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2026 aaw symposium.

john lucas

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Well I knew ut would be on the east coast which is better for me. I have to save money to go to theses things and trying to decide between all tha various east coast symposiums.
 
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Quuite a list of locations...


YearCity
1987Lexington, KY
1988Philadelphia, PA
1989Seattle, WA
1990Gatlinburg, TN
1991Denton, TX
1992Provo, UT
1993Purchase, NY
1994Fort Collins, CO
1995Davis, CA
1996Greensboro, NC
1997San Antonio, CA
1998Akron, OH
1999Tacoma, WA
2000Charlotte, NC
2001St Paul, MN
2002Providence, RI
2003Pasadena, CA
2004Orlando, FL
2005Overland Park KS
2006Louisville, KY
2007Portland, OR
2008Richmond, VA
2009Albuquerque, NM
2010Hartford, CT
2011St Paul, MN
2012San Jose, CA
2013Tampa, FL
2014Phoenix, AZ
2015Pittsburgh, PA
2016Atlanta, GA
2017Kansas City, MO
2018Portland, OR
2019Raleigh, NC
2020Canceled (COVID-19)
2021Canceled (COVID-19)
2022Chattanooga, TN
2023Louisville, KY
2024Portland, OR
 
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From what I’ve gathered, there are a number of factors when choosing the location

1. It needs to be large enough to host the event.
2. It needs to be within budget (I have no idea what ballpark that is in, but I am sure it changes and gets reviewed/approved yearly)
3. There needs to be enough local clubs to support the event (I’d say at least 80% of the volunteers this year were local)
4. They do not compete with regional symposiums (so if a location has a yearly symposium, the AAW will not select a location within x distance of it)

And, I am sure, many more.
 

hockenbery

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Its a tough job- your elected board works hard to get sites that work well.


@Kevin Jesequel got a lot of metrics.
When I was involved with selections we looked at members within a days drive.
Clubs within a days drive.
Airport service. - lots of airlines direct flights to many cities

Also the coverage of the country. Over a five year period- try to get a symposium within a days drive of every member in the lower 48 and southern Canada at least once every 5 years. This has gotten off with COVID

Also projected attendance.
In general eastern time zone locations have the highest, mountain time zone locations the lowes
 

hockenbery

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I found it interesting that, in the 37 years shown there were only 2 in the Midwest (both Minnesota) and none in Illinois or Wisconsin. Since these states are central, it would be a location that would treat all the same with regard to travel at least.
I’m never sure how Midwest gets defined

If you count Ohio, and Kansas, Missouri you get more.

Omaha was cancelled for COVID

This list is one I found IMG_1808.jpeg
 
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Its a tough job- your elected board works hard to get sites that work well.


@Kevin Jesequel got a lot of metrics.
When I was involved with selections we looked at members within a days drive.
Clubs within a days drive.
Airport service. - lots of airlines direct flights to many cities

Also the coverage of the country. Over a five year period- try to get a symposium within a days drive of every member in the lower 48 and southern Canada at least once every 5 years. This has gotten off with COVID

Also projected attendance.
In general eastern time zone locations have the highest, mountain time zone locations the lowes
Makes sense given the population density of each zone. I just looked it up and almost 47% of Americans live in the eastern time zone.
 
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Quuite a list of locations...


YearCity
1987Lexington, KY
1988Philadelphia, PA
1989Seattle, WA
1990Gatlinburg, TN
1991Denton, TX
1992Provo, UT
1993Purchase, NY
1994Fort Collins, CO
1995Davis, CA
1996Greensboro, NC
1997San Antonio, CA
1998Akron, OH
1999Tacoma, WA
2000Charlotte, NC
2001St Paul, MN
2002Providence, RI
2003Pasadena, CA
2004Orlando, FL
2005Overland Park KS
2006Louisville, KY
2007Portland, OR
2008Richmond, VA
2009Albuquerque, NM
2010Hartford, CT
2011St Paul, MN
2012San Jose, CA
2013Tampa, FL
2014Phoenix, AZ
2015Pittsburgh, PA
2016Atlanta, GA
2017Kansas City, MO
2018Portland, OR
2019Raleigh, NC
2020Canceled (COVID-19)
2021Canceled (COVID-19)
2022Chattanooga, TN
2023Louisville, KY
2024Portland, OR
1997 must have been interesting.
 
