More Convention Questions

Sunday March 16 2008

These questions come up every year.

Q: Why do we have the convention downtown?

A: The Convention Committee and the OCHEC Trustees look into alternate locations every year. Since 1994, the Myriad/Cox Center has been the only facility with enough floor space (we use 100,000 square feet!), adequate parking (underground and street-level lots) and loading access with four loading doors plus a truck dock for bringing in over 200 booths' worth of goods (we allow vendors to drive right into the exhibit hall to unload). We are able to reserve the facility more than a year in advance, which helps with planning exhibits, workshops and speakers, and overnight security is provided to protect the millions of dollars' worth of supplies, electronic equipment and cinnamon roll dough.

We've looked at every structure of any significant size in the metro area, and haven't found any that can accommodate our annual convention. We will continue to investigate alternatives, but we will only change venues if it is an appreciable improvement over our current situation.

Q: The parking is TERRIBLE! What can you do about it?

A: Well, for starters, Convention attendees are provided with vouchers reducing the parking fees from $6 to $1 which are good in several nearby lots. Parking is available under the Cox Center, and in these other nearby locations.

Additionally, planning ahead can save a few headaches. Carpool in with someone from your area, if possible. The earlier you arrive in the morning, the closer you'll be able to park. And remember that, however far away you are, it's probably closer than walking from your house!

Q: Why can't we have the convention at a church?

A: Strangely, we haven't found any churches that want to rent their facilities to 2,500 attendees and over 200 vendors for three straight days, ending at 8 or 9pm on a Saturday night. Also, we've met with some resistance to the idea of driving trucks and trailers into the fellowship hall.

More helpful links for you: go here and here if you want to get to know our main speakers a little better.