Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home page


Speciality Forums >> Astronomy Clubs and Star Parties

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)
Alvan Clark
sage


Reged: 03/13/10

Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5261914 - 06/08/12 01:17 PM

Quote:


8.the rise of astrophotography. Largely, I believe, as a response to the brightening of the skies and huge publicity given the Hubble photographs,




I personally think imaging is catching on more because it has gotten fairly easy. Anyone can produce some nice images versus film days. Pretty much everyone can produce largely the same raw images. Those who standout have simply better equipment or better knowledge to tweak psychedelic photos.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Rich56
member


Reged: 06/02/12

Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5262112 - 06/08/12 03:28 PM

I noticed too though a significant drop in vendors at last years PATS in Pasadena.

I almost didn't go because of the around $40 it cost to get in with admission and parking costs.

Maybe in the past, but in recent years I almost never saw anyone at RTMC under 25 years old.

I'm saddened to see it dwindle as I have a lot of great memories there.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MallBoy
super member


Reged: 09/26/10

Loc: Near the Tannhauser gate
Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5264698 - 06/10/12 12:57 PM

Quote:

3.lack of promotion. Sure, we have a few people like Neil deGrasse Tyson, but he's promoting astronomy, not observing. And RTMC isn't really promoted among the vendors. When only a couple of CA vendors come to a CA show, you know something is wrong.





I think the lack of promotion to get new attendees, and the loss of vendors/attendees due to the change of weekend conflicting with other events and established long held schedules are the main factors for a diminished RTMC. The creation of PATS seemed to be a contributing cause, but after the last couple of years at PATS...It's on the decline as well!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Rich56
member


Reged: 06/02/12

Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: MallBoy]
      #5266987 - 06/11/12 07:55 PM

Quote:

The creation of PATS seemed to be a contributing cause, but after the last couple of years at PATS...It's on the decline as well.




I can see why RTMC has diminished but any opinions on why PATS has?

Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Rich56]
      #5267038 - 06/11/12 08:38 PM

Bad economy = poor consumer attendance at PATS = less vendor interest in showing at PATS = poorer attendance = fewer vendors.
Add to that poor timing (after the season), poor advertising, less web coverage and.........
But mostly, it's the economy. Vendors have cut back just like the consumers have.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Alex McConahay
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/11/08

Loc: Moreno Valley, CA
Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5268523 - 06/12/12 06:18 PM

You know, I mostly just read the stuff and move on. Don't take it wrong. I take it real serious. I pay attention and really incorporate any of the helpful ideas I get from the discussion on these sites. From my vantage point as a volunteer, though, it usually does not do much good to enter into the discussion.

But there has to be a point where one must inject some facts.

PATS is in fact growing year to year in attendance. It has had four years so far, with the last year the biggest yet in attendance.

Somebody a couple of posts ago mentioned paying $40 to go to PATS for a day, parking included. If you are paying $40, you are not taking advantage of club tickets (at most $15) or Happy Hour ($10) and other ways to get in for less than retail. (And obviously not car pooling with a buddy or two!) And in a day and age where one pays $6-$12.00 for a movie, (And $5.00 to $8.00 for the popcorn to go with it), it really is not all that much in comparison.

So far (with more than three months to go), we have sold more than 250 tickets, and several orders are pending. We have had vendors reserve all of the entrance spaces, four of the six corner spaces, more than half of the premium spaces, and several of the standard. (This includes several vendors who have not previously attended PATS!!) And for those of you who are not aware of it--most vendors get their stuff in at the last second if they can. So, we expect many more.

All this is to say that PATS is running real healthy, and we would love to have you all there this September 22-23.

Alex


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Alex McConahay]
      #5268582 - 06/12/12 06:58 PM

Quote:

You know, I mostly just read the stuff and move on. Don't take it wrong. I take it real serious. I pay attention and really incorporate any of the helpful ideas I get from the discussion on these sites. From my vantage point as a volunteer, though, it usually does not do much good to enter into the discussion.

But there has to be a point where one must inject some facts.

PATS is in fact growing year to year in attendance. It has had four years so far, with the last year the biggest yet in attendance.

Somebody a couple of posts ago mentioned paying $40 to go to PATS for a day, parking included. If you are paying $40, you are not taking advantage of club tickets (at most $15) or Happy Hour ($10) and other ways to get in for less than retail. (And obviously not car pooling with a buddy or two!) And in a day and age where one pays $6-$12.00 for a movie, (And $5.00 to $8.00 for the popcorn to go with it), it really is not all that much in comparison.

So far (with more than three months to go), we have sold more than 250 tickets, and several orders are pending. We have had vendors reserve all of the entrance spaces, four of the six corner spaces, more than half of the premium spaces, and several of the standard. (This includes several vendors who have not previously attended PATS!!) And for those of you who are not aware of it--most vendors get their stuff in at the last second if they can. So, we expect many more.

All this is to say that PATS is running real healthy, and we would love to have you all there this September 22-23.

