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  Old  September 3rd, 2008, 12:13pm     #16
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I just want to reiterate one thing. I do not think for a moment that there was any impropriety on the part of the event organizers. Did I think the games were tedious? yes, I also thought it would have been nice to have more smaller prizes BUT...I had a great time and I do appreciate all of the hard work that went into getting this convention together.

I posted in this thread but I do not want to be seen as one who thought that there was any wrong doing by anyone.

I adored San Antonio, kept saying I would move there in a heartbeat. The hotel location was fabulous as it was right on the Riverwalk, so, there was a lot of things that were done wonderfully.

I will continue to go to conventions as more then anything I get to see my friends and make new ones. I also know when I go I may win but then again I may not, and that's fine with me as the one thing I look forward to the most is the people.

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  Old  September 3rd, 2008, 3:17pm     #17
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the one thing I look forward to the most is the people.

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  Old  September 3rd, 2008, 8:17pm     #18
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Saying the games/game shows were too long, that there didn't seem to be as many prizes as in years past, that most other things in and around the hotel were on the expensive side of things, or that some parts of the convention were tedious are all very reasonable and valid matters of opinion. And you're absolutely entitled to state them. The folks running the conventions do listen and they do make changes in order to make the convention an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all.

However, when you go so far as to state things such as:

Quote:
Originally Posted by newsbabe View Post
I understand it is expensive to put on a convention. And I also understand that nowhere does it say that the registration fee was to cover all the prizes. But this was the most expensive convention ever at $160 per person. That comes to at least $160,000 -- not counting the fees collected from vendors. So, if the rooms, food and all other convention incidentals cost $100,000 (a generous estimate given that this was only a three day affair), then that means there should have been more than $60,000 in prizes handed out at the convention. There wasn't. So the bottom line is -- what was that money used for?. Surely someone knows.
you're crossing a line, IMO.

Based on nothing other than pure speculation and false assumptions and assertions on your part, you are insinuating that there must be something fishy or untoward going on behind the scenes at the sweepstakes convention. Rather than considering the most plausible explanation- that you just don't have any idea or clue what you are talking about, you are pointing your finger at some of the most kind, generous, selfless, and most respected members of the sweepstaking community.

Maybe that's not your intent, but it sure does come across that way. Especially when you state things that are so easily shown not to be true.

For example, the convention took place over a period of 5 days, not 3 (see the official web site- http://www.lonestarstampede.com/). And they could have very well had to pay for some of the rooms or space for more days than that for set-up and tear down.

What could you possibly base your "generous" $100,000 estimate for "convention incidentals" on? Experience? Knowledge? Expertise? Logic? Reason?

Or are you just pulling a nice round number out of the air?

The truth is you have no idea what you're talking about. You don't know how much time and effort it takes to run a sweepstakes convention, you don't know what the expenses are or what's reasonable, and you sure as heck don't have any business accusing anyone who does of anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newsbabe View Post
I wasn't unhappy with the convention. I am unhappy that there seems to be a lot of money unaccounted for and no one from the convention has stepped up to the plate to say how all that money was spent. While I commend the convention committee for all the hard work they put in, I also believe they have a responsibility to all of us to account for the money they spent. It's very telling that no one has done that yet.
Just because you are unable to imagine a proper accounting for all the money spent in your own head hardly means that there is, in fact, any money un-accounted for.

What other sweepstakes convention has publicly accounted for all the money spent at a sweepstakes (or even non-sweepstakes) convention? How is it very telling that they haven't provided a public accounting if it's never been done before?

Do you understand how the sweepstakes conventions are operated? Do you realize that most of the people who run the sweepstakes conventions have been an important and well-respected part of the sweepstaking community for decades? Do you realize that nobody makes any money from the sweepstakes conventions (except maybe the hotels, lol) and that the good people who run them do so purely as a labor of love?

What's more, who are you to demand they account to you for anything?

But just because the numbers don't seem to add up to you, there's just got to be something fishy going on, right?

