Author Topic: AWGB International Seminar  (Read 32158 times)

Offline Dave Atkinson

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AWGB International Seminar
« on: October 15, 2015, 11:42:22 AM »
Following our Seminar this year the Trustees have reviewed the  comments by delegates, the suitability of the venue and the Seminar finances.  The Seminar was well received by all who attended but many commented that the site layout at Loughborough meant lots of walking between the accommodation, seminar lecture halls and the lunch facilities.  Sadly we were unable to attract sufficient numbers to break even on the costs and this year the Seminar ran at a significant loss.

Therefore we have decided to review the whole Seminar process.  Accordingly, the next Seminar will not be held until 2018.   We are spending the next few months  investigating alternative venues, costs, possible sponsorship, programme options, and publicity.  We will be asking for opinions from a selection of the membership.  Based on the results of this work we will be in position to start organising the next Seminar around the middle of next year.

The Seminar is open to everyone.  You do not have to be an experienced woodturner or a member of the AWGB.  It is a fantastic experience and one that you will never forget.

If you have any suggestions about how we could improve the Seminar experience, or presenters you would like to see please email me on vicechair@awgb.co.uk

Cheers Dave


Offline John D Smith

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2015, 09:16:12 PM »

 Hi Dave,
              It is a great shame that the Seminar made a loss this can only be down to apathy amongst Woodturners for what is available at the Seminar
 is value for money. It must be so disheartening for the AWGB Committee after all the hard work they have put in.Thank you to you and the Committee.
                    Kind Regards John
                 

                                                     
John Smith

Offline David Buskell

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2015, 04:52:15 PM »
Dave,
Why not open up the list of presenters we would like to see as a general discussion, might trigger some more names for you? Try starting with Clewes, Ellsworth, Fisher, Kelle and Holt for a start. All USA or Canada so include Wessells from South Africa plus some of the guys from Australia and New Zealand - Brendam Stemp would be a great one to get!

As John says,the seminar does give value for money but there's always a lot of calls on woodturners money so people are getting choosy where they go.

One idea to improve the experience might be to cut down on the demos and include some panel discussions on relevant topics - can provide ideas on this for you if needed.
Regards
David
David
At The Cutting Edge

Offline fuzzyturns

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2015, 05:01:21 PM »
I agree that the above names would be very attractive, but they are probably quite expensive, too. Flight tickets from New Zealand/Australia are not cheap, either.
I don't have a problem with the walking distance, but I realize that this may be more tricky for some. I believe somehow we need to attract more sponsorship. Not sure how this can be done, though.

Offline john taylor

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2015, 06:22:16 PM »
Can we have it at a different time of year please.

I like a lot of others have problems with the dates as I am usually tied up with family things at that time of year.   I realise the reason for the dates is the availability of the uni etc but if you are looking at other venues will you bear this in mind please.

john

PaulH

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2015, 07:15:45 PM »
Sadly we were unable to attract sufficient numbers to break even on the costs and this year the Seminar ran at a significant loss.
I assume that this wasn't a case of the seminar being fully booked and someone getting their sums wrong on how much to charge, but the loss is down to insufficient numbers attending.

Maybe as someone who looked at attending the seminar, but chose not to, my observations might be of use.

From what I read on the web site there appeared to be only one option; three days attendance, paying for two nights in university accommodation with provided food. The cost of this package was very reasonable, if you were there all three days.

However I couldn't commit to three whole days attendance and I've stayed in university digs in the past and whilst they're cheap, they're also pretty basic and unappealing. I also live within commuting distance for one or two days attendance, so accommodation might not have been required.
As I've never been to an event like this before, two hundred quid for maybe only a day starts to become an expensive indulgence.
Some of the presenters held little interest for me either.

Should you should consider a 'day rate' ?
That way people can just pay for the days they wish to attend and don't have to pay for accommodation they either don't want or need.

I also suspect the problem here is that the seminar might get compared to other turning events like the Red Rose's two days at Daventry and the Yandles show in autumn, both of which have good reputations and are free to attend.

There's probably a market for smaller one or two day events a few times each year with more local (cheaper) demonstrators maybe in conjunction with sponsors like Yandles, Axminster, Sorby etc.
Then just having the flagship residential events every four or five years with really world class contributors that would draw an international crowd willing to pay enough to break even.
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many commented that the site layout at Loughborough meant lots of walking between the accommodation, seminar lecture halls and the lunch facilities.
That sounds like just grumpy old men having a moan.
There are venues that have all the facilities close together, but they cost a lot to rent and stay in. For a low cost event like this, universities almost certainly offer the best value venues.






Offline John D Smith

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2015, 07:46:06 PM »

 Hello PaulH,
                 Reading your comments (I don't know how to insert a Quote) in answer to the Accommodation that was excellent.(Better than Digs)

  As for there only being one option you obviously did not understand the booking form the instant Gallery was open to the general public FREE.and there were other options.

 you cannot possibly compare walking around Yandles or the Daventry events with the Seminar If so you must live on another Planet ???

