Guest Post: USSVI Convention

Another guest post from Trim Pump:
One of the things that USSV”I” does is hold a convention. This year’s Convention is in Cincinnati and in 2011 in the Springfield/Branson area and Norfolk in 2012. In some regards the Convention and the American Submariner magazine is about 90% of what the organization does. Each year’s Convention is hosted by the Base (another word I don’t like) who submits a bid for it 3-4 years previous. Last year’s event was in San Diego at an overpriced resort. USSVI gets 10% of the profits from a Convention. Guess what? That % was “0” in 2009. I don’t know if the Base is solvent or in deep arrears because of it. I don’t know if the Base gets a cut from all events/tours/luncheons, etc. But it does appear to me that the more the Saturday Banquet costs, the smaller the plate of food. They also pay for a band. 75% of the people leave after dinner and only 20 couples or so dance and the rest just sit around drinking and doing the NTINS thing.

The Vendor arrangement is strange. Vendors include submarine book authors, clothing/caps/patch sellers, models, coins, jewelry and others. This is a drawing card and the vendors should be charged minimum. Not so. This year the table (6’ table) rent is $50 for one and $40 for each additional. One vendor estimated he could buy new 25 tables for what they ask. For a large vendor that’s $300 real quick. Then they charge for power, internet connection, and handling merchandise if needed. Add to that the room charge of $95/night ($570-6 nights), meals $175, Banquet ($35), other events from $20 to $65 each, plane tickets ($450 avg), $500 to get merchandise there and back,($100 gift for the Mrs.), much much more if she is with you and you come up with roughly $2300 and you haven’t sold a thing yet! You have to sell $7500 worth of “stuff” just to break even!

LATE BREAKING NEWS: I just heard (not supposed to be divulged until Saturday’s Annual Business Meeting for all members) that the two-year Convention amendment passed!

ALSO LATE NEWS: Figures about 2010 Convention in Cincinnatti Aug 30-4. As of 8-17 there are only 479 registries! 152 are single. The rest are bringing a guest. Of the 806 people signed up, 8 want to play golf!, Only 80 are taking the “Grand Tour” of the city, 25 are taking the Horse Park tour, 25 are visiting the museum, 92 are hitting the Air Force base tour and only 125 are doing the riverboat gambling thing. And only 63% are attending the major event which is the Saturday night banquet and Awards ceremony.

Was it well planned and advertised? Your call!
Trim Pump's first guest post can be found here.