What if I posted something about what I thought was an angry, bitter person and the only explanation I could come up with on my own was that the person must of had a bad childhood or marriage (even though I knew next to nothing about the person)? It would be absolutely ridiculous and completely irresponsible of me wouldn't it? How could I possibly speculate about someone or something I didn't know about, right?

That is exactly how you are coming across to myself and most of the other people who know better, newsbabe.


For the record, it has truly been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the sweepstakes conventions and I have the utmost trust in and respect for the way they are operated and the fantastic people who work their tails off to run them behind the scenes. I proudly consider them my friends and I will continue to do whatever I can to support the sweepstaking hobby, community and conventions.

Gwen and Robert, their wonderful daughter and the myriad of other volunteers who tirelessly helped put on this year's sweepstakes convention did an absolutely amazing job. Their selfless dedication and genuine love of the sweepstaking hobby and community were plainly evident in everything they did. They do not deserve anything less than the exact same appreciation and respect they have clearly shown every single one of us.

I've been running OLS for almost 11 years now, and over the years I have found that the vast majority of sweepers are very kind, generous, selfless, unique, intelligent, non-judgmental and genuinely happy people. And Gwen and Robert truly exemplify that spirit.

Complaining about something is one thing, but irresponsible speculation, false assumptions and assertions and the implications based on such nonsense are something else entirely.


Brent



P.S. The following are my responses to some of the other things that have been posted in this thread and some additional considerations I thought were important regarding this years sweepstakes convention and some of the complaints I've heard:

---------------------

One of the things they did differently at this year's sweepstakes convention was they took many (if not most) of the smaller prizes and randomly placed them in the goodie bags that were passed out to every convention attendee (the prize closet). At prior conventions, a couple of hours of each convention day was spent drawing 100++ names and handing out these smaller prizes. Many attendees in years past felt the process was somewhat tedious and needlessly took up time that could possibly be better spent.

Instead of spending a few hours each day to hand out the smaller prizes, this year's convention used much of that time to have fun little games and game shows to give away bigger prizes which in many case were provided by the convention itself.

I, and the vast majority of the people I spoke to really enjoyed all the games. It was fun and exciting and it got everyone much more involved than simply spending a couple of hours each day drawing a hundred or more names for smaller prizes.

---------------------

This year's convention attendance was right around 1,000, approximately 65-70% more than the previous attendance record. Based solely on my own observations, sponsors (various sweepstakes clubs, newsletters, and web sites, sweepstakes supply businesses and even individuals) donated about the same amount of prizes overall that they did in years past. At the very least I think it's safe to say there wasn't anywhere near a 65-70% increase in prize donations to match the equivalent increase in attendees. And believe me, that's not in any way a knock or a slight on the overwhelming generosity of the sponsors- most of whom are very small businesses and organizations who quite clearly sponsor and donate prizes to the sweepstakes convention out of the love and affection they have for the sweepstaking hobby and community.

The point is, I'm sure there was a larger discrepancy in the ratio of sponsor-donated prizes to convention attendees compared to prior years, and that surely plays a role in the perception that there seemed to be fewer prizes to go around this year.

---------------------

Another factor to consider is that this year's convention was held in downtown San Antonio, Texas- right on the Riverwalk. It clearly will cost a lot more proportionately to hold a convention in such a prime location compared to a Holiday Inn in Moline, Illinois (for example). And again, that's not in any way a slight or a knock on the fine folks (the Quad City Winners sweepstakes club) who ran the Moline convention a few years ago. It's just a matter of fact that when a convention is held in a less-expensive location compared to a more-expensive location, you're naturally going to have a smaller proportion of the funds available for convention-provided prizes.

---------------------

At $20 per vendor table, I guarantee you that the convention itself is paying much more for the vendor room space than they receive in vendor fees. If the vendors were charged more, there would be far fewer vendors. The reason is simple- the vast majority of the vendors at the sweepstakes convention are not making any kind of a profit. They're mostly just mom and pop vendors who do what they do because they're sweepers themselves and love supporting and contributing to the sweepstaking hobby and community. Most of them also generously donate prizes to the convention as well as hold their own vendor drawings and raffles. The vendors are a quintessential part of the hobby, community and convention. Without the support of the vendors and/or sponsors, there would be far, far fewer prizes, the cost to attend would be higher, and quite frankly, just about every sweeper would have a much more difficult time even sweeping to begin with. That's why it is absolutely essential for the convention itself to support the vendors who in turn provide essential support for the hobby, community and convention.