 As for your comment about Grumpy old men having a moan I am OLD sometimes Grumpy But I support the AWGB try it sometime ::)

                                     Regards John



   
John Smith

Offline Dave Atkinson

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2015, 07:50:07 AM »
Thank you for all your comments and suggestions.  We will review these and more (keep them coming) as we continue to look at our options.

Best regards Dave

Offline bodrighywood

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2015, 08:05:49 AM »
I managed to get to the seminar for the first time this year and have to say that whilst the demonstrations are undoubtedly a big attraction they aren't the only reason for going. Meeting other tunrers, be they famous or not, the social aspect, and the overall sense oif belonging to a group of like minded people was special. I wouldn't like to think of the organisation involved but know from talking to one or two of you there that the effort pout into it by a small number of people is immense. Accomodation at the campus was all that was needed as far as I was concerned, clean, comfortable and apart from getting lost a couple of times I have no complaints whatsoever. A massive thank you to all of you who put it together for us.

pete
Turners don't make mistakes, they have design opportunities

Offline edbanger

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2015, 09:54:49 AM »
Like Pete this was my first time and and enjoyed it there was so much going on and meeting and sharing time with other woodturners was a great big plus for me.

It's a shame that the next event is now going to be three years away, I for one would love to see it as an annual event but understand if it's making big losses then the AWGB would not be around for too long.

Talking to you guys that have put it together I could see the effort that was put in was eminence the reward for the AWGB team must have been the positive feedback from all of us that came. The disappointment must have been the lack of support that the event received after all that hard work.

Ed

Offline Mark Sanger

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2015, 09:28:09 PM »
A shame for all the hard work people put in, but what with apathy and the usual bovine waste the usual people start to spout from the sidelines in such situations
it is to be expected.

« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 09:36:47 PM by Mark Sanger »

Offline Steve Jones

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2015, 11:17:14 PM »
Having never attended the seminar I may be talking out of turn, but I feel sorry for the people who put an incredible amount of time into this event.
I believe one of the best ways for anyone to learn is  by watching an expert demonstrating his skills.
The Seminar had an incredible line up of highly skilled craftsmen and the work involved in putting this event together must be immense. It is a shame that so many turners will spend a fortune on tools and wood but will not spent on learning how to improve their skills.
Maybe the selling of the event needs to push single days attendance without accommodation. A change of venue will give the chance to stage the seminar outside the main holiday season giving those committed to family holidays a chance to attend.

Offline The Bowler Hatted Turner

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2015, 10:35:42 AM »
Speaking as one who has helped set it up and has attended just as a punter I can say that the event really is value for money but there is the rub, money. Before I can spend up to £400 attending an event I have to justify that amount of money being spent from the family purse. As a self employed woodturner I can offset some of the costs against my business, especially as some of the techniques I learnt will be used in the operation of my business,so it comes under the heading" training".
          I can also see that to spend £400 on a hobby is a large investment which once again some people will have difficulty in justifying. Now I'm not a golfer but I imagine membership of some golf clubs would cost that. I think it should also be remembered that we are only just emerging from a recession which has hit many people very hard so they will be watching their pennies even closer now.
      When I was the SW rep I tried to organise a mini seminar in the west country,those involved put an awful lot of work in, we had a venue, demonstrators, catererers and traders all lined up. What let us down was the apathy of the clubs who pulled out one by one and left us wondering why they offered their support in the first place. It takes the wind out of your sails and makes you question why you put yourself out to organise anything. But when you think that most woodturning clubs are made up of old men whose only ambition in life is to remember the way home it comes as no surprise.

Offline Dave Atkinson

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2015, 10:41:13 AM »
Hi

There are a couple of comments about daily attendance.  That has always been an option.  This time we charged it at £90 which included lunch.  We get charged just under £33 by the venue per delegate per day and this includes lunch.  The rest goes towards the cost of the event (and we should have charged more!)

Question:  Would you pay £90- £100 to come for a day?  I suspect the answer is yes because those who have posted are (in the main) people who have been, or would consider coming in the future, so in some sense we are preaching to the converted!.  What about the other 200 or so who have viewed the thread and not posted?  I suspect their answer is no.

I don't actually think it's apathy either.  When I look around my club most are hobby turners, the average age is over 70 and whilst they enjoy the club demos and the chat once a month I wouldn't class most of them as enthusiasts.   I think to spend £400 plus fuel and spends for a weekend you have to be an enthusiast.

If you've read this thread and not posted please let me know what you think.  If you don't want to "go public" send me a PM.

Cheers Dave

PaulH

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Re: AWGB International Seminar
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2015, 11:14:02 AM »
That has always been an option.
A rather well hidden option.
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Question:  Would you pay £90- £100 to come for a day?
Yes, for the right speakers/demonstrators, depending on location.

Some of the other comments here haven't exactly suggested that attending a AWGB event will be a particularly welcoming one for those of us that aren't in the clique.