Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey, everybody! It was great seeing a number of you in Detroit, and I hope everybody had as good a time as my family and I did.

Now that this year's convention is over, thoughts turn inevitably to next year in Chicago. We have been making preparations for a number of months already but we still have a short window before things are immovably set in stone, and we would like your input! What did you like about this past convention? (Or prior conventions?) What do you wish had been done differently? What would you like to see as part of the convention next year?

Obviously we can't promise to do everything everyone suggests, but we'd like to make the convention as much fun as possible for as many people as possible. So, let us know what you'd like to see.

We are looking forward to a great gathering next year, to celebrate AROC's fiftieth anniversary!

Thanks in advance,

Chuck King
Chicago Chapter, AROC
2008 Convention Chairman
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,176 Posts
Hey, everybody! It was great seeing a number of you in Detroit, and I hope everybody had as good a time as my family and I did.

Now that this year's convention is over, thoughts turn inevitably to next year in Chicago. We have been making preparations for a number of months already but we still have a short window before things are immovably set in stone, and we would like your input! What did you like about this past convention? (Or prior conventions?) What do you wish had been done differently? What would you like to see as part of the convention next year?

Obviously we can't promise to do everything everyone suggests, but we'd like to make the convention as much fun as possible for as many people as possible. So, let us know what you'd like to see.

We are looking forward to a great gathering next year, to celebrate AROC's fiftieth anniversary!

Thanks in advance,

Chuck King
Chicago Chapter, AROC
2008 Convention Chairman
Hi Chuck,

To me, one of the highlights of any convention is the parking lot activities. Not sure what you're going to have in Chicago, but the ability to stroll around the parking lot, admire the cars, catch up with friends, that's almost the best part of the convention!

Second, something for the kids to do. We arranged a 'competitive' Pinewood Derby (and held it in the parking lot, to drag people out there). Got nothing but good feedback from it, and the costs were pretty low.

Last, make sure you have good directions to/from all the venues, and good trailer parking! It's not fun to try to negotiate through an unknown area while pulling a trailer, and getting lost makes it even worse!

The Detroit folks did a great job, now we're looking forward to Chicago!

bs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,722 Posts
Well.............let's see. I've been to a few and here is what we liked and some ideas to add!

Portland had the Best Hotel! Happy Hour and full breakfast was included, saved our family quite a bit of $$$. I would also like to see the hotel wi-fi, not just in the lobby but everywhere, why was the Marriot charging $10 a day for internet when it's free at McDonalds??? Having restaurants within walking distance of the hotel, like at Detroit, was very handy! Also they had a pretty good pool area.....that's what the kids said!!:)

Parking lot. Gotta have a place for all of us to hang out!!!:D I thought there should be "Car Cards" included with your registration, a small business card with your name and club chapter, maybe the Convention logo to dress it up. People can put them on the dash so when I'm out in the parking lot and see a very nice wind baffle in a black spider I would know who's it was!! Some people will use them, put there room numbers or cell phone numbers on 'em and some people will think it's an invasion of their privacy and chose to put them somewhere else.

A Convention T-Shirt. I see some from years ago, I have mine from Nashville and Phoenix. Don't believe Detroit had anything, but I hear they weren't good sellers historically and it may cost too much to produce.......still want one though!! Just not white!!:rolleyes:

That's enough fer now.........but gotta say whoever put the Detroit Book Thingy together with schedules, directions, other things to do etc. did a great job, we used it everyday!!

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,267 Posts
Chuck -
I second bs' comments for the most part. One thing I wish we had done in Seattle would have been to have the concours on Saturday, to give more time for spectators to enjoy the cars and to give the organizers more time to total the scorecards and resolve errors. Lots of people leave earlier Sunday and so having a shorter, less intensive scoring event (gimmick rallye?) might allow the events to run with less hair-pulling on everybody's account.
I'm sure your group will benefit from having this year's convention in nearby Detroit, which may have allowed more participation from Chicago area volunteers. From all accounts I've heard, Detroit had their stuff together and hosted a tremendous event.
Good luck - and don't forget to take every advantage of all the work done by host chapters that have gone before you - use Brian's website to get numbers from the last several conventions, nametag designs, etc....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,087 Posts
Parking lot, cards, etc - all great suggestions... What I really appreciated was Detroit's schedule with BOD meeting on Wed, TT on Thurs, Autox on Fri and Concours on Sat. (The Concours is serious for me, and it takes a lot to prepare the car when you drive to the convention and do the track and autox events.) I will participate on all the aforementioned events, and I prefer to only have the Sunday awards brunch on the last day. I'm very much looking forward to Chicago!!

