Looking at the larger picture, there will probably be some changes in format for future meetings. For the last 15 years, our model has been that which the late Tom Haughton introduced at the first East Coast meeting at SUNY Maritime in 2004. A day of seminars and talks was followed the next day by the model show which offered model exhibits and a wide choice of new and second-hand models for sale, and drew crowds of over 100. The event was rounded off with group lunches and dinners, sightseeing trips, harbor cruises and ship visits on Navy Day. Besides Tom, the one individual most responsible for these early successes was George Elder, who always made sure he "brought the store" with him and also brought many of the European model producers over as well.
Unfortunately, George's retirement from the scene has brought with it diminished numbers of models for sale, and consequently diminished numbers of collectors buying them. Simple economics has made it difficult for dealers to attend meetings without a sure return on their expenses, and fewer models, of course, mean fewer attendees. Many of us try to make up the difference by bringing our own second-hand models and offering them at reasonable prices, so we've had some success at keeping the meetings going. I for one intend to bring a lot of my second-hands again (at reasonable process) and I urge every one else who plans to attend to do the same thing. And I also urge anyone who has suggestions on how to improve the meeting format to post them on the Board. And if you're willing to help us implement your suggestions, so much the better!
Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at San Diego next year. Stay tuned for further news as it becomes available!
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