---------------------

Something else that was new at this convention where the audio/video presentations. My favorite was the video that listed all the big prize winners. Some of the stories included footage from actual contests (like the guy who kicked a field goal for a huge prize, I forget the exact amount off-hand). It was really enjoyable and even inspirational to see all the big winners and a lot of their stories put so nicely together like that. You just don't really see that anywhere else.

---------------------

The convention's featured speaker was absolutely top notch. I couldn't imagine a more interesting, relevant, qualified or appropriate speaker than one of the true giants of prize promotion industry. Of the most commonly asked questions by sweepers are many that could only be definitively answered by someone of Mr. Feinman's unique qualifications and stature. Not only did Mr. Feinman speak, he had a separate question and answer period where he spent an hour answering questions provided by the sweepers in attendance. (He even answered the infamous is RoboForm OK question in detail!)

http://www.lonestarstampede.com/

Quote:
The Lone Star Stampede is proud to announce that Jeffrey Feinman has agreed to speak at the 19th Annual National Sweepstakes Convention. Mr. Feinman, a giant in the field of sweepstakes marketing, will be sharing his vast knowledge and experiences with convention attendees on Friday, August 29th, and will be answering questions from the audience in a second session on Saturday, August 30th...

Jeffrey Feinman has spent his entire business career, spanning more than 35 years, in the prize promotion industry. He has been called "Mr. Sweepstakes" and has been involved in the design and administration of well over 10,000 contests, sweepstakes and games. He began his business career at the D.L. Blair Corporation, at the time the largest sweepstakes agency in the country - and a major leader in the industry to this day. In six years he went from trainee to executive vice-president.

Mr. Feinman left Blair to form his own company, Ventura Associates, which soon became a major force in the prize promotion industry, Mr. Feinman personally designed and implemented marketing and prize promotion plans for package goods companies from Proctor and Gamble to R.J. Reynolds and for Direct Marketing Companies from American Express to Readers Digest.

His seminars on such diverse topics as "Sweepstakes...the chance to sell products while your customers win a dream" to "creative problem solving" are well attended. His hobby is writing and he is the author of more than two dozen books. He has instructed college courses on sales promotion, entrepreneurship and creative problem solving for marketers.

It has been my vision to secure Jeffrey Feinman as a speaker at a National Convention for many years. I first heard him speak at a conference in Texas 15 years ago. He was the most entertaining and knowledgeable speaker on the subject of Sweepstaking whom I have ever heard and I have heard many! I cannot express how thrilled and excited I am to welcome him back to Texas to be with us. Believe me; you will not want to miss it!
---------------------

I don't remember exactly what the ticket prices were for the most recent prior conventions, but this year's price wasn't much more. Remember that prices do tend to increase year after year as a result of inflation (particularly in the last year). I don't know what the various taxes were at other recent convention locations, but it's hard to imagine (possibly Phoenix) that they were more the various taxes on the hotel rooms in San Antonio which were more than 20% of the bill. I'm sure the convention had to pay a similar amount in taxes.

---------------------

This year's $160 ticket price included the base cost of the convention plus the cost of most of the biggest prizes that everyone was equally eligible to win. The convention-run raffles on the other hand are completely optional. Doing it that way enables a lot more people to attend the convention at a reasonable price while providing everyone the option of entering to win additional prizes if they so choose. It makes perfect sense to run it that way because if they tried to provide all those prizes to everyone they would have to charge upwards of $400 to attend. How many sweepers would be able to attend then?

---------------------

The $160 ticket price also included a rather large discount on the rate of the hotel rooms. Convention attendees were charged $125 a night compared to the regular rate of $300+. Maybe you can find a similarly discounted rate if you dig around on the Internet, but the bottom line is we did get a very good rate for that hotel because of the convention.

