2017 MPG Review Comments

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mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
10,161
Location
Medina, Ohio
Here are some of my personal opinions. I have looked at some of the feedback sheets, but wanted to do a full summary after I wrote down my thoughts. Please keep in mind, these are my thoughts only. Feel free to chime in.

Website/Facebook: I think these are working fine - we just need to continue publicizing their existence with links.

Donations: The amount and diversity we are receiving and giving out is wonderful.

Contests: The number of pens submitted this year was down, but the quality for the winning pens is still very high.

Vendors: This was greatly improved this year, and I suspect it will increase next year. This may be a problem with our space availability.

Schedule: I will start a separate thread on the 2-day, 3-day options; as well as a "Beginner's Track" and "Advanced Track" sessions. This year I felt the basic format was good, although the 6 PM - 8 PM Saturday was pushing the audience for attention I believe.

I'll suggest we consider doing what the final Illinois MPG did, which was to make a nice presentation to the Contest winners, and the best door prizes. Then put all the rest of the prizes on several tables, and have everyone simply get their prize. It will be done much quicker.

2018 Dates: I fully support moving to a May Date. Yes, we will lose some people, but we will possibly gain others.

Swag Bags: Although the donation was wonderful from Chipotle, I thought the size was not the best. I'll suggest we go back to a size we pick/order, with a logo printed, but without the year. Then we can order more in bulk and use in future years.

Restaurant: For the price, I was not impressed with the food. The concept of having a nice sit-down dinner to meet some new folks also is somewhat muted by the fact that we really only could talk to 7 other people, and there was no opportunity to mingle.

I'll suggest we consider more of a cash-bar, open room finger-food, type event; I suspect there may be more mingling. And, for a more moderate entry-fee, folks can choose to spend more money on drinks, or keep it more within their budget. I have also been to conferences where you can pay a fee for the finger-foods (and get a "Blue" name tag), or simply come in for free (and get a "Brown" name tag) and buy a few drinks, or not. This can again be incorporated into the registration form.

In spite of my opinion, I heard few negative comments about the dinner from the attendees.

Snacks: The cheese/crackers amount I ordered was good. We threw away about 1 1/2 bags at the end, and there were 2 unopened bags. So of the 16 bags ($3.49/bag), we had a reasonable bit of overage.

The Vegi platters were fine, just twice what I ordered. For the same price ($13.49/tray). I ordered trays 1/2 the size and ordered 7. Upon arrival, they were the same price, but twice the size, and we only used 4.
So next year if we do the snacks again, I can better estimate what we need.

But, I do feel it was worthwhile to stave off the munchies for the later sessions.

Pizza Lunch: I though this has worked excellent for the past two years. Possibly a few more liters of soda.

Meeting Rooms: I actually believe if we make better use of the second room, the hotel set-up will be great.
When I do a sample schedule (this week, with interchangeable titles, topics, times and names), I think we can shift 15-25 people out of the main hall all day.

Audio/video/camera: The audio was great. Having the camera on the lathe, even with it being glitchy was also nice. The actual picture on the screen could be improved.

Magic has already been thinking of outsourcing this to get an experienced audio/video person with the correct set-up (and someone that is not handling multiple other MPG tasks).



And, on a final long-term opinion. Based on my experiences with other conferences (many years ago), I am still convinced that the MPG will only stay vibrant if it changes location. 2-4 years in Wadsworth, 2-4 years in Chicago, 2-4 years in Louisville, etc. Then there will be new attendees, different local folks to do some demos, and as the IAP membership turns over in a few years, the original cycle can be repeated.

Other than a local individual to handle the on-site matters (hotel/conference rooms/equipment, etc), the rest can still be handled by a designated "MPG Committee."

And the next year's location can be determined ahead of time, and the next year's "On-Site" contact can attend the final meeting at the first location and be "trained" on how some matters can be handled. The main committee can provide the continuity and experience on what works - no need for a new full committee to re-invent everything.

Conversely, I have also been on conference committees where the new host city has a full committee, and they come to the prior year's conference and "Shadow" their counter-part and spend a few hours with their counter-part to learn the tasks needed.

The key is not to try to tap the same 250 mile audience year-after to get the bulk of the registrants. It could be as easy as a two location rotation (i.e., Chicago - Wadsworth).


