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Current Issues and Suggestions for a Better BCA


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Bringing this back to the top and sticking it, hopefully to keep ideas and suggestions in one place for future reference instead of them dropping to the bottom and into Threads Lost Forever Land.

Perhaps some of it's content can be discussed at the Membership or BOD meeting in Springfield.

Also to reference an interesting thread which has some good points regarding retaining members. http://forums.aaca.org/f115/new-member-retention-386781.html

Edited by MrEarl (see edit history)
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  • 2 months later...

Just to put in my own two cents worth on the National Meet issue. It is a very big deal to put on a national Meet, as any one that has ever participated in the process knows. The meets have to at least break even, and as in any business endeavor, you have to come up with a guesstimate of income and expenses. The entry fee reflects this process. I agree with John that it may seem expensive to have a two tier entry fee, but a high percentage of cars entered for judging will come away with an award of some type. The trophies / plaques presented by the BCA are not inexpensive. The other big issue is certain meet fixed costs, such as security , meeting rooms, hospitality suite , etc. Toss in the fact that most National Meet registrants wait until close to the deadline to register and you can see how this evolves. When I ran the Danvers National meets, we did not know if we in financial trouble or not right up to the registration deadline.

This will all never change, and you can see some of the reasons for cost. I do think, that compared to other Clubs, the BCA gives a good bang for the buck.

Running a National Meet is not totally a thankless job however. The thanks is in the happy faces of the attendees.

Jack Welch

National Meet Committee member

By the way, we need a volunteer or two to help out with photography, let me know if you can help.

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I don't venture out to the General Comment Section that often, I pretty much stick to the Pre War Section. But I like this topic. 

 

Thoughts on National Meet.  The first National Meet I attended was Columbus, OH in 1999.  People could not have been nicer.  My Buicktown Members knew it was my first meet and they introduced me and my Dad who was in tow, to all their non-Buicktown friends.  We all need to remember to do that.  Take the newer member under their wing and make the introductions, ask new members to join you, pull in extra chairs or stools, move your portable tent to allow more to join, open up your cooler, etc.  Find that new person on the second day and make contact again.

 

Not sure if we do this at all the meets, but at the Centennial in Flint, I had an orange vest on that said 'Security'. I had a section to keep my eye on.  What I ended up being was The Answer Man for all the visitors.  I did shew a few kids on bikes away but I found ladies the closest 'real bathroom', kids bandaids, bottled water, where is this located, what section is that, have you seen my husband, all sorts of questions.  With each person, I introduced myself, welcomed them home to Flint, asked them who they were and where they were from, did they bring a car, how could I help them, were they having fun?  Do we have some sort of Ambassadors at each National Meet out and about that are somehow identifiable doing just that?  Host Committee with some sort of hat or vest and instruct them in how to greet and meet?.  At the 2008 Flint Meet I had the Pre War Section and a special Host Committee Green shirt.  Same results.

 

Thanks

Edited by Brian_Heil (see edit history)
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I like Brian's ideas about meet and greet, etc.  I do not know about Springfield, but I have made the suggestion for Allentown, but that is not my area of responsibility. I hope each volunteer has something that identifies them but one T shirt is a bit hard to wear four days in a row.

 

John   

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The orange reflective vest I still have. I put it on when I walk the dog and keep it in the trunk otherwise in case I stop to help someone or need to change a tire and I put it in the Buick on tours The 2008 shirts we got two and since we were 'home' I had easy laundry access.

I also give many of my Bugles away. Gave one to a nice guy while on vacation in South Carolina last week. He has a nice GS and had never heard of the BCA. He was impressed, as he should be, Pete does a great job.

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One thought, after seeing the voter turnout for the BOD, is whether online voting might help turn that around. Of course there would need to be some sort of secure login and, for a period of time, we would need some sort of dual system.

With the rise of electronic communication and commensurate drop in paper based mail, the price to mail the ballot may be getting to the point of a disincentive. Those who find it important enough will still do it, but I know my confidence in Canada Post to start the process of getting it in on time and to the correct location isn't high (our ballot was initially returned without a postmark after having bought a stamp and mailing it at a postal outlet). Many of us will renew with our credit cards online so there is a level of comfort these days, although admittedly not for everyone.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Perhaps . . . members who get eBugles would get the "electronic ballot" the first time around, as it would be easier to track those votes AND they would not receive the paper ballot on the printed magazine.

