Winter 2014 - Message
I hope that it won't try your patience if I devote at least my first paragraph to a bit of a cheerleading reminder. Last year our convention hotel, the Schaumburg Renaissance, was completely sold out over several of our nights. One thing I've learned over the years about our attendees is that we have more than just a few world-class procrastinators in our ranks. So please, if you haven't done so already, make your own reservation at the Schaumburg Renaissance hotel for our April, 2014 75th Anniversary Convention while space is still available. You can book directly with the hotel by calling 847-303-4100 and mentioning rate code "CSNCSNA." The rate is $151, an exceptional value for a property of the quality and amenities level that the Renaissance offers. If you'll visit our website, www.centralstates.info, you will find the detailed convention Schedule of Events to assist you in making your specific travel plans
Both the bourse chairman and myself from time to time encourage all of you to contact us with your opinions about our convention. I thought that you might all be interested to learn exactly what some of that feedback actually has been. Shortly prior to our 2013 74th Anniversary Convention our bourse chairman and I collaborated on a survey of our booth holders, seeking their preferences as to future site selection. The survey asked just two questions.
First, our booth holders were asked if they want our convention to:
- Remain at Schaumburg
- Be held at some other site on a quasi-permanent basis
- Rotate between a number of different cities
The second question asked the respondents, regardless of their answer to the question above, was to rank their choices from among a listing of 15 specific alternative sites.
The results were as follows:
With respect to the first question:
|Remain at Schaumburg||43|
|Locate somewhere else on a quasi-permanent basis||18|
|Rotate between a number of different cities||56|
|Didn't answer or unclear response||6|
When asked to rank specific sites, the first and second choices were as follows:
|First Choice:||Second Choice|
|Chicago - Downtown Hyatt||8||Indianapolis||14|
|Chicago - McCormick Place||7||Minneapolis||7|
|Indianapolis||4||Chicago - McCormick Place||6|
|Milwaukee||4||Chicago - Downtown Hyatt||5|
|Kansas City||2||St. Louis||3|
|St. Paul||0||St. Paul||0|
What I personally find interesting about the results is the fact that although more respondents stated they'd prefer to see us rotate between different sites than remain at Schaumburg, when it came time to tell us which sites they ranked highest, a rather strong plurality stated a preference for Schaumburg (46) over their second choice, Rosemont (26); 39 percent preferred Schaumburg, while 22 percent preferred Rosemont.
One thing that is quite clear is that of the 119 respondents who did give a first choice, 87, or 73 percent, preferred a Chicago-area site to any of the alternatives. The bourse chairman and I have passed the survey results along to the Board to assist them in making future site decisions.
While surveys can be interesting - and the results sometimes subject to multiple interpretations - one aspect of the response of our booth holders to our Schaumburg site that is quite clear is what I call the "checkbook survey," i.e. seeing what people do with their actual participation decisions versus what they state their preferences to be. On that score Schaumburg has done quite well. As I write this message on Nov. 11, we have only four of our 267 dealer booths still unspoken for at the 2014 75th Anniversary Convention. That's within 1.5 percent of being sold out, an acceptance level I feel is pretty good when one remembers that the convention is a bit more than five months into the future.
Both Bourse Chairman Patricia Foley and/or I have attended a number of other numismatic events over the past six months to market our 75th Anniversary Convention, including the Whitman Baltimore Coin Expo, the Whitman Philadelphia Coin Expo, the American Numismatic Association Convention and the Illinois Numismatic Association Convention. One thing we both look forward to is interacting with you about your suggestions for our own event. I've always looked on our convention as a cooperative undertaking needing inputs from our audience in order to be well received. In order to do what you want, we need to know what you want. Neither Patricia nor I will ever be too busy to take the time to talk with you about your suggestions for the convention. It is, after all, your convention, so please don't ever be shy about letting either, or both of us know what you think.