CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

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CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by rbernardo »

The Commodore Vegas Expo returns in 2016 - bigger, better, badder (o.k., I know the word is supposed to be "worse"... but badder has that alliteration thing going...). The contract has been signed and approved; the extra large deposit has been made. We have a bigger room for 2016. Instead of our measly 900-950 sq. ft. room that we've had for several years, we will expand to an airy, cavernous 2,000 sq. ft. room - Ballroom 9 at the Plaza Hotel & Casino. Better carpeting, better ventilation... so big we may need walkie-talkies or a megaphone in order to get messages across the room! ;) Kelly, the catering manager, says that if nothing is going on in the adjacent ballroom, she may open up the air wall and let us have 4,000 sq. ft. of space... for no extra charge! Now that's service! She also says that instead of the usual 4 p.m. Friday set-up, she can let us in earlier... perhaps at 2 or 2:30 p.m. (as it was at this year's CommVEx).

For the first time since CommVEx v1, the CommVEx v12 2016 will have free admission! However, those who want a table will have to pay a fee. There will be plenty of room for those who want one table or multiple tables. We'll have use of the hotel projection screen, and if the air wall is opened to let us use the adjacent ballroom, then we will have use of two projection screens!

A big thanks to this year's CommVEx attendees and/or raffle contestants for giving the show an extra monetary boost so that the bigger room can be obtained. A huge thanks to those who pledged/donated bigger amounts so that the bigger room can be obtained (maybe they should be called our sponsors?!). :)

I will soon post photos of Ballroom 9; look for the announcement.

CommVEx v12 2015 - bigger, better, badder!
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by flipper »

Sounds awesome!

I also like the dates, as they conflict less with "everything cool in the Bay Area"!

Maybe I'll have my butt in gear for a project to show next time around. Mayyybe.
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by rbernardo »

flipper wrote:I also like the dates, as they conflict less with "everything cool in the Bay Area"!
Who knew that Bay Area events would conflict with Las Vegas events?! ;)
Maybe I'll have my butt in gear for a project to show next time around.
That would be very nice.
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by rbernardo »

rbernardo wrote:I will soon post photos of Ballroom 9; look for the announcement.
O.K., here are a couple of photos of the larger room --

http://blog.retro-link.com/2015/07/the- ... -2016.html

CommVEx v12 2015 - bigger, better, badder!
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by rbernardo »

rbernardo wrote:...the CommVEx v12 2016 will have free admission! However, those who want a table will have to pay a fee.
Well, at last Sunday's FCUG meeting, I was chastised by all the other FCUG officers for "jumping the gun" and announcing the above, which I thought to be true. With a bit of embarrassment, I will have to take back what I said above. Here is the official statement from the club --

At the 2015 CommVEx, those present were invited to participate in a discussion of the future of the event. The main focus was getting a larger room and how to finance it.

Various ideas were discussed, including combinations of table sales, increased admission, voluntary donations instead of admission, and free admission.

At the end of the CommVEx discussion, FCUG treasurer Dick Estel stated the following:
1. With this year’s income plus pledged donations, it would be possible to pay for the larger room for 2016.
2. The organizing committee would discuss the various ideas, crunch some numbers, and announce a decision regarding admission and other matters.

There was NO decision that we would have free admission, and posts regarding this were premature. The organizers regret any inconvenience or confusion caused by this.

After analyzing finances for the last six years and calculating the results of various ideas, the committee decided on the following:

The business model that has sustained CommVEx for the past five years would continue – a flat admission for both days, no charge for table space, and no change in raffle ticket prices. Since the cost of the larger room is nearly double, the admission price will be set at $20, covering both Saturday and Sunday. Raffle tickets remain $10 for one; $20 for three.

Put back in my place,
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by Commodoreman »

Is all this information in regards to the CommVEx 12? Since donations to pay for next years room are already in should a $20.00 admission price be charged?
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by rbernardo »

Income from 2015 and pledge donations added up to enough to pay for 2016. The organizing [committee is] concerned with 2017 and beyond as well, and a stable funding plan is essential if the event is to continue beyond the next year.

Quoting from a committee e-mail to me,
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by JimDrew »

There was a group of us at the meeting that came up with the additional funds based solely on what we discussed and agreed to. I am very surprised that this was changed without notifying those that pledged more than needed to cover the larger room, based on the conditions discussed. We (the participants, the funders of this event) all agreed that paying for table space makes the most sense. Making the event open to the public for FREE is the main reason why I agreed to donate more than 1/4 of the cost of the new room myself.

If done right, what happens next year is going to generate more income than any previous years (you already have double the amount than normal of funds for new room). The only way to make the event bigger was by making the room bigger. It was too small and a turn off for those who have attended in the past. It's been a turn off for those that have stuck it out for years too, which is why we have all talked about getting the larger room for a couple of years. To fill that bigger room we need more people to attend, and that starts with previous attendees that know the how great the event is, and with the over-crowding issue resolved, will once again attend (many have stated this already). Next, is the general the public - who really don't want to pay to see retro stuff. However, if they attend at no cost, and bitten by the retro bug, they will come back as a participant. It's a business model that works.

I still think that tables should be $20 each for the weekend, and I know that many people would like several tables. So, why would the FCUG turn down table revenue? There will be more revenue generated by tables at $20 each than there will be from admission, and realistically just how many public attendees have come and paid in the past? How much is that revenue an impact on the event? Whether you pay $20 for a table or $20 for admission, it's still $20 to setup your stuff. Some of us want several tables, and we have the room now for that.

Please address these issues with FCUG organizing committee.
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by rbernardo »

I can bring it up again, but I'm afraid I will be overruled.