For print subscriber members, there would need to be a system to ensure they didn't vote by paper and electronic both, which might take an "labor operation" to make happen.

For the past few election cycles, it seems like "something" has happened to make the procedure of voting more troublesome. An incorrect zip code one year. How the post card was loaded into the sorter seemed to be an issue this year. What might be the issue next year, if there is an issue?

I have this suspicion that regardless of what style of voting is used, votes cast will not be significantly different (as a part of the total BCA membership) than in the past few years.

Possibly incentivize the process by putting all voting members in the running for a few "free memberships"? One three-year, a few one-year, a few eBucle one-year national BCA memberships? Or maybe "free basic entry" to the next BCA National Meet?

NTX5467

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Willis. That's an out of the box idea I had not heard before. I'm not sure it's workable but it does spur the imagination. Any other thoughts out there about how to improve the percentage of members who vote? We could use some.

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Guest my3buicks

Possible way of saving some money?  Would it be feasible to use electronic billing for members that sign up for such?  I switched to an e-Bugle a while ago and just received my renewal in the mail today - seems silly to get a paper renewal when I renew online and get my Bugle online.  I would think if they would have a check box option to receive future renewal via email it would be popular and should save the club money in printing up renewal forms, envelopes and postage.  Another possibility would be auto renewal which would possibly lead to better member retention.  I am one that does as much possible electronically.

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Keith while I agree with you I have an issue with auto renewal.  With all the identity thefts, cyber attacks and other items in the news, I don't want anyone to have my credit card number to have and to hold forever and ever. Email renewal is a good idea though. we pay a lot for renewal post cards and letters.

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Mark, I don't know that "ethics" should be a part of my proposal, per se.  Each voting ballot sender would be entered in a drawing for one "benefit of voting" award.  More of a recognition issue than "money for votes", in orientation.  It might not significantly increase participation, but it's better than just talking about "Woe is the BCA.  Voting participation keeps decreasing.  Oh MY!" and the cost is not very much, in the total scheme of things.  I don't consider this being "poor ethics" nearly as much as when a local consultant donated a chunk of $$$ to a local school district advocacy group to help get a bond issue passed which THEY worked on and would profit from if it passed.

 

Willis Bell  20811

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At our chapter meeting yesterday, as we were discussing the recent BCA National Meet, including the many funny and interesting things which our chapter members enjoyed getting to, from, and while at the meet . . . one member made the observation that it appeared that NOBODY in the Springfield area (other than the hotels involved) knew of the BCA National Meet being there.  The member was approached at the parking lot by the local newspaper and THEY asked why all of the Buicks were in town.  He also related that the local Olds club chapter president (whom he met) didn't know about it (and seemed offended by it), for example.  Everybody seemed to wonder why all of the Buicks were in town, but nobody seemed to know.

 

He positioned that against another group, where a tour publicity person made the cities which the tour would go through met with the local mayors and such to make them aware of what was going to happen, so they could tell their citizens about it.  As a result, he related that one mayor had a lunch ready for the tour participants when they arrived in their town for lunch.   

 

It was mentioned that the show field of the host hotel was completely non-visible from the street, which could be a good deal, except it seemed to magnify the isolation of the show from the general public.

 

I realize that the "Members Only" aspect of the BCA could be one reason for possibly trying to keep things quiet about the meet, as "Members Only" (other than Members-At-Large can participate, to a limited extent) . . . BUT these events should be considered as more than just for the members, but for the public, the Buick marque, AND an event to attract potential and possible new members.  The yearly capstone event for the BCA should also be considered as the capstone marketing event for the BCA, additionally.

 

Perhaps it was just a glitch of some kind that resulted in decreased public awareness of the event?  I know from experience that you can advertise car shows and events "everywhere" and "for years" (in the local paper each year), yet some people still come up and ask "How long have y'all been doing this?" or not even know of the group's existence.  Perhaps the local CVB didn't spread the news?  I know that when we did our first event in Plano, the Plano CVB arranged a publicity article in the local paper, with a picture of three representative Buicks in front of the event location, in the weeks prior to the event.