These comments are intended to only start the discussion - My thoughts only.


Now I'll shut up and go clean my garage! :rolleyes:
 
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Magicbob

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
1,512
Location
Akron, OH
I had a thought about the prizes.
We could do a reverse raffle where we start giving the smaller prizes earlier in the day, maybe even some on Fri. but the big prizes are near the end of the last day. as long as everyone's ticket is in the final drawing, I don't think anyone would complain
 

mbroberg

IAP Activities Manager, Emeritus
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
5,827
Location
Columbus, OH
My immediate thoughts.......

Here are some of my personal opinions. I have looked at some of the feedback sheets, but wanted to do a full summary after I wrote down my thoughts. Please keep in mind, these are my thoughts only. Feel free to chime in.

Website/Facebook: I think these are working fine - we just need to continue publicizing their existence with links. I need to tweak the contact form on the website. I was very surprised at how many (maybe a dozen) forms I received that said something to the effect of "please provide information about the event." They are on the website for Cripes sake. ALL the information we have is there LOL. Also, somewhat related is I would like to have a dedicated photographer so that the photos for the website could be a little better quality. We should have a light tent and someone to photograph each pen as it enters contests.

Donations: The amount and diversity we are receiving and giving out is wonderful. I wish there was a way to record who wins what. I also wish I could come up with a better way to get the vendors thanked. Ideally I would have the envelopes stamped and addressed and attached to the prize package as it is given out.
We had several prizes that did not come through me so I had no record of them. These are primarily vendors or others who do not send their donations, they just bring them with them.


Contests: The number of pens submitted this year was down, but the quality for the winning pens is still very high.

Vendors: This was greatly improved this year, and I suspect it will increase next year. This may be a problem with our space availability. The noise that results from having the vendors in the same room, especially at the beginning of the presentations is very disrespectful to the speakers. If they are going to remain in the same room as the speakers we need to make sure that everyone knows when it is time to shut up and pay attention.

Schedule: I will start a separate thread on the 2-day, 3-day options; as well as a "Beginner's Track" and "Advanced Track" sessions. This year I felt the basic format was good, although the 6 PM - 8 PM Saturday was pushing the audience for attention I believe. I agree that things went too long on Saturday. I fully support 1/2 day friday, full day Saturday, 1/2 day Sunday. If we want to go past 5:00 pm on Friday or Saturday maybe that could be when the hands-on sessions could be scheduled since they are optional anyway. People can stay as long as they want, or not stay at all.

I'll suggest we consider doing what the final Illinois MPG did, which was to make a nice presentation to the Contest winners, and the best door prizes. Then put all the rest of the prizes on several tables, and have everyone simply get their prize. It will be done much quicker. Yes

2018 Dates: I fully support moving to a May Date. Yes, we will lose some people, but we will possibly gain others. Yes

Swag Bags: Although the donation was wonderful from Chipotle, I thought the size was not the best. I'll suggest we go back to a size we pick/order, with a logo printed, but without the year. Then we can order more in bulk and use in future years. Yes

Restaurant: For the price, I was not impressed with the food. The concept of having a nice sit-down dinner to meet some new folks also is somewhat muted by the fact that we really only could talk to 7 other people, and there was no opportunity to mingle. I was not able to attend but what few comments I heard about the dinner were not all that positive. No one said they hated it, only that it was, at best, "alright".

I'll suggest we consider more of a cash-bar, open room finger-food, type event; I suspect there may be more mingling. And, for a more moderate entry-fee, folks can choose to spend more money on drinks, or keep it more within their budget. I have also been to conferences where you can pay a fee for the finger-foods (and get a "Blue" name tag), or simply come in for free (and get a "Brown" name tag) and buy a few drinks, or not. This can again be incorporated into the registration form.

In spite of my opinion, I heard few negative comments about the dinner from the attendees.

Snacks: The cheese/crackers amount I ordered was good. We threw away about 1 1/2 bags at the end, and there were 2 unopened bags. So of the 16 bags ($3.49/bag), we had a reasonable bit of overage.

The Vegi platters were fine, just twice what I ordered. For the same price ($13.49/tray). I ordered trays 1/2 the size and ordered 7. Upon arrival, they were the same price, but twice the size, and we only used 4.
So next year if we do the snacks again, I can better estimate what we need.

