Your thoughts on this years symposium

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by allen jay, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. allen jay

    allen jay

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    Just wondering what the masses who attended the symposium in Phx thought about their experience?
    This having been my first national symposium I have nothing to compare it to on that level so can't make any comparisons.
    One thing i can comment on is how large and expansive the accommodations were compared to the number of people i saw using them.
    Big place for the number of people using it.
    Correct me if my number is wrong but I believe the attendance figure posted in here was around 1100 attendees???
    Only real disappointment I had was I didn't buy a new lathe while i was there.
    But I didn't have to worry about not being allowed back into my house when I got back home either .
     
  2. odie

    odie

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    Ha, ha ! Well Allen....that did make me lol ! :D

    If your lathe just isn't cutting it.....a few nights in the dog house just might be worth bring home that nice new lathe! :D

    Sorry, I didn't attend, but it sounds like a lot more attendees were expected. Is that what it looked like to you?

    I think our country's economic future is very questionable, or I believe that's what a significant number of those who make up the great majority of those who traditionally take up woodturning (over 50) see it. That might account for a little less than expected attendance. Purely a guess, but that's the way I see it......:(

    ooc
     
  3. allen jay

    allen jay

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    well i can't comment on the economy of the country nor will speculate on why the masses didn't make it.
    one thing that did stand out to me was stuart batty's booth at the trade show. quite a production to say the least.
    Odie how are things under "BIG SKY" sure miss not going up there.
     
  4. billooms

    billooms

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    I thought it was a great venue -- plenty of space, easy to get around, short walk to the hotel, lots of restaurant choices in walking distance. As far as I could tell, everything ran well. Good selection of presenters.
     
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I think it was a terrific symposium.
    The attendance was almost exactly what was expected any symposium in the mountain time zone will be smaller.
    Facilities and local support were great.

    Al
     
  6. KellyDunn

    KellyDunn

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    I thought it was laid out very well and ran very smooth. Trade show was rather small compared to others I have been to. Someone said getting wood into Ariz was tough so almost no wood for sale. Living in Hawaii I dont want for wood though. I was hoping for some new sanding equipment but the folks were not there. I sat in on panels mostly but have seen most of the folks demo before. But had great fun catching up with lots of turners. Also thought the food choices were very good. Compared to a few in the past that the services were almost not there at all this was super. Trent Bosch with his camera instead of a laser and a monitor showing exactly where your tool tip was on the vessel inside was very slick. I also thought Stew Batty had a very elaborate setup. But did not buy a tool from him. We talked about his dad Allan and that was it. Met Doug Thompson for the 1st time. a pricy trip for me but well worth it. Had plenty of beers and conversation.
     
  7. Ronald Campbell

    Ronald Campbell

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    This was my 5th symposium and it is much like the previous symposiums. The attendance is typical of all that I have been to. The St Paul may have been the largest of the 5 and it was the 25th and the home of the AAW. The facility in Phoenix was not used to the fullest by any means. There were thousand of square feet in the Instant Gallery area and in the Vendor area. Without a doubt it was one of the smallest number of vendors at any of the events I have attended. Yes we did hear that there were problems with the wood. I turn for Carter Products in the vendor area and we brought our own wood and had no problems bringing it in. From a vendor perspective things went better than any of the last 5 symposiums.

    I am amazed that so few people take part in the symposium and even the website and forums here. I would like to see more participation at all levels. The AAW is very proud that there are 15,000 members but have the looked to see why. Why is there so little participation. Hope someone can shed light on why less than one percent participation is acceptable
    Ron
     
  8. odie

    odie

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    Hi Allen.......Montana is a very beautiful state, and lots of outdoorsy activities........but, I'm seeing less of it than I ever did in the past! On the bright side, I'm seeing the walls of my shop more and more! My priorities in life are shifting!;)

    Ronald.....only 15,000 AAW members? I think the membership numbers are close to 50,000....aren't they?

    ooc
     
  9. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Maybe only in Phil McDonald's dreams. :)

    It's a little shy of 15K, I believe. Al can give exact figures, I bet.

    But, it depends on how you define close. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  10. odie

    odie

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    My own AAW member number is in the 40,000 range.......I suppose we're talking about "active" membership?

    ooc
     
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Since the AAW is approaching its thirtieth anniversary, it would be a good bet that there has been some turnover in membership.
     