Best regards,
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,656 Posts
Hi Chuck,

I intended to touch base in Pontiac, but our paths didn't coincide (unless I bumped into you without realizing) which leads to an idea from the Nashville Convention; name tags with double sided information. That way, it doesn't matter which side is "out" and names are always available.

Another comment that maybe will be picked up by the AROC board: Evaluation forms for conventions. We use these in a multi state SCCA autocross series, and the format allows tabulation of the good items, opportunities for improvement, and provides a base of historical information after our memories of each event have dimmed. You might want to start a tradition of evaluations regardless of prior "approval".

Dianne Besic mentioned wanting to provide RV parking for the 2008 event. Since my wife, dog, and myself live in our motorhome, any information would be great (I'm asking because after the Kansas City Convention chairman assured us we could stay in motorhomes in the hotel parking lot, three of us with RV's were ejected by the hotel staff). Can you identify the headquarters hotel for 2008?

Finally, I talked with Carmelo La Spina about some autocross items and need to include you in any resulting conversations. Could you please send me an email address by private message?

In the afterglow of the Detroit Convention, everyone is eagerly anticipating the Chicago event. It's obvious you are intending to provide a great event... thanks...

Hey, everybody! It was great seeing a number of you in Detroit, and I hope everybody had as good a time as my family and I did.

Now that this year's convention is over, thoughts turn inevitably to next year in Chicago. We have been making preparations for a number of months already but we still have a short window before things are immovably set in stone, and we would like your input! What did you like about this past convention? (Or prior conventions?) What do you wish had been done differently? What would you like to see as part of the convention next year?

Obviously we can't promise to do everything everyone suggests, but we'd like to make the convention as much fun as possible for as many people as possible. So, let us know what you'd like to see.

We are looking forward to a great gathering next year, to celebrate AROC's fiftieth anniversary!

Thanks in advance,

Chuck King
Chicago Chapter, AROC
2008 Convention Chairman
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Looking forward to '08

While I didn't get to attend this year's convention, I'm fully looking forward to making the Chicago event my first (and look forward to meeting many of those that have been so helpful here).

One of events (I guess a pre-event) that sounded incredible was the drive around Lake Huron. My wife and I have put this tour on our future vacation list. Lake Michigan might be a little much, but I'm sure that there a some areas that would make for great 2 day trip, and I'd like to think that at least some of the locals would think it's cool to see squadrons of Alfas cruising through.:cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
One thing about the concours- if you have a lot of "competitors" like we did- the judging will take a LONG time, and the tabulation will take longer.

Up until this year, there has been a "fear" of moving the timing of the convention a day or two- in the end, we did not have a complaint of making the actual convention a day longer than noramal. Some might complain that the BOD meeting is not as accesable, but if they really wanted to be there, they will.

The lake tour was a big hit, but plan on it being small- Peter thought that the 24 was all that could reasonably be managed in a pre-tour for a big event. But go for it- it was a huge success in terms of the feedback.

We had some issues with registration- please work with Brian and use his software (I didn't know it existed). (and on a side note- once our final budget is in, I'll send it to you as well as Jolene).

For the fliers, the autocross rental car was a big hit. I thought that as many as 15 people would want to use it, but only 7 did, and 2 of those were last min adds that asked me if they could. Maybe I didn't promote it enough, or people were nervous about driving someone else's car, but they came through it like troopers.

fetta's idea about the parking lot cards is a great one. That's super easy to print on simple business cards. I wish we had that.

Also, for the parking lot- try to make it clearer where the trailers should be parked- we had 3-4 trailers that took 15-20 spots when they could have been parked in the back. There were a few that could have stayed, since they were loading up at night, and unloading in the morning for people to see. But some of the others were just traffic.