Alex



Alex,
I've attended PATS every year, and what you just said is simply not believable. The number of vendors displaying was down significantly to my eye, and the number of people walking the aisles was visibly down from prior years.
My informal estimate was that attendance was the worst of all 4 years.
You must be counting people who came each day as more than one visitor or something. I never saw the crushes of people I'd seen in earlier years, especially in year one. And I didn't see a lot of vendors who were there in earlier years.

RTMC said they were expecting about 800 people this year, but if that came to pass, they were counting every body that came in and left no matter how short the visit. My estimate was that there were perhaps a couple hundred max, at the peak, counting vendors.

If you've been to NEAF, you've seen what a show like PATS should be like. We have as many amateur astronomers on the west coast as they have in the east, yet attendance by vendors and public here is miniscule in comparison.

So how do we boost attendance at PATS?
1) more vendors. I want to see every vendor there, including those who went to NEAF earlier in the year. How you entice them is up to the show management.
2) Discounted club member entry advertised directly with the several hundred clubs in the US. Why shouldn't someone from Texas come to a show in SoCal?
3) More advertising on-line and in publications that the show is coming. For at least 3 months in every English language magazine and blog site. Emails to all the vendors to encourage them to post the info on their sites. Include all the bed-and-breakfast astronomy places, too. Have a 1-page handout for them to print at will to pass out to all people they meet.
4) information about local hotels and motels on the website.
5) More presentations during the show.
6) Door prizes and/or raffles
7) email the address list directly with all the information above at least 2 months in advance of the show. And send another reminder the week before.
8) have email sign up directly on the PATS home page.

Some of these have been done before, but without much advance publicity.

But it starts with #1. If vendors don't show up, visitors won't come back.

Edited by Starman1 (06/12/12 07:01 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Rich56
member


Reged: 06/02/12

Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5269429 - 06/13/12 12:16 PM

Don,

"The number of vendors displaying was down significantly to my eye, and the number of people walking the aisles was visibly down from prior years.
My informal estimate was that attendance was the worst of all 4 years."

I have to agree with you there. I was surprised how few visitors & vendors there were last year compared to the year before.

Yes, there are a lot of astro-nuts in southern California, but compared to back east we're a fickled bunch.

Back east sports fans come to games early, and stay late. Here in So Cal they'll arive at a Dodger game by the 2nd inning then leave late in the 7th, regardless of how the Dodgers are doing.

Weird.

Also Don, since you we're at this years RTMC, did they even bother to have the door prize awards like they do every year?

With few vendors to contribute, I imagine there were few door prizes to be found.

Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Rich56]
      #5269613 - 06/13/12 01:50 PM

Rich,
Yes, they did door prizes.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Darren Bly
sage
*****

Reged: 07/24/06

Loc: Bakersfield, Ca
Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Alex McConahay]
      #5269654 - 06/13/12 02:13 PM

Quote:

You know, I mostly just read the stuff and move on. Don't take it wrong. I take it real serious. I pay attention and really incorporate any of the helpful ideas I get from the discussion on these sites. From my vantage point as a volunteer, though, it usually does not do much good to enter into the discussion.

But there has to be a point where one must inject some facts.

PATS is in fact growing year to year in attendance. It has had four years so far, with the last year the biggest yet in attendance.

Somebody a couple of posts ago mentioned paying $40 to go to PATS for a day, parking included. If you are paying $40, you are not taking advantage of club tickets (at most $15) or Happy Hour ($10) and other ways to get in for less than retail. (And obviously not car pooling with a buddy or two!) And in a day and age where one pays $6-$12.00 for a movie, (And $5.00 to $8.00 for the popcorn to go with it), it really is not all that much in comparison.

So far (with more than three months to go), we have sold more than 250 tickets, and several orders are pending. We have had vendors reserve all of the entrance spaces, four of the six corner spaces, more than half of the premium spaces, and several of the standard. (This includes several vendors who have not previously attended PATS!!) And for those of you who are not aware of it--most vendors get their stuff in at the last second if they can. So, we expect many more.

All this is to say that PATS is running real healthy, and we would love to have you all there this September 22-23.

Alex




Hi Alex,

You and I talked about some of the things listed in this thread at RTMC this year. I also agree that anyone paying $40 to go to PATS is not taking advantage of any discounts. I pay half of that.

BUT

RTMC must use every avenue to advertise both RTMC and PATS after all (for example)isn't that what this forum is for? There was a time when RTMC was the only thing going on the west coast, now that's not the case. As for PATS, I have gone all four years and plan to go this one. There is no way you can tell me the attendance has gone up each of the past four years. I always go on Saturday with my wife, and she commented last year "there is no one here". The first year the hall was full of venders with few if any empty slots last year it was only 2/3 full with at least eight open slots. I hope you are right about the venders for this year. I want to see both PATS and RTMC around for a long time to come.

