MrEarl

Current Issues and Suggestions for a Better BCA

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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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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

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The Hampton Inn knew, and even put out a hose for two of us to wash our cars at 10 PM the day we arrived.

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The Hampton Inn knew, and even put out a hose for two of us to wash our cars at 10 PM the day we arrived.

As did the Best Western

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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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Bruce,

That is a very good question from Inperial62. It should the BOD, National Office and Meet Committee that has control.

John

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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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Guest my3buicks

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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Guest my3buicks

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.

Edited by my3buicks (see edit history)

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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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John, Keitjh is being sarcastic as he doesn't like anything to do with the Books or the NMC (National Meet Committee, or, come to think of it, me.

 

Lets see how he likes it when we don't have a meet. This almost happened in 2010 but I convinced Rick Young to work with me and he and I put on the meet at  Ames. We had financial backing of the BOD, so if we lost money we wouldn't have to go begging, but we made money and paid 50 % of the profits to the clubs and divisions that volunteered at the show.

 

After Concorde we were faced with the similar situation. Nobody was wanting to put meets on anymore because of age /size of club etc.

The NMC was formed to help with this problem. We have 8 people who have put on numerous meets and a company to help with hotels so you don't have to re invent the wheel.  

 

It was never the intent to take the place of chapters running the meet. This point has been lost in this discussion and among the membership. It is to help them and make sure that the show goes well and the chapter makes money.

 

Now we have chapters who want to run a meet again, or people in the chapter who are willing to step up and run the meet.  The 2017 meet is being run by the group of Wisconsin / Minnesota Chapters, 2018 I hope will be run in California. we hope we will go Southeast again with Dixie and other chapters and Willis, it would be good to go to Texas again. 

 

So this isn't a shift in the way the NMC does business, its only re affirming its original purpose.

Edited by Bill Stoneberg (see edit history)
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I still consider myself a relatively new member of BCA. I don't feel like I really understand how things work in BCA. After some other questions that I asked on the Discussion Forum, I received a lot of phone calls, emails, and Private Messages from many different members. Someone shared documents with me including the Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, and SOP with me. In reading those, I did not get any information on the National Meet Committee. Perhaps people who have been in BCA longer fully understand what the National Meet Committee does and how/why it was formed but just from reading here it seems that there are lots of different views and opinions on this issue.  It seems to me that BCA needs a better way of communicating with its members. Communication issues seem to have dogged BCA on issues such as the National Meet Committee and the proposed Scholarship and appear to have created a lot of animosity among members.

 

I just went to the BCA website and did some reading. I still can't seem to find the Bylaws of the club on the website. I did notice in reading some recent minutes that the scholarship seems to have now been killed. I can't seem to keep up with that one. I can't even remember all of the different versions that I read in the Bugle, on the forum, in the Bugle advertisement, on the forum again, and now in the board minutes.

 

I hope that the board can find a way to chart a course for the club, make good decisions, and diseminate information clearly to the membership. 

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Guest my3buicks

The bylaws have all but disappeared, they used to be included in the roster but that hasn't even happened recently. There was some discussion on this I while back

Bill, your currwnt description of how the national meet committee works has seemed to change from how it was originally set up or at least how it was conveyed to the membership. When it was set up never was it proposed that the chapters would have a key role in future national meets. Had it been presented then as it has somehow changed to be presented now it would have met with much more enthusiasm.

Who I like and who I don't like has nothing to do with this Bill, I asked the questions and make the comments so that we can somehow get factual information from the board. When controversy surfaces that's about the only way we ever get answers or any kind of accountability.

I feel for the membership that aren't online that have a even less of a clue of what's going on within the BCA

Edited by my3buicks (see edit history)
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Thanks for that additional information, Bill!

 

Perhaps it would be advisable for the BCA BOD to make a formal statement of how chapters can seek information on the "specs" of doing a BCA National Meet and, should the chapter desire, the manner in which the chapter(s) might submit their bid?  Additionally, how "the money" would work in making reservations and then paying vendors for contracted services, as the time for the contract to be consummated approaches.  This way, the prospective chapter-host could see that, too.

 

I believe the By-Laws not being printed was more of a cost-containment issue than one of what some might have "conspiracy-theoried".  I'll admit that I have not followed how those "rules of self-governance" as they have changed over the past years/decades or have been seemingly modified with "operating procedures" as time has progressed.  I might have looked at some of the first changes, in the later 1980s, but have not looked at them in the later years.  Some, as I recall, I didn't understand the history behind them or the necessity of them, but I figured there was a reason and left it at that.  Perhaps it is time for a revision and simplification (another one?), possibly with some "history" this time, which newer BCA members might understand and embrace?  Possibly with EACH of the document's versions, from the first ones to the most recent, being placed on the BCA's front webpage!

 

Professionally, I would feel that the BCA BOD would have the capabilities and empowerments to make certain changes "on the fly, when necessary", under certain circumstances AND a majority BOD-member vote to do so.  As "immediately" as things can happen in our modern world (and possibly more expeditiously in the future!), it would still be good if the BOD scheduled these proposed changes with enough lead time to allow the general BCA membership to make comments and offer input on these future proposals of the BOD . . . such that all members CAN feel they had a chance to make their voices/orientations heard (rather than just by electing a person to the BOD every so often).

 

Willis Bell  20811

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I think Bill cleared it up:  he was there when it happened.  Any other revision of history should be discounted.

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