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2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED

  • Alaska Railroader
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4 years 2 months ago #16226 by Alaska Railroader
Alaska Railroader replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED

ModelWarships wrote: ...Ben, you need to do your homework............Now, like I said I am new to Z, but you might consider expanding your city selection process and work with locals who can provide better info. If you want to see Z scale grow you need to stop thinking on a 1/220 level and think on a larger scale.


Wait wait wait, mistaken identity here. I am not Ben from MTL, in fact I have zero affiliation with MTL or had any say in the selection of cities for the convention. Which was the point of my posting to begin with. My initial post was quoting the announcement that Ben Thielmann of MTL sent out. It wasn't me speaking. My name is Karin. Sorry to have confused you.

I apologize for using the word podunk. I was trying to point out how few modular clubs are within a reasonable driving distance to the venue. Yes, there is the Midwest Z Haulers, a wonderful club indeed. It is preferable, however, to have a large modular setup to go along with a nice amount of BYOZ. You see, the public is invited for several hours on the Saturday of the convention so that they may see how seriously many of us take our small scale. It is publicized locally ahead of time with the hopes that many will show up and take enough notice and to perhaps get involved. The joining up of several club's modules not only helps the public take notice but it also gives the convention attendees a nice large layout on which to run their trains even if none of the modules are their own. This is how I think in 1:220.

But the sad fact of the matter is that it really isn't the city so much as it is the money to get the convention to that city. I will still hold true to my belief that had this been in southern California it may have actually happened and not been cancelled. We can debate that till the cows come home but it is what it is, and it isn't happening anywhere.

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4 years 2 months ago #16227 by ejshelton
ejshelton replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED
Karin

I think I got it now. A huge layout is all that will be interesting to the public. You have a right to your opinion. We attract a lot of attention with our "little" layout. I even get a lot of attention when I just show my 8' layout....with comments like I've never seen such a "large" layout in Z....and "look at all you can get in such a small space". I can do that at home....and they do.

I thought this was a national convention but must be mistaken. Every other endeavor I've been involved in the National convention moves around the Nation. If this is a west coast convention so be it....but maybe you could change the name.

Ellen
Indianapolis.......or as its been know.....Indy-no-place.....
The following user(s) said Thank You: southernnscale

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4 years 2 months ago #16228 by ejshelton
ejshelton replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED
Another afterthought. Thom asked for people to sign up for next years NMRA. Since you all won't be spending the money to go to the Z convention you can afford to head out to our part of the country and join us at the National NMRA convention. ZU all there....

I'm looking forward to a large participation this year :laugh:

Ellen
Indianapolis

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4 years 2 months ago #16229 by TheWag
TheWag replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED

ejshelton wrote: ... join us at the National NMRA convention.


Half the distance to Cleveland....now that is even MORE tempting...

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4 years 2 months ago #16231 by Alaska Railroader
Alaska Railroader replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED

ejshelton wrote: Another afterthought. Thom asked for people to sign up for next years NMRA. Since you all won't be spending the money to go to the Z convention you can afford to head out to our part of the country and join us at the National NMRA convention. ZU all there....

I'm looking forward to a large participation this year :laugh:

Ellen
Indianapolis


Indeed, I am planning to go to Cleveland as I have family just south of there.

Ellen, I never put down yours and Tom's wonderful and artistic Z layouts, please don't misunderstand my reasoning. Not only does the public marvel over your Z creations be we do also. You are an awesome friend and I hope to keep it that way. ;)

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4 years 2 months ago #16232 by Fred
Fred replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED
It might be time for Ben and MTL to explain the reasons for canceling the convention. It may stop misconceptions, speculation, further animus, and put the bees back in the hive. :pinch:

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4 years 2 months ago #16234 by GNFan
GNFan replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED
I would expect a fuller explanation is coming. It just wont' be fast enough to stop speculative minds from running wild (perhaps too late for that!).

