Our Top Story: APMM Conference 2020 Rescheduled to Oct 23-26!

CONTENTS
Long-Awaited Gathering Rescheduled - A message from Jill Kenik
Workplace Adaptations - Social distancing, teleworking and more
Where You Stay Matters - Why lodge at the APMM's host hotel?
Coronavirus Resources - Best sources of information
Updates from Seattle - The unfolding situation in our host city
Same Conference/New Date - We'll see you there!

 


Looking Forward To The Conference!

And getting advice, ideas, new skills, model maker energy, and some local delicacies!

submitted by Jill Kenik, APMM PRESIDENT 

We are only a couple weeks away from the Seattle Conference, and my excitement grows each day! I am looking forward to a recharge of my professional batteries that only an APMM Conference can provide.

The APMM Board has accomplished a lot these past 2 years with the new website, adding a forum, updating our bylaws, and planning what promises to be a fantastic Seattle Conference. I look forward to reconnecting with this high-energy group in person to work out our goals for the next 2 years, but we need your help. The Board will be hosting an informal member’s gathering on Saturday evening (8 PM at the hotel lobby) to exchange ideas with members. Bring your ideas, crazy or sane, and share in some old-fashioned brainstorming! We will supply the snacks.

I'm looking forward to finally getting to discuss the many sides of selecting, running and maintaining the wide variety of machines that are available—especially a laser cutter! When I get a few minutes, I enjoy putting all the shop toys to work on my family’s model railroad, and I am looking forward to Miles Hale’s workshop on miniature landscaping. I will figure out the professional justification on that one later.

I was first on the list for Chris Stanley’s full day Arduino Wizardry session. I am anxious to explore the possibility of adding some custom computing power to my work and workshop!

It’s Seattle! While many of you will be trying the local brews, you will find me scouring the chocolate and coffee scene!

Most of all, I look forward to sharing tools, processes and technology along with project successes and failures with the only group alive that actually understands 'What Makes a Maker'. And by the way... there’s a workshop for that, too.

See you in Seattle!

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Long-Awaited Gathering Rescheduled

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.”– Francis of Assisi

submitted by Jill Kenik, APMM PRESIDENT 

What does the APMM have in common with the Winter X Games, Mobile World Conference, Facebook Developers Conference, and the Game Developers Conference?  We have all had to postpone big events because of the Coronavirus outbreak.  The APMM board has spent the past 15 months preparing for the big event and we are genuinely upset and disappointed not to be able to move ahead with our March Conference in Seattle.

Members of the APMM Board began watching the virus story unfold in Seattle in early February.  Right up until the governor of the state of Washington declared an emergency a couple weeks ago, we thought it was overblown media hype.  Really, there were only a hand-full of cases, right?  After hearing the announcement, I dug in deep to research the matter and was stunned to find that big players like Amazon and Microsoft had already cancelled major events, some as far off as May.  This was far more serious than I imagined.  In the wee hours of Saturday night, I realized we had a big problem—we could not risk the health of our membership by proceeding with this gathering.

Morning could not come fast enough, and the first communications with Samanthi and the APMM Board began before my first cup of Sunday morning coffee.  Throughout several telephone calls, each board member expressed concerns for member safety and impact on the APMM.  By late morning, it was clear that one of hardest decisions in the history of APMM had to be made, and by afternoon, the Board came together to postpone the Conference and begin the work of overcoming the obstacle.

While the Board placed member health and safety first, we had to figure out how to also keep the APMM running.  Unlike the Winter X Games, Microsoft, or Facebook, there is no fat bank account available to float the conference forward by several months.  Our budget is simple and barebones.  We pay Samanthi a modest part-time salary to do absolutely everything necessary to keep us functioning.  All sorts of clerical, managerial and planning tasks—anything and everything that the APMM does first passes through Sam.  She has been the one constant in our organization, and is the glue that holds our community together.  We also pay a monthly subscription on member management software, a one-stop tool that provides a platform for all the things that an organization needs to run: the website, email, communication blasts, membership lists, credit card processing—the whole business of the APMM runs from the MemberClicks AMS platform. 

Everything else that you see is done by member volunteers—designing t-shirts, making flyers, organizing the conference, writing and publishing the newsletter, running the forum, redesigning the website—there’s no fat in the budget to afford luxuries.  There is a simple APMM board mantra.. if something needs done, just get it done.  Make it, fix it, build it, or arrange a donation of it, but we are not going to buy it.  Like most small businesses, there is neither fluff nor undesignated emergency funds.  The APMM runs at the apex of lean.

On the income side of the APMM, our membership fees don’t come in quite high enough to cover the barebones annual expenses and we rely on our biennial Conference income to cover the big gap and float us out until the next gathering.  

You have figured out where this is going.  We have a problem.  Not insurmountable, but it requires more than the usual amounts of member commitment, more patience and more support. You cannot sit back right now and let some other member handle this. We have financial commitments and now a delayed supporting income.  Normally this all flushes out biennially at the March conference, but this year, things are different.