Hotels are very variable- ours was a great host in terms of wanting us there, and room night costs. All of the convention rooms were ours to use at will, too- totally sweet. But the food wasn't free in the morning, and the high speed interent wasn't either... curious.

Support the vendors! Some loved the fact that the welcome party spilled into the goody room, and did a lot of business that night. Ask them if they want the same in Chicago- I'm sure you can make sure the welcome party has a space near the goody room.

As for the evaluation form- right now, the closest thing we have to that is Joel Edenburg. Use him. He's got a lot of good points.

Lastly- make sure you try to have fun. It's hard, but there are things that you can't do anything about, and people do notice if you are not having a good time. If you are, most of the attendees will, too.

And remeber, ASK! That's how you get the cars.

Eric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the comments so far. Keep them coming!

Here are a couple things that ARE set so far re next year's convention:

The dates are June 19-22. We had planned to have the traditional Thursday-Sunday arrangement, but if people really would prefer to move things forward, we might be able to do something like that. But I'd like a LOT of feedback before doing that.

The hotel will be the Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort. Having just had a good experience at the Marriott in Pontiac, we are optimistic that things will go smoothly at the Marriott here.

Finally, the track event will be held on Friday at Autobahn Country Club on the north circuit. (We're booked into the north circuit for now; we might end up ultimately on the south circuit, but in any event Autobahn is the track we will be using.

We have several other driving events, social events, etc. planned but depending on feedback exactly what and exactly when are subject to tweaking. So if you have opinions, let us know!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
I concur that having the concours on Saturday is an excellent choice. We did not get done tabulating the results in Detroit until 5 pm (that is 7 hours from when the first judging sheet hit the scorers). At past conventions, the concours is on Sunday morning and the awards lunch is immediately afterwards. This makes it nearly impossible to get the results done in time for the luncheon, and the judges and scorers invariably miss out on the lunch (which they have paid for).

I whole heartedly agree that parking lot tire kicking and story telling is a highlight of the convention. I think I was out in the lot every night until at least midnight in Detroit, and I wasn't the last one to go inside either.

Arno Leskinen
AROC-USA National Concours Chair
102
115
116
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,638 Posts
Wanted: Your Thoughts on Conventions (past & future)

Chicago here we come!!! You have a challenge ahead of you, but being so close to the last one an ability to have experienced help who can guide you if needed or desired.

Some various assorted convention miscellaneous thoughts. I note that most of the repondees so far have been those that have driven to the convention with the exception of Arno. Before someone gets the wrong idea on two fronts, even when Pat and I attended Alfa Conventions we always flew and did not drive, with the exception of the two Southern California Conventions. Eric and the Detroit Chapter deserve kudos for their excellent job in putting on the best convention that I've attended since the 2004 one in New Hampshire that Brian Shorey chaired even though they had "significant" computer problems that they had to recover from that made registration less than easy and very time consuming.

I only remember a couple of things about the Mid-Ohio convention many years ago...a perfect example of POOR planning on the convention host chapter's part: 1) that the Cincinnati airport where you landed was in Kentucky, 2) that the cab fare from the airport to the hotel was $165. one-way, 3) that the weather was over 100 degrees and very humid; the cab was not air-conditioned nor was the hotel, 4) that I had two children and one very unhappy husband that "I" had not figured all this out in advance.

In short, make sure the hotel has an airport shuttle and that the airport is within the shuttle range of the hotel. Detroit failed on this one....Michigan does not have Super Shuttle like many other states, only private taxis; it is actually, cheaper to rent a car than to pay the taxi fare. Getting a ride in and back to the airport can be a problem.

I know that Portland has already picked a hotel that has a shuttle and is within the airports range which runs 24 hours a day.

Make sure that the various venues are within close range of the hotel and that the driving directions are clear so that anyone can follow them, even the directionless, kind of like "Directions for Dummies;" getting somewhere should not be a road rally challenge puzzle. Detroit gets 5 stars on their convention book by day with directions to each site. I will say that they have a little different idea of a "t" intersection than I do -- regarding the Waterford Hills directions.

