a one day format in response to attendees concerned about the expense involved. It went off pretty well and we made a few hundred bucks. Maybe reducing the timeframe would help?
Christ: One of our club's issues is the long distances folks have to drive. Making these kinds of shows a single day hard to justify.
Jim Woody, 33899: Costs for even a one day show is $1000
Scott Hackney, 18274: We asked for a redraw of regions a while ago. Our region doesn't go north to shows, Chicago never goes south.
Christ: A redrawing of regions is on the way.
David Goudie, 6340: With all due respect to Office Manager Mary Jane Kinney, it's obvious we'll need to replace her sooner or later. Does the board have a plan for her replacement?
Christ: We have a succession plan in place.
Jim Woody, 33899: I don't know if you've noticed the lack of attendees from the West Coast. I get a lot of feedback from West Coast chapters about the lack of conventions on the West Coast.
Christ: We used to have a rotation. When we started having problems with chapters bidding for a western convention, we threw it open to any geographical location. The only solution is for a West Coast bid to be put together. That's the only guarantee of having one. You've got to put a bid together. we depend upon local chapters. No bid, no nationals.
Jeff Jensen, 25028: You made a point about having a hard time getting bids Has there been any discussion of having conventions in a centralized location for three years and see how that goes?
2VP Bell: While there's nothing particularly wrong with that idea, the location is not the problem. Getting volunteers to staff it is. Finding one group with 60 or so members who can host a convention for three consecutive years would be difficult.
Bill Strandberg, 999: We've looked at doing it in Washington DC. The problem is venue cost. There's nothing available at a reasonable price.
Eric Christianson, 42218: We had a bid proposal but thought $180 was high for a hotel day rate. This was a big debate within our club.
Bruce Radebaugh, 14166: I think Ron (Bell) hit the nail on the head. We forget that it takes people to run the convention. When I was on the board, we looked into having a professional organization run a convention for us. The registration cost alone would raise registration prices to $200 or more. We are able to keep the costs down because of volunteers. It's a two year process and, by the time the convention is over, they're worn out.
Gil Hodges, 10803: What has changed is we went away from the (convention) rotation. We had an expectation that the convention would eventually "come to me." We went away from that idea. The board and the society will need to address that.
Christ: A member suggested that if we had a super regional on the West Coast instead to give those people a chance to go to an IPMS/USA event. The thought was that this was a reasonable. It would be a nationally promoted event and would build membership.
Jeff Jensen, 25028: Any thought to shaving a day off the convention?
Christ: While there's no requirement for length, it has become a tradition. A lot of things go into the decision about convention duration, not the least being making it worthwhile for vendors.
Dave Koukol, 46287: Has there been any consideration of having an East Coast-West Coast convention along with a super national convention?
Christ: We're obligated to have an annual convention. Having two in the same year won't go.
We need to finish this meeting so the bid presentations can begin. Let's call it quits for now and, if you have ideas, come to the roundtable meeting after the bid presentation.
Thanks for your attendance.
Submitted by Dennis Tennant, Secretary