  12. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    I imagine to be counted one must pay dues or be honorably lifetime member, going to national symposium is not cheap.....it is well worth the money.....there are some very good regional symposiums....they are worth the money also.....national symposium you expect certain standards, the different states adhere to the turning standards but will not have the quantity of demonstators, vendors, or participants in the instant gallery......I enjoy seeing how different states present their symposiums
     
  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Well maybe not all regional symposiums, but quantity isn't necessarily a good measure when it's quality that matters. Have you been to SWAT recently?
     
  14. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    Bill, I have never attended SWAT....it is on my bucket list of things to do........I have never heard anything negative about it.....sometimes things Texas can be overwhelming
     
  15. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    The regionals, including Swat, have the same high quality demonstrators that the AAW has.
    It just takes them years to present as many demonstrators as AAW does in one year.
    Also the regionals often introduce up and coming demonstrators. Experience demonstrating at regionals is a big plus when applying to demonstrate at the AAW.

    SWAT the largest of the regionals offers 6 demonstrations in 10 rotations. That is a lot of choices!
    AAW offers 15-16 demonstrations in 11 rotations a whole lot more...

    I enjoy the regionals, I enjoy AAW. They are different.

    Al
     
  16. dbonertz

    dbonertz

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    Ronald,

    I will only speak for me but life gets in the way of going to the AAW symposium. As a remodeling contractor the summer is my busiest time of year. In addition my wife is a teacher and my kids attend college so summer is the time of year to fit in a family vacation. There simply is no time to go to a AAW symposium.

    I am thankful that we have the Rocky Mountain Woodturning Symposium every year so I can attend and see friends. It sometimes amazes me how people take the regional symposiums for granted and don't participate/support them. Again life things may be getting in the way for people but it would be terrible to lose any them around the country. Please support your regional symposiums even if you went to the AAW symposiums.

    Final note is I wonder how the turnout would be if it was in four or five locations and rotated every year between them. I know this has been discussed in the past but I feel that the average attendance would increase. Since having our annual symposium (Rocky Mountain Woodturning Symposium) I have created some friendships where now some attendees stay at my home. I think knowing where it is, the venue and creating local friendships would be such an advantage not only for the AAW but attendees as well. I hear the argument that the local clubs members would burn out which I personally think is hockey puck and to my knowledge this has never been tried. I do wish the AAW would stop reinventing the wheel every year in different locations and put some consistency into the venues. I personally believe they would be pleasantly surprised.
     
  17. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Bill,

    In Dec 2013 there were 15072 including associates(family members)

    Below is a map of regions containing 70% of the membership from dec 2013.
    You can see clusters of members around the country and one enormous cluster in the east.

    The AAW growth is roughly 20% new members each year with 15% non-renewals each year for a net 5%.
    Some years are better than others as to new members.

    We are close to 16,000 members now.
     

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  18. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Those statistics seem to parallel our club membership.
     
  19. KellyDunn

    KellyDunn

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    AAW started in 86 and I joined in 87. Member # 2thou something. 1st symposium in 89. I did Utah in 85 or 6. Here is the kicker. You have to find personal value in being an AAW member. Many members of our local chapter only want to be entertained and dont give a rats backside. They see no value for themselves. The are not going to travel to an event, have no desire to stretch beyond basic turning. And point blank just enjoy being with a few turners at our local chapter meeting. They get coffee and donuts and entertained. We try to have some manner of educational demo or program each meeting. I as one of two demo point folks for the big Island help to bring in outside demo folks. We just had Neil Scobie right after the Phoenix event. Attendance sucked. I have been doing this a long time and am beginning to get burned out that the time and effort to bring in top talent gets so little response. Maybe I have just had a long day as I always back off and keep going. I am one of the 10%. Thats the amount of folks that keep any group going. I like the nuts and bolts that keep a chapter going. I guess its time to go get a beer and not ***** to you kind folks. Will probably feel better about those who dont care in the morning. Well, I wont. But my attitude will be better.
     
  20. Malcolm Zander

    Malcolm Zander

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    Attendance

    "I am amazed that so few people take part in the symposium and even the website and forums here. I would like to see more participation at all levels. The AAW is very proud that there are 15,000 members but have the looked to see why. Why is there so little participation. Hope someone can shed light on why less than one percent participation is acceptable "
    Ron[/QUOTE]

    Ron, 1100 attendees is over 7% of 15,000, not less than 1%. The reason why attendance was middling is the location. Who wants to go to Phoenix in June?

    Pittsburgh will be far bigger because it is a lot cooler in June and there are far more people within good driving distance than for Phoenix.

    Malcolm
     

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