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Lots of great posts and great points. I've learned a great deal about Nationals from the "old heads" around here.

To hold it somewhere centralized makes sense to me, but the number of drivers in the east argument is quite sensible as well. Maybe somewhere between I-70 or I-80 as a Northish boundary, I-20 or I-22 (or even 40/44 as a Southish boundary, I-35 as a Westernish boundary, and I-69 as an Easternish boundary would be central enough to draw Western owners as well as Eastern owners? Of course I'm worried for the NE and SE folks as well, but having it inside that box, and sticking to it would allow some variation even if some had to come a little ways to get there. They'd know ahead of time.

I had a GREAT time in Lexington, and if I'd had company the drive there/back would've been better. BTW, thank you for putting on such a great and enjoyable event! I will be in CO next year, and would like to attend events as long as I have my car.
 

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expostdelirium, just described Branson, Missouri. A lot of entertainment and a big draw of people there, I understand.

:party::party:
 

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The only problem with the Branson area is the humidity. We fought it in Springdale, less than 50 miles away I think.

Now please don't go ballistic on this thought, we are not a young group, we don't have to worry about packing for kids or room for kids or worry about entertaining them, for most that has long past. That means also that we do not have to vacation in the summer.

I know the name of one of the cars is Solstice, but I truly believe if you moved the date to mid September, you would have much better weather and more people attend. There I have said it. Let all hell fly.

My other half is from Jeff City, Missouri. After Arkansas, she said she would never go back into that weather again on her own choice. But Fall in Missouri is beautiful, Branson has everything that is needed in spades, and might be a little less populated in September. Not endorsing the idea, but possibly the area.
 

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The "box" is Omaha to OKC to Nashville to Indy back to Omaha. My thinking was that with those major Interstates it would be easy for folks from all over to get there. I was not thinking of Branson (it's a little "hinterland" for me), but more like the Columbia-area. I was thinking even farther North and/or East than Columbia even. Humidity is a factor for some. September might be better for some, and might drive attendance up....

On a side note: I drove through Jeff City on the way to and from Lexington and I love driving US 50.
 

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Huff sounds like you are in the 44th Sky territory.

I used to drive that road a lot, anything to stay out of Phoenix, but now just take loop 101 late at night. Really enjoyed the Skull Valley road west of Jerome.

Back on topic. Grew up in Nebraska. Not a lot of Kappa roads around there, but a lot of history to take in. Columbia is central, but still miserable in June. We went there last year after the National. Not a lot of difference. But again depends on the time of year. Lived in Kanas City many years, loved the city.

I think there are a lot of places to consider/work on at a different time of year.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
As a Sky owner (x2) I am not particularly hung up on the June date either, but tradition is tradition, and there is always risk in changing something like that.

Defining the ideal area is an interesting exercise, but is fairly useless unless it is accompanied by an offer to actually plan and execute a meet there. I can say without any hesitation that I would never offer to be the on-site person for an event that is more than an hour from where I live or work. There is simply too much need for regular presence there during the planning and testing phases, and there is no substitute for detailed personal knowledge of the area. I really don't see any way to successfully plan and prepare for something like this via remote control.
 

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Is centrally located really of that much value in these meets? How far are most Kappa owners willing to drive to attend? For me, it's got to be 1 day each way, no more. I'm not retired and cannot take that much time off and spend much of it driving to/from. I could be wrong but I would tend to believe the majority cannot take 2+ days driving each way plus the time to attend. IOW's, number of people in driving range is more important than central in the country. That means eastern states. You get the people within driving range of that area. If meets are mostly middle of the country or east of the Mississippi it rules out all but the devoted few from the western and southwest states.

That said, Colorado is a full very long day drive for us but its as close as its ever gonna get so I'm looking forward to being there.
 

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I don't know the value of any of it; central location nor changing the dates. I like to drive, and I teach, so a summer date with (humidity and) a LONG drive isn't a factor in my decision to attend, but I understand that others don't have it so easy.

I don't know how many how many "Kappa Roads" there are in KC, but I know some could be found. South of KC around Red Bridge, and I'd guess along the River (both sides) that there would be some. There are other places that I've found by accident, because that part of the state is quite hilly.

Colorado will be a dawdle compared to Lexington, and I'm looking forward to being there. I can take US highways all the way there if I'm not in a hurry.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Someone has commented that the Annual Meet is more of a Regional event than a National (or International) event, and that is a valid statement. By moving it around each year it becomes more or less accessible to people in different parts of the country, and the truly hard core can go to all of them if they wish. Attendance has varied each year, mainly based on accessibility, with greater participation in the East than the West.
 