 

Such national events can also be a great place for the proposed "Mini BUGLE" publication, or a "Special Edition" BUGLE, as a public promotion tool to motivate more Buick Enthusiasts to join the BCA.  Possibly, also, as a portion of the Event Magazine as some chapters have done for the national meets they hosted.

 

It's all well and good that the BCA operatives host swap meet spaces at some high-level swap meets (or similar), place an add in Hemmings, but there can be a whole new market of Buick enthusiasts that aren't frequenting those events (as their parents and grand parents might) can be "out there" and NOT know about the BCA.  The multi-color printed hand-out cards from a few years ago were nice and could be used "everywhere", for example.  Perhaps additional advertising venues and channels (even YouTUBE videos or a "BCA Channel") might need to be considered?  There are LOTS of Buick videos on YouTube, for example, from factory training "films", commercials, to proud owners showing off their Buicks . . . even a Buick Regal that wouldn't die after being run over by a small Cat bulldozer.

 

Unless we find some ways (even somewhat unconventional in prior ways of thinking) to not appear to "preach to the choir" to  motivate existing members (who might also feel somewhat disconnected from the group's administration) to be more participative in how the group is run and administered . . . the current membership cycles will tend to continue.

 

In the context of this thread, I consider a more vibrant and expanded-membership BCA to be "A Better BCA".  As a "growing" (long term) BCA has been discussed for quite some time with seemingly marginal benefits, perhaps this "dream" is not obtainable?

 

Thanks for your time and consideration,

Willis Bell  20811

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Guest my3buicks

Keith while I agree with you I have an issue with auto renewal.  With all the identity thefts, cyber attacks and other items in the news, I don't want anyone to have my credit card number to have and to hold forever and ever. Email renewal is a good idea though. we pay a lot for renewal post cards and letters.

Yes Bill, the email renewal would probably be more than adequate. 

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I tend to concur that auto-renewal might not be a good idea, unless there was a three year limit before you had to manually renew it, or something to that effect.  Plus, the 'Opt Out' function for such auto-renewal memberships should be easy to make happen.  The "hook" for an auto-renewal membership might be a little less expensive total membership, but if we allow them a discount for the auto-renewal option, then the unit cost/year could get tricky as some might opt out earlier and resultantly get a less expensive yearly membership as a result.  Either way, there would have to be some limits and these limits would need to be clearly defined up front for those who might desire to participate in such an auto-renewal option.

 

Willis Bell  20811

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At our chapter meeting yesterday, as we were discussing the recent BCA National Meet, including the many funny and interesting things which our chapter members enjoyed getting to, from, and while at the meet . . . one member made the observation that it appeared that NOBODY in the Springfield area (other than the hotels involved) knew of the BCA National Meet being there.  The member was approached at the parking lot by the local newspaper and THEY asked why all of the Buicks were in town.  He also related that the local Olds club chapter president (whom he met) didn't know about it (and seemed offended by it), for example.  Everybody seemed to wonder why all of the Buicks were in town, but nobody seemed to know.

 

He positioned that against another group, where a tour publicity person made the cities which the tour would go through met with the local mayors and such to make them aware of what was going to happen, so they could tell their citizens about it.  As a result, he related that one mayor had a lunch ready for the tour participants when they arrived in their town for lunch.   

 

It was mentioned that the show field of the host hotel was completely non-visible from the street, which could be a good deal, except it seemed to magnify the isolation of the show from the general public.

 

I realize that the "Members Only" aspect of the BCA could be one reason for possibly trying to keep things quiet about the meet, as "Members Only" (other than Members-At-Large can participate, to a limited extent) . . . BUT these events should be considered as more than just for the members, but for the public, the Buick marque, AND an event to attract potential and possible new members.  The yearly capstone event for the BCA should also be considered as the capstone marketing event for the BCA, additionally.

 

Perhaps it was just a glitch of some kind that resulted in decreased public awareness of the event?  I know from experience that you can advertise car shows and events "everywhere" and "for years" (in the local paper each year), yet some people still come up and ask "How long have y'all been doing this?" or not even know of the group's existence.  Perhaps the local CVB didn't spread the news?  I know that when we did our first event in Plano, the Plano CVB arranged a publicity article in the local paper, with a picture of three representative Buicks in front of the event location, in the weeks prior to the event.