I hate having to cater to the hotel restaurant solely, so another thing that Detriot was able to offer this year was other eateries, and not just fast food, but quality food, within walking distance. Do families with kids really want to pay $50 to $100 a meal for a family in the restaurant hotel?

A huge hotel parking lot is always a must for the cars and comaraderie as well as a back up hotel for overflow. Detroit had it nailed here also, the Marriott was the main hotel and overflow stayed right across the street at the Marriott Courtyard so it was not a drive to join the others. Free Internet in our room would have been nice but I survived hauling my laptop down to the lobby.

I know that there are those who enjoyed the quilting this year. It was my understanding that there are those who expect it next year and that there are also those willing to do the workshop as leaders. A real plus for non-diehard Alfa wives who are giving up their preferred vacation to spend with their husband's or families. I only heard two objectionable comments about the quilting, one from a good friend, who was doing his best to unnerve me, and the other from someone who I really didn't know, it basically boiled down to "It was a sissy thing to do." Need I mention, they were both male? I'd like to see the return of the jewelry workshop, especially Alfa oriented as well.

On the concours, and I am not a concours person, Alfas are made to be driven daily and loved. However, as long as Pat was associated with the concours judging for more years than I care to count, there were always problems. I repeat there were always problems, whether someone felt the judging was not fair, or it took too long, or someone was judging or tallying that had no business doing it etc. I think having the concours other than Sunday morning is an excellent idea to work out the tallying difficulties. I also think that it should be broken into parts where everything is not left until the last minute or the morning of. Kind of like the tech inspection before you are allowed to participate in the time trials. Do some of the preliminary checks of equipment that is not going to change prior to the actual event. Have the car categories set up based on entries where alike cars are judged by the same criteria. One of the biggest problems Pat had was that at the last minute they lumped the old Alfa categories together and you were supposed to come up with some equitable point evaluation where there was not one because the lumped cars were not equipped the same or were different in some way. Judges got grey hair over this and those that didn't have hair to grey were pulling out what hair they had left. I heard a lot about the difficulties judging in Detroit: too many cars, too few judges, not enough time. Finding competent judges to volunteer is also an issue.

On name badges, I have no objection to how they are produced since I never wear mine where it can be seen. If those who are willing, want their chapter affiliation, bb avatar, etc. in addition to what they've paid for that's fine with me as long as you're given an option of declining certain information you do not want put on the name tag. An off the wall thought, for those of us who do not carry Id with us, yeah, I'm guilty of that when a purse is more than I want to contend with....a section of the name tag that could be voluntarilly filled out upon arrival for emergency medical information where it would not have to be disclosed as part of the registration process in the event it should be needed.

Extending the convention is not problematic for me. It was actually kind of nice not having the board meeting take a day away from the convention. I hope the board members had the same feeling, that you weren't giving up a day to attend the meeting. The pre-Lake Huron drive and the Detroit Tour were also nice additions. It's always nice to explore and know something about the city you're in rather than just the hotel that you're staying out. I think Detroit did admirably well on this.

Brian if you've read this far will you send me the link to your attendance figures that Gordy indicates you have maintained so that I don't have to search the site for it. I've asked for them from various people to add them to the cumulative convention chart along with location, speaker, weather, and anything else that stood out about the convention looking for trends of why some were better attended than others.

Just a few miscellaneous thoughts. ;) Aren't you sorry you asked.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
291 Posts
One VERY trivial thing I'd like to see return is the dash plaques. I know, they were dropped about ten years ago, but I have a nice collection of all the ones I've received since '86 displayed above the glove box of my Milano. I know that the cost is minimal (about $1.50 each), and the order time is short (about a week), so it should not be a big effort to offer them. I would guess that most folks just tossed them out in the past, but I've heard a few other old guys say they'd like to see them again as well.
Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,638 Posts
Wanted: Your Thoughts on Conventions (Past & Future) / Dash Plaques