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I lived in Grand View and recruited Cass and Butler counties, south of Kanas City on the Missouri side. Really not much there in honesty. Possibly farther south towards Springfield you would come up with some. Lake of the Ozarks would be a great area, but summer is hot and filled with tourists, that will clog the roads.

I am guessing, that the Denver one will be the largest one in quite awhile. Everyone loves the mountains and can plan around that. But as John states it will most likely eliminate the East coasters, New England and Florida car owners as it is too far west.

Unfortunately time catches up with us. The die hards are going to do just that.

It appeared to me the average age at the Arkansas National was in their late 50's maybe even older. People start slowing down normally in that time frame.

I will make the Colorado one which is over 2000 miles for me. But will never make one east of the Mississippi unless I traded the other half in on two 30 year olds, than I wouldn't want to go anyway. lol I don't have the money for that.

So my question is who decides where these things will be and would that person/group be considerate of a Regional event, endorsed by NASSAM on the west coast?

It would have to be late spring on mid fall. No competition for the National in any way.
 

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As I think about these folks that have stepped up of late and sponsored the Springfield, Lexington and Black Hawk NASSAM's, is there software programs that are forwarded through each organizing group that they use for the next event? Does that software provide for all of the interwoven functions of the event? (I won't list them as I have no experience and probably don't realize the extent needed)

As for the software system availability, I would hope that answer is Yes. For without it, what a huge effort for a consideration of hosting an event.

If that 'wheel' does exist and not needed to be re-invented by each host sponsor, I would assume that would be a tremendous start on hosting an event. Then adequate run options and conference facilities would round out a good start for a host consideration.

An off the cuff idea might be to take the lead organizer person from the last five (or a chosen number, maybe it is three) of NASSAM events and make them the committee to pass judgement and advice for the next NASSAM site volunteers; for example, Sooner, John, and RtE. For each new NASSAM year, the oldest host would drop off, while the last host would be added. This would provide experience, support, insight and some continuity to each years NASSAM event. And, also be apt to provide a lot of comfort to a new site volunteer organization. Possibly increasing the odds of more club's even stepping up and volunteering.

Just some thoughts......:dunno:
 

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There are rumors about interest in Georgia and in the Adirondacks. Are those serious considerations, and is anyone else interested in hosting 2019?
I am moving to Montreal next week so the Adirondacks would be great so I may be interested in that. I was very interested in the 2018 event in Colorado and it's close proximity (relatively) to my home but moving to Montreal has put that to rest possibly.

Terry
:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #54 (Edited)
........
So my question is who decides where these things will be and would that person/group be considerate of a Regional event, endorsed by NASSAM on the west coast?

It would have to be late spring on mid fall. No competition for the National in any way.
No one decides, and everyone decides.

FYI: NASSAM is the abbreviation of the event (North American Solstice Sky Annual Meet) and not of an organization.

There was once a time that several groups would put up bids to host the Annual Meet, and for part of that time NASSOA (North American Solstice Sky Owners Association) made the decision with a lot of input from the members of the forums. After the demise of NASSOA there were a couple of years when there was a more-or-less ad-hoc decision process on the forums and FB. Since then it has basically come down to who volunteers, and there hasn't been much (if any) competition.

There have been Regional events before, like the South East Regional in 2008, that were held far enough time-wise from the Annual to avoid conflict, so the concept isn't new and is quite workable. Some local groups hold annual events that would probably qualify as Regionals. We are actually looking at hosting a recurring meet in Lexington, probably in early September.

The question about a Regional is going to be what you plan to include in it. Vendor participation gets to be problematic because we only have a small number of them, and they may not be able to support multiple large events. Then again, large events on opposite ends of the country may help them to reach more people, so it could work out better for everyone.

I know you didn't suggest this, but I will take this opportunity to say that I am opposed to anyone planning a large meet directly opposite the Annual, although I have to say thet I don't know exactly what I would consider "large", or exactly what i would consider "directly opposite".
 

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Discussion Starter #55
As I think about these folks that have stepped up of late and sponsored the Springfield, Lexington and Black Hawk NASSAM's, is there software programs that are forwarded through each organizing group that they use for the next event? Does that software provide for all of the interwoven functions of the event? (I won't list them as I have no experience and probably don't realize the extent needed)

As for the software system availability, I would hope that answer is Yes. For without it, what a huge effort for a consideration of hosting an event.

