Smart Car of America Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
21 - 40 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
OK I've sent my registration and made hotel reservations!
Website looks great!

Look forward to seeing a lot of Smart cars in Daytona!!!

FUN SMRT :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Boris and I just booked our room! Now gotta go get registered for the venue, secure the flat bed, think of what raffle prizes, think about participation level, sort what product to bring, SO MUCH TO DO FOR A FUN EVENT! WOOT!
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
5,297 Posts
Yes,
I received an email from Ken today. He had told us (the committee) he would be announcing the cancellation tomorrow. Appears it was posted elsewhere tonight.

Let him explain tomorrow.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,744 Posts
For those that haven't gotten the word, Nationals has been canceled for this year. Not enough interest demonstrated in a real way (i.e. - reservations). You can read for yourself at the web site.
Before everyone runs around yelling and screaming - the Nationals that was being planned was scheduled for a very busy time in Daytona, and the commitment for the place that was reserved is significant, requiring a similar commitment on the part of those attending. In short, big event, small response - can't hold a big place for long without larger numbers showing up early.
We aren't talking about a Dragon-style event (or, for that matter, a Dells event, which is similar), we are talking about a large in-place event, like the first Nationals were, and time is short for this sort of undertaking.
Ken and crew feel bad enough about it, strong reaction won't be taken well, no matter the actual intent, so please bear that in mind before you undertake to respond here about this.

Thank you for your support and understanding.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,593 Posts
smart Spring Nationals had so much promise especially with some collaboration between the very capable FL event committee and the NEW smart/MBUSA!

We certainly had it pencilled in on our calendar but had no idea that registration was required this early?

This was a very large commitment to facilities (during Spring Break) and in this economy, with attendance down at both The Dells and The Dragon, the event may have not been able to attract the number of folks required to meet the minimums. How sad . . .

Thanks to Ken and the committee members for all their efforts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,297 Posts
I too was planning to make the Florida trip, but just got back from TOTD run and was going to start making arrangements. Speaking only for myself I usually take one adventure at a time and wouldn't have laid out the cash until after I recovered or returned from the previous adventure..
Is it possible the team pulled the plug a little premature :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,220 Posts
I didn't expect to be the one that broke the news ( I guess that's why I'm a reporter)...that's why I was asked to delete my post from earlier.

I am looking forward to the update today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
973 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
To the smart car community:
Yes, I did in fact cancel the March 2012 Spring Nationals as of yesterday. I accept full responsibility for any lack of knowledge or information about the importance of early registrations that may have occurred. As some of you know I have been involved for a very long time in coordinating smart car events; several of which have been great successes. These events require considerable time, effort, coordination, communication and dollars to be successful.

I had decided that were I to again invest my time in a major event it needed to be better than anything done previously and it needed to be done in a location that offered both a venue that would include space, lodging, restaurants, fuel and entertainment in a single location as well as quick access to a broad range of other entertainment opportunities. Destination Daytona seemed perfect.

I was planning a catered meal, A DJ for a night of music and dancing and a drive in movie night on the premisses including a concession stand and a cash bar. I was going to rent a great space on the premisses for registration and as a daily gathering spot and we were attempting to arrange access for the group to Daytona Speedway and to the Space Center and at this point we were trying to do all of this without any commitment of sponsorships from anyone.

At this point in the planning for the Kansas City event we had already received significant sponsorship commitments from both the local Dealership and from smartUSA.

I realize that the economy is tough, that smart owners prefer not to commit until close to event time, and that vacation can be difficult to arrange 6 months in advance. However if someone is interested in putting on a large and professional event such as this, early registrations are required or an organization needs to assume the risk of contracts and event planning in the hopes that people will decide to come. I am not in a financial position to assume those risks and the transition from smartUSA to MBUSA made outside sponsorship difficult to achieve at this time.

Barney asks "Did I pull the plug too early." Sure that is possible, but how many sleepless nights worrying about registrations and commitments is too many? It was decision making and financial commitment time.

I would have been more encouraged and may have held on longer if I had seen even significant discussion or interest in the event expressed, but take this thread as an example there have been 2,224 views and just 30 comments made as of this morning! Where was my confidence in your support supposed to come from?

This cancellation is my failure. I was unable to find a communication method that would reach a substantial number of owners and create the excitement and energy required to pull this off. I agonized over the decision to cancel now rather than wait until later but felt the risk of waiting was too great.