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Curious about the Portland Symposium. I had heard that the Union there had some rules about taking stuff into the center. If on 2 wheels, you could do it yourself. If on 4 wheels you could not do it yourself and they moved it in 'for' you by the pound. I would have had huge problems with that. Any one know if that was true, and/or how much problems that caused. I would have had huge problems with that, since they kind of price themselves out of their jobs...

robo hippy
 
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I volunteered for vendor move-in both in Louisville and Portland.
Even though the 2-wheel vs. 4-wheel rule was in place, as long as you used the main ramp they were looking the other way and we saw both used.
Now if you needed a pallet jack, forklift, or needed to back up to a loading dock the union definitely got involved.
I was speaking to a member of the board at the Louisville symposium who told me that certain top-tier cities, such as Boston, New York, Chicago, etcetera are just too expensive and often with too many layers of union requirements to even be considered.
 
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I heard from a prospective vendor about the per pound loading charge. You can’t expect a vendor to haul heavy items halfway across the country on the hopes that the unions will look the other way.
The vendor hall looked pretty empty of both vendors and attendees in the floor videos I saw. It had to hurt the bottom line of AAW and all involved. This needs to be fixed.
 
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I'd suggest looking into smaller mid-size or rural areas (County fair venues, etc) that are not too terribly far from major cities (Example: Chautaqua county fairgrounds, just south of Buffalo, NY) They often have multiple large buildings suitable for gatherings like that (Plus ready access to wood/trees) The downside would be that attendees would have to spread out to multiple hotels and likely do some travelling (But then, It'd be fairly easy to organize a group of tour busses per hotel to transport back & forth) Buffalo has a fairly decent airport, plenty of hotel/motel rooms, and going to someplace a bit more rural, you're likely not going to have Union folks involved in everything. There's pros and cons to the idea, of course, all depends on what y'all are really after... but if one were to happen someplace like I mention which isn't a horribly long drive from here (hour and a half one way, maybe) I'd definitely be in attendance.. LOL! (Another mention I might make: Tioga County, PA fairgrounds, Mansfield, PA is a college town, and about an hours drive down U.S. 6 from here, an hour's drive up Rt 15 soon to be I-99 one day from Williamsport, PA, and visitors could always plan a visit to P.A. Lumber Museum!) You might be surprised at how well attended a more rural venue might be, especially if trying to drum up more woodturning / clubs interest. (and if there were a visitor's day for non-members/ un-ticketed folks to attend for a gate fee, for example - such as to visit the gallery, vendors, etc but not attend the demonstrations without a separate "ticket" to them..)

Just a few ideas maybe worth considering (or not)
 
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I would just like to clarify that the unions don’t charge the vendors anything and that the unionized workers at the convention centers get paid the same whether they are moving vendor goods or not. It is the companies they work for that are charging the exorbitant fees you all are referring to. Maybe the companies could be a little less greedy and lower their profit margins, but then again, why would they as long as they can use “the unions” as the scapegoat for the cost of running a convention.
 

Michael Anderson

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Las Vegas would be a great location. I lived there for a few years, and it’s so much more than the casinos. Some of the best hiking, climbing, biking, scenery anywhere. Vegas is in a basin surrounded by mountains on all sides. Plenty of wild bighorn sheep, horses, and donkeys to keep you entertained. Lol.
 
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Curious about the Portland Symposium. I had heard that the Union there had some rules about taking stuff into the center. If on 2 wheels, you could do it yourself. If on 4 wheels you could not do it yourself and they moved it in 'for' you by the pound. I would have had huge problems with that. Any one know if that was true, and/or how much problems that caused. I would have had huge problems with that, since they kind of price themselves out of their jobs...

robo hippy

AKA the Teamsters racket.

Edit: 20 years ago I did a software convention in Philadelphia. They had the same thing going. The guys sitting at the banquet table looked straight out of The Sopranos. Not saying they were involved in organized crime, just an observation. We ended up sneaking most of our stuff past them.
 
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Las Vegas would be a great location. I lived there for a few years, and it’s so much more than the casinos. Some of the best hiking, climbing, biking, scenery anywhere. Vegas is in a basin surrounded by mountains on all sides. Plenty of wild bighorn sheep, horses, and donkeys to keep you entertained. Lol.

I agree (also having lived in Vegas for a long time). Each year I am asked if I want to attend the Global Gaming Convention (aka G2E) for work. My answer is always, "Nah, let someone else go." However, I'd be happy to make a trip to Vegas for the AAW Symposium. :)
 
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Years ago when I was attending Die Casting conventions, the floor rate in Las Vegas was 1/10 th the floor rate in Minneapolis cause Vegas wanted your money on the tables. Maybe check on Vegas as it has it all.
I’ve wondered why not Vegas as well. It’s cheap to fly to from most anywhere in the country too. With any luck, a few of us would be going home with brand new American Beauties! 😂
 
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I’ve wondered why not Vegas as well. It’s cheap to fly to from most anywhere in the country too. With any luck, a few of us would be going home with brand new American Beauties! 😂
A thought on this is that AAW depends heavily on volunteers from local area clubs and there may not be many clubs nearby by LV. As a matter of fact only 3 clubs in the whole state.
 
