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Thread: Search continues for new SELEM venue for 2021 - post your ideas here!

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    imagine that, having an LEM at a bowling alley
    I'll be honest, I like to bowl! I doubt a bowling alley would be willing to shut down for an event like SELEM, but you could do some cool beam shows in the lane area, don't you think?

    Marc, I found a venue near Topeka that is very similar to Newton... It's a former school that has been converted into a craft center with some of the classrooms repurposed as overnight rooms with beds and such. They have a gym with a stage, a large kitchen area, and several open rooms that used to be part of the science lab. With a little planning I think we could fit all of the normal SELEM activities into this location. The cost is higher, but since the cost includes room and board for up to 40 people it might actually work out to be cheaper in the long run.

    Honestly if it wasn't so far away from Charleston I'd be willing to move SELEM to that location (assuming there weren't any show-stopping issues with power, or fog, or insurance). But given how many times I had to drive up to Newton in the past just to resolve various issues with the venue (or with the orchestra, or with the town) before each SELEM, I can't see that being feasible with a venue that is 1200 miles away. I'm worried that if I move to a venue that is too far away I won't be able to stay on top of things like I did when we were in Newton.

    It's not the drive to SELEM itself that worries me. It's all those other trips... When we were in Newton I could easily take a day off work and run up there just for the day to work out an issue. I'd be back home late that same night. (It's only a 4 hr drive one-way from Charleston to Newton.) I suppose if we moved the event to Kansas I could always fly, but that gets expensive...

    Adam

  2. #12
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    Just a concept Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #13
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    Where are the bowling pins?

    Adam

  4. #14
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    Would a bowling alley have enough room for an LEM? I would be down for some bowling

  5. #15
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    Delaware would be awesome, but I'm a bit biased since it's a shorter drive for me and one of my favorite areas of the country.

    In a perfect world though I'd love it to be further south. I'm afraid if it were in DE, we'd lose participation from some since it would significantly increase their drive... NC was somewhere around the midpoint for many people.

    Flights are great for getting people to a venue, but may limit the amount of equipment that is present.

  6. #16
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    Bradfo69 is online now Pending BST Forum Purchases: $47,127,283.53
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    Quote Originally Posted by lulighttec View Post
    Personally, I'd love an excuse to drive to Delaware, if the hotel rates weren't so high. How are they around you, Brad?
    I haven't had to rent a hotel/motel around me since my early dating days to take a girlfriend, when we couldn't go to either of our parents houses.

    But seriously, there is a wide range of options nearby since I'm only 2.5 miles from University of Delaware. Anything from $60 to $200 per night depending on your tastes. There is a Holiday Inn Express one exit up the interstate about 5 miles total. I was going to be hosting this years ILDA conference this November before we went virtual and were going to be using the Embassy Suites as the anchor hotel - as do most of our brides. I believe they are in the $140 range.

    The biggest concern with my venue is, we'd likely have to shift the days of the week to avoid Friday and Saturday nights. Like a Sunday load in through a Friday load out. Also, since Adam has last seen it, we installed crystal chandeliers so I don't have the fully unobstructed air space that I did for 10 years. It's not awful for lasers - I still run them without issue but, it's not quite as ideal as it used to be.
    PM Sent...

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Would a bowling alley have enough room for an LEM?
    If we could rent out the entire facility, then probably yes. It wouldn't be an ideal location, as the ceiling over the lanes is usually quite low, but I'm sure we could make something work. The added bonus of being able to bowl would be fun!

    That being said, I'm really just fantasizing at this point because I can't see a bowling alley being willing to shut down their entire business for 4 or 5 days for a private event like SELEM. Most bowling alleys have regular leagues set up to play throughout the week, and they're not going to stop that just for us. Plus even if we could find a break in the league schedule, I'm sure the average bowling alley takes in $2K to $3K per day in gross receipts, and that's not even counting the bar or the snack counter. We can't afford to match that. So, yeah, it's probably not practical. An old school or theater is probably a better choice for us.

    Now, if someone has a relative who owns a bowling alley and is willing to cut us a deal, then let's talk!