 

Such national events can also be a great place for the proposed "Mini BUGLE" publication, or a "Special Edition" BUGLE, as a public promotion tool to motivate more Buick Enthusiasts to join the BCA.  Possibly, also, as a portion of the Event Magazine as some chapters have done for the national meets they hosted.

 

It's all well and good that the BCA operatives host swap meet spaces at some high-level swap meets (or similar), place an add in Hemmings, but there can be a whole new market of Buick enthusiasts that aren't frequenting those events (as their parents and grand parents might) can be "out there" and NOT know about the BCA.  The multi-color printed hand-out cards from a few years ago were nice and could be used "everywhere", for example.  Perhaps additional advertising venues and channels (even YouTUBE videos or a "BCA Channel") might need to be considered?  There are LOTS of Buick videos on YouTube, for example, from factory training "films", commercials, to proud owners showing off their Buicks . . . even a Buick Regal that wouldn't die after being run over by a small Cat bulldozer.

 

Unless we find some ways (even somewhat unconventional in prior ways of thinking) to not appear to "preach to the choir" to  motivate existing members (who might also feel somewhat disconnected from the group's administration) to be more participative in how the group is run and administered . . . the current membership cycles will tend to continue.

 

In the context of this thread, I consider a more vibrant and expanded-membership BCA to be "A Better BCA".  As a "growing" (long term) BCA has been discussed for quite some time with seemingly marginal benefits, perhaps this "dream" is not obtainable?

 

Thanks for your time and consideration,

Willis Bell  20811

 

If you do not promote, you do not grow.

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Possible way of saving some money?  Would it be feasible to use electronic billing for members that sign up for such?  I switched to an e-Bugle a while ago and just received my renewal in the mail today - seems silly to get a paper renewal when I renew online and get my Bugle online.  I would think if they would have a check box option to receive future renewal via email it would be popular and should save the club money in printing up renewal forms, envelopes and postage.  Another possibility would be auto renewal which would possibly lead to better member retention.  I am one that does as much possible electronically.

 

I am of the camp that I auto renew nothing!  I have heard of people getting access though your accounts and it is very difficult to get them off.  Also the identity theft can be problematic with your account information in so many places. 

 

I review all renewals every year and determine if I want to continue them. 

 

I also bid out my insurance, etc. about every other year to be sure that my insurance, and other purchases are competitive.   

 

I write my insurance checks yearly and it has never been in any house payment so the cost of it is embedded in my mind every year.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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Guest my3buicks

the econo lodge across the street didn't now the bca meet was there until the sign went up and still didn't know what the bca was

That sounds more like poor management /excuse Ted than anything else.  You can't tell me they didn't know since they would have been booked up so far in advance. 

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I have been asked to put together a bid for a National BCA meet here in California for the year 2018.  I have come up with a great location in coastal central California. What i would like is some sort of a template or guideline that i could fill in the info required or needed to submit the bid.  So far i have received no such guide.

 

Bruce Andren, Golden West Regional Coordinator.  

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There is some misconception on how the National Meet Committee works. The NMC would welcome chapters to want to host a National and encourage them to do so. The NMC was formed to make sure that the BCA would continue to have a meet once a year. The committee is here to help as needed with running a meet. We have professionals to help with hotel negotiations and committee members to help with advice on how to run things. The chapter need a suitable site to have the meet and members willing to put the time in ( meet chairperson and committee members and workers ) The BCA will help with the finances so that is not a hurdle for chapters anymore. Again, the NMC is here to help the chapters as needed run a meet, not to run the meet.

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Kevin Kinny's statement:  "Again, the NMC is here to help the chapters as needed run a meet, not to run the meet." is not correct.

 

I know that the NMC Chairman ran the show in South Bend and Portland, and the local club members for Portland were just used for manpower.

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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Kevin's statement is correct. My September President's message also contains a plea for Chapters to bid for the National Meets. The NMC has realized that it is not realistic to continue to run the Meets remotely in their entirety. While the last 3 meets have been successful, there have been opportunities as well. The Meets need local, active participants to assist with many functions.  Chapters (and Regions) are welcome and encouraged to present bids.  The NMC has a lot of expertise in running meets and will be a fantastic asset to those Chapters interested in bringing a meet to their area.

We will still attempt to work the "windshield wiper" effect to rotate the Meet around the country in an effort to bring the Meets close to everyone on a regular basis.

