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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
 

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...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... So if you have opinions, let us know!
Hi Chuck,

Thanks for getting this thread started. Here's some more feedback:

AN ADDITIONAL DAY for the convention would spread things out somewhat. We now tend not to cram in every activity since the resulting frenzy can spoil our overall experience. Having the concours on Saturday seemed to be received very well in Detroit and, I'm sure the judges and scorers liked this.

ALFA RACE: I'm not familiar with AROC insurance but why not explore getting a rider for the proposed Alfa race? Assuming the activity is conducted under rules of a recognized Vintage Race organization, the AROC insurance carrier might like the additional business. Otherwise, consider affiliating with such a sanctioning body for their insurance coverage. Also, consider making track time available on race day for Time Trial participants. Their fee could help defray track rental costs. TT cars would likely be restricted to "practice only" and segregated from true race cars on the track for insurance purposes.

AUTOCROSS: There are always elements that can make an autocross better. Here's my personal suggestion that will hopefully bring response from others: Just because the traditional (and SCCA) minimum autocross course width is 15 ft. it does not have to be at this specific dimension. I suggest you mandate the autocross course be sufficiently wide to accommodate race cars. A 20 or 25 ft. width will not spoil the course design, and I think quite a few racers might enter if they knew in advance that the course would be wider and didn't have excruciatingly tight turns. Further, the event will run more smoothly if fewer pylons are hit (narrow tight 1970's style courses tend to have a high pylon count). Also, beg, borrow or rent some 18 in. pylons. This size is traditional for the 1200 SCCA events run each year in the U.S. rather than the 12 in. size used in Detroit (I might be able to bring some pylons, depending on our local event schedule). Finally, don't depend on volunteers for autocross work positions. In Detroit, this resulted in over two hours working a corner station while relief workers were solicited (and the surface deteriorated). Consider getting workers in advance; either from CAROC, or the local SCCA.

While I don't like the "random running" scheme used by Detroit, it is probably popular with a majority of casual autocross entrants. The downside is when there is a rapidly deteriorating surface and your time results from when you run instead of a test of driving skill (grumble grumble...sour grapes...). I accept there should be a balance between fairness and fun, so the scheme should be continued in the name of fun.

PAST ALFA ROMEO OWNERS CLUB NATION COVENTIONS

x = Our attendance
1959 CHICAGO, IL
1960 CHICAGO, IL
1961 CHICAGO, IL
1962 HINSDALE, IL
1963 CHICAGO, IL
1964 CHICAGO, IL
1965 CHICAGO, IL
1966 CHICAGO, IL
1967 LAKE FOREST, IL x
1968 LAKE FOREST, IL
1969 ELGIN, IL
1970 WISCONSIN
1971 ONTARIO, CA
1972 SADDLE BROOK, NJ
1973 ASPEN, CO x
1974 DETROIT, MI x
1975 LONG BEACH, CO
1976 SOUTHBURY, CONN x
1977 ASPEN, CO x
1978 RESTON, VA x
1979 SAN DIEGO, CO1980
1980 DANVERS, CONN x
1981 DETROIT x
1982 RIVERSIDE, CA
1983 CINCINATTI, OH x
1984 SEATTLE
1985 MILWAUKEE, WI x
1986 NEW JERSY / LONG ISLAND
1987 PORTLAND, OR
1988 TULSA, OK x
1989 WATERBURY, CONN x
1990 DETROIT, MI x
1991 SAN DIEGO, CO
1992 ST. LOUIS, MO x
1993 BALTIMORE x
1994 COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO x
1995 ATLANTA x
1996 PHOENIX, AZ
1997 COLUMBUS, OH x
1998 SANTA FE, NM
1999 KANSAS CITY x
2000 PORTLAND, OR did not attend

2001 NASHVILLE, TN x
OVERALL: One of the best to date, with lots of new elements. Double sided name tags with owner's car pictures. Great parking lot activities with a bar and live music. Unfortunately, the local AROC disintegrated after conducting this event
CONCOURS: Very good. Great remote site with a brass quintet providing music
TIME TRIALS: Nashville Speedway. Did not compete
AUTOCROSS: Very small site, medium course, driver's school by local SCCA. Good organization

2002 COSTA MESA, CA Did not attend

2003 FT. LAUDERDALE
OVERALL: Very good. Low attendance
CONCOURS: Good, held in City Park. Remote location.
TIME TRIALS at Moroso. Great track, good organization
AUTOCROSS: Very good site, good course by Detroit AROC. Good organization

2004 MANCHESTER, NH
OVERALL: Excellent. High attendance. Chairman, Brian Shorey allowed me access to their website and it was revealing to view the volume of work that went into the event.
CONCOURS: Good back-up plan. Held in parking garage due to rain. Close proximity to hotel
TIME TRIALS at NHIS: Good track, good organization
AUTOCROSS at NHIS. Excellent site, good course by Detroit AROC Chapter. Good organization

2005 SEATTLE
OVERALL: Outstanding. High attendance. Great attention to details. Even an organized wash area with beer and helpers with cleaning supplies. The visit to John Shirley's car museum was almost beyond words.
CONCOURS: Outstanding, remote location on nearby College campus. PA commentary by Alfa celebrities, an Opera singer, and food vendors.
TIME TRIALS at Pacific Raceways. Great track, good organization
AUTOCROSS: Very good site, medium course design. Good organization

2006 TULSA
OVERALL: Generally excellent. Low attendance. I think of this as a great "boutique" convention; small but very high quality
CONCOURS: Good, remote location, very scenic
TIME TRIALS at Hallet race course. Great track, good organization
AUTOCROSS: Street event by local SCCA. Very good course for what they had to work with, but high potential danger from solid objects. Good organization (Street autocross no longer allowed by AROC).

2007 DETROIT
OVERALL: Generally excellent. High attendance. Lots of activities, and the extra day was a good idea. The Lake Huron Tour was said to be very good. No shirts for sale, no dash plaques
CONCOURS; Very good. Outstanding remote location at Meadowbrook
TIME TRIALS at Waterford Hills. Great track, somewhat limited time, good organization in spite of sound restrictions
AUTOCROSS: poor site, poor course design, good organization
 
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