Over the years, we have collected some of our most popular OMSA Convention FAQs and have posted them here for your benefit. We will continuously screen the Convention Forum to post new FAQs as they arise.
Where can I get information to attend the next OMSA Convention?
We typically post the next convention details in a series of JOMSA ads from February through August to inform the membership. This will include a registration form and hotel details for those that do not visit the website. The best resource for convention information will be the OMSA Website and we will keep you posted as more details become available in the February – August timeframe.
As a new convention attendee, what do I do when I show up and how can I network?
We know how awkward attending an event can be for the first time. That is why you will receive a registration package when you arrive at the registration desk that has the convention program and details. If you wish, you can ask for some orientation help at the registration desk and one of our senior members will introduce you around to people who share common collecting interests. There is also a welcome reception typically on Thursday night where you can meet all the OMSA Officers, Board of Directors and other OMSA members in attendance.
What is the typical dress code for the OMSA Conventions?
The dress code for the bourse and the seminars is casual. We encourage a tie and sport coat for the formal dinner on Saturday night. If you are bringing a spouse, just think of Saturday night as a chance to treat them to a nice formal sit-down dinner to make up for the fact that you have been submerged in the bourse for three solid days!
What if I have other questions about the upcoming OMSA Conventions?
You have two good avenues to get answers to your questions. First, you can post up on our Convention Forum to ask OMSA members who have been there and done that. Second option is to contact the OMSA Chairman direct via his/her email details contained within these links.
Convention Location and Logistics
How are the OMSA Convention locations chosen and what are the logistical needs?
We try to rotate the OMSA Conventions among the East Coast, West Coast and the middle of the country. This is to help spread around travel logistics and costs to OMSA members that are located in different parts of the U.S. Logistical requirements are hotels with a minimum of 12,000 square feet of floor space for the bourse and the ability to serve 300 people a sit-down dinner. Finally, we need a volunteer to be convention chairman who is nearby to handle all the coordination that comes up in the planning and execution phases.
Why not Las Vegas for an OMSA location (popular question)?
We’ve been actively looking at Las Vegas. The problem is that we’re too small a function for the larger hotels and too large for the smaller places. And the hotels don’t want to talk more than about 2 years out and we prefer a longer lead time. Since we don’t have a chairman on the ground in the area, all the planning and coordination has to be done long-distance. None of these are insurmountable, but just add sand to the gears.
Why can’t we hold a convention in my hometown?
As stated above, if you are willing to volunteer to Co-Chair an OMSA Convention, we are all ears and are willing to help you. Second best is finding us an OMSA member in your area that is willing to do it. Finding volunteers to chair a convention is quite often the sticking point as we have identified many potentially nice hotels, but no local presence on the ground to help us.
How far in advance are OMSA Convention sites chosen?
Convention sites are typically chosen three to five years in advance. This is mostly due to insuring that we have locked in convention space with popular hotels through our contract negotiation process.
Why is the OMSA Convention held in August?
Besides simply tradition, the first two weeks in August is still a peak summer vacation period. This gives many of our OMSA members more flexibility to attend with their children out of school or for those OMSA members who are in the teaching profession.
Who do I contact to Chair an OMSA Convention?
You can contact Nathan Weiss, OMSA Convention Coordinator or any of the other OMSA Officers to discuss this further. OMSA has a Convention Chairman’s Handbook that helps take you through this process to host a successful convention. You can also draw on a wealth of experienced ex-chairmen to help you.
As an OMSA member, why can I not pay the one day public fee and enter the bourse on any day that the convention is open?
The convention is a 3 ½ day event with the bourse and events. However, the OMSA convention bourse is open to the public on Saturday and members can elect to attend only the Saturday bourse by paying the public admission fee. For those that cannot afford the full registration fee, this is very good value. For those that can afford it, look at full registration as a way to support the continuation of our OMSA Conventions. For those that do not pay the full registration fees and elect to come in with the public, please be aware that no exceptions will be made for attending the bourse on any day but Saturday.This is only being fair to those that do pay the full registration and help underwrite our convention.
Supporting Your OMSA Conventions
Why should I stay at the designated convention hotel?
Every OMSA Convention Chairman has to go through a negotiating process to sign a contract with the hosting hotel. This process helps guarantee a reasonable room rate for OMSA members, as well as low operating costs for the bourse and banquet. In return, the hotel also likes to minimize its risks by OMSA guaranteeing a certain number of room nights occupancy for attending OMSA members. If attending OMSA members elect to stay at a different hotel, they only undercut our ability to break even on the convention (not intended to be a revenue generator) and ultimately these costs have to be passed on to the members in future conventions by hurting our ability to negotiate for group room discounts.
Why should I stay for the entire convention?
As stated above, OMSA must estimate and commit to the convention hotel a guaranteed number of room night occupancy. This helps lower our convention operating costs. That is why we encourage people to stay for the entire convention so that we can insure meeting our minimum requirements without incurring penalties. This is also why shortening the convention as mentioned by some members can actually hurt our ability to negotiate with the hotels.
Should I bring an exhibit to the OMSA Convention?
Exhibiting at the convention is open to any OMSA member who registers for the convention. Exhibit cases are provided at no charge to you. Viewing exhibits is part of the value offered by attending a convention. By you bringing an exhibit, you are helping to increase this value for others in attendance. The size or scope does not have to be big. It is enough to share your interests with others, no matter what the scale.
How can I help out at the OMSA Conventions?
Any OMSA member who volunteers to chair a convention must have a team of volunteers to help run the convention. This can vary from help setting up the display cases, running the bourse, manning the registration desk, lining up guest speakers, etc. So contact your local convention chairman if it is a local event for you and be a part of the team!