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I'd suggest looking into smaller mid-size or rural areas (County fair venues, etc) that are not too terribly far from major cities (Example: Chautaqua county fairgrounds, just south of Buffalo, NY) They often have multiple large buildings suitable for gatherings like that (Plus ready access to wood/trees) The downside would be that attendees would have to spread out to multiple hotels and likely do some travelling (But then, It'd be fairly easy to organize a group of tour busses per hotel to transport back & forth) Buffalo has a fairly decent airport, plenty of hotel/motel rooms, and going to someplace a bit more rural, you're likely not going to have Union folks involved in everything. There's pros and cons to the idea, of course, all depends on what y'all are really after... but if one were to happen someplace like I mention which isn't a horribly long drive from here (hour and a half one way, maybe) I'd definitely be in attendance.. LOL! (Another mention I might make: Tioga County, PA fairgrounds, Mansfield, PA is a college town, and about an hours drive down U.S. 6 from here, an hour's drive up Rt 15 soon to be I-99 one day from Williamsport, PA, and visitors could always plan a visit to P.A. Lumber Museum!) You might be surprised at how well attended a more rural venue might be, especially if trying to drum up more woodturning / clubs interest. (and if there were a visitor's day for non-members/ un-ticketed folks to attend for a gate fee, for example - such as to visit the gallery, vendors, etc but not attend the demonstrations without a separate "ticket" to them..)

Just a few ideas maybe worth considering (or not)
Oh yes, a more rural setting would be awesome! Some of the bigger cities are too much to navigate and sometimes are unsafe especially at night.
 
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Oh yes, a more rural setting would be awesome! Some of the bigger cities are too much to navigate and sometimes are unsafe especially at night.
Another thing I'd add that came to mind - What if AAW was to reach out to ALL the wood turning clubs (put together a bullet list of "must have", "Nice to have" and "optional" points) and have the clubs go out to their local municipal authorities or some such (Community Development organizations, Chambers of Commerce, and so on) to see if suitable locations might be pulled together by a (or a group of) municipalities - Smaller rural areas would absolutely LOVE the opportunity to showcase their towns and promote tourism. Then y'all would have half the work done (by the local club(s) or community promoters) without even having to reach out to some big city or the other... Let the membership of the clubs put together the local legwork, and then whoever's in charge of the symposium could finalize and sign off on it with a lot less work for themselves?

- As I had mentioned before, as an example, if it was held somewhere like Wellsboro , Mansfield, Bradford, Olean, NY, Wellsville, NY which is really local to me, then things like the PA Lumber Museum, and, across the highway from there, Denton Hill State Park, Coudersport's Ice Mine (Which to us locals is no big deal, TBH - not a whole lot to look at there) as well as Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon (and whitewater rafting down Pine Creek Gorge) So many other things to do that folks going to a symposium in an area like this might just plan a whole week off - plenty of available campgrounds, and more as well.. And I'm sure the community organizers and tourism boards would virtually fall over themselves to host a nice big convention like the AAW Symposium and probably go out of their way to locate suitable, workable facilities for the purpose - Far more so than big city convention centers or hotels might do... (and probably at a considerably lower cost to AAW or members) Of course, there's not a huge number of hotels (But LOTS of smaller mom-n-pop motels that would love the business!) so accommodations could be a challenge (But then locals might have some creative solutions like chartering a bus route utilizing already in place things like the A.T.A. or local tour bus companies, etc)
 
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Yup, local club support is crucial to having any Symposium and being able to pull it off smoothly. One turner in our club likes to tell a story about the first Symposium that was at UC Davis. David Ellsworth sent a log section that he was going to get 2 bowls from through a wall. He didn't check the speed first before turning the lathe on.... Some times I think it is a miracle that the Symposium happens at all because of all the difficulties in getting it to work.

robo hippy
 
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Years ago when I was attending Die Casting conventions, the floor rate in Las Vegas was 1/10 th the floor rate in Minneapolis cause Vegas wanted your money on the tables. Maybe check on Vegas as it has it all.
Las Vegas is by far the most inexpensive city in the country to hold a large convention of any kind.
 

hockenbery

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I stumbled on some old data on where 2013 AAW members lived
And where symposium attendees lived for a few symposiums.
It gives a relative view .

There is a little slop in the data for snowbirds - those members with 2 addresses.
We used the primary address….

I used some GIS software to make pictures of AAW member locations
Heat maps were generated to find groupings of AAW members
This is where 2013 AAW members lived.
2013 AAW population.gif

This where attendees of certain symposiums lived
Where attendees live.gif

This is a brief overview of the heat map process
Heat map overview.gif
 
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