One VERY trivial thing I'd like to see return is the dash plaques. I know, they were dropped about ten years ago, but I have a nice collection of all the ones I've received since '86 displayed above the glove box of my Milano. I know that the cost is minimal (about $1.50 each), and the order time is short (about a week), so it should not be a big effort to offer them. I would guess that most folks just tossed them out in the past, but I've heard a few other old guys say they'd like to see them again as well.
Jim
I assume you're talking about the 100,000 mile dash plaques? My Berlina has one as did several of our other Alfas.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
291 Posts
I assume you're talking about the 100,000 mile dash plaques? My Berlina has one as did several of our other Alfas.
No, I'm referring to the dash plaques each convention provided in their check-in packages, which were specific to the particular convention. They usually had the logo for the convention and the dates. As an aside, almost every weekend car show I attend (like all the Carlisle shows, most of the simple "cruises", etc.) have these plaques in their goody bags. Not a difficult thing to do, and ads for at least three different suppliers of the plaques are in several magazines.
Oh, and another thing I'd like to see would be tee shirts (as mentioned above), but in medium sizes. Not all of us are L and XXL size, and the kids out there are mostly not L either. One of the reasons that tee shirts don't sell well at times has been that there are few mediums available. Trust me on this.
Jim
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,176 Posts
No, I'm referring to the dash plaques each convention provided in their check-in packages, which were specific to the particular convention. They usually had the logo for the convention and the dates. As an aside, almost every weekend car show I attend (like all the Carlisle shows, most of the simple "cruises", etc.) have these plaques in their goody bags. Not a difficult thing to do, and ads for at least three different suppliers of the plaques are in several magazines.
Oh, and another thing I'd like to see would be tee shirts (as mentioned above), but in medium sizes. Not all of us are L and XXL size, and the kids out there are mostly not L either. One of the reasons that tee shirts don't sell well at times has been that there are few mediums available. Trust me on this.
Jim
Something for all reading to think about..

When we were planning the NE convention, our biggest worry was ordering items and getting stuck with them after the convention (anybody want to purchase a Giulietta Giubilee poster, 2004?). It's one of the biggest worries for the convention planners. Those 'small' $2 items, if left unsold, come out of the clubs treasury. The $20 shirts, if unsold, really add up fast.

Couple that with the fact that most convention planners have NO IDEA how many people to expect. I've been collecting data since our convention, to pass along to others, but overall attendance is still a total crap shoot.

So, my plea to everybody out there..

When Chicago posts their registration sheets early next year, you'll *probably* notice a discount for early registration. It's there for a reason, so they will have some idea how many people to expect.

Please use it! Not only will you make their lives a lot easier, but you'll greatly increase the chances that they'll be able to plan for and order the right amount of goodies for all of you!

As an aside, when we ordered the t-shirts, the t-shirt company had the recommended quantities for S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL, ...

Americans are not small, it was certainly skewed towards the large end of the scale.

So, one recommendation for Chuck, since he's asking, would be to include t-shirt sizes on your registration forms, assuming you're going to offer them. You might even allow people to pre-order them, but most people like to see what they're getting, so that one might be difficult.

bs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,638 Posts
Wanted: Your Thoughts on Conventions (Past & Future) / Dash Plaques / T-Shirts

No, I'm referring to the dash plaques each convention provided in their check-in packages, which were specific to the particular convention. They usually had the logo for the convention and the dates. As an aside, almost every weekend car show I attend (like all the Carlisle shows, most of the simple "cruises", etc.) have these plaques in their goody bags. Not a difficult thing to do, and ads for at least three different suppliers of the plaques are in several magazines.
Oh, and another thing I'd like to see would be tee shirts (as mentioned above), but in medium sizes. Not all of us are L and XXL size, and the kids out there are mostly not L either. One of the reasons that tee shirts don't sell well at times has been that there are few mediums available. Trust me on this.
Jim
Jim, I had forgotten about "those" dash plaques since we didn't use them as such, but simply as souvenirs that are filed in a separate book.

I agree with you on tee shirts, although, I have a different take. Not all women want to look like men walking around in polo shirts that button backwards for us, are certainly not feminine looking, and don't fit every body style.

Seattle/Potlatch got that one right with a couple of other "older" conventions; they ordered women's tee shirts with scoop or v-necks and 1/4 to 1/2 sleeves that fit.

Something for all reading to think about..

