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Thread: SELEM 2007 venue change

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Unhappy SELEM 2007 venue change

    'Morning people...

    Well, just like last year, we now have a problem with SELEM. The person that originally volunteered his residence for the event has backed out. (I can't even contact him anymore!) So once again we are scrambling to find another venue with just over 1 month to go. Sigh...

    I spoke with MechEng3 over the weekend, and he had several good suggestions. I also spent the better part of this morning on the phone to various convention centers, museums, and art centers in NC. Here's where we stand right now:

    Our best bet right now seems to be the Catawba Valley Arts and Science center, located in Hickory, NC. They have a large auditorium with a balcony that we can rent for $250 for full day on Saturday, July 28th. There may be an additional $60 charge for security since it will probably run late into the evening. No problem going as late as midnight. They're going to check on the security fee thing and get back to me. Unfortunately, the auditorium may not be available on Sunday (they'll know in a few days), so we might have to make it a 1-day event if we go with this location. But the cost is reasonable, and the place is friendly to hobbyists, so right now it's looking pretty good.

    I checked several convention centers in the area, and the cheapest one I could find was the Broyhill Convention Center, also in Hickory. They had a 32 ft x 46 ft room that we could get for $385 per day for a 12 hour day. It was available both days (July 28th and July 29th), so if we did a 2 day event we'd be looking at $770. (ouch!) Remember, this was the CHEAPEST place!

    I'm also waiting for a call back from the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institue; they might be cheaper (and more sympathetic to our hobbyist cause), but I don't know if they have the space we'll need. Details soon. (The research institute is located just southwest of Ashville, NC.)

    Mecheng3 is checking into a few other venues around Gastonia, which is right outside of Charlotte, NC. He might be able to get us into a school or other public building in that area if he's lucky.

    Damn - this sucks. I never imagined this would be so difficult. (Especially since the meeting in Florida was so easy to set up!) But if I've learned anything, it's that the *VENUE* is the most important piece of the puzzle. Nail it down, and the rest is easy. Unfortunately, I thought I had the venue nailed down 2 months ago. But things change I guess. (Sigh)

    I really don't want to cancel. I think everyone is pretty keyed up for the event. I know I'm looking forward to it. But I need to make certain that we have a solid venue lined up. I'll keep you posted...

    Adam

  2. #2
    clandestiny's Avatar
    clandestiny is offline Eleventy-Billion Watt Ar/Kr >:)
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    Quote from Buffo-
    "Damn - this sucks. I never imagined this would be so difficult. (Especially since the meeting in Florida was so easy to set up!) But if I've learned anything, it's that the *VENUE* is the most important piece of the puzzle. "


    wow that guy in orlando must really be something. I heard he didnt even get a gift bag from king pango like buffo did-
    go big or go home

  3. #3
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by clandestiny View Post
    wow that guy in orlando must really be something. I heard he didnt even get a gift bag from king pango like buffo did-
    DAMN!!! The O-Town venue was nice though.

    Adam I wish you luck in your search. You're the man when it come to logistics like this though.
    Love, peace, and grease,

    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

  4. #4
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    Hi Adam...that is good to hear from the people in Hickory.They were non reponedent to e-mails.....always got in too late to get hold of someone that knew what was going on there.It's 110 % during the work hours, so not much time to haggle on a phone waiting to get yet another person that has no authority to say what is needed for a room.....only reservation info. Go figure. Maybe I just come off as horrid over the phone????? A one day blowout would be great if that is all that can be arranged.....I have had no luck with anything on a local level. There is hope of a chat with a couple of people in Gaston Co. They may have a venue with A/C but no 220vac. Search is not over.......I have a call to a friend that services a few planes at Statesville municipal airpark. May be able to get an empty hangar. There again....220vac and no A/C. Continuing the search.......hold on...could be a bumpy ride.....The local Nature Science Center has a 6 watt white light .....they also need $75/hr for the room that is well suited. Everything else was like 1500/day and up...some requiring service from thier vending supplier. These were meeting/convention type rooms and small buildings in Winston-Salem.
    Last edited by MechEng3; 06-18-2007 at 17:36.
    You are the only one that can make your dreams come true....and the only one that can stop them...A.M. Dietrich

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Cool

    Hi guys... Thanks for the words of encouragement.

    Paul: *You* were the one that made FLEM happen in Orlando, not me. Without that room we would have been dead in the water. I see you're still upset about the Pangolin goodie bag though! (I am still shocked at my good fortune!) I don't have much pull, but I'll put in a good word for you anyway. (And just so you don't think you're off the hook yet, we *do* want to have another FLEM, right? )

    Aaron: Heh - not as good at it as you might think, pal. If I was good at it I wouldn't be having all these problems. Sigh. But the fight continues.

    Mike: Yeah, I got lucky and snagged a helpful woman at the Arts and Science center. She was great! However, there is another option that just became available. It would reqire that we change the date, but it sounds interesting, so I thought I'd post the details here and let folks discuss it.

    Has anyone ever heard of the PISGAH Astronomical Research Institute? (PARI) Yeah, me neither... (Well, that's not entirely true. A friend of mine once told me about it, but I had forgotten it.) Anyway it's a no-shit optical and radio astronomy observatory that used to belong to NASA. (It was one of their tracking stations.)

    I called them, and spoke with a *really* helpful and friendly guy by the name of Dave Clavier. Dave (he's a PhD, btw) is in charge of scheduling events at the site. They have TONS of room available (several indoor rooms with no windows), they have on-site lodging for around 30-40 people, they provide food, they have reasonable rates, and the whole place is filled with people that love science. Sound cool enough yet? There's more...

    They have several telescopes, lots of radio astronomy gear, and a group of full time scientists that are doing real research there. But they also sponsor classes for various colleges, high schools, and amateur astronomy groups from around the country. So they have classrooms, meeting rooms, lecture halls, etc. Plus audio visual gear, internet connections, and *3 PHASE POWER*. Lots of it. Oh, and Dave casually mentioned that it would be "no problem" if we wanted to break away from our lasers for a couple hours to stroll through the observatory and have some of the staff show us the night sky through one of their telescopes. How does it sound now?

    The place is locate in the wooded mountains between Ashville, NC and Greenville, SC. It's actually 15 miles north of Brevard, NC - if that helps you any. (Go to their website and you'll find them...)

    Now for the bad news: They're booked for the weekend of July 28th and 29th. Dave said that we would have to schedule something for after August 6th. Which means if we still want to do a Saturday and Sunday event, we would have to push everything back to August the 11th and 12th.

    Personally I don't mind, though I understand that this will create problems for anyone that still has kids in school. (At least around here it will. Kids go back to school that week.) So if that is going to be too painful, then I think we'd be better off sticking with the original date and just settling for a single day at the Hickory Arts and Science center auditorium.

    What are your thoughts? Should we go for the observatory or stick with a venue that's closer to town? (This observatory is 30 miles from civilization; it's up atop a mountain.) I think it would be a cool environment for us, but I'd like to hear from the rest of you. Whatcha think people?

    Adam

  6. #6
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    Adam- Thanx for all the hard work.

    An Observatory AND Lasershows under 1 roof. Sounds EXTREMELY Cool!
    Could we put a laser thru one telescope and use another to look to see if we've hit the moon? (kidding)
    But really- that sounds great!! (1 vote yea)
    S

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