There is no perfect solution, but at this time, we feel a partnership between a local Chapter and the NMC will produce the best results going forward.

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So in other words, the NMC was as expected from the start an epic fail, hopefully the NMC will in the future truly allow the hosting chapter to put their flavor on the meet and the NMC only take care of the business end of the meet - in other words, the way it should have been from the start.  This was not a popular concept from the get-go so hopefully better things will come if the NMC doesn't try to micro-manage every detail.

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I find Rivgs's comments interesting, as I've followed the NMC from the FIRST time it was proposed, which pre-dates when it actually came into existence as a BCA National Meet-operating entity.  It's been my observation that the NMC handles (handled) ALL aspects of getting the meet situated and a reality, then seeking BCA members (not local chapter members, if any might exist) to help staff the meet operations (under the direction of the NMC operatives).  That's what I've observed, especially as each chapter who had members who helped staff the event activities received compensation (donations to the local chapter) for their meet-staffing activities.  To NOW hear that local chapters are desired to, once again, bid for BCA National Meets . . . or do some of the leg work, locally, to get the primary site selection legwork, appears to be a "new direction" of sorts.

 

In regards to Bruce's inquiry, there was a National Meet Criteria "book" or "document" which local chapters used to need to use to follow to ensure that everything (regarding the meet) was covered.  End result was that this template would help ensure that all bids met "minimum specifications" and all bids could be considered on the same level.  Things like the number of people/table at the banquet, how the banquet meal would be orchestrated, needed meeting spaces during the week, and so on.  Perhaps that document is still on the BCA Website somewhere?  As a part of that "book", there was also a list of BCA Members who'd been a part of past successful BCA National Meets which the prospective chapter could use as a "knowledge base" if they had any questions.

 

It seems that the National Meet Committee (one version of the NMC letter combination) has had some issues in the past years.  Again, something I've heard of rather than experienced.  Or might the desire to have more local chapter involvement (if there might be a local chapter for a desired location) a "delegation of empowerment" by the National Meet Coordinator (the other version of the NMC letter combination)?

 

Under the "original system", the chapter bid to host the event (using the planning guidelines I mentioned), proposed and presented their bid, and the BCA BOD made the final decision of which bid they considered to be the best.  A BOD decision as it was the BOD who then empowered the chosen chapter to orchestrate the bid to the best of their abilities.  The BCA helped with award costs, provided "an amount" of financial compensation which was passed along from host chapter to host chapter (unless there was a loss, with the BCA helping to replenish in that situation, as I recall, but most meets had enough financial success to pass this amount each year), but it was the chapter who had the main financial risks to help ensure profitability of the meet.  When the National Meet Coordinator came online, all of that went away, per se, and came under the direction and control of the National Meet Coordinator as a unit of the BCA.  That's how I understood was how things evolved . . . with further evolvements as things progressed, it appears.

 

Bruce, I'll send you a PM of the things I remember from those earlier templates.

 

Willis Bell  20811 

Part of the "knowledge base" listed in that earlier document.

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ONE of the benefits of the NMC/NMC doing the meets is in the negotiations process with the lodging providers for the meet attendees.  This should result in better rates for the rooms, which had been somewhat variable within BCA National Meet Guidelines of that time.

 

In those earlier times, there were (as now, but lesser so now) several different lodging rate levels.  The "retail" and the "wholesale/corporate traveler" rate, by observation.  Kind of like buying parts at retail or "garage price", which I knew about when we did our first BCA National Meet in Plano.  As a result, we got a $100/night room for about $75/night.  In more modern times, such differences are not quite so great, by observation, in contracting room blocks, but some rate decreases can still be had for such events and room blocks.

 

Having somebody in the original venue bid process who knows about these things can be helpful, but how things happen in different parts of the country can vary . . . especially if the city venue considers itself "a destination city" or as a city that is chasing visitor dollars aggressively and is more open to "making deals".

 

Several years ago, when Dallas was having many heated discussions about building a "convention center hotel" (which Fort Worth was already doing!), I heard many aspects of why such a hotel was needed in order for Dallas to remain in the Tier ONE convention city list.  Plus that most conventions are booked about three years in advance!  It was a revealing discussion.  Be that as it may . . .  $$$$$$$$$ generated from CVB activities can be very important to many cities' budgets.

