AROC Convention Planner's Thread - Page 5 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

  #61 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2007, 10:46 AM
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Convention Planner's Thread

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Originally Posted by MotorCityDuetto View Post
I missed most of the 2007 BoD meeting due to working on the convention, but have attended (sometimes as a director) all but five meetings since Danvers, MA in 1980. Over the years there have meetings with no convention bids, such as when Detroit was asked to step in on an emergency basis (for the 1990 convention) as was Long Island (1986). Seattle and Baltimore both went after the 1993 convention bid harder than any other two chapters of the past 30 years. When Seattle lost, they went into a ten year funk, refusing to bid again until they hosted the 2005 meet. Chicago, Nashville and Cinci bid for the 2001 convention (it went to Nashville).

The 1985 AROC meet is listed as being in Wisconsin, but for all practical purposes it was really run by the Chicago chapter and created some controversy.

Prices went up during the 1990s, especially at Baltimore (and they lost money) as chapters began seeing the national convention as a way of making money. That attitude was allowed to continue relatively unchecked for a while because convention bids had been sparse for a few years and the cash was viewed by some as an inducement. That attitude changed after some statements turned into national for profit splits included a private post-convention party and vague expenditures for the purpose of showing little or no profit.

So, yes, a handful of we old folks remember that there have been years when there were no bids, and a couple of years of three bids. We also recall why a lot of those things happened. The active members with AROC-national memories reaching back to the late-1970s are: Bill Gillham, the Gellers, the Edinburgs, and the Hammonds. George Pezold began his post (replacing George Whitcomb) around 1983. Delmas Greene came on board slightly after that.

Dave
Thanks to old and honest memories, it is also important to note that there has been a shift in the financial incentive of hosting a convention and also in the creative accounting thereof, as referenced above in the "private post-convention" party to effectively change the profit margin and national split. It only substantiates what was posted by someone earlier which I referred to as "selective" reporting and was challenged on it. This pretty much bares out that it is done, and at a convention which was not hosted by the previous poster's chapter as well as the controversy that can be created in the Wisconsin scenario if everything does not appear to be on the "up and up."

Imo, all the more reason for making convention data public and readily available to the general membership so they actually know how the board of directors and chapters are accounting for their expenditures and income. It would certainly keep everyone honest if they knew their actions and decisions about accounting for expenses and income were made immediately public, open for inspection, and challenge.

Just a thought, if board of directors were subject to general membership scrutiny in how finances are handled and decisions are made on a monthly basis, we might actually have competition in the election for board seats instead of the manipulation that can be achieved now because of the apathetic general memberships attitude toward voting or running for office.
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  #62 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2007, 12:41 PM
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Thanks Cheryl and Dave for your posts and information. Long-term memories are great for helping us newer folks learn about club history and previous issues.

I now understand better the desire to have all the convention financials be open for scrutiny by club membership. However, the other side of that coin is that if published publicly, then the information would also be available to the public (ie; non-AROC members). What about having the convention's budget published annually in Alfa Owner?

This thread is called "AROC Convention Planner's Thread" for a reason however, and I think we should be focusing more on what is required to get ready for a convention bid, and then on towards a convention.

For example, besides the items discussed in the convention planner's guide:

a. What should a 'Bid Proposal' look like?
b. What are the items which the AROC Board would like to see answered prior to a bid submission/ presentation at a BOD meeting?
c. What events are the most important/ necessary?
d. What events have been successful/ unsuccessful, fun/ well-attended/ etc?
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2007, 03:13 PM
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AROC Convention Planner's Thread

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Originally Posted by Alex Csank View Post
Thanks Cheryl and Dave for your posts and information. Long-term memories are great for helping us newer folks learn about club history and previous issues.

I now understand better the desire to have all the convention financials be open for scrutiny by club membership. However, the other side of that coin is that if published publicly, then the information would also be available to the public (ie; non-AROC members). What about having the convention's budget published annually in Alfa Owner?

This thread is called "AROC Convention Planner's Thread" for a reason however, and I think we should be focusing more on what is required to get ready for a convention bid, and then on towards a convention.

