Year after year, it seems they are inadequate in learning that lesson.
Yep, and that will continue forever. IPMS/USA is so stuck in its ways, that it seems to me nothing short of no bidders for a nationals will shake them up. They think that modelers owe them, rather then they need to put a competitive product in the marketplace for modelers. Its sad to watch membership numbers drop and drop and those in power not seem to give much notice to it. And in a couple of other issues which really aren't germane here, and I'm quite honestly I'm done with them. I'll be more then happy to maintain my IPMS/Canada membership and just try to start building models again.
As for the SIG, I do accept much of the blame. As Co-Leader I just never had the time to put into it. And with all the changes my life has seen the last couple of years, I didn't see anyway for me to recommit any time in the future. So I'm sorry to all our members.
Well, Jim, I take some exception to all this. An amendment on the current ballot will free us from much of the language that keeps us "stuck in our ways" as far as the national contest goes. Please vote for it. I'm sure you know that the C&BL requires us to achieve a certain threshold to make amendment voting valid and that failure has doomed other amendments designed to make necessary changes to the C&BL.
Membership numbers flucuate, with many of the ups/down tied specifically to what region the nationals is being held in. They are not dropping and dropping and we are very aware of them and what the effect of actions might be. For $25/year, the 6-times-a-year all-color journal could be considered worth it.
The bottom line is that modelers have found they can enjoy what IPMS provides at the local and regional level without being members and simply don't bother joining. Don't ask me why but if we went away, most of the local contest/show structure would simply disappear due to lack of insurance and then folks will wonder what hit them. In that regard, yes, the modleres do "owe us" but not in the manner I took your comment to mean.
SIGs are simply not of general interest to IPMS/USA members, who, as Bruce pointed out, have a competiveness streak. We do not treat SIGs the same as Chapters, such as IPMS/UK does Branches & SIGs, and frankly would probably see a 75% loss of those things we call SIGs if we did. The "display" vs "contest" debate takes place regularily and when we make efforts to provide display space at a nationals, it doesn't get filled, and rarely at regional or local shows. (Being a non-competitor myself, I don't understand it, but I'm in vast minority.)
As I said, we are not perfect, but frankly having seen it at all levels, more of the blame lies with a membership that is unwilling to take ownership of their organization and participate fully in it ...