..............
Mostly the answer is no. We used the web design and database architecture that was used previously, but that is not a universal solution, and we did everything else from scratch.

If planning and deciding are done correctly, the previous year's team won't be of much use, because they will still be in the final planning and preparation stage when the next year's team is in the initial stages. They basically won't know what worked and what didn't.
 

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John, I respect your answer, and I know you know how things are actually working! But I do have to say, it is no wonder why it is such a tussle to get a local AREA/CLUB to step up and host NASSAM.

And to add, I'm sure it has NOT GONE UNNOTICED that the Denver NASSAM 2018 team has kicked off their event even prior to NASSAM 2017 being held. Although I didn't make it to 2017, it is my impression NASSAM 2018 was a large part of the conversation on 6/21/2017! In my estimation, that will be a large reason 2018 will exceed all attendance expectations and maybe be the largest ever. What a coo to put needed emphasis on events at the hotel, a terrific idea:dthumbs:. I'm betting 2018 will reignite the NASSAM concept for years to come.

:party::party:
 

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Discussion Starter #57
John, I respect your answer, and I know you know how things are actually working! But I do have to say, it is no wonder why it is such a tussle to get a local AREA/CLUB to step up and host NASSAM.

And to add, I'm sure it has NOT GONE UNNOTICED that the Denver NASSAM 2018 team has kicked off their event even prior to NASSAM 2017 being held. Although I didn't make it to 2017, it is my impression NASSAM 2018 was a large part of the conversation on 6/21/2017! In my estimation, that will be a large reason 2018 will exceed all attendance expectations and maybe be the largest ever. What a coo to put needed emphasis on events at the hotel, a terrific idea:dthumbs:. I'm betting 2018 will reignite the NASSAM concept for years to come.

:party::party:
The things that carry over easily are really the least significant aspects of putting on an event. Planning, mapping, and testing runs, and writing big checks and signing bigger contracts are unique to each location and are by far the most significant.

It is a problem to get someone to step up to host a major event for the same reason (only multiplied several times) that very few people are willing to organize a small event, or even a one-day run. No one wants to put forth any effort, or take any risk. The vast majority of people want to be able to show up, do what they want, blow off anything they decide they don't want to do, and go home.

No, it did not go unnoticed that the Colorado team was promoting 2018 well before 2017 even started, but I can't say that it was part of any conversations that I was involved in. Only time will tell if an attendance record is set, but so far Western events have lagged quite a bit behind their Eastern counterparts simply because of population density.
 

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No, it did not go unnoticed that the Colorado team was promoting 2018 well before 2017 even started, but I can't say that it was part of any conversations that I was involved in. Only time will tell if an attendance record is set, but so far Western events have lagged quite a bit behind their Eastern counterparts simply because of population density.
That was a very gentle way of expressing the lower turnout at the western events. In case someone hasn't seen the numbers, http://www.skyroadster.com/forums/f29/national-meet-statistics-prior-years-41865/.

I will be very interested to see the 2018 turnout, once the event is completed.

I wish them a lot of success, and I hope the turnout exceeds their expectations.

:thumbs:

.
 

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There are a lot of challenges with establishing a National event as has been covered above. When faced with all the tasks and having to sign a contract for $65k as a group of volunteers, it can be very daunting.

Areas that have active clubs have the advantage of numbers and experience. They (we) run events a couple times a month and have lots of experience.

In the case of Colorado, this is our second Nationals and several of us have that experience to draw upon.

As John pointed out, attendance is always going to be a function of population density. Venues that are located in high density areas will have a bigger audience to draw from.

In 2009 we had good attendance but no where near a record. We set our break even point financially conservatively based on that experience. While we can handle a lot of attendees, we will be in good shape if we only have an average attendance for a western event.

One of the benefits of the randomness of event location is each event has its own character and uniqueness. I have enjoyed every national I have attended but they have all been very different. Different geography, different weather, different events. Its been part of the fun.

I am hopeful that someone stands up and volunteers to continue the tradition but I don't want to see a single location become the focus for the event as long as we can still find volunteers in different regions of the country who will host us all. Its a large part of the fun.

Hope to see many of you in Blackhawk next June.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
So, it has been a month since NASSAM17. Is anyone working on NASSAM19?
 
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