C ya on the September 22nd


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Matthew Ota
Hmmm


Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Los Angeles, California
Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Darren Bly]
      #5272222 - 06/15/12 02:06 AM

I miss RTMC as I have not been there since 2006. I went to my first PATS last year and will definitely attend this year. These are the two conventions where SoCal astronomy clubs come together in one place.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OleCuss
member


Reged: 11/22/10

Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Matthew Ota]
      #5273362 - 06/15/12 06:04 PM

I don't claim to have any special insight as to the RTMC attendance this year. But I do remember thinking that if the door prize tickets were handed out sequentially that based on the called numbers there must have been around 700 tickets given out that evening.

I'm not good at crowd size estimation, but I would not have guessed 700 people at that presentation.

Again, I have no access to attendance numbers and I don't know how door prize tickets were allocated - or what percentage of people hung around for the door prizes.

Personally, there were only a few door prizes that I would have bothered going up to collect. If others were as excited about the door prizes as I was, that might explain why it didn't look to me like there were that many present.

And I don't mean to disrespect the door prizes. There was a lot of rather cool stuff - but it was generally stuff I'd not want collecting dust or tickets I'd never be able to use because I live nowhere near the venue.

I do not yet know, but I may be back next year - especially if the weather is favorable. It was a good bunch of people.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
hm insulators
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/22/07

Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5281163 - 06/20/12 06:37 PM

Quote:

Rich,
Yes, they did door prizes.




So who won a door?

I wanted to go to PATS last year, but my car decided it wanted some repair work instead and that put the kibosh on that idea.

I hope to make it this year.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bill Llano
member
*****

Reged: 04/20/10

Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5505842 - 11/05/12 07:11 PM

I have attended in the past, did not attend this year due to the atrocious weather report, it was true. I think that the downturn in attendance is due to two factors. There has been a falling off of ATM's(Amateur telescope makers) which was the main theme of the conference. I ground both a 10" f/5 mirror that Tom Cave built a telescope around, and a 6" f/8 mirror. Both came out excellent. We live in an age of instant gratification, just whip out the old credit card and presto! Telescope delivered! I have seen people spending more time bragging about their 6" Takagarbashi with a full set of Othos eyepieces than doing actual observing. And if their super duper auto tracking coffee grinding doo-hickey with a whizbanger breaks down, they can not even find the sky! Am I exagerating? Hell no! At a star party this past summer, I was asked by a guy with over 6gs in equipment: Where is Hercules? I wish it was a fib, but it is not! The second reason there has been a drop off, is that it is always held in the Memorial Day Weekend, regardless of the lunar phase. I am not going to invest money if I can not do some serious observing so that I can really judge the equipment that is there! I think that we should have it during the new moon phase, and hold it during Memorial day when we have a decent lunar phase.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Joe F Gafford
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/15/06

Loc: Denver, Colorado, US
Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? [Re: Bill Llano]
      #5505884 - 11/05/12 07:47 PM

I agree with Bill. I am 60 and is the age average of the active portion of my club of 350. I did not go to the club auction two weekends ago due to an unexpected family thing. I heard that it was poorly attended and only a few items sold. There are a lot of items for ATM in these auctions.
I have the two telescopes listed, both 1983 models. The 10" was bought new; the 18", used in 1991. I have done major mods to both to improve the drive accuracy for astrophotography. The 10" now does not resemble the Meade it was.
Yes, I've heard the whirr-whirr of the coffee grinders out there followed by a skerunkkk!. That followed by silence then sounds shifting into the blue.

My club tries to get the younger members to star hop, do the lists and start small before making any major purchase. We do get a lot of the younger new sucessful types who joins, gets the latest and greatest, gets bored and they move on. It is hard to get these younger hands off of the keyboard, mouse, touchscreen or game controller and onto a mirror blank tool.

Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Darren Bly
sage
*****

Reged: 07/24/06

Loc: Bakersfield, Ca
Re: Does anyone go to RTMC any more? new [Re: Bill Llano]
      #5542088 - 11/27/12 01:03 PM

Quote:

I have attended in the past, did not attend this year due to the atrocious weather report, it was true. I think that the downturn in attendance is due to two factors. There has been a falling off of ATM's(Amateur telescope makers) which was the main theme of the conference.




I've missed one year since 1987 and the ATMing seems to be on a comeback. There were more entry's last year than the year before and the swap meet had a good amount of ATM stuff.

Quote:

The second reason there has been a drop off, is that it is always held in the Memorial Day Weekend, regardless of the lunar phase. I am not going to invest money if I can not do some serious observing so that I can really judge the equipment that is there! I think that we should have it during the new moon phase, and hold it during Memorial day when we have a decent lunar phase.




Boy are you wrong!

The one year I missed was the year they moved from Memorial Day weekend to new moon weekend. The attendance was less than half of the year before. In my club we bring about 20 people a year that year we sent two! The next year attendance (back on Memorial Day weekend) was up about 50%. Moving the date really turned off the venders and many still haven't come back. As an observing site RTMC is only fair to good. Many of us drive by better sites on the way to RTMC.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)


Extra information
2 registered and 1 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  zjc26138, darklighteditor 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 5165

Jump to

CN Forums Home




Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics