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WCAF 2013

blackiris

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I don't roll like that... I'm a planner. :popc:

I dont often JUMP IN unless I can see the bottom or I've drank A LOT of tequila..........
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Why have the buzz for people to "get in early" on deals then? I guess I dont understand how they can offer one thing and expect people to commit with not having all the story.
Who is "they"?
If you are talking about the hotel deals, which come and go quickly, the "get in early" buzz is coming from Grumblers. As noted in posts above, the WCAF organizers promote only the Mirage, and have nothing to do with the other hotels.

If you are talking about registering for classes, every year people complain because they could not get the classes they wanted most. Hence, the "get in early" buzz about registering for classes, and especially the VIP passes.

The usual Registration Rush will cause some classes to sell out within a week or two after the WCAF and PPFA schedules are announced. A few of the classes sell out within days after registration opens, which usually happens in mid-November. But Hobby Publications moved their offices a couple of months ago, and that might have hampered their early work on the show. We'll see.

Your dilemma about deciding when to come and go is a wait-and-then-hurry-up situation that happens to everyone who is serious about planning their classes. Experienced show-goers have an advantage.
 

RParrish

PFG, Picture Framing God
Your dilemma about deciding when to come and go is a wait-and-then-hurry-up situation that happens to everyone who is serious about planning their classes. Experienced show-goers have an advantage.
Unless you get your VIP Pass.

And Yes Rob you can count me in on the Chinese Dinner 2013!
 

RParrish

PFG, Picture Framing God
That may be true, but it depends on your class selections. Remember that a few of the most popular classes are not available on the VIP Pass.
well nobody mentioned that......and THAT SUCKS!
 

FrameMakers

PFG, Picture Framing God
As I recall the only classes that were not included were the gold leafing classes.
 

pwalters

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Person A: You should book WCAF
Person B: I should. I can't wait to sign up for classes.
A: They haven't published the list yet.
B: Well how am I going to know when to come in and out of LV and whether or not there are classes I want to take and which ones I should take?
A: You could buy the VIP pass.
B: Sounds cool, what does that give you?
A: Pretty much access to the classes.
B: Cool, so no matter what I can take what I want with it?
A: Yep, except in the past it hasn't been good for some classes.
B: So how do I know if it will allow me to take the ones I want, especially if they don't know what classes there are going to be?
A: I don't know but give them the money and you'll figure it out. Oh, and book your hotel room. It's only $109 a night.
B: I found rooms for $30 a night across the street.
A: If you do that they'll have to charge you more for the classes in the future.
B: I don't care since I don't know what those classes are going to be. I need to save the money now so that I can pay for the classes that aren't included in the VIP that I'm going to buy without knowing what it gets me.
A: What classes are those?
B: I don't know, third base.

Does that pretty much sum it up?
 

Grey Owl

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Another question: In lecture classes, do attendees like classes where they can ask questions throughtout the presentation and have the class be more of a give and take, or do they like to sit and absorb and ask questions later....

Do you like handouts or do you prefer to access information by downloading the full class presentation after the class?....
Concerning questions, generally like some questions during the presentation, but sometimes I beLieve the instructors need to say, "let's try to answer that later as time permits.". Some questions have quick answers and others are very detailed, which can result in not finishing on time. Unfortunately, I have had to leave some classes because of too many questions, and another class was starting soon.

Concerning handouts, I like them before the class starts. I also like to have the ability to have them downloaded, so I can have an electronic file for reference.

Concerning classes, I like classes that give me ideas about doing something unique that the boxes don't do. This has included gold leaf and fillets in the past.

One of my favorites was Baer's on cutting glass my hand for oval frames. Very basic but very good. None of those clunky oval cutters are needed.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
This thread is getting a bit warped........:)

The VIP Pass has never covered the gold leafing class and possibly a few of the other all day or multi day workshops. It also provides hotel nights and lunch vouchers. For those who maximize their show attendance, it is a good deal, especially with the extended payment plan. The VIP Pass does not guarantee seats in a class, you still have to register when the schedule is published.....but it does mean you will get a discount and an extended payment plan.

Classes for the WCAF start on Sunday and run through Wednesday. There are good classes on both Sunday and Wednesday, though the Wednesday classes are usually only in the morning and end by noon. The panel discussion/continental breakfast is traditionally on Wednesday morning - though it starts at 8:30 and means that if you have a class that starts at 9 AM you will have to leave just as it is getting good.....(then you can also read a transcript monthly in PFM Magazine after the show)

The PPFA schedule overlaps a bit and there is a CPF exam and also a MCPF exam. See the PPFA website for more info. There are some really great PPFA classes and you do not have to be a PPFA member to attend. I know there are educators who ONLY teach for the PPFA (Hugh Phibbs comes to mind) - and my Strip Lining Class (using BEVA) is only offered through the PPFA. It is my understanding that the Strip Lining class will be on Tuesday Jan 29th from 3:30 - 5:30.....followed by the Chinese Dinner at 7 PM.