Every one of you that is reading this has benefited in some way from your membership in the APMM.  You would not be reading this if the case were otherwise.  Here is what you need to do (and not do) to help APMM recover from Coronavirus:

  1. Do not cancel your conference plans! It has been rescheduled for the weekend of Friday, October 23 through Monday, October 26, 2020. Your registration fees have been credited to the rescheduled conference; so come out, have a drink with your friends, nerd out over the latest tech, attend the outstanding workshops, enjoy and learn from the tours, experience a new city—do all the things you normally do at an APMM Conference.
  2. Reach out to another model maker or vendor that hasn’t been to a Conference in a while and encourage them to join us for the fall event. Or at least encourage them to renew their memberships and re-engage with our community.
  3. Share your favorite vendor with us!  We'll soon share ways that you can tell us about the fantastic vendors and suppliers you rely on to do your job.
  4. When the time comes to re-book your conference accommodations, do it at the APMM’s designated hotel, the University Inn. This is the make-it or break-it concern on the rescheduled conference.  Help us out here!  You will get complimentary breakfast with your friends, a great location, and a good room rate by booking the University Inn using our event code!  And there’s free sweet treats.
  5. Offer to help with some APMM tasks over the next few months.  Volunteer to present that workshop that you were a little too shy to arrange, share an idea with a Board Member, get involved in our Development Committee, make a small (or large) financial donation to APMM to help carry us forward to the fall. 

Member support over the past 10 days has been fantastic.  We want to thank our members for their support, open discussions and encouragement. Great things happen when the community comes together and connects. For this reason, we plan to present the Seattle conference in October. We are working with our conference partners to finalize the details and will share more information about our plans in the coming weeks. 

 Fasten your seatbelts (and wash your hands)!

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Choose Vendors Wisely: Avoid Surprises

Meet strategic partners at Industry Expo

SUBMITTED BY bruce willey, conference vp
When a new project comes through the door, and it’s going to require you to use a product or service you’ve never tried before, what do you do? You can always order some samples and do some test runs, but oh, right - you have a short deadline and a limited budget. Do you just place an order and hope for the best? 

Now is one of the times
your APMM membership
repays you!

 

 

 

Read more...
 

Hardwick & Sons: Inspirational Destination

Don't miss this treasure trove of model maker essentials... maybe even Unobtanium!

SUBMITTED BY duane martinez

What do duckbill pliers, a brass clawfoot toe cap, and a 1964 New York World’s Fair tape measure have in common? They can all be found at Hardwick and Sons Hardware Store in Seattle!

With a plethora of niches and aisles to browse, this hardware store has everything imaginable – and then some. From camping implements to specialty tools, the rows and shelves are jam packed with an abundance of useful and arcane inventory. I could spend hours in there… something tells me I might.

Read more...
 

Workplace Adaptations - Social Distancing, Teleworking and More

Large Companies Respond to COVID-19 With Enhanced Safety Policies, Restricting Meetings and Travel

SUBMITTED BY MICHAEL SCRIBNER, APMM SECRETARY

Just as members of the APMM were planning to convene our biennial gathering, in Seattle, WA - of all places, a virus was conspiring to ground us and make us rethink even the mundane task of going to work or to a professional gathering.

Now, organizations across the country are taking proactive steps to avoid putting employees in harm's way. Because of the extremely contagious nature of the COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus, changes are being enacted that affect off-site visits to clients, conference travel, and in some cases, even inter-office meetings between coworkers, in an effort to minimize the risk of illness.

Just as the APMM decided to reschedule our gathering, we are in good company as the following organizations have taken decisive actions to eliminate large gatherings and curtail travel:

  • Google cancelled their large annual developer conference, known as I/O, due to concerns over the virus. They also placed travel restrictions on their employees, forbidding non-essential international business travel.
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey requested that his entire staff (nearly 5,000 employees) work from home, and the company suspended all non-critical business travel and events.
  • The online payment platform developer Stripe took similar steps, with most of its employees encouraged (and in some cases required) to work remotely.
  • GPS manufacturer Garmin International suspended non-essential business travel globally, and recommended its employees reconsider personal travel to areas of increasing transmission.
  • Microsoft suspended some non-essential business travel, as well as closed its campus to tours or non-essential meetings and cancelled some upcoming events.
  • Whirlpool took similar measures, with their Europe, Middle-East and Africa headquarters, located in Milan, being situated in an area heavily affected by COVID-19.
  • The high-profile South by Southwest music and media festival in Austin, Texas has seen several large corporations such as Intel, Twitter and Facebook withdraw their participation, and more than 33,000 signatures on an online petition calling for the festival to be cancelled entirely, over fears of advancing transmission of COVID-19 in Texas. (The festival has since been cancelled.)

Some companies have taken this self-distancing policy as an opportunity to utilize virtual meetings. Whether teleconferencing through Skype or other software, or using more elaborate virtual meeting software such as GoToMeeting, many companies are finding this to be a suitable substitute for physical, in-person connection. 

  • Starbucks recently announced that they will be holding their annual shareholder’s meeting virtually. Starbucks headquarters is located in Seattle, Washington (currently the US state with the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19).
  • Adobe cancelled their annual summit in Las Vegas, saying it would become an “online-only” experience.
  • Similar steps have been taken by Facebook, converting one upcoming event into a virtual expo and cancelling another altogether.

Whether your organization is large or small, the implications to employee health and well-being, as well as the stresses to your bottom line because of work stoppages, shortages or shutdowns can weigh heavy. When fighting any foe, knowledge can be power, so here are a few links to read up on this latest threat and how some organizations are coping:

https://quillette.com/2020/03/03/dealing-with-a-once-in-a-century-pathogen/

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/03/811728989/coronavirus-cancellations-and-travel-bans-google-is-latest

https://www.moodyonthemarket.com/whirlpool-takes-precautions-as-coronavirus-advances-near-emea-hq-in-milan/

https://www.usnews.com/news/economy/articles/2020-03-03/twitter-amazon-google-among-businesses-guarding-against-coronavirus

 

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