---------------------

The goodie bag had much more than "just brochures" in them. Also, many of them contained additional prizes that in years past would have been given away during the convention.

---------------------

I think a lot of people are basing their opinions about the sweepstakes convention on whether or not they actually won one of the better prizes. If that's the way you're looking at it, you are bound to be disappointed. That's not really what the sweepstakes convention is all about.


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  Old  September 3rd, 2008, 8:38pm     #19
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Brent summed it up in a nutshell. (Or the whole tree.....)

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  Old  September 3rd, 2008, 10:18pm     #20
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Thanks Brent for the very long and well thought out post.

You are being praised on another board for your generous prize donations, much to the dismay of the (former) editor. I can't understand why it is so difficult for newsletter editors to give credit where it is due to other newsletter editors/sweeps webmasters-- even if they are "the competition".


Brent wrote:
"The goodie bag had much more than "just brochures" in them. Also, many of them contained additional prizes that in years past would have been given away during the convention."

I think this was a big contributor to the sense that there were less prizes given out.
Nobody got to see what anyone else was getting in their bags-- there could have been hundreds of gift cards given out or dozens or one. Nobody knows unless they went around asking everyone holding a green bag.
I didn't get anything except the standard rubber bands, brochures, shoe horn, razors etc.

I know people say non-winners shouldn't complain and that it's not about the prizes, but to anyone attending, it IS about the prizes. That is the focus of the majority of time spent in the sessions, whether it be drum drawings, raffle drawings, table prizes, game shows, prizes for newbies, prizes for those opting for email, chocolate donation prizes.
Having experienced it myself (twice), I think it is totally understandable for people to feel some disappointment at leaving empty handed for three days in a row.
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  Old  September 3rd, 2008, 10:43pm     #21
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A couple more rumors while I'm at it:

---------------------

There was a very rational explanation regarding the person who claimed a couple of prizes in the name of his/her spouse. The person was not trying to "cheat."

---------------------

I've heard that there were a few people who didn't like what we (OLS) did with some of our prize donations, particularly the Deal or No Deal prize matches. "They're supposed to be Online Sweepstakes, not Online Cash." There was some talk that we (OLS) were somehow extended special consideration in that regard.

It's pure nonsense.

Does anybody really think that the convention would have actually turned down any other similar offer of sponsorship?

Any and every other sponsor had the same opportunity to do the exact same thing.

---------------------


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  Old  September 3rd, 2008, 11:00pm     #22
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Originally Posted by Dave W. View Post
Thanks Brent for the very long and well thought out post.

You are being praised on another board for your generous prize donations, much to the dismay of the (former) editor. I can't understand why it is so difficult for newsletter editors to give credit where it is due to other newsletter editors/sweeps webmasters-- even if they are "the competition".
You're absolutely right, Dave. In fact, I'm going to put together a list of links to all the various sponsors including the other newsletters/web sites right now. They more than deserve some publicity for their continued support of the hobby, community and convention.


Brent


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  Old  September 3rd, 2008, 11:04pm     #23
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How on earth can you not like someone for giving away cash?

Jealous, maybe???


I'm proud of the way Brent, KB, and Nicole handled themselves.
There was an angry ex-OLSer there verbally harassing them and from what I saw they took the high road and just ignored it. I don't know if I could have been as classy and mature.
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  Old  September 4th, 2008, 1:16am     #24
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I just have to pipe in because I am rather shocked at this whole discussion.
This was my very first sweepstakes convention and had no idea what to expect.
Turned out that I had a wonderful time.
I heard many interesting and informative speakers, met so many nice people, had a lot of fun, stayed at a great hotel for a bargain price and had a great mini vacation in San Antonio exploring the Riverwalk and the Alamo and the mall and surrounding area.
I thought the prizes were very generous and there seemed to be plenty of them to go around.
I did not win a thing, did not even know I was expected to.
If I would have to complain about something I would ask for more speakers and informative content and maybe a little less games and prizes.
I came home feeling refreshed and motivated to keep trying and I have so many wonderful memories.
What a great hobby.
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  Old  September 4th, 2008, 1:33am     #25
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Brent, I think you hit the nail on the head! I've never been to a convention, but I do believe that conventions aren't ALL about prizes... I'd just be happy to meet some new friends and enjoy the experience!
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  Old  September 4th, 2008, 10:09pm     #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent View Post
---------------------