Truly,
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by TellarHK »

If it's not too late, I'd like to speak up in agreement with Jim. I think there's a real advantage for CommVEx in charging for tables, especially with the larger room and (hopefully) more available tables. As long as the math holds up (and it can, once you find a good price for the tables) it seems that it would really help CommVEx funding be a lot more predictable from year to year if people can reserve them in advance, also.

Personally, I'd be in for a table or two, if only to have a nice little "home base" while at the show that doesn't involve fighting for linear feet to set up on.

I'm not even a particularly well-off attendee, I know many of the people at the show are engineers, developers, and folks with much more demanding and rewarding employment than I have, but I'd *still* eagerly scratch up $100 for a pair of tables a month or two in advance if I knew they'd be there waiting for me and I wouldn't have to load in early, fight for a decent space, and feel like I was denying space to people who just have the misfortune of getting there later than me. As it was this year, I took down a system in order to give another attendee a place to set up his own equipment that he had brought in. And, we got there an hour before the room was supposed to open, and half the tables in the space were already full.

People who want tables will pay for them, and I would personally happily pay for the ability to know that I can show up later in the day and know that a table is reserved and waiting. The stress of not knowing whether or not we'd get room to set anything up is really one of the least fortunate parts of CommVEx, especially if I don't know that there's even a point to bringing any hardware down because I might not be able to set it up.

I was only a second time attendee this year, and I have to say, the table situation was unpleasant in both cases. My first year (2013, I think) we were crammed directly under the projection wall and my neck was sore for a week. This last year, we had a "decent" spot in the front right corner, but the heatstroke situation sent my partner to our room for several hours. And a person sitting near us almost left, because he hadn't gotten enough room to set up much of what he brought. This made me feel pretty guilty for bringing my own hardware, and that seems counter to what I'd expect the hopes are for an impression to give to newer attendees.

This will be better in the new room, definitely. But the only way to know how much better is to push the limits until suddenly it isn't enough anymore, and that just seems like the wrong approach.

EDIT: Another way I can pitch this is that for people like us who drive to the show but aren't part of its operations, being able to reserve a table space would actually SAVE a significant amount of money. This year, we drove down on Thursday night in order to be sure we had space early after the doors opened on Friday. That travel and meals added more than $100 worth of expenses to the trip, and I don't know if we were the only ones in that position.

- Josh Johnston
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by rbernardo »

TellarHK wrote:...especially with the larger room and (hopefully) more available tables.
Tables are no problem. The hotel can always provide more tables and has done so, even with our smaller room of past years.
...if people can reserve them in advance, also.
Tables can always be reserved in advance.
...that doesn't involve fighting for linear feet to set up on.
If that is what you think, then that is incorrect. If you need more table space, you talk to me, and I will see what I can do. Any other method of obtaining table space is not right, may leave you dissatisfied, and may lead to more griping.
...I know many of the people at the show are engineers, developers, and folks with much more demanding and rewarding employment...
Not true. Except for our special guests, most of us are ordinary C= and Amiga users with ordinary jobs.
The stress of not knowing whether or not we'd get room to set anything up is really one of the least fortunate parts of CommVEx...
With the 2,000 square foot, new room (and a chance to get another 2,000 square feet), there will be an abundance of space for 2016.

Truly,
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by JimDrew »

Robert, Josh is certainly not alone. Nobody really likes to openly whine, but behind closed doors we (more than a dozen of us) talked about the space situation and finally decided to approach you asking for an open discussion on the matter. I think tables should be $25 each. You want $25 for admission, and grab whatever tables you want. With the bigger room that is certainly possible, but with the smaller room it was not. You are definitely selling yourself short! Josh is willing to pay $50 per table in advance. Most people would like to have two tables. But those that don't want to pay more than the past amount of $25 (for admission) can certainly have their normal single table. I chipped in $600 myself to make this larger room thing happen, but I don't need 24 tables. As Josh pointed out, he came a day early just to get a good spot and that cost way more than a couple of tables, and it didn't do him much good. This is exactly why people have not returned to CommVEx - I have heard it/read it from past attendees. Its time to get those people back!

I would recommend talking to you club and discussing selling table space at $25 per table, and making admission 100% free. This will bring the public in, and the revenue will be even more than any past event because people ARE willing to pay for multiple tables. It just seems silly to charge $25 admission for any number of tables (which in the past has been really just one table, maybe two if you are lucky) when you can easily get $25 per table. The larger room means nobody tripping over chairs, we can have a dedicated projection seating area, etc. making it a safer venue too.
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by rbernardo »

JimDrew wrote:Nobody really likes to openly whine...
Then this matter should be done in private.
...we (more than a dozen of us) talked about the space situation and finally decided to approach you asking for an open discussion...
Err, I was the one who decided on the open discussion at CommVEx. No one (certainly not a dozen people) came to me to open any discussion.
I think tables should be $25 each. You want $25 for admission...
Admission will be $20 for the weekend (which is $10 per day).
I would recommend talking to you club.
The FCUG organizing committee has already discussed this during the September meeting. The consensus is the same -- $20 for admission and tables will be free. If we need to change, then perhaps this can be brought up again if CommVEx continues to 2017.

If you are dissatisfied with this decision, we can refund your donation.

Now going into private on this matter,
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by rbernardo »

In July rbernardo wrote:...the extra large deposit has been made.
Another payment for the room has just been made.

The last one being in September,
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Re: CommVEx v12 2016 - July 30-31

Post by rbernardo »

Another payment down... two more to go.

Happy New Year!
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