But, I do feel it was worthwhile to stave off the munchies for the later sessions.

Pizza Lunch: I though this has worked excellent for the past two years. Possibly a few more liters of soda.

Meeting Rooms: I actually believe if we make better use of the second room, the hotel set-up will be great.
When I do a sample schedule (this week, with interchangeable titles, topics, times and names), I think we can shift 15-25 people out of the main hall all day.

Audio/video/camera: The audio was great. Having the camera on the lathe, even with it being glitchy was also nice. The actual picture on the screen could be improved. Agree

Magic has already been thinking of outsourcing this to get an experienced audio/video person with the correct set-up (and someone that is not handling multiple other MPG tasks).



And, on a final long-term opinion. Based on my experiences with other conferences (many years ago), I am still convinced that the MPG will only stay vibrant if it changes location. 2-4 years in Wadsworth, 2-4 years in Chicago, 2-4 years in Louisville, etc. Then there will be new attendees, different local folks to do some demos, and as the IAP membership turns over in a few years, the original cycle can be repeated.

Other than a local individual to handle the on-site matters (hotel/conference rooms/equipment, etc), the rest can still be handled by a designated "MPG Committee."

And the next year's location can be determined ahead of time, and the next year's "On-Site" contact can attend the final meeting at the first location and be "trained" on how some matters can be handled. The main committee can provide the continuity and experience on what works - no need for a new full committee to re-invent everything.

Conversely, I have also been on conference committees where the new host city has a full committee, and they come to the prior year's conference and "Shadow" their counter-part and spend a few hours with their counter-part to learn the tasks needed.

The key is not to try to tap the same 250 mile audience year-after to get the bulk of the registrants. It could be as easy as a two location rotation (i.e., Chicago - Wadsworth). Mixed feelings. New blood is good,
but on theother hand, if the location isn't broke, don't fix it.



These comments are intended to only start the discussion - My thoughts only.


Now I'll shut up and go clean my garage! :rolleyes:
 

Argo13

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
699
Location
Cuyahoga Falls,Ohio
i reread my comments prior To posting and I think it's sounds negative. I really thought we had a very successful conference. Everyone should be proud of what they accomplished. I basically think We could improve our communication in our planing.


Here are some of my personal opinions. I have looked at some of the feedback sheets, but wanted to do a full summary after I wrote down my thoughts. Please keep in mind, these are my thoughts only. Feel free to chime in.

Website/Facebook: I think these are working fine - we just need to continue publicizing their existence with links. agree. We do need to make sure all of our communication flows to the official website. I did not have a link in my email correspondence and the fliers at hartville tool had confusing information to some. Les Morgan and Ray Marr got there at 9 am on Friday because they don't go on the website. They said it was ok but they told me it 3-4 times each.

Donations: The amount and diversity we are receiving and giving out is wonderful. not sure how practical but give out so the gifts 2nd time around are the lowest value. Assuring everyone gets the most out of it. I know I a nitpicking here

Contests: The number of pens submitted this year was down, but the quality for the winning pens is still very high.Overall the ballpoint vs the BJS was the major decline I think 18 down to 11 this year. Casted blanks was down a bit but not bad. Slimline produced 2 stellar pens but it was confusing and rules were not followed very well. Kitless was about the same minus tello using his pen as a canvas. the suggestion about photographing is great. But it will require two things, someone to do it and more space.

Vendors: This was greatly improved this year, and I suspect it will increase next year. This may be a problem with our space availability. Vendors were great. A number of them said they had no idea they would be in a separate rom. While we may have communicated that to them it should be in writing and clear of meaning. I am not laying blame. If I should do that as part of receipt of payment, good, if mike or Mark when communicating with them about issues etc.. fine too, we just need to pick one

Schedule: I will start a separate thread on the 2-day, 3-day options; as well as a "Beginner's Track" and "Advanced Track" sessions. This year I felt the basic format was good, although the 6 PM - 8 PM Saturday was pushing the audience for attention I believe.