For example, besides the items discussed in the convention planner's guide:

a. What should a 'Bid Proposal' look like?
b. What are the items which the AROC Board would like to see answered prior to a bid submission/ presentation at a BOD meeting?
c. What events are the most important/ necessary?
d. What events have been successful/ unsuccessful, fun/ well-attended/ etc?

Alex, my objection was to the financials being non-public to AROC members, I did not mean to indicate that they should be posted publicly on the bb or the Internet nor should the registration information be made public as far as names, addresses, and phone numbers, which would be a direct violation of privacy, especially for those of us who have indicated that we do not want them released. There are some of us who are keeping various assorted statistics on our own, I'm sure some, more organized and meaningful than mine, trying to come up with useful information in regard to the conventions as far as what causes different things to happen at different conventions. At some point, I believe there is a conflict of interest issue waiting to rear its head, but not to go into here.

The budget being made public does not keep anyone from creative accounting and selective reporting; all the budget does is tell you how much they had to start with and where they allocated it, meaning it may have been moved later or used for something else. Only a full financial disclosure prevents the above issues.

I disagree that financial accounting of an event should not be included in convention planning. It could and should keep the host chapter on track from the beginning knowing what they had, what they did with it, and that it ultimately has to be reported in full at the conclusion of the event/convention.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2007, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Braden View Post
At some point, I believe there is a conflict of interest issue waiting to rear its head, but not to go into here.

I disagree that financial accounting of an event should not be included in convention planning. It could and should keep the host chapter on track from the beginning knowing what they had, what they did with it, and that it ultimately has to be reported in full at the conclusion of the event/convention.
1. Conflict of intetrest? I'd like to hear about that.

2. Disagree with what? I certainly never said that it shouldn't be included.
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2007, 04:23 PM
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AROC Convention Planner's Thread

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Originally Posted by Alex Csank View Post
1. Conflict of intetrest? I'd like to hear about that.
I'll send you an e-mail -- not something I want to disuss on board and stir the pot; my PMs are already full.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Csank
2. Disagree with what? I certainly never said that it shouldn't be included.
Alex, I may have connected two disjoined thoughts into one, if I did, I apologize. I took what is below as one thought, that you thought only the budget should be made available and that we should move on to other things as part of the thread that are actually required to prepare the bid and get ready for the convention and that financials were not important in that process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Csank
What about having the convention's budget published annually in Alfa Owner?

This thread is called "AROC Convention Planner's Thread" for a reason however, and I think we should be focusing more on what is required to get ready for a convention bid, and then on towards a convention.
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2007, 10:17 PM
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After you win the bid:

I spent some time today talking with our Alfiesta 2002 Convention Chari Phyllis Gaylard. I was AROSC Pres in those years and this is what we remember:
Start planning 1.5 to 2 years ahead. We started with a plan of the events we wanted. And then she started getting "volunteers" to run each committee. She comes from an aerospace management career so this was treated like any of her rocket ship programs.
The Convention Chair does no real "work". The committee chairs do that. She only kept us on track and got us help when we needed it.
Break the assignmemts into manageable bits. That helps to get folks to "volunteer".
AROSC is not shy abut "volunteering" unspecting not so active club members. Of the 15 Committee members 2 were new to active participation. The rest were the usual folks who do most of the Chapter's work.
We also made a point of not using our Chapter Board members when possible. You need to keep somebody running the club for the 18 months that it takes to plan your Convention.
Do not be shy about getting help from other chapters. We have friends in San Diego and Central Coast and they played an important part in Alfiesta. They also got to share in the profit.
Get the big things out of the way first: a date, a hotel, a racetrack. We probably had the hotel arranged 15 mohths before the Convention.
Make some sort of cash flow budget. We had to make up our own as the AROC Planners Guide was pretty out of date in 2000 or 2001. Phyllis updated the numbers and sent them back to AROC after Alfiesta.
What events to include: Look at some recent Conventions and take the ideas you liked. Nashville (I think) had around-the-neck ID badges that also were your event tickets; We loved the car wash at Oregon.
When dealing with your vendors like hotel, bus lines, etc, remember you do have some clout. Our hotel got about 500 room-nights from us.
That's what I remeber. I also remember that planning a convention is like repeatedly hitting your head with a hammer. It hurts a lot while doing it, but it sure feels nice when you stop.
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2007, 08:40 PM
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ID tags and where the money went

