Will they Eliminate the District Convention?

by kid-A 37 Replies latest jw friends

  • kid-A

    OK, I am now guilty of feeding into the "big announcement" frenzy on the board!

    Another poster made an interesting suggestion that the "hypothetical" big announcement may be the elimination of the D.C.

    I think this is a real possibility. Its been cut down to 3 days from an original 8 days over the years. Its extremely difficult for the dubs to get fridays off work.

    Holding these DCs must be an outrageous expense for Brooklyn, even after they eliminated the food service years ago. I doubt the DCs have EVER been

    effective recruitment tools, and the GB probably know this. They are hot, uncomfortable, boring as hell and geared towards long-time dubs, not "interested"

    members of the public. Indeed, the interrogate you now if you dont have a name-badge. I think they could easily eliminate the DC without harming

    membership, in fact, it might have a positive effect by reducing the burden on the R+F. They will likely keep the circuit assemblies, these are relatively

    low-key 2-day affairs held on their own properties, saving them the huge rental fees. My guess, they will eliminate the DC, and add a couple "special"

    1-day assemblies throughout the year.

  • What-A-Coincidence

    At the DC this year they mentioned that preparations were under way for the 2007 DC.

  • blondie


    Now having said that, the WTS may adjust the DC as it has in the past when it was 8 days long and called the "district assembly" to the 3-day district "conventions" of today.

    There was a time that that WTS hired people to provide food at the assemblies...there was some kind of strike and the WTS had to provide the food........the beginning of the "cafeterias" at the assemblies........then it changed to the refreshment stands.........then the refreshment stands only..........then "bring your own."

    I did notice that in NY the WTS was not able to get outside facilities and used the assembly halls instead.....now that is a possible change.


  • Elsewhere

    They will never get rid of the DC.

    It is one of their primary fund raisers and control mechanisms. Every year they use it to whip the JWs into a "Loyalty to the Organization, the End is Near" frenzy. Without it they will loose too much control over the rank and file.

  • sir82

    Absolutely not. The DC is the biggest cash cow the WTS has.

    Each convention* rakes in 6 figure $ amounts, with no overhead (all those "volunteers", you know). Outside of convention site rental fees (more and more in university athletic sites, which I suspect are relatively dirt cheap to rent in the summer), all that $$$ goes straight to their "WWW" coffers.

    * Some smaller conventions (sign language, small language groups) of course pull in less, as attendance is much smaller. But at a typical convention, with 8-12,000 in attendance, would only require each person dropping a $10 bill in the box to reach $100,000. People have the idea that conventions are "expensive", plus there's the new release(s), which people are "paying for".

  • sspo

    Does anyone know, those that have worked in accounting at DC how much they usually rake in?

    It seems when you are there you hardly ever see anyone dropping any money in the box.

    Many of these conventions centers the society gets them for free because the city rakes millions in tax revenue ( hotels and restaurants)

  • kid-A

    "It is one of their primary fund raisers and control mechanisms."

    Not sure I agree with that. Its source as a "fund raiser" is debatable, since we dont know the balance sheets at the end of the day. If they were raking in enormous profits I seriously doubt we would have seen them cutting back again and again both in terms of length and the services they used to provide, like food. To buy it being a "primary" fund raiser, I would need to see some cold hard figures, my bet is they dont even break even or come close.

    As for control mechanisms, I think the DC really just pisses off alot of the R+F. 8 hours a day far exceeds the basic human attention span and from my own experience and most of the dubs I know, they sit there in a semi-conscious state most of the time in hot, uncomfortable seats. The weekly meetings are far more effective in maintaining control, and the BOE represents the ultimate control mechanism at the micro-level.

  • DannyBloem

    It is an interesting thought. Big meetings (also the 2 circuits) are cut back time and again.

    But I think it is too important for the JW's. It is something they look forward too, only some feel it as a burden. Most do certainly not. They are so exited about it.

    For the dubs to get a day off can not be any problem. Most dubs have simple jobs, with at least 5 to 10 work-shortening-time-days, at least 25 days of a year, and whatever for other days.

    I know that their income in "volutairy"gifts is better ten at the circuit meetings, but it is not a big cash-cow here. But it certainly helps. And also the control-mechanism needs a time where there are lots of people together, to show they are many and all united. They can't do without that.

  • Mulan

    District conventions were not regularly 8 days. Most were 4 days with an occasional 5 day one.

    I was a JW from 1950 and the 8 day ones were in 1950, 1953, 1958, 1963, 1969 and I think that one was the last one. There was a long one in 1973 but not sure if it was 8 days or not.........it may have been 4 days.

    I think in the mid to late 70's they went to 3 days and it's been that way ever since.

  • NewYork44M

    Districts conventions have gone from eight days, with sessions starting in the morining and ending late at night, to the current 3 day version. Circiut Assemblies have gone from 3 days every six months (Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday) to the current cycle of 2 days alternating with a one day "Special Assembly Day."

    It is reasonable to expect this trend to continue. Nobody wants to sit through all those sessions. I am sure as a percentage bases they are not getting the attendence they used to. Added to this is the battles the society fights with sites over food concession. If they lose that battle my gues is that you will never see another assembly in a public arena.

    My guess is that the next step in the procession is to go to 2-day district assemblies.

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