Experienced show attendees usually arrive on Saturday and leave on Wednesday.

Experienced show attendees also know that there are great deals to be had in the last hours of the show - and even better deals if you drive there and can take home demo equipment. (Though I have known people to buy the show demo equipment and have the vendor ship it to them).
 

Cliff Wilson

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Booked my flight! $231.50 Southwest round trip out of Boston.

I'll be flying in on Friday and out on Thursday.

For those interested, the Chapter Leader's Conference will be held on Saturday. This is an all day session designed to help Chapter leaders with running their chapters.
 

Kirstie

PFG, Picture Framing God
I have also never bought a pass, although it is a good deal for people who may want to take a lot of classes. I like to split my time between education and the trade show. For us the show is a good buying opportunity, so we always leave a chunk of time for it. and have usually waited until class schedules for Sunday come out before bookong flights and hotel. That way I know if we want to fly in on Saturday or Sunday. We usually fly out on Wednesday night unless we have another reason to stay. I dont' remember ever being punished with higher flight prices by waiting until Sunday class schedules are published.

If I were to err on the side of caution, I would fly in on Saturday, plan a fun evening Saturday night, and be ready to grab one or more of the many good classes that will undoubtedly be offered on Sunday. I like Sunday classes because I don't feel torn between class attendance and trade show attendance. Then I would book to fly out on Wednesday night a couple of hours after the trade show closes. Last year we stayed an extra night to have dinner with friends and celebrate our joint birthdays, and that was fun. Flying home in the middle of the day on Thursday gave us a half empty flight and time for a leisurely breakfast before checkout.
 

David N Waldmann

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Booked my flight! $231.50 Southwest round trip out of Boston.
Was that some special promo? When I look at the website the lowest I find is $239-246 one way from any of the "locals" (MHT, BDL, BOS). Also, I don't see any direct flights, even though their service map shows BDL-LAS as non-stop. :shrug:

We are on United Sat-Sat out of BDL for $364.20 (ea).
 

Cliff Wilson

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Was that some special promo? When I look at the website the lowest I find is $239-246 one way from any of the "locals" (MHT, BDL, BOS). Also, I don't see any direct flights, even though their service map shows BDL-LAS as non-stop. :shrug:

We are on United Sat-Sat out of BDL for $364.20 (ea).
I've been checking BDL, BOS, and PVD each day.
The only direct flights were considerably high priced.
Best was JetBlue out of BOS .

The Southwest $115, $121 and their other "special" pricing showed up periodically on one-stop flights with long layovers. The other day the ones I booked showed up with what I thought was a reasonable layover making less than eight hour total travel times.

Kirstie, it must be nice to be in the same time zone. I decided long ago I would not fly a redeye because I wind up useless for two days afterward. In the old days I could do it, shower and head in to work. Now I'm too old.
 

John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Argggggggggg

Cliff Wilson said:
...I decided long ago I would not fly a redeye because I wind up useless for two days afterward. In the old days I could do it, shower and head in to work. Now I'm too old.
Cliff...totally agree. The first time I did a red-eye was back in the early '80's out of SFO... Decided that I would never do that again. Four years later, I took one out of LAX back to the Midwest...Confirmed that you are useless the whole next day! :faintthud: So have kept my word this time...and have never taken a red-eye since.

JER
 

Cliff Wilson

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Cliff...totally agree. The first time I did a red-eye was back in the early '80's out of SFO... Decided that I would never do that again. Four years later, I took one out of LAX back to the Midwest...Confirmed that you are useless the whole next day! :faintthud: So have kept my word this time...and have never taken a red-eye since.

JER
In my younger days I was flying about 100k miles a year. Could sleep on the plane as well as anywhere. Those days are gone. ;-)
 

Artrageous

PFG, Picture Framing God

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
That's an exceptional deal.

The non sale SW price for PVD is $245 down and $182 back.

If hotel and bus transfers are booked with Southwest, it bumps the total to $650 PP/RT. (by my math that's about $72 per night avg, including tax) For comparison sake, that was with harrahs.

It's still more economical to book a hotel on its own, and to wait for the next sale on the airline. But i'll be watching, too. We aren't 100% sure that we are going yet, but most likely! A *LOT* of people who havent attended in years seem to be going to this show. I bet the Mirage block sells out, too. I think it will be a great show.

