News on Changes in the OSW Meet
OSW is changing! Read on, and if you have ideas and thoughts about the changes that you want to share with us, please get them to us by email, phone, or letter.
We have been very fortunate over the years to have the generosity of Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in getting our printing done at a nominal cost. Because of changes at PARC, we no longer have use of this great resource. This means that from now on OSW will have to pay for printed material we distribute at the meets.
Here is a summary of what we printed and handed out free at previous OSWs:
- The layout visits maps comprise about 6000 sheets of colored printing. On a non-negotiated, e.g., walk-in basis, Fedex Office charges $1.25 per two-sided sheet for colored printing. Thus the maps alone could cost us $7500 to print. We would have to increase the registration fee by about $15 per registration to cover just that increased cost! Unfair for those who don't use the layout visit maps because their cost would increase by $15 with no change in what they receive.
- Registration packets, not counting the envelope which we need anyway,
include the contest ballot, the survey, the clinic schedule, and several
other special items for the registrant's information. While those
items that are colored are printed several per sheet then cut apart,
there is still a printing cost there. It would require an increase in
the registration fee of about a dollar to cover the printing of those
It is our understanding that many attendees, after claiming their registration packet and donning their badge, just throw the packet away. What we printed was just wasted.
To keep costs down, we have to make some changes in how much printed material we produce and distribute for no charge at OSW. As long as we're making changes, we're going to make big ones. In keeping with what most other organizations in the country now do, we are shifting some of the work to our customers. The changes will be:
- Layout visit map packets will no longer be provided. We already put the layout visit schedule up on this web site before the meet, but for the security of the layout owners no address and contact information is provided on line. OSW will provide at the meet a sheet of paper that gives the address and contact information for the layout owners. The attendee will then, having determined from the schedule on this site which layouts they want to visit, put the address information into a road navigation GPS which they will have to provide and which would then guide them to each layout. Don't forget to put the meet location in the GPS also as Home, so that you can get back to the meet location after visiting your last layout. Also don't forget, if you are renting a car while at the meet, to get one that includes a GPS.
- The clinics and meet schedule will no longer be provided. The clinics and meet daily schedules have always been available on this site before the meet. Attendees who want a hard copy of that information can print a personal copy; the monitors around the entrance to the ballroom will display both schedules on a rotating basis, and clinics will be announced over the ballroom PA system.
Meet Location after 2015
You may have noticed the new football stadium that was under construction across the street and down a bit from the hotel. This will be the new home of the San Francisco 49ers team. In 2016 Super Bowl 50 will be held at that stadium on the usual OSW weekend of Feb 5 - 6 (the game is on the 7th). As a result hotels and event facilities in the San Francisco area are already sold out for before and including that weekend. The result is that OSW has to be held at some other time in 2016.
We have met with the Hyatt Regency sales people in order to present our schedule options so that they can see what dates they can offer. Our preference is to have OSW as soon after the Super Bowl weekend as possible in order to give people as much of a time gap as possible between OSW and the Chicago March Meet. At this writing we are still in discussions with the hotel. When there is real news on this you will be able to read it here.
Please, tell us what you think about the above changes!
Want to learn more about 2-rail O scale? Visit the O Scale Kings website.