Another factor to consider is that this year's convention was held in downtown San Antonio, Texas- right on the Riverwalk. It clearly will cost a lot more proportionately to hold a convention in such a prime location compared to a Holiday Inn in Moline, Illinois (for example). And again, that's not in any way a slight or a knock on the fine folks (the Quad City Winners sweepstakes club) who ran the Moline convention a few years ago. It's just a matter of fact that when a convention is held in a less-expensive location compared to a more-expensive location, you're naturally going to have a smaller proportion of the funds available for convention-provided prizes.


---------------------

IMO…This theory doesn’t hold up; San Diego gave away a bunch of “convention bought prizes” and their convention was at a beautiful resort. Other conventions in more-expensive locations that gave away a great amount of “convention bought prizes” include: Baltimore, Scottsdale, Louisville, New Orleans, and Orlando.

A reason why these so-called more-expensive locations and the least-expensive locations can give away more “convention bought prizes” is because those conventions did a great job at negotiating and didn’t blow a Hugh amount of the budget on an extravagant stage and entrance props.

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  Old  September 5th, 2008, 7:13am     #27
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I can't really add any thoughtful info, because I didn't go! But I have received a few PM's from buds who did attend, and they were all very disappointed.

My first convention was San Diego, I can't say enough about it! ALL positive, Steve and the San Diego Sweepers worked tirelessly and YES, there were loads of AWESOME prizes! So of course I was pumped to go to the next years in Phoenix. The hotel was great, but all in all I was disappointed, honestly, no, I DON'T want to pay for a mariachi band that played way too long at just the wrong time. And the grand prizes, those silver bars? Even the lucky winners looked bummed. Plus there was a lot of grumbling about the 3X5's drawing, the cardboard box thing was, well, tacky...

I have mixed feelings, of course it's so much fun to meet fellow sweepers, but I DO feel like the prizes are important as well. I understand very well that it's a HUGE undertaking putting on a convention, and I applaud those groups who tackle it. They will never be able to please everybody, that's a given. And I'm sure they are all very nice people. But given all the complaints about this one, plus my own experience, I seriously doubt that I would fly cross-country next year, it's just too iffy.

P.S., summer in SA is freaking HOT! Ditto Phoenix! So it's obviously the off-season & I'm sure hotel rates can be adjusted accordingly, even nice resorts are going to have many empty rooms during that season.

Last edited by Janir; September 5th, 2008 at 7:17am. Reason: add'l

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  Old  September 5th, 2008, 12:19pm     #28
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Quote:
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I can't really add any thoughtful info, because I didn't go! But I have received a few PM's from buds who did attend, and they were all very disappointed.

My first convention was San Diego, I can't say enough about it! ALL positive, Steve and the San Diego Sweepers worked tirelessly and YES, there were loads of AWESOME prizes! So of course I was pumped to go to the next years in Phoenix. The hotel was great, but all in all I was disappointed, honestly, no, I DON'T want to pay for a mariachi band that played way too long at just the wrong time. And the grand prizes, those silver bars? Even the lucky winners looked bummed. Plus there was a lot of grumbling about the 3X5's drawing, the cardboard box thing was, well, tacky...

I have mixed feelings, of course it's so much fun to meet fellow sweepers, but I DO feel like the prizes are important as well. I understand very well that it's a HUGE undertaking putting on a convention, and I applaud those groups who tackle it. They will never be able to please everybody, that's a given. And I'm sure they are all very nice people. But given all the complaints about this one, plus my own experience, I seriously doubt that I would fly cross-country next year, it's just too iffy.

P.S., summer in SA is freaking HOT! Ditto Phoenix! So it's obviously the off-season & I'm sure hotel rates can be adjusted accordingly, even nice resorts are going to have many empty rooms during that season.