    Quote Originally Posted by bradstockdale View Post
    In a perfect world though I'd love it to be further south. I'm afraid if it were in DE, we'd lose participation from some since it would significantly increase their drive... NC was somewhere around the midpoint for many people.
    I agree to an extent. For sure the folks coming from Florida would hate to have to drive another 8 hours to get to SELEM. But then again, we've got people coming from Texas (pulling a trailer, no less!) so we shouldn't under-estimate people's willingness to travel.

    As I mentioned above, the real problem with moving the venue too far away from the South Eastern US region is that it makes it very difficult for me to travel to the venue either before SELEM or after SELEM to manage various issues, work out problems, and make plans for future events. Of course, if we use Brad's venue in Delaware then I wouldn't need to travel to the venue because Brad is already there and is more than capable of handling anything that might come up.

    But if we select a new venue in some random state (like the re-purposed school in Kansas that I mentioned earlier), I would not be comfortable hosting the event until I had done a detailed site survey before signing a contract *and* a second walk-through to be done closer to the start of the event. That's not a big deal if the venue is a 4 hr drive away, but when it's a 20 hour drive, that complicates things.

    For comparison, on average I used to travel to Newton 2 to 3 times each year. Only one of those trips was in August for SELEM. The others were to work out kinks with the venue, or the school, or to meet with the town electrician (or the fire chief), or to meet with the executive director of the symphony. Once I even went up there to tour the new baseball field that they built a few years ago and to meet with the managers of that facility with the hopes of doing an outdoor concert on the ball field. Alas, that was a wasted trip - I should have looked at a map first. There is an executive airport less than a quarter mile away. I only realized it when we were standing in the outfield and a plane flew overhead at a *very* low altitude. "Oh yeah, he's landing at the airport just past those trees..." (D'oh!)

    Flights are great for getting people to a venue, but may limit the amount of equipment that is present.
    True. But again, when it comes to actually attending the event, most people who want to bring equipment have already resigned themselves to driving. Some even plan to bring a trailer with them. (That's why I bought my trailer last year, in fact. I got tired of having to borrow or rent one.) Worst case, if someone in a given state has already resigned themselves to driving, others in the area might consider asking them if they can take some extra equipment with them. Work out some sort of financial arrangement that benefits both parties, and then the other people could fly and not worry about checking their equipment on the plane or shipping it with "Fed-wrecks" or "UPS-I-Dropped it".

    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    The biggest concern with my venue is, we'd likely have to shift the days of the week to avoid Friday and Saturday nights.
    I don't think the revised schedule will be a problem. And as you mentioned, there are plenty of hotel options with similar pricing to what we had in Newton.

    Admittedly your venue isn't perfect, but it does have some cool perks. Chief among them is the fact that you know everything about the place so there won't be *any* surprises. Plus you've got that amazing kitchen. And you have a professionally-installed 3 phase power hook-up near the loading dock. That is *so* much nicer (and safer!) than the way we had to hook things up in Newton.

    I don't think the chandeliers would be too much trouble. Honestly the biggest issue is that I don't see an easy way to have both a "Club-SELEM" area and an "Auditorium" area. I'm worried that if we divide the ballroom in half with the movable wall it won't block out enough of the sound from one side to the other, so we would end up with competing sound systems. We could still use the entrance and bar/atrium areas for presentations or demos, and there are a few other spaces we could use for some of the other activities, but none of those spaces are big enough to really run shows like we do in the auditorium.

    Nevertheless, if we can't find a new venue before next year I'm willing to make a few adjustments in order to fit the event to your venue. But in the mean time I plan to continue searching!

    Adam

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kecked View Post
    I say we rename it THE LEM and hold it smack in the middle of a Kansas corn field during tornado season.
    Did that in Missouri once, keeping the inflato-screen up all night was distracting to say the least.
    But if we rotate screen duty with four person teams it should be possible. :-)
    Keeping the rain out of the model 168 PSU was another matter..
    I was just the contractor, I didn't do the setup.

    Steve
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  9. #19
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    If we do end up at Brad's place next year, what about finding another place for the following year much further south (say Georgia or Florida - like Savannah or Jacksonville)? And then just alternate each year north/south.

    So 'every other year' people either have a short drive, or a really long one.

    Just an idea.

  10. #20
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    I wouldn't mind one that isn't too far from NY. Like maybe a few states away. Would definitely make things easier if I were to attend.

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