I love the characterization of being persuasive! Would that it were so

I couple of points of clarification. We tied the workshop schedule in Newport to the annual meeting, not vice versa. We didn't want people to have to choose between the meeting and a workshop they might want to take.

We chose the month for the meeting based on likely good weather for photography. I was initially in favor of August, but I was in the distinct minority. Too many people plan August family vacations, and in many of the areas where we will likely want to hold meetings, motel accommodations are harder to get and more expensive during the height of tourist season.

Also, about shooting expeditions: Steve Anchell offered to hold a large format outing with people on Sunday, but he didn't get any (or enough) takers, so he canceled. Still, I am definitely in favor of a balance between being outside with a camera and inside sitting in a chair.