[Begin cheerleading/] As to modules and BYOZ, both have their merits. Multiple modules - including a 30-degree module or two thrown in - quickly impress for sheer size-of-empire possible plus variety in (and despite) our "tiny" scale. The result at NTS Sacramento (2011) included the public *and* NMRA bigwigs lined up four deep to see Loren's "Castle Craig" (working highway) module (one NMRA guy came back again and again, telling whatever larger-scale persons - also bigwigs - he had dragged with him "you gotta see this!"). Meanwhile, BYOZ can emphasize the portability - again, because of the size - and versatility of our scale. And well done modules and BYOZ both can highlight the artistry and skill possible, as well as the realism (mountainscapes, cityscapes, industries, etc.) inherent in this scale which is ofttimes lacking in the larger scales. [/Cheerleading stops]

We need to find out the problems MTL (not conjecture or doomsaying) faced that drove them to this decision, determine if and how we can overcome those problems, and proceed from there.

MKS

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4 years 2 months ago #16235 by ModelWarships
ModelWarships replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED

Stonebridge Models wrote: Wait wait wait, mistaken identity here. I am not Ben from MTL, in fact I have zero affiliation with MTL or had any say in the selection of cities for the convention. Which was the point of my posting to begin with. My name is Karin. Sorry if I have confused you somehow.


Sorry about that, I saw the name in your post and didn't notice it was a quote. However my comments were in response to yours. Particularly the Podunk remark. If anyone is going to call KC that, it should be those of us who live and work in the area.

Stonebridge Models wrote: We can debate that till the cows come home but it is what it is, and it isn't happening anywhere.


I hope that wasn't another reference to this being a cow town.

I am sorry the funds were not there to do a convention next year. Hopefully someone else will pick up the ball and run with it. If anyone does want to hold a convention in the KC area, I will do my best to help make it happen.

To expand Z to greater numbers, your going to have to hold your conventions on both coasts and sometimes in the middle to give all a chance to attend. That means that some of you are going to have to travel further for the good of the hobby.

Timothy Dike

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4 years 2 months ago #16238 by JoeD
JoeD replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED
You know Fred, nothing is going to put the bees back in the hive. :laugh: Nothing folks like better than speculating, prognosticating and conjugating. Plenty of it so far. It was a business decision and that's all. As with any business decision you have to weight the cost and benefit and one outweighed the other. Kansas City would have been as good a venue as Southern California, maybe better in ways. I really wanted a good Steak..and you can't get that in SOCAL. I'm not happy there's not going to be a convention, but I support the decision 100%. Any further explanation on this is way above my pay-grade and I encourage you to contact Ben if my answer is not enough. I don't know how much more detail we are willing to go into, and frankly it isn't that earth shaking. Z business for us is about as good as you can expect in this economy. I continue to strive to make MTL the company you turn to for affordable, well designed and reliable product as well as continuing to set the industry standard for the customer service we are known for.

We had a lull in production this year due to an efficiency program I developed company wide and now that much of that has been completed...we can get about the work of making fun stuff. I'm pretty excited about some of the product in development. Two new mechanical reefers back to back is on the plate by November and those will fill a huge void in existing product lines scale wide. Being a citrus industry nut, I know these will find a home on my layout.

I'm sorry about the show, really, nothing could be done to keep it going the way it was and I hope that something sprouts organically to take it's place. Our community is small, but our ambitions bigger than the scale we build in.

Fred wrote: It might be time for Ben and MTL to explain the reasons for canceling the convention. It may stop misconceptions, speculation, further animus, and put the bees back in the hive. :pinch:

The following user(s) said Thank You: GNFan, markm

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4 years 2 months ago #16241 by markm
markm replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED
This week I revealed at a local train store (and MTL dealer) what I planned to take to the NZSC and within hours the event was cancelled. Something is definitely fishy! :lol:

First of all, I'd like to thank Joe and Ben and all the folks who have been working on NZSC. I know how hard it is to make these things happen.

I wonder how much of this cancelation is related to us? How many of us actually registered for NZSC and committed to hotel reservations? If we didn't express our interest in the event, the correct business decision is to cancel it.

