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IPMS-USA Nationals 2007 Show Report
Traveling to the show
I was happy to be going with my now routine travel-partner, Charles Reading. We have attended a number of shows together now and it's always great to have someone to share the experience with. Charles was nice enough to divert from his direct path to the show to pick me up from my home. We spent the 4 hour drive South chatting about... what else, modeling. The drive went smoothly and we didn't even run into too much traffic taking I-5 all the way to Anaheim. After getting a little turned around by missing the first exit (Harbor) we got off at Katella and found the hotel complex. Parking was not included in our stay and we ended up paying $20 a day for the hotel garage. The Sheraton across the street apparently only charges $10 for anyone going there in future. The Marriot is a very nice hotel. I believe a 3 star establishment. The lobby and convention areas are top-notch. The rooms are more the 3 star variety. There was a special room rate for the show of $120 a night. Which alas I didn't know about until making reservations on Priceline. So I ended up paying a bit more.
The show underway
The show was already under-way when we got to it on Thursday morning. Charles had several entries and was first discouraged to enter them when told in addition to the posted entry fees he would also need to join the national IPMS organization (not being a member of a local). It was all resolved though as Charles ended up joining for the $25(?) and not having to pay anything else. Indeed the whole entrance and exit from the contest area seemed a bit odd as there was no one checking to see if you had paid an entry fee or had a badge, etc. Perhaps this was as it was designed, I don't know. Once we started to look around though it was easy to ignore all these little idiosyncrasies and simply enjoy the show. There were vendors galore, new model contest entries arriving hourly and many manufacturers were also present at the show either in the main vendor area, or in Dragon Expo 2007's area which was adjoining to the show. Having attended last year's Dragon Expo I will have to admit being a bit disappointed in the amount of space they were allotted, but all the main players were on-hand and a few new ones. We were happy to meet and speak with Ryzhko Alexey and Svetlana of MiniArt as well as Alexander Buzin of ICM. Alex and Svetlana were especially pleasant to chat with and big admirers of this community. We would like to thank them for their time and generosity. Indeed speaking with Svetlana at some length made me realize how foolish it was that we ever were at opposite sides in the Cold War and how great it is that this hobby can bring so many people from various corners of the world together as one.