When we were planning the NE convention, our biggest worry was ordering items and getting stuck with them after the convention (anybody want to purchase a Giulietta Giubilee poster, 2004?). It's one of the biggest worries for the convention planners. Those 'small' $2 items, if left unsold, come out of the clubs treasury. The $20 shirts, if unsold, really add up fast.

Couple that with the fact that most convention planners have NO IDEA how many people to expect. I've been collecting data since our convention, to pass along to others, but overall attendance is still a total crap shoot.

So, my plea to everybody out there..

When Chicago posts their registration sheets early next year, you'll *probably* notice a discount for early registration. It's there for a reason, so they will have some idea how many people to expect.

Please use it! Not only will you make their lives a lot easier, but you'll greatly increase the chances that they'll be able to plan for and order the right amount of goodies for all of you!

As an aside, when we ordered the t-shirts, the t-shirt company had the recommended quantities for S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL, ...

Americans are not small, it was certainly skewed towards the large end of the scale.

So, one recommendation for Chuck, since he's asking, would be to include t-shirt sizes on your registration forms, assuming you're going to offer them. You might even allow people to pre-order them, but most people like to see what they're getting, so that one might be difficult.

bs
Brian has some valid points about what a hosting chapter has to face as far as left overs and how money should best be spent. It's even harder on the smaller chapters who have less to work with in both money and people, although, even in the big chapters you many times find the same people doing all the work.

However, plans change at the last minute so not everyone can commit to something by the discounted or early deadline. While I realize that helps planning and it would have saved me $10, I wasn't certain that I was going to be able to attend until after the discount deadline had passed, so it cost me $10 more but I didn't have to ask for or plead for a $144 refund that I'd already paid. From what I've read on the bb there were others in the same boat for the Detroit convention as well as some for LS/CI currently.

If Chicago plans to offer tee shirts and had proofs ready that could be included with the registration form people would know what they looked like; but that is not the same as trying on the shirt and knowing if it fits; in women's clothing it varies widely if you have the shirt that was cut at the top of the stack or the bottom of the stack, unless of course you shop only at high-end stores; this may not be true for men's wear.

A vendor quotes sizes packaged based on what the inquirer furnishes as information. So if the hosting chapter tells the vendor that they're expecting 250 white males that are into cars and no females, how do you think that vendor is going to package the sizes to meet the information they were furnished? Certainly, not on the small end or the feminine end. Either way it's a crap shoot, if you let the vendor sell you a pre-packaged lot then you can blame the vendor for their miscalculation, if you tell the vendor you want xxx in these sizes then the host chapter figured wrong.

Overall attendance without analysis may be a crap shoot --- but there have to be parameters that tell you something over the years. We have convention history and notes back to 1959 based on locale, which track was used, what dates it was scheduled, who spoke, any special events that took place or were commerated, if it was rotated from coast to coast or stayed in one area of the country etc.; attendance statistics are the one thing that is lacking as well as geographic demographics and gender/age; I've been filling in as I can find them along with other notable events, catastrophes etc. There is data available to work with but it takes a lot of time to find the missing pieces so that it is usable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,740 Posts
*saddling up to the bar* make my Sasparilla...now about this convention thing you are talking about, My first Alfa convention was...never mind. Some of the highlights that stick out in my mind are the after dinner parking lot conversations. Nashville had music, an open bar and everyone was wandering around having a great time.

About the dash plaques, those are sort of a talking point for people when they see the dash plaques on the car. They are sort of a bragging point as well as a curiosity item. My dash plaques from Alfa Aspen are special to me.

T-shirts, a great idea, but if you want to limit them, then make them only available to those that sign up early so you don't get stuck with a lot of extras. Make a limited run of other sizes for those that sign up later, so when you run out then there isn't any more. My Nashville T-shirt I wear to out to dinner now and then because it is comfortable. Never know when you might find another Alfisti who spots your shirt. ;)

The card idea is a good one. I would like to leave a card for people to contact me if I find a car that I want to know more about. Always looking for a Veloce. :)

At the DueMille Convention in Los Angeles there was a pre-dinner no host ****tail social which gave some of us a chance to socialize.