Nashville had a good idea with ID tags, so we expanded the concept.
The Detroit convention used ID tags with lanyards displaying your name, registration number (Excel file records), all days and events on the front. Events you were registered for were stamped on the ID tag, which was your pass for each event: art show display, concours judging class, director's meeting, newsletter editor's meeting, EVERYTHING including your menu choice for the banquet.
The flip side of the tag contained a complete calendar of convention events with times and locations or room names/numbers. Wherever you were, you knew what came next, when, where, and if you were registered.
The Meadow Brook concours on Sunday was a separate lanyard containing a special pass for AROC members (allowing the wearer entry plus parking in the paved AROC Alfa corral near the concours). Everyone else had to park far away on the lawn and wait for a shuttle bus. It had to be a separate lanyard because Bridgestone paid to have their logo embroidered on it.

After the convention, half the profits were set aside for AROC-National, and Detroit's share went to four local charities ($2,000 apiece). This includes the Special Days Camp for kids with cancer, who were provided with rides in Alfas at Waterford Hills during the Time Trials lunch break just prior to sending out all the GTAs.

If anyone wants to view Motor City Alfa, over 800 photos are posted at Motor City Alfa 2007 - Home
Click on 'Photo Gallery'.

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  #68 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2007, 09:00 PM
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AROC Convention Planner's Thread

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Originally Posted by MotorCityDuetto View Post
Nashville had a good idea with ID tags, so we expanded the concept. The Detroit convention used ID tags with lanyards displaying your name, registration number (Excel file records), all days and events on the front. Events you were registered for were stamped on the ID tag, which was your pass for each event: art show display, concours judging class, director's meeting, newsletter editor's meeting, EVERYTHING including your menu choice for the banquet.
The flip side of the tag contained a complete calendar of convention events with times and locations or room names/numbers. Wherever you were, you knew what came next, when, where, and if you were registered...
Dave
Just so there is no misunderstanding, while Nashville may have originated the lanyard idea, and I have no verification or proof of that, it has been used at subsequent conventions to Nashville before Detroit, including New Hampshire and Seattle to name two off the top of my head.
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old 11-28-2007, 04:58 PM
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nits

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Just so there is no misunderstanding, while Nashville may have originated the lanyard idea, and I have no verification or proof of that, it has been used at subsequent conventions to Nashville before Detroit, including New Hampshire and Seattle to name two off the top of my head.
Correct. Everyone has used lanyards since Nashville. Seattle then made better use of the ID tags with additional information on the back. I kept a set of all AROC convention lanyards/ID tags since Nashville for reference. Detroit expanded on the concept and placed the entire list of event information and passes onto the ID card with lanyard.
The only drawback is that the ID packet is now 8.5 inches long so that servers could read your banquet order, etc. Even so, it is still better than lost tickets and people who could not remember where or when is the next event is, where the room with the art display, and so on.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:35 PM
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more nits

The Potlatch ID tag had each registrant's registration number as well. That was in response to a suggestion I received in New Hampshire that we not issue separate tickets for the numerous door prizes. The Potlatch committee did not want to do a long, drawn-out door prize drawing at any of the venues, especially the banquet, so we drew numbers throughout the convention and posted the winners in the lobby so they could claim their gifts at their leisure.
Looking back, we should have posted the winners' names in the vendor room and people could have gotten their prize and thanked (most of) the donator at the same time.
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:27 PM
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AROC Convention Planner's Thread / More and more nits