Mike

Booked my flight! $231.50 Southwest round trip out of Boston.

I'll be flying in on Friday and out on Thursday.

For those interested, the Chapter Leader's Conference will be held on Saturday. This is an all day session designed to help Chapter leaders with running their chapters.
 

David N Waldmann

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

Cliff Wilson

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Yes, I know... but I couldn't find anything. Looked under Specials, logged in, logged out...???
David, it seems to be some kind of roulette game :)

They come and go and the special fares show up on different flights.
A travel agent friend explained that they "release only so many seats at a time at special prices?"

Harry Gaston and I were taking turns watching and finally just grabbed one.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
If you are looking for a good fare - why not use a fare watching engine like: http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/ ?

There are others, but the principle is that you set a watch on a certain route and they automatically notify you if a fare within your specifications shows up.
 

Cliff Wilson

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
If you are looking for a good fare - why not use a fare watching engine like: http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/ ?

There are others, but the principle is that you set a watch on a certain route and they automatically notify you if a fare within your specifications shows up.
Doesn't work for Southwest or JetBlue whcih tend to have the best fares.
But, it's a useful tool to bounce against a fare on Southwest to make sure you're getting an optimal selection.
 

MaJa

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Have you ever tried Kayak? It does Southwest and Spirit. It's $128 roundtrip from PDX right now with Spirit.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
Spirit is $24 each way from San Diego to Las Vegas!
 

Artrageous

PFG, Picture Framing God
Chicago to Las Vegas is 78.00 each way including taxes and fees on Spirit.

San Francisco to Las Vegas is 39.00 going/ 59.00 returning.
 

Grey Owl

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
For me, using miles is the cheapest airfare.

For the meals, show and classes, I have a budget of $1000. The less I pay for the hotel, the more classes I can take.

I will need to wait until I see the class schedule, because one less day equals more classes. Also if my 4th quarter is good, I will allow myself to go over budget, so I might sign up for more when I get there

The VIP pass may be a good deal for many, but it is outside of my budget: i also try to take one of the gilding classes each time, and those are priced separately.
 

Artrageous

PFG, Picture Framing God
Thanks -

I won't know if I'm going in Sunday or Monday until I see the schedule, so I'm planning on using miles.
When I use Southwest miles, I can switch flights with no extra charge. The only restriction is there needs to be a seat available on that new flight. It gives me the ability to book early without the worry.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
I just can't sit on my hands.......

A trip to the WCAF is a legitimate business expense - so airfare is a tax deductible (and miles earning) expense.

As a miles junkie, I just do not understand using miles to pay for a domestic business flight which is tax deductible and not saving them to use for a vacation (which usually is not) - especially with the low cost options for flights to Las Vegas. Using airline miles or points for domestic travel is a really poor return.
 

Artrageous

PFG, Picture Framing God
I just can't sit on my hands.......

A trip to the WCAF is a legitimate business expense - so airfare is a tax deductible (and miles earning) expense.

As a miles junkie, I just do not understand using miles to pay for a domestic business flight which is tax deductible and not saving them to use for a vacation (which usually is not) - especially with the low cost options for flights to Las Vegas. Using airline miles or points for domestic travel is a really poor return.
For some, this is as much a vacation as a business trip. For others, this may be the only trip they take during the year. While still others have many air miles accrued but are cash strapped.
 

Grey Owl

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I just can't sit on my hands.......

A trip to the WCAF is a legitimate business expense - so airfare is a tax deductible (and miles earning) expense.

As a miles junkie, I just do not understand using miles to pay for a domestic business flight which is tax deductible and not saving them to use for a vacation (which usually is not) - especially with the low cost options for flights to Las Vegas. Using airline miles or points for domestic travel is a really poor return.
I understand your comments and Rob, i would normally agree with you.

Concerning miles:

First, Janet has problems with sitting for more than an hour at a time, and she ends up getting bladder infections when she sits too long. This has occurred on our last two international trips. Because of her allergies she has had significant problems with all of the medicines we have tried to use overseas.

We now found an antibiotic that she can use, but it can only be given in the ER (approximately 6 hours each time for an IV treatment) and she has to be there for three days in a row. This is a very heavy drug with lots of risk. Consequently, I suspect we will not be doing any more international trips.

I have more than 600,000 miles right now, so I will probably use miles...however I will still check out the flight costs when I see the schedule.

Concerning business expenses.

Yes, WCAF and related expenses are business expenses and deductable, with meals at 50%, but it still deductable.