At Alfa Aspen we had a very early morning rally to a breakfast in the mountains that was very inspirational with the setting of the Blue Belle mountains. Maybe a rally to one of the great estates along the lakeshore would be in order. :)

The place to wash/detail your car before the car show was always a busy place. A nice treat for those that drive a long way and want to clean their car before the show or to park in the parking lot. Maybe this could be sponsored by Griots/Meguires/3M/Adams etc, to provide products for us to try out. A small pressure washer would be nice to get the grime and bugs off. Maybe one of the providers of products could also provide someone to talk about the products, their uses and give some demo's. This could make for a great tech talk. :)

Concours...never enough time to judge or see the cars. Tulsa was disappointing for me as I had to judge, but then I didn't get a chance to see the cars as everyone left as soon as the judging was over to get back to the hotel for lunch. The lunch could be with the concours, so you can enjoy the cars.

Judges are hard to get because no one feels they know enough to judge. An incentive of a special T-shirt or hat or some kind of simple compensation that is different could get some more volunteers. I could like a shirt that says "Concours Judge" with the convention logo on it. I could wear that at other car shows or venues. :D

Some people leave on Mondays, a Sunday night social for those that are left could be arranged with the locals. I don't know if there would be enough of a draw, something to be polled.

Hopefully this will provide some good suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Chuck:

Yes, Detroit did a great job!

We participated/joined in a pre-convention tour to New Hampshire being put on by Skip Pattinode and the Mid Atlantic Chapter. Also participated in the Lake Huron 1000 miles. Either type of tour would be great.
---A rally to the convention put on by one or more chapters or a themed cross country tour encouraging people to make their trip in their Alfa and make it a vacation trip pick 3 sites of interest to the individual an get a photo their Alfa and /or a receipt ticket showing participation? Russ Neely was talking about an event the OK chapter put on which allowed people to participate for the whole year in seeing OK sites and submitting validation at the end of the rally. Have I got that right Russ?
--- Or a pre-convention tour designed for participants to show up and take when they arrive the weekend prior. We did end up 8 days straight. Next time we'll take a day off) in our spider and 2400 miles on the road before the convention.

Diana and I both liked the concours on Saturday morning with the rally and banquet following the concours. That may have been hard on the concours judging staff. Having the awards brunch Sunday morning was nice too.

The key to successful conventions is a friendly, welcoming local chapter who does their best to make sure the visitors to their city/area see some of the best parts of it and celebrate Alfas with fun events for club members and their families.

My favorite events over the 30 years and 28 US conventions we've attended have been (in no particular order):
--The rally that had a firehouse museum as part of a stop and questions that made the rallyists pause and appreciate the museum (Baltimore)
--The rally that took me thru the Eisenhower tunnel on I70 after a beautiful climb on a twisty road
--The fashion show at the 1990 Detroit Convention
--The driving school at the West Virginia Raceway at the Baltimore Convention
--The Autocross driving school at Detroit 1990
--The welcome party at Santa Fe (I believe) where we had lots or room and people lingered visiting & meeting new folks.
--Beautiful and scenic drives in Arizona (the longest drive got the most scenic views) and Santa Fe the high road to Taos and time to explore that jewel of a town and the missions on the way.
--Don't make the rally a non-fun event. Sum of the digits?? Slow drives thru construction and traffic. Need for the panic envelope. Boo, Hiss. But we've been there and done that!
--Art Deco Rally in Tulsa non-'rush hour'. What tells you more about Tulsa's downtown than starting a rally at 4 or 4:30 in downtown Tulsa and having no traffic problem. What gives you a better look at the city than a fistful of photos and instructions with fill in the photo numbers!
--Autocross over bridges in downtown Tulsa, unbelievable in 1988 and even more fun when I participated and my wife's spider ended up on the Alfa Owner cover.
--Blowing my Alfetta's oil filter seal in the San Diego football stadium parking lot and my wife being told by those sitting with her, "Don't worry, we'll help you get it running, replace the head gasket . . ."
--This year, Andrew Garcia, Brian Shorey, Andy Kress and others replacing my lower radiator hose after it got cut by my air conditioning compressor. 28 years later, I got that help to make my car driveable, just like someone promised Diana in San Diego, back in 1979 Thanks guys!
--Driving the Lunch time tour laps at Road America back at Chicago's last convention in Milwaukee
--After convention trip to Aniwa WI for a look at Alfa Heaven
--28 great trips in our Alfas in association with the Alfa National Conventions all the lower 48 and many Canadian Provinces.
--All the friends we've made and events an the associated chapter events in Eureka Springs, (Kansas City, St. Louis and Oklahoma chapters) at Tulsa, 1988 was the first time we heard about Eureka and the St. Louis Spring Fling, which we heard about at Eureka but until we'd retired this year been unable to attend.
--Many Fabric artists are from the midwest and the Art Shows and the (Quilting workshop 2nd year in a row) have drawn an number of participants.