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Originally Posted by MotorCityDuetto View Post
Correct. Everyone has used lanyards since Nashville. Seattle then made better use of the ID tags with additional information on the back. I kept a set of all AROC convention lanyards/ID tags since Nashville for reference. Detroit expanded on the concept and placed the entire list of event information and passes onto the ID card with lanyard.
The only drawback is that the ID packet is now 8.5 inches long so that servers could read your banquet order, etc. Even so, it is still better than lost tickets and people who could not remember where or when is the next event is, where the room with the art display, and so on.
I agree that having everything on the lanyard tag is much more convenient. However, FTR, I feel obligated to mention that the server asked me what I ordered for dinner. Apparently, he did not bring his x-ray vision to work with him that evening. I am one of those non-conformists, as was Pat, who does not like to wear name tags, period; so mine was tucked in under my silk, brocaded, Japanese top, heavy and not easily seen through, that I managed not to spill anything on all evening, although, I was ill and coughing through most of the evening. And as a bonus, I spared Dave Yeager's suit who sat next to me. I was prepared to be like the airline and issue a dry cleaning voucher if anything happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicola View Post
The Potlatch ID tag had each registrant's registration number as well. That was in response to a suggestion I received in New Hampshire that we not issue separate tickets for the numerous door prizes. The Potlatch committee did not want to do a long, drawn-out door prize drawing at any of the venues, especially the banquet, so we drew numbers throughout the convention and posted the winners in the lobby so they could claim their gifts at their leisure.
Looking back, we should have posted the winners' names in the vendor room and people could have gotten their prize and thanked (most of) the donator at the same time.
I much prefer the way Seattle did it as opposed to sitting through various events where people end up losing their prizes because they are not present at the event for whatever reason and another ticket is drawn. Unless it is specifically stated that you have to be present to win, I think the way Seattle did it is both fairer and much less hassle for everyone involved. The suggestion that the prizes be claimed in the "Goody Room" is an excellent one and at most conventions it is open the majority of the time. I would still post the winner's name both at the registration area and in the Goody Room. Once the prize is claimed it could be checked off or marked in some way on the list in the Goody Room and/or registration area.

Another positive thing about the way Seattle did it is that it may create a new friendships based on someone seeing that someone has won a prize, doesn't know them, but recognizes their name on their name tag, and mentions it to them. A win/win situation since we know that not everyone knows everyone else at National conventions; especially, with the mix of "us" older ones and the new younger entrants, some trying it out for the first time. We certainly want to make them feel at home and welcome so that they will want to attend again.
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Last edited by Pat Braden; 11-29-2007 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:27 PM
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One of the events that drew a lots of attention and fun was the " gymkahana" with the tilting tetter-totter we had here in San Diego. People could watch while other people were having fun.If you would like more on this, let me know. Paul was right on in that the " Chair" does nothing but keep the show on the road and the local board keeps the club running.
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2008, 09:54 PM
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AROC Converntion Planner's Thread

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One of the events that drew a lots of attention and fun was the " gymkahana" with the tilting tetter-totter we had here in San Diego. People could watch while other people were having fun.If you would like more on this, let me know. Paul was right on in that the " Chair" does nothing but keep the show on the road and the local board keeps the club running.
That was one of the few conventions that we did take our children to the day of the gymkahana; I spent most of my time with the kids watching the cars tilt. It was fun and enjoyable; and definitely a change of atmosphere and scenery.
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  #74 (permalink)  
Old 02-06-2008, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Garrett View Post
One of the events that drew a lots of attention and fun was the " gymkahana" with the tilting tetter-totter we had here in San Diego. People could watch while other people were having fun.If you would like more on this, let me know. Paul was right on in that the " Chair" does nothing but keep the show on the road and the local board keeps the club running.
It is a great benefit if the "Chair" has previous experience herding cats while keeping numerous plates spinning on six foot high sticks. AMHIK
And yes, it's pretty critical to have the local board (especially the treasurer) involved in the local chapter business while the Convention Committee works expressly on the Convention activities.
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  #75 (permalink)  
Old 05-16-2008, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicola View Post
It is a great benefit if the "Chair" has previous experience herding cats while keeping numerous plates spinning on six foot high sticks. AMHIK
And yes, it's pretty critical to have the local board (especially the treasurer) involved in the local chapter business while the Convention Committee works expressly on the Convention activities.
Hmmm...I am a very experienced Cat-Herder and my hobby is spinning plates on sticks (I have even been known to do this while jumping through flaming hoops!).

In any event, I am going to use this thread to help sort a few convention planning issues between now and next month...and perhaps much longer than that depending upon how it goes in Chicago for us. So folks, please put on your thinking caps and help us develop a completely concocted, cogently created and competently collated convention plan!

Thanks!
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