I'll suggest we consider doing what the final Illinois MPG did, which was to make a nice presentation to the Contest winners, and the best door prizes. Then put all the rest of the prizes on several tables, and have everyone simply get their prize. It will be done much quicker.agree

2018 Dates: I fully support moving to a May Date. Yes, we will lose some people, but we will possibly gain others.agree

Swag Bags: Although the donation was wonderful from Chipotle, I thought the size was not the best. I'll suggest we go back to a size we pick/order, with a logo printed, but without the year. Then we can order more in bulk and use in future years.the contents of the bag were less this year. Last year we took the pinecomb blanks ( I don't think they were maneater) the Kota blanks and some from brooks and gave everyone a 5-10 blank in their bag. I suppose it's where do you want to get your prizes though

Restaurant: For the price, I was not impressed with the food. The concept of having a nice sit-down dinner to meet some new folks also is somewhat muted by the fact that we really only could talk to 7 other people, and there was no opportunity to mingle.

I'll suggest we consider more of a cash-bar, open room finger-food, type event; I suspect there may be more mingling. And, for a more moderate entry-fee, folks can choose to spend more money on drinks, or keep it more within their budget. I have also been to conferences where you can pay a fee for the finger-foods (and get a "Blue" name tag), or simply come in for free (and get a "Brown" name tag) and buy a few drinks, or not. This can again be incorporated into the registration form.

In spite of my opinion, I heard few negative comments about the dinner from the attendees.i think Bob has a better plan for next year. I. Agree a little pricey and cramp. But I enjoyed the conversation at my table.

Snacks: The cheese/crackers amount I ordered was good. We threw away about 1 1/2 bags at the end, and there were 2 unopened bags. So of the 16 bags ($3.49/bag), we had a reasonable bit of overage.

The Vegi platters were fine, just twice what I ordered. For the same price ($13.49/tray). I ordered trays 1/2 the size and ordered 7. Upon arrival, they were the same price, but twice the size, and we only used 4.
So next year if we do the snacks again, I can better estimate what we need.

But, I do feel it was worthwhile to stave off the munchies for the later sessions.
i think this was great improvement
Pizza Lunch: I though this has worked excellent for the past two years. Possibly a few more liters of soda.

Meeting Rooms: I actually believe if we make better use of the second room, the hotel set-up will be great.
When I do a sample schedule (this week, with interchangeable titles, topics, times and names), I think we can shift 15-25 people out of the main hall all day.
i like the idea to appeal to new turners or advanced at separate break outs. We need more tables. It was very chaotic and frustrating to try do do the registration and contest on 1 table.
Audio/video/camera: The audio was great. Having the camera on the lathe, even with it being glitchy was also nice. The actual picture on the screen could be improved.

Magic has already been thinking of outsourcing this to get an experienced audio/video person with the correct set-up (and someone that is not handling multiple other MPG tasks).



And, on a final long-term opinion. Based on my experiences with other conferences (many years ago), I am still convinced that the MPG will only stay vibrant if it changes location. 2-4 years in Wadsworth, 2-4 years in Chicago, 2-4 years in Louisville, etc. Then there will be new attendees, different local folks to do some demos, and as the IAP membership turns over in a few years, the original cycle can be repeated.

Other than a local individual to handle the on-site matters (hotel/conference rooms/equipment, etc), the rest can still be handled by a designated "MPG Committee."

And the next year's location can be determined ahead of time, and the next year's "On-Site" contact can attend the final meeting at the first location and be "trained" on how some matters can be handled. The main committee can provide the continuity and experience on what works - no need for a new full committee to re-invent everything.

Conversely, I have also been on conference committees where the new host city has a full committee, and they come to the prior year's conference and "Shadow" their counter-part and spend a few hours with their counter-part to learn the tasks needed.

The key is not to try to tap the same 250 mile audience year-after to get the bulk of the registrants. It could be as easy as a two location rotation (i.e., Chicago - Wadsworth).


These comments are intended to only start the discussion - My thoughts only.


Now I'll shut up and go clean my garage! :rolleyes:
 

Magicbob

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
1,512
Location
Akron, OH
Here are some of my personal opinions. I have looked at some of the feedback sheets, but wanted to do a full summary after I wrote down my thoughts. Please keep in mind, these are my thoughts only. Feel free to chime in.

Website/Facebook: I think these are working fine - we just need to continue publicizing their existence with links. It works

Donations: The amount and diversity we are receiving and giving out is wonderful. agreed

Contests: The number of pens submitted this year was down, but the quality for the winning pens is still very high.