Remember, The majority of attendees will be people from 600 or less miles from your geographic center. Make sure you advertise and get media coverage locally so you recruit new people that don't know about the Alfa Club and Make sure those local and neighboring visitors know what your chapter does year in and year out that might get them coming back and again, make they (and all your attendees) feel welcome.

Looking forward to a great convention in Chicago, next June. IChicago is a city, we have never visited.

Best Wishes,
Bernie Bennett
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Convention Memories

Chris:
mentions a number of things Diana and I talked about on the way to Detroit this year. The Alfa Aspen rally / pancake breakfast at Maroon Bells was a great rally and the babbling brook are memories we'll never forget.

Dash plaques too are something we have a collection of from a number of conventions.

Bernie

*saddling up to the bar* make my Sasparilla...now about this convention thing you are talking about, My first Alfa convention was...never mind. Some of the highlights that stick out in my mind are the after dinner parking lot conversations. Nashville had music, an open bar and everyone was wandering around having a great time.

About the dash plaques, those are sort of a talking point for people when they see the dash plaques on the car. They are sort of a bragging point as well as a curiosity item. My dash plaques from Alfa Aspen are special to me.

T-shirts, a great idea, but if you want to limit them, then make them only available to those that sign up early so you don't get stuck with a lot of extras. Make a limited run of other sizes for those that sign up later, so when you run out then there isn't any more. My Nashville T-shirt I wear to out to dinner now and then because it is comfortable. Never know when you might find another Alfisti who spots your shirt. ;)

The card idea is a good one. I would like to leave a card for people to contact me if I find a car that I want to know more about. Always looking for a Veloce. :)

At the DueMille Convention in Los Angeles there was a pre-dinner no host ****tail social which gave some of us a chance to socialize.

At Alfa Aspen we had a very early morning rally to a breakfast in the mountains that was very inspirational with the setting of the Blue Belle mountains. Maybe a rally to one of the great estates along the lakeshore would be in order. :)

The place to wash/detail your car before the car show was always a busy place. A nice treat for those that drive a long way and want to clean their car before the show or to park in the parking lot. Maybe this could be sponsored by Griots/Meguires/3M/Adams etc, to provide products for us to try out. A small pressure washer would be nice to get the grime and bugs off. Maybe one of the providers of products could also provide someone to talk about the products, their uses and give some demo's. This could make for a great tech talk. :)

Concours...never enough time to judge or see the cars. Tulsa was disappointing for me as I had to judge, but then I didn't get a chance to see the cars as everyone left as soon as the judging was over to get back to the hotel for lunch. The lunch could be with the concours, so you can enjoy the cars.

Judges are hard to get because no one feels they know enough to judge. An incentive of a special T-shirt or hat or some kind of simple compensation that is different could get some more volunteers. I could like a shirt that says "Concours Judge" with the convention logo on it. I could wear that at other car shows or venues. :D

Some people leave on Mondays, a Sunday night social for those that are left could be arranged with the locals. I don't know if there would be enough of a draw, something to be polled.

Hopefully this will provide some good suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
In a word: RACE!
There has been a lot of discussion of getting left and right coasties together with the inlanders for a massive ALFA Vintage race meet. Next year's convention might just be the ticket. The race would have to be a full weekend of practice, qualifying and race, not just an add on to a time trial event if you are to get people to do the long tows required.
Rick Clemente
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top