It is not the off season, even though it is hot. Starting in Oct thru about April is what is considered the off season. Summer is peak.
It was my first convention. I thought it was well organized and the prizes were plentiful. The games were long, but if it was ME up there, I probably wouldn't have thought that. Coming home with a good prize would have been great, however I didn't think that was the main reason to attend a convention. I learned alot from the speaker, hung out with some great peeps, got a few small prizes, and had a great meal at the banquet. (A few people said they almost ran out of food by the time they got up there, but I saw plates HEAPED and they certainly took more than there share. Caterers plan by the head.)
The stage props and decorations were mentioned, because of the cost. Well, ambiance is a big part of setting the mood and the Ballroom and lobby decorations made it feel like a Texas convention. I wasn't disappointed, but it was my only convention experience. I definitely will go to the next.
Sorry everyone didn't enjoy it.

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  Old  September 5th, 2008, 3:31pm     #29
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Thanks Brent
I agree with all that you said and thanks.


And I totally agree that the amount of prizes donated more than likely were not in the same ratio to the amount of attendees. There always the same ones that don't donate anything at all, but expect to reap huge rewards and then there are those that dig deep into their pockets without expecting anything in return. But they are "door prizes" anyway. Thank you's at the different sessions for attending. Where was it ever printed that there would be prizes enough to go around tenfold anyway? And what convention ever held whether sweeping or other business related ever used that as their goal? It's planned for the speakers and friendships that are supposed to be made while there.

Are we getting to the point where maybe is should be held by invitation only? Or are we just pushing it to the point where no one will step forward to run one? Let's get behind these people and stop breaking their hearts!!
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  Old  September 5th, 2008, 5:06pm     #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackpotJoe View Post
IMO…This theory doesn’t hold up; San Diego gave away a bunch of “convention bought prizes” and their convention was at a beautiful resort. Other conventions in more-expensive locations that gave away a great amount of “convention bought prizes” include: Baltimore, Scottsdale, Louisville, New Orleans, and Orlando.

A reason why these so-called more-expensive locations and the least-expensive locations can give away more “convention bought prizes” is because those conventions did a great job at negotiating and didn’t blow a Hugh amount of the budget on an extravagant stage and entrance props.
A couple of over-sized milk crates, a big boot and the facade of three old-western style buildings is extravagant? Really?

I think that's ridiculous.

And I do know that a "Huge" amount of money was not spent on the props- they got them for a song.

ContestQueens' Blog has pictures of all the props (scroll down the page):
http://www.contestqueen.com/fromthe/

----------------

What's your definition of a "great amount" of "convention bought prizes?"

This year's convention included $5,000 cash for the Deal or No Deal game, all of the Pick-A-Prize prizes including dinner at Morton's Steakhouse for 7 and a RiverWalk dinner cruise for 16 (among others), 3 laptop computers, 2 Dell desktop computers with 19" flat panel monitors, 5 digital photo frames, 4 printers, 3 TVs (including one big screen flat panel), 3 personal DVD players, 3 NASCAR scanners, 3 GPS Navigators, Nintendo Wiis, XBOX 360s, and various gift cards.

I didn't pay real close attention to the amount of convention-bought prizes from prior conventions. That being said, this year's convention-bought prizes seemed comparable to the prior conventions I've attended (Moline and Scottsdale).

----------------

This year's convention was held in one of the more expensive hotels of any convention. It's not that it was just held in a major city, San Antonio, it's that it was held in the Marriott in downtown San Antonio directly on the RiverWalk.

If it were held out in the suburbs, for example, it would have been much cheaper. Just because other conventions were held in major cities, you mentioned Baltimore, Scottsdale, Louisville, New Orleans, and Orlando, doesn't mean they are necessarily comparable to downtown San Antonio on the RiverWalk (Scottsdale was probably comparable, it was very nice).

I don't care if you're Donald Trump with your negotiating skills- the Marriott in downtown San Antonio on the RiverWalk is going to be much more expensive than the HolidayInn in Moline, among others. And since paying for the hotel and the convention space is by far the biggest expense, it will necessarily mean that there is less in the budget for convention-bought prizes.