Vendors: This was greatly improved this year, and I suspect it will increase next year. This may be a problem with our space availability.

Schedule: I will start a separate thread on the 2-day, 3-day options; as well as a "Beginner's Track" and "Advanced Track" sessions. This year I felt the basic format was good, although the 6 PM - 8 PM Saturday was pushing the audience for attention I believe.

I'll suggest we consider doing what the final Illinois MPG did, which was to make a nice presentation to the Contest winners, and the best door prizes. Then put all the rest of the prizes on several tables, and have everyone simply get their prize. It will be done much quicker. See my past post

2018 Dates: I fully support moving to a May Date. Yes, we will lose some people, but we will possibly gain others. yes

Swag Bags: Although the donation was wonderful from Chipotle, I thought the size was not the best. I'll suggest we go back to a size we pick/order, with a logo printed, but without the year. Then we can order more in bulk and use in future years. Agree

Restaurant: For the price, I was not impressed with the food. The concept of having a nice sit-down dinner to meet some new folks also is somewhat muted by the fact that we really only could talk to 7 other people, and there was no opportunity to mingle. Working on it, spoke with the Galaxy today, will have details soon.

I'll suggest we consider more of a cash-bar, open room finger-food, type event; I suspect there may be more mingling. And, for a more moderate entry-fee, folks can choose to spend more money on drinks, or keep it more within their budget. I have also been to conferences where you can pay a fee for the finger-foods (and get a "Blue" name tag), or simply come in for free (and get a "Brown" name tag) and buy a few drinks, or not. This can again be incorporated into the registration form.

In spite of my opinion, I heard few negative comments about the dinner from the attendees.

Snacks: The cheese/crackers amount I ordered was good. We threw away about 1 1/2 bags at the end, and there were 2 unopened bags. So of the 16 bags ($3.49/bag), we had a reasonable bit of overage.

The Vegi platters were fine, just twice what I ordered. For the same price ($13.49/tray). I ordered trays 1/2 the size and ordered 7. Upon arrival, they were the same price, but twice the size, and we only used 4.
So next year if we do the snacks again, I can better estimate what we need.

But, I do feel it was worthwhile to stave off the munchies for the later sessions. great

Pizza Lunch: I though this has worked excellent for the past two years. Possibly a few more liters of soda. great

Meeting Rooms: I actually believe if we make better use of the second room, the hotel set-up will be great.
When I do a sample schedule (this week, with interchangeable titles, topics, times and names), I think we can shift 15-25 people out of the main hall all day. Agreed

Audio/video/camera: The audio was great. Having the camera on the lathe, even with it being glitchy was also nice. The actual picture on the screen could be improved. Working on it, hope to have a full time tech with better equip.

Magic has already been thinking of outsourcing this to get an experienced audio/video person with the correct set-up (and someone that is not handling multiple other MPG tasks).



And, on a final long-term opinion. Based on my experiences with other conferences (many years ago), I am still convinced that the MPG will only stay vibrant if it changes location. 2-4 years in Wadsworth, 2-4 years in Chicago, 2-4 years in Louisville, etc. Then there will be new attendees, different local folks to do some demos, and as the IAP membership turns over in a few years, the original cycle can be repeated.

Other than a local individual to handle the on-site matters (hotel/conference rooms/equipment, etc), the rest can still be handled by a designated "MPG Committee."

And the next year's location can be determined ahead of time, and the next year's "On-Site" contact can attend the final meeting at the first location and be "trained" on how some matters can be handled. The main committee can provide the continuity and experience on what works - no need for a new full committee to re-invent everything.

Conversely, I have also been on conference committees where the new host city has a full committee, and they come to the prior year's conference and "Shadow" their counter-part and spend a few hours with their counter-part to learn the tasks needed.

The key is not to try to tap the same 250 mile audience year-after to get the bulk of the registrants. It could be as easy as a two location rotation (i.e., Chicago - Wadsworth). I agree with Mike, as long as we continue to pull attendees, vendors, & presenters, don't mess with it too much. I wood be open to help anyone who wanted to do this any where else as much as I can.


These comments are intended to only start the discussion - My thoughts only.


Now I'll shut up and go clean my garage! :rolleyes:


The world famous Magicbob
 
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