However at a 25% federal tax rate, Colorado at 4.9% and Medicare taxes, SS taxes, etc, some deductable, so it adds up to approx 33%. This affects my cash flow. For example, say my expenses are $1,000. If I did not spend the $1,000 I would have to pay approximately $333 more in taxes (assuming the 33% is correct) but I would also have $667 more in cash for either additional investment to put back into my business or as income Janet and I can use for something else.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
I have more than 600,000 miles right now, so I will probably use miles...
Russ - given your situation I would use the miles too :).

Stockpiling them makes no sense. Especially if you do not foresee an international trip in the immediate future.

But for those whose entire mileage balance would be used for a trip that is potentially so "inexpensive" (and can afford to pay cash for the flight) it might not be a wise use of points/miles.

As you have made us aware, each person's situation is different - but at least you have evaluated your situation and have made an intelligent choice.
 

Grey Owl

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Yes Rob, my situation is a little different this year.

However for most, if they are in a good cash flow situation, they should never use miles.

For example, if your after tax rates (all including federal, ss, medicare, state, etc) is 33% as in my example, and you are a single proprietary (or sub chapter S?) your business income becomes personal income.

So if you use miles instead of paying for a $300.00 fare, you will also end up paying $100 more in taxes.

Likewise, if you plan on spending $1,000 on something that is deductible (such as the WCAF), your effective cost is really only $666 after tax, because you will have reduced your total personal tax liability by $333.

The key for what you should do, is your particular cash flow situation.

Unfortunately for me this year, My largest commercial client, which has been great for the last 5 years, is off approximately 75% this year. My retail business is up, but not enough to offset this decline. Consequently, I'm watching my cash flow closer this year.
 

David N Waldmann

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
However for most, if they are in a good cash flow situation, they should never use miles.

For example, if your after tax rates (all including federal, ss, medicare, state, etc) is 33% as in my example, and you are a single proprietary (or sub chapter S?) your business income becomes personal income.

So if you use miles instead of paying for a $300.00 fare, you will also end up paying $100 more in taxes.

Likewise, if you plan on spending $1,000 on something that is deductible (such as the WCAF), your effective cost is really only $666 after tax, because you will have reduced your total personal tax liability by $333.
This is a fundamental principle of business that everyone should understand (and study until they do, if they don't) and implement on a daily basis. Note that it does not encourage spending money "because it's a tax deduction" - you never save more money than you spend in the long run. However in some particular year, say an unusual one where you make an inordinate profit, you could make a large purchase (such as a CMC, new delivery vehicle, etc) that can be fully expensed under Section 179. In that case, even if you have to borrow the money to buy it, the tax savings can easily exceed the cost of interest AND help in the short term cash flow situation. There's (almost) nothing worse than having a "profitable" year and not having the cash to pay your taxes on all that money...
 

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
Southwest has a 40% off sale today.

1/24 Providence to Vegas is $115 (or $149 on 1/25)

1/31 Vegas to Providence is $182 (or $115 on 1/30)

I believe there are similar deals for all cities. (cheaper if you are closer to Vegas than we are)

Mike
 

David N Waldmann

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Southwest has a 40% off sale today.

I believe there are similar deals for all cities. (cheaper if you are closer to Vegas than we are)
Yes, it's a nationwide sale.

Thanks,
 

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
There are also blackout dates FROM Vegas, starting on Thursday the 31st. That's why the 40% wasnt applied for our return flight.

If you leave Wed night, you will be able to get the additional discount.

Mike
 

auntiesarahjayne

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
just got my tickets.

Roundtrip to Vegas, no stop. $257.70

On Harrah's right now getting room.

First time to Vegas.

YAY!
 

blackiris

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Would LOVE to know when classes are!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :fire:
 

FrameMakers

PFG, Picture Framing God
I looked at it and from Columbus the prices were still pretty high, much higher in fact than those listed for east coast locations. Best I could do was just under $400 round trip. That still sound high to me.
 

Artrageous

PFG, Picture Framing God
I looked at it and from Columbus the prices were still pretty high, much higher in fact than those listed for east coast locations. Best I could do was just under $400 round trip. That still sound high to me.
Dave, I just checked and it's 130.0 each way from Columbus to Vegas.

Did you click on the deals and get the "BigDeal40" in the promo line? If not you're just seeing the regular fare rates.
 

blackiris

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Specific classes...... some of us kids to plan around.
 

FrameMakers

PFG, Picture Framing God
Yea I did have the code in the search. I wonder if there is some cookie that is kicking back higher prices for me?
 
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