How do you know they didn't do a great job of negotiating for this year's convention compared to the others you mentioned- Baltimore, Scottsdale, Louisville, New Orleans, and Orlando? You assumed they blew a "Huge" amount of money on the props (which they didn't), so it makes me wonder if you're just assuming they didn't do a great job negotiating as well.

From the 19th Annual Sweepstakes Convention web site's FAQ:
http://www.lonestarstampede.com/faq.html

Quote:
Q: Why is the 2008 convention being held in August instead of May or June when it is normally scheduled?

A: Each year's convention planners decide when a convention will be held. One of the most important factors is the price of hotel rooms. The San Antonio River Walk is one of the top 10 tourist attractions in the U.S.A. and River Walk hotels normally charge $250-$400 per night for a regular room. In order to get the unbelievably low room rate we are providing you with we had to be willing to move the convention date.
While it's not necessarily evidence of their negotiating skills, it's certainly evidence that they put a lot of thought and consideration into how much it would cost.

In addition, there's going to be less room for negotiation with a hotel and convention center located directly on one of the top 10 tourist attractions in the U.S. than there would be with a hotel/resort/convention center that's not.

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Speaking of extravagant props, tell me something Joe, how much of your budget did you spend on the girl from the Caddyshack movie?

How much in convention-bought prizes did you give up to get her?

Perhaps you put your superior negotiating skills to work and talked her down to a box of number 10 envelopes, a couple of books of stamps, and a crimper.

I really don't want to give you a hard time Joe, but I'm shocked (on a number of levels) that you, a former convention host, would state (publicly no-less) that a "Huge" amount of money on "extravagant" props was spent when nothing could be further from the truth.

If you consider the western-themed props at this year's western-themed convention "extravagant" (that is by definition exceeding the limits of reason or necessity; lacking in moderation, balance, and restraint; extremely or excessively elaborate; spending much more than necessary), then what in the world was Cindy Morgan?

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I have nothing bad to say about any of the sweepstakes conventions. I thoroughly enjoyed every one that I've attended, as did the vast majority of the people I've spoken to.

They're all different, they all have their own style, theme and personality. Every single person or sweeps club that's run a sweepstakes convention has to make their own determination as to the allocation of funds. Some allocate more towards prizes and less to the venue and other convention-related expenses, and some allocate more towards the venue and other convention-related expenses and less towards prizes.

Those differences don't necessarily make one convention better than another and they don't necessarily mean that one convention was better managed or negotiated than the others. They're just different is all, and I for one enjoy and appreciate those differences.

As I said before, anyone who attends a sweepstakes convention mainly for the prizes is bound to be disappointed. Most people just aren't going to win a big prize. For every winner, there are always going to be several more who don't win no matter how the convention is run or funds allocated. And since this year's convention had 65-70% more attendees than any other convention before it, then it is only natural that there's going to be 65-70% more people who don't win a big prize (and by extension 65-70% more complaints).

The sweepstakes conventions, just like the sweeping itself, are also very much about teaching others how to win, helping others win, providing a good dose of continued motivation and inspiration, and supporting the sweeping hobby, community and each other. Of the three national sweepstakes conventions I've attended now, this was the first year I won anything big ($500). And as great as that was, it pales in comparison to the experience of meeting and spending time with some of the most kind, thoughtful, fun-loving, intelligent and non-judgmental people I've ever had the pleasure to meet and everything that I've learned from them. There just aren't that many people around that get sweepers other than other sweepers. And to me and most of the sweepers I know, that's what makes the annual sweepstakes convention (and sweeping itself) such a wonderful and rewarding experience. IMO, that is how each sweepstakes convention should be judged overall, and by that measure each of the sweepstakes conventions I've attended have been nothing short of a smashing success.

Of course the convention-bought prizes are important. But anyone who spends $500 or more to attend a sweepstakes convention for the primary purpose of winning prizes is missing the whole point and would be much better off saving their money and staying home. Not only would they save $500++ (in some cases much more), but they would have made a much better investment had they used that time at home entering thousands of free sweeps (online).


Brent


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