 

Willis Bell  20811

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Back when the National Meet Committee was an idea, I assume the reason for the idea was because Chapters stopped bidding to do the work. Why the Chapters stopped bidding, I do not know.  But, as I understand it, at that time certain Chapters were asked to do the Meets because of their experience and a lack of Chapter bids.

 

With the absence of local Chapter involvement eventually the National Meet Committee idea was incorporated into our Club.  And the National Meet Committee IS a success in that, after Concord NC, there would not have been ANY National Meet without the work of the committee, which includes the Books, who I observed doing a pretty good ( and mostly thankless) job!  Personally, I am saddened that some folks take joy in presuming that because there is an opportunity for the "old" way, that the National Meet committee was a failure.

 

Be that as it may, the fact is things have been moving forward and once again there is a call for the Chapters to get involved.  There is some financial reward at the end of a successful meet.  And there are now three models of successful meets that Chapters can look to, to formulate a bid. Instead of rejoicing in what may appear to be failure of a good idea, I would urge Chapters to look at the positives of this organization, and begin to discuss the possibilities. Here is one thing that may be of concern to any Chapter who is considering such possibilities.

 

After this years meet a survey was sent to folks who registered for the event, to gauge satisfaction.  While the survey is still  being tabulated and analyzed  I can report that 183 of the 324 targeted surveys were returned. Of the 183 respondents, 175 answered the question on how many National Meets they have attended.  60% ( 104 people) reported that they have attended 4 or more National Meets.  And since I have never attended a National Meet where weather had some negative aspect ( including rain or severe heat in the last 5 consecutive Meets) this tells me that if you hold it, the members will come!  

 

Chapters, open your discussions.  You can bring a successful National Meet to your town.   

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Great cheerleading squad John - fact remains, the NMC was shoved down the memberships throats when it was organized - it was highly disliked and not supported by the membership at the time at all.  Maybe the club is starting to take back the reigns.

 

 

"which includes the Books, who I observed doing a pretty good ( and mostly thankless) job!" - that's just great since we pay them to do a "pretty good job"

 

I see a benefit of the NMC taking care of the business end of the meets once a chapter/group of chapters or division present a plan or to provide assistance if/when asked by the hosting entity.  They should have no control over the meets what-so-ever

Edited by my3buicks (see edit history)
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There WAS a time when chapter bids were a little slow in being submitted.  Many chapters felt they didn't have the people-power to make the meets work (using available chapter members and possibly "friends and family" in the hobby).  The lodging prices, although the BCA had desired guidelines for the maximum amount, they were highly varied from year to year.  Some chapters didn't seem to do their "due diligence" in ensuring they got the best prices they could, which affected their bottom line meet profits.  You can check those discussions in this forum from that earlier time.  In those earlier discussions, there were some things which were not fully-thought-out or considered at THAT point in time, which seemed to delay things a few years. 

 

When it became evident that NO chapter was going to bid for the "Midwest meet" in Iowa, THEN Mr. Stoneberg and a few others decided to run that meet for the BCA.  From what I saw in the forums, they did a great job.  Especially as a week or so later, "the rains" hit where the meet had been!  I considered that to be a "trial run" for the BCA-operated meets.  Until that time, BCA Chapters were the "contracted entities" which planned, orchestrated, and took all financial risks on the meet event.  IF the meet was a larger one, profits usually happened.  Still, though, having a reasonably-accurate real world estimate of how many might attend, such that a "break-even" point of attendance could be estimated, is KEY to profitability.  Not only meet attendees, but participation in the car show events, and swap meet vendors are meet revenue centers.  Up until the final months prior to the meet, some things can be tweaked to better ensure profitability, if needed.  KEY thing is to continue to monitor registrant/participant levels as time progressed until things like tours have to be finalized.  You can't do things early-on and expect nothing to change as the date of the meet nears, as there will surely be something that changes and must be reacted to!

 

The initial concept of the National Meet Coordinator was to help standardize, somewhat, things which needed to be negotiated in making the plans for where the meet was to be and how much things would/should cost.  These are some of the areas where local chapters, in many cases, did not always do a great job (with some doing better than others, by observation).  Plus somewhat standardizing the whole meet registration process from what it had been when the chapters did it themselves.  After the 1999 Kokomo, IN meet's registration activities were "saved" by Roy Faries, that's when he came online to handle many of those activities, at that time.

