Forgive my ignorance, but why is club power a requirement?
Does it make any sense to host the NHC in an area with a lower amount of homebrewers and use it as a catalyst to get more people in these areas excited about homebrewing?
I'd also like to see the NHC on the East Coast. I haven't gone because of the travel, and I can't remember when it was on the East Coast last (was it in Baltimore once with the mini-GABF)?
Club power matters because it's pretty much clubs, not the NHC, that put on the conference. The NHC offers help and support, but the clubs provide the manpower and organization. The AHA staff is only 4 1/2 people and there's no way they could do it without clubs. Not only that, but in my 6 years of going to conferences, I can't recall running into anyone there who isn't already a brewer. It might pull a few non brewers, but I don't think it would work to assume that it would bring in new people.
BTW, the conference will be in Philly in 2013.