Maybe at some time somebody brighter or better connected than I will decide to do something similar here or elsewhere and will create a huge success, I would hope that would happen and I would share my perspective if asked. But for now I gave it a shot and it didn't work.

I sincerely appreciate those that worked with me on this event as well as Smart Madness, Smart Car Customs, Smartieparts who had committed to being a part of the event.

Thanks for all of the support many of you have given to my our past events and may God Bless you all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
973 Posts
Discussion Starter #34
How about same event, same location DIFFERENT DATE?
Bill
When would you rather come to FL for an event than in Early March? Summer is brutally Hot with Thundershowers and Hurricane Season, Winter everything is expensive due to being "the season" Fall competes with OTD just 10 hours away. Don't think it was the week!!!!!
 

·
He's not mine
Joined
·
9,607 Posts
Don't think it was the week!!!!!
I don't think it was the week either. Perhaps he meant give it another try? :confused:

Daytona was perfect for me at only 375 miles from my front door, it would've only been a third the investment in time that Kansas City was. I was cheering for my side of the country's opportunity to attend.

IMO, at a half year out from the proposed event, we were still pretty far removed from heavy discussion & excitement. I am disappointed. But can see your POV.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,593 Posts
Thanks for all of the support many of you have given to my our past events and may God Bless you all.
Ken,

Thank you for attempting such a large scale event in the smart/MBUSA year of transition. It's too bad that smart didn't come on board to use the event to share their "new direction."

Had the need for "early registration" been communicated, you might have made this decision before now as the number of attendees required to sustain an event of this magnitude was significant.

This is not your failure as many other things come into play here. Agonizing over such a decision is not worth sleepless nights nor your health - maybe a smaller scale "old school" 4th Anniversary Orlando/Kissimmee event?

Remember, a smart event begins when as few as two smarts meet for coffee. Good friends, mod sharing and story telling then become, THE EVENT.

Tom
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
17,356 Posts
And now a message from an old friend/member of this board:
__________________________________________________
To my SCOA family,

Sorry but I can’t sit by here and just watch this one. Ken, I refuse to sit back and let you take all of the blame for Daytona being cancelled. Yes, the ultimate decision was yours but your hands were tied by multiple factors and I feel that much of the blame also rests on my shoulders for not being able to follow thru on my commitment to assist you now that I’ve taken over planning for OTD2012. Time and again you have put yourself out there as an event planner in every way for the betterment of smart as a brand and smart owners. You have never received the thanks you deserve. I’m a better person for knowing you and smart is a better brand for your involvement.

On the subject of the Daytona Nationals, it’s not going to happen guys. Even with the response here in the last 24 hours it’s still not enough. We would need at least 50 cars registered as well as full support from SmartUSA/Mercedes and as of yet that hasn’t happened. As for whether the plug was pulled too early, as Ken stated, it was at the point in planning where NASC and specifically Ken would have had to make significant financial commitments that may or may not have been refundable… we’re talking hundreds of dollars. The decision to cancel wasn’t made lightly. If you have any questions I’d be happy to answer them the best I can. Just email me at [email protected]

Miss you guys,
Bill Hitchcock (Wdhitch)
_______________________________________________________

(don't kill the messenger :))
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
It's sad to see that this event was canceled but I understand the reasons.

I am involved with a RV brand club that has great success from local chapter rallies to annual North American rallies. In fact, I'm now attending my 4th rally this year near Mt. Rushmore.

What I have learned from this RV organization is that the RV manufacturer not only supports the club, it hired a full time Director of Owners Interests who is also the club president.

I think the recipe for a great smart rally/event to occur, smartUSA has to step up to the plate and support us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Sorry to hear of the cancellation I want to thank you for all you hard work and apologize for not making my reservation early. I was checking today on updates prior to signing up for the event. I failed to realize the importance of signing up earlier. Maybe another time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
This just in....................


I may be putting together a weekend run to down to the Keys. I won't need 50 people to sign up, I won't need any help from M.B. and I won't need a ton of money to get it rolling. The middle Keys are full of Mom and Pop hotels that are on the water and very reasonable. We have a lot to see and do, and the most Fabulous view of any road in the USA. Stay tuned for details, still working them out.
 
21 - 40 of 44 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top