 

Yes, the National Meet Coordinator was a concept whose time had come for the BCA.  In the case of the Walter P. Chrysler Club, their BOD does their meets with local members (when possible) helping staff their event (which is a much smaller event than the similar BCA event).  They finalize the meet venue, inspect it, enter into the lodging and such contracts, and hope that the meets make money.  They also have leveraged the local CVBs to help them get the meets to happen.  Their membership is generally older than the BCA's, it seems, so few members want to take on planning and orchestration of meets by themselves, but if it's near them, they might help staff registration or similar.

 

As chapters who'd done meets had usually done a few already, I suspect that few wanted to do it a third time.  End result . . . bids to host the national meets were "drying up".  After several pleas from the BOD, the proposed National Meet Coordinator  concept was prototyped in that Iowa meet.

 

I've been aware of "issues" with the National Meet Committee which have resulted in some then-current members leaving and being replaced.  I have no information on what motivated these changes, I just have heard that they happened.  Be that as it may.

 

ONE benefit of the National Meet Committee was that the BCA National Meets could move around the nation, at will, and not specifically be tied to a local chapter per se.  I suspect this is why chapter members who volunteer to help staff the event earn some money for their chapters?  BUT . . . somebody will need to scout the various potential areas, whether by an empowered "local" member, by a member of the National Meet Committee, and/or BOD member(s).  It appears that Bruce is possibly that empowered local member?

 

Personally, I feel that having a CA meet is very overdue.  Hopefully a CA meet can become a reality.

 

Willis Bell  20811

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Guest my3buicks

There is an area that I didn't address, the national meet registration - that is one area that the consolidation being done by having Roy Faries head up and do the yearly meet registration has worked beautifully.  The registration process for the nationals is excellent and Roy needs commended. 

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Thanks for the compliments on registration.  Back when the local chapters would bid for the National Meets, each chapter had to figure out the registration process on their own.  Every year, the local chapters had to come up with a program for registration.  And that always seemed to be a major concern for any local chapter thinking about bidding for a National Meet.  Sometimes, I felt it was a major reason chapters were reluctant to bid on one.  I wrote the registration program for our first National Meet in Texas in 1996 and offered it to any chapters wanting to use it for future meets.  I didn't get any real interest until after the meet in Kokomo. I re-wrote the program for our second meet in 2004 and again offered it to future meet considerations, but this time I offered to help the local chapters by setting it up and training them on how to use it.  After a few years of that, I approached the BOD and my wife, Michelle, and I then offered to do the registrations ourselves from then on.  We could feel the relief from the local chapters, knowing the registration process was taken care of. It has worked out great, and Michelle and I learned and have made improvements every year.  The registration process, once a major concern to the local chapters, is no longer a factor in bidding for the National Meet.  We will continue to do the registrations as long as we are wanted.  In an effort of full disclosure, we do get paid a fee per registration and our travel expenses are paid, but we have not had any problems getting the job.

 

Having said all of that, chapters still have to step up and bid. When the bidding stopped, there was a definite need for a National involvement, and thus the National Meet Committee was formed. I give some credit to the NMC because they were needed at one time and did what they were supposed to do.  However, the bidding process should not have stopped just because a NMC was formed.  I don't think that was communicated to the membership well enough.  Everyone thought that there was no longer a need to host a national because there is this committee and they are doing it now.  However, as stated above, the role of the NMC should now be one of consulting with local chapters when needed.  But, when no one steps up to offer to host one, the responsibility falls back on the National Office. Someone has to do it, or there will be no National Meet.

 

On another note, Michelle and I are not doing the registrations for 2016.  The National Office is.  We will pick it back up again in 2017 in Milwaukee if they want us to do it.  We haven't received an official invitation yet, but it is still early.

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Guest my3buicks

Is there a reason you're not doing the 2016 meet Roy? That seems odd to me and I'm sure there's a good story behind that. I would like to know how that decision was made.

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Thanks Roy and Willis for educating and reminding some posters why the NMC HAD to be formed - chapters were not stepping in to bid. Rick and Bill saw this for 2010 and stepped up to put together the Ames Meet. This was definitely a wake up call to our club that changes were needed in how we put together and ran a National Meet.

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