Then there were the complaints about the KC location. Overall, I really don't see a difference between KC, Medford, or Denver or for that matter almost any location for the NRMA conventions. any city will be good for some modelers and bad for others. I was actually looking forward to meeting Z scalers who found it too hard to come west for the previous events.

Then there have been the comments about the economy. Yeah, things are tight, but are they really any tighter than 2010 or 2012? Throughout this tight economy, the NRMA's Pacific Coast Region has been able to do a longer convention on an annual basis, drawing from a membership that is smaller than Ztrack's subscriber base. And if my experience in Dublin this year is typical, they do it with no Z scale attendence.

Perhaps if we had been more enthusiastic about the NZSC, it wouldn't have been canceled.

Mark

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4 years 2 months ago - 4 years 2 months ago #16243 by craZ13
craZ13 replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED
"I wonder how much of this cancelation is related to us? How many of us actually registered for NZSC and committed to hotel reservations? If we didn't express our interest in the event, the correct business decision is to cancel it."


I may have missed it, but the last time I checked the NZSC site before this anouncement the details were TBA, they had not opened the site to registration or for hotel reservations.
This convention I was in a position to register early (and qualify for one of the early registration cars :P ) unlike the previous conventions where money was tight.

We may never know, but possibly a lack of corporate sponsors may have had more of an impact.

But I do agree with your other comments. Anyome that had folowed the discussion after the announcement of the 2010 convention in Medford, it was expected to see the convention site move East in order to include all of our Z Scale friends.

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4 years 2 months ago #16244 by JoeD
JoeD replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED
It was a lot of factors and the z public's participation was not one of them. Medford was the kick off, Denver was west coast and Kansas center...the following show would have been on the east coast if we got support. At the time, that support was pretty soft but we hoped a group would take over and eventually we could take our hands off the program and allow it to develop it's own administration. I hope something like this re-surfaces and is not controlled by a manufacturer or a dealer, but a governing body of modelers. That was my hope...give it a kick start and let it go it's own way. I think that can still happen on the framework we created. I think the talk of piggybacking it on the NMRA convention is a great idea and a great way to keep it independent.

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4 years 2 months ago #16249 by Alaska Railroader
Alaska Railroader replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED
I agree with Joe. I could see that too much of the work was left to MTL, well all of it actually. It takes a lot of people to make this happen. We sponsored the first 2 conventions but all we had to worry about after providing funds for our sponsorship, booths, and registration was to get our products and ourselves there. This time KC was just not going to happen for us. Whatever city is chosen in whatever part of the country (no I'm not knocking KC here :) the closest clubs need to take the reins. This adds credibility to piggybacking on NTS since all of that work is being done locally already.

I hope that we can move on now. The next NTS is Cleveland and it sounds like Z will have strong representation there. After that it is almost in our backyard again in Portland '15 and we'll step up to the plate and do all we can to help make it a Z Con as well as NTS. And Jerry, that IS in your backyard :D

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4 years 2 months ago #16250 by betto
betto replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED
I think its a brave but correct move by MTL, they are manufactures not convention organizers, I personally would prefer to see that money put into product development in Z.

MTL/AZL & others could always "bolt-on" a show to the NMRA or N-scale group, the new money in Z scale is from existing N & HO modellers (with good eye sight), as Z is not the best first option for a person to start in this great hobby.

Now when are the switchers arriving?

Mike.

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4 years 1 month ago #16350 by Socalz44
Socalz44 replied the topic: Re: 2014 Z Scale Convention CANCELLED
Well I don't like hearing about this cancellation. On the other hand I thought that yearly conventions were impractical. How about one 'national meet' every three years? Folks may have a more of a need to get to it then. Every year feels like a 'job' to me and four years may be too long.

As for locations I'm thinking that is a problem. Every region believes they have the best spot. Mid-America makes both East and West sides travel. If it is in the West still two segments of the country must travel etc. This is a no win situation. It is ultimately up to Z scalers themselves to have conventions or meets. The West has a very large presence at train shows and I'm not sure about the rest of the country. Very possibly no conventions are best? Jim

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