Looking forward, What Worked. (a thread for any future organizers) - Smart Car Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Looking forward, What Worked. (a thread for any future organizers)

First off, Local Support. --The Local Club and the strong support and enthusiasm from the Club and smart centers. Without local support I can't see an event Like this working as well. From an outside perspective (not in organizer of Nationals) it appeared the originators of the event (thank you folks for getting things started) handed the event over to the Locals who ran with it. They know where to go and have the ability to make the personal contacts locally to smooth over the bumps as they come.

Medium sized Hotel support. -- The Host Hotel was not in some big city where a convention rate and union fees would sink the event. The Hotel was able to adapt to changing conditions. And it appeared their were many from local codes to weather to blown transformers. They worked with the event to keep things rolling. Also thank you to the hotel for not tossing my wife and dog out. While they didn't allow Dogs to stay at the hotel, they didn't toss them out as visitors either. Many have called for an event like this to happen it cities I will not mention here, but I know in some of those cities a hotel unions would charge you $100 every time you needed to plug something in.

Strong Dealer Support -- I said it partially up top, but having not just a smart center, but one with folks who not only work on the cars but enjoy and customize them. If you doubt look at these cars

The Silver and black are not on display, they are daily drivers. Many of us know that the folks at our smart center may like the cars, but are not as committed and are not owners. Many are just salesmen selling a product. And it didn't Hurt that the dealership has an employee who made some fabulous BBQ.

Location. While I know it will always be a BIG question of where to have the event, we have seen in other threads that 500 miles is a distance many are willing to travel. SO, when we think of locations I firmly believe you should be able to put a pin on the map and a 500 mile string and get at least a 3/4 circle. If you put it on a coast or Border town you will eliminate the possibility of drivers coming from 1/2 the directions. Ok that is only 1/2 true, if you put it near our north or south border we can still get participants from over the border, but folks can't drive over the Oceans.

The Vendors - They took a BIG Risk committing to this event. When many said they would come the numbers were Quite low. This really is a Chicken or the egg thing. Vendors can't afford to put out the cash to attend if the attendance isn't going to be there, and folks don't want to come if nothing is going to be happening. The vendors did a fabulous job working side by side. It was great to see them doing their installs sharing the same space out of the sun or rain.

Things to DO. - While I really want to go to the Dragon event in September I'm not so sure my other 1/2 does. This event location provided a lot of things to do for those that didn't want to sit in on the tech talks and watch installs all day. There was no problem sending off groups to do some specialized shopping or find separate events for couples. Friday while I was hanging out at the event hotel my wife was off at a Yarn shop in another town for 3 hours. Not something I would want to do but then she didn't want to do what I was doing. While I went to the track With BarnyO and Jet, my wife went to a casino with someone else at the event. I heard some non attendees complain they wouldn't go because there was nothing to do in KC, They were wrong. If you couldn't find something to do you were trying NOT to find something.

Caravans -- Thanks to John for making most of them happen. While it does seem nearly impossible to let everyone know about caravans, it is true that getting there is 1/2 the fun. I was glad I got things rolling on the group coming down from the land without smart centers (Des Moines) I was frustrated in MY inability to organize my own state of WI to join me.

I'm sure ill come up with some more Pluses about this event, but I thought I would get the ball rolling while things are still fresh in the mind.

Please keep this thread on the Positive side by mentioning what worked and Why



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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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Webcasting the next event might be a good way to allow those who can't attend in person to at least view the proceedings in real time.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 01:03 PM
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Just my 2 cents in the spirit of throwing out some ideas..

The vendor area was small, but the stuff that was there was excellent!! The installation area was a bit cramped but that was mostly due to the rain and coudn't be helped. I would like to have seen some wraps going on.

It would have been nice to have a central location with some sort if message board as to what was happening each day with current updates. I had 2 printouts of daily activities and got confused as to which one was the latest. Also a spot to get some refreshments, possibly hosted by a local service group similar to the car wash group.

My wife did tag along with a group that went to the Legends mall. She must have had fun, she spent money...

Last edited by jimvw57; 06-14-2010 at 01:06 PM.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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A great idea from Boris and Rachel of Smart Madness came up as they are also strong supporters of the mini clubs as well. The mini clubs organize an east coast meet one year, a west coast meet the next year, and a national event the third year.

Remember, we only have been in the US for 2 1/2 years now, and until we get more of a presence in the states, this would, IMHO, be the fairest way to involve everyone across the country.

I think the vendors were really surprised at the sales as several of those vendors actually ran out of product to sell.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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OH here is one more
It doesn't really effect the attendees all that much.

Media Coverage --
This event had great Media Coverage thanks to the organizers and a small enough market that they would actually care about another 200 cars.


http://www.kansascity.com/2010/06/11...-of-smart.html



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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 01:22 PM
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Would love to have a copy of that picture, but haven't seen it on their website. Anybody find it??

An east/west or nort/south event or even alternating location/year has been mentioned before. The thought was that there may not be a big enough attendance if it gets split up too much.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 01:53 PM
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I'm so happy this was a great success for all who attended. I know there was a lot of work behind the scenes, a bit of drama and more love and effort than most of us can imagine. Thank you all for organizing, working so hard and attending. Well Done!!

I'd like to see something a little further west next time. Like say < 1000 from the Pacific Ocean.


I would loved to have joined you all this time, but the distance, time and expense made is a choice that didn't win over all the other stuff I need to tend to this year. In a way, jwight was right - those who really wanted to be there were there. Congrats to all of you!
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 02:22 PM
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I'm so happy this was a great success for all who attended. I know there was a lot of work behind the scenes, a bit of drama and more love and effort than most of us can imagine. Thank you all for organizing, working so hard and attending. Well Done!!

I'd like to see something a little further east next time. Like say < 1000 from the Atlantic Ocean.


I would loved to have joined you all this time, but the distance, time and expense made is a choice that didn't win over all the other stuff I need to tend to this year. In a way, jwight was right - those who really wanted to be there were there. Congrats to all of you!

Sorry Suze, couldn't resist the plagiarism with... a little twist!
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 03:12 PM
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Congrats to the grass roots organizing committee in pulling off what seems to have been a most successful 1st Annual event!
200 + or - jet fuel is a great first year.

The suggestion to have regionals annually followed by a National event every couple years is not a bad idea but it sounds like the KC group has set the bar pretty high. Unless the planning has already begun for next year this will be a daunting task for the next organizing committee as I am sure the KC group has gone into retirement!

Perhaps looking at smart sales by city or region could assist in pinpointing a future site as smart concentration could bolster attendance? Avoiding "convention style" hotels in a city with a SUPPORTING smart center seems to offer some synergies?

Curious, was there any mention of who drove the furthest?
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB DNA View Post
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]
Curious, was there any mention of who drove the furthest?
This was the car Awarded the furthest drive via Map quest mileage from within the US. they even beat out Krusty from the Florida Keys. But....

These Nice folks even made a longer trip by coming in Via a stop in Vegas

They were in the middle of a 3 week trip.



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