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West Coast shows?

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There are so many turners along the West Coast, how come there isn't a regional symposium west of Ariz. and south of Van Couver?

A customer from the San Francisco and I were discussing this and he said there are a lot of clubs with 70 to 150 members. The average attendees for the regional shows where I have a booth is approx. 250 to 300.

I know the AAW has a show out there but that's not what I'm talking about. We have NY, 2 in GA, FL, TN, VA, NC, OH and TX .. East TX. :)

Any opinions?

Ruth
 
Joined
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Sonoma, CA
Ruth,
I live on the "Left Coast" and have wondered the same thing. Good question.

Another question I have is how come the west coast does not have the "Turning Schools" or "Art Camps" that are on the east coast? There is Anderson Ranch, but that is still in the middle of the country.

There is a turning symposium in BC once a year I think.
Hugh
 
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Granted, we are not too far south of Vancouver BC, but the Woodturners of Olympia (WA) host a mini, 1-day symposium every year, the fourth weekend in July. This year, Stephen Hatcher and Mike Mahoney were the featured presenters. Following the symposium, hands-on workshops with up to 8 students (first come, first served) are held with one of the featured presenters. Next year, David Ellsworth will be presenting (along with James Leary) and David will be teaching in the workshops.
Attendance has been around 100 turners every year, so there is usually plenty of time for attendees to talk with the turners.
By keeping this a one day event, we have been able to keep registration costs under $100 for the 1 day presentation, and the workshops for David next year will be $150 per day. (planning on 4 days - Sun - Wed.)

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time and effort to put on a longer symposium, not forgetting the cost of putting these on - demonstrators and their travel expenses add up, on top of the site rentals.

The Utah symposium is also a great show.

All that said, I would also like to see a venue for programs like Anderson Ranch or Arrowmont here on the left coast.

Cheers,
 
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Mesa, Arizona
Short answer: It's a lot of work

Ruth,

The long answer is all that is lacking for there to be a regional symposium in California is somebody to volunteer to head up the effort. Any one of the clubs could sponsor the symposium, but it's going to take someone who believes this must happen(!) to get the thing off the ground. With that person to light the fire, the local club(s) can raise the funds and volunteers to put on the symposium. It's a huge effort and it takes someone with a lot of dedication to pull it off.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
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Fort Collins, CO.
Ruth,

You missed the Rocky Mountain Woodturning Symposium in Loveland, CO.:D This year it is Sept. 10th and 11th and is only 50 miles north of Denver International Airport. You all should come and join the fun.:)
 

hockenbery

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Ruth,

I would surmise a lot has to do with AAW population.

There are lots of AAW members in the west but they tend to be spread out.
With the exception of the Utah symposium, regionals are sponsored by one or more AAW chapters.
Last time I checked SWAT the biggest had 9 AAW chapters as sponsors.

To run a symposium you need one or two key people to get it started, a supporting cast of people willing to help, start up funding, affordable place to hold it, and have a population of attendees. Then they need to maintain the organization.

The jpeg below is a map of metro areas with more than 300, 200, 100, 50 AAW members, The darkest Darkest Baltimore/wash and NYC with more than 300 AAW members in their metro area have no regional. the stars show regionals from 2010. Regionals tend to be in or near metor areas with lots of AAW members.
Utah is the exception and it is more of a small national in some regard than a regional.

regards,
Al
 

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Joined
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Newville, PA (south of Harrisburg)
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www.torne-lignum.com
Thanks for all the relies, I sort of knew everything you all said. After 6 yrs. of having booths at a lot of shows, I can appreciate the amount of volunteer effort involved. "Volunteer" being the key word. Even the small shows take a lot of planning, dealing with vendors and attendees and sites are of great importance. Each show has its pluses and minuses but each is great.

Looking at that population map, the turners are spread out more in the west.

Now I have reasons to give customers who lament about no shows on the West Coat.

Thanks again,
Ruth
 
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Glendale, AZ
Work, work, work

As the chair person for the 2013 Desert Woodturning Roundup in Phoenix, I think one of the biggest challenges is time, and getting people to help. We are about 18 months out and I am feeling the pressure to nail some things down. We have a lot of great turners in our club, and a lot of interest in the symposium, but getting people to put in the time required to have a successful event is daunting in itself. We have a 3 day event. The first night is more social and a few special events, and the next 2 days are workshops. It is a great event, but not one I would want to be in charge of every time.
 

Steve Worcester

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As the chair person for the 2013 Desert Woodturning Roundup in Phoenix, I think one of the biggest challenges is time, and getting people to help. We are about 18 months out and I am feeling the pressure to nail some things down. We have a lot of great turners in our club, and a lot of interest in the symposium, but getting people to put in the time required to have a successful event is daunting in itself. We have a 3 day event. The first night is more social and a few special events, and the next 2 days are workshops. It is a great event, but not one I would want to be in charge of every time.

Seems to be the problem in most clubs. But I am available to demo :)
 

hockenbery

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Dale,
In most organizations 20% of the people account for 80% of the productivity.
Managers spend a lot of effort on trying to get the 80% up to level of the 20%.
In volunteer organizations the numbers are more like 5% doing 95% of the work.

My experience with woodturners is that they rarely volunteer.
They also rarely say "no" when asked to do something.

I see firsthand how hard people work on the AAW symposium and the Florida symposium.
The Florida symposium is owned by partner clubs that are required to supply 2 board members.
These men and women work long hours. Florida has about a1,000 AAW members and lots of strong clubs to support its symposium.
I suspect you have fewer resources to draw from.

I have great admiration for the AAW members who step up to make the AAW stronger.
Regional symposiums are part of that web of strength.

Thanks,
Al
 
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In another life, a guy I used to work with and some colleagues were sitting around the dinner table at a tradeshow. We marvelled at the number of people that were drawn to this stupid event. In the end, we decided that "Heck, we could throw one of these!"

We started running the numbers based upon only what we knew: what did people pay to attend? How many people paid to attend? How many vendors paid to attend and how much?

We calculated all of the numbers on the napkins (with a couple of beers in us) and we started looking at each other. Even our best estimates told us that we couldn't make that much money doing it!

The moral of the story is: unless you get free labor donated, there is a lot of work for very little reward ($$$). If it raises $20,000 for your club, but takes 4000 hours of fre labor to pull it off, you are working for $5/hr. Most people would rather be turning than making $5/hr.
 

hockenbery

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Steve,

Be sure to thank very board member, club officer, AAW volunteer, regional symposium board member you see for the " free labor.

You are absolutely correct that these functions take place only through generosity of caring people.
 
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I think the Seattle area and the Pacific Northwest is heading in a direction and pulling together to make something like this happen.

Wouldnt that be fun! Anyone else on board for a Seattle Symposium in a few years?
 
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Steve,

Be sure to thank very board member, club officer, AAW volunteer, regional symposium board member you see for the " free labor.

You are absolutely correct that these functions take place only through generosity of caring people.


I know from my own experience in the clubs that I belong to that it is a struggle just to make local functions work. I realize that there is a huge effort involved to pull off any symposium.

You need to be part bookkeeper, part entertainer, part caterer, and a full time cat juggler. All while serving and audience that likes to complain :p

I wouldn't want the job...
 
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