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Hey, I need to speak with the, now tired, coordinators of this year's nationals. I got some people who think they want to give it a go for next year. I tred to talk them out of it, but they wont listen. I just need a nutshell of what they are in store for. Thanks.
 

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The decision was made quite awhile ago to do a National event every other year.

You could do a regional event as a warmup or pracrice for a national event....

I'd make the trip to a national event in DFW.

June 2011 we will be in the Dells!!
 

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so far there are 4 nice sized smart meets in 2011:
Anniversary- Orlando-Feb
Poconos- PA-June
Dells-WI-June
Dragon-NC-Sept

I'll be at 3 of the above.

We would be due for a Nationals event in 2012 and it takes quite a bit of time to put it together. The last I heard the consensus was a Nationals event every three years and regional events in the interim.

There is also a new event manager at smartUSA, Matt Price. I am confident after the Anniversary event in Orlando (if not before), there will be movement on organizing another Nationals event.
 

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there's always Italy:

From 4 - 7 August 2011 the European smart community will gather in Riccione (Italy)

how many do we need to get a rate on the boat? ;-)
 

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I think a regional in DFW would be great. We'd come.
A nationals there in 2012 or 2013 would be great too.

We are going to try for the Dells in June and maybe the dragon in September.
 

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Start out with a one day event, meet someplace, drive to a resturant, aftewards (or before) make it a road trip. Start (or end) at the local smart dealer... Once you figure out what works , then move on to a multi-day event. Drives are tough if you are in a city as you can't predict stop lights and traffic patterns, Open roads are good You do have to consider faster and slower drivers. Make sure there are a few people that know the route spaced out in the group so if part of the pack gets delayed, they won't get lost. (Just a few tips I have learned.)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
We do drives all the time, and monthly meet and greets. But its not anywhere near as organized as the natls.
 

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Get a weekender set up - plan a drive, a social activity (non-drive), a meal. Biggest problem with a larger event is making sure you get the attendance to warrant the vendors, etc. - it is a crapshoot at first (Nationals was hoped to be as large as 800, but was planned for smaller - and it was).
For 2012, you need to be already starting it - it takes a lot of time to round up everything and everybody, not counting the need to reserve a facility well in advance. Better to plan 2013 - start with a small group of organizers, begin figuring out the whats, hows and wheres, and by this summer, be ready to start setting firm dates and places.
 

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Jedi and others,
I'll add my 2 cents worth as someone who has organized several successful events.

1. Nothing prevents you or anyone from organizing a major event whether you call it a Nat'l, Regional or Local event. The difference is simply does the event have enough going on to draw people from a wide area and do you have or can you get the resources, (financial and otherwise) to pull off an event exciting enough to draw a substantial crowd.

2. All of us that have organized the key events mentioned earlier would tell you that (a) The planning takes longer than you think, (b) the event will cost more than you think to pull off even if the events are free and don't include anything that requires an entrance fee and (c) getting the word out requires frequent and repeated announcements and messages and it helps a great deal if ways to access smart USA or smart dealerships customer lists for announcements rather than relying strictly on SCOA and Insider to promote the event.

3. The Dragon events success is largely do to the opportunity to drive the dragon and other nearby scenic Mtn roads and is unique in that respect.
The Dells Event is successful largely because there is a wide variety of entertainment in a small area that appeals to a range of people. The Florida events likewise were put together with multiple events and venues that appealed to a broad constituency as well as the fact that I had an owners e-mail list of over 400 Florida owners to whom I could market the events. The Nationals took over a year to plan and could not have taken place without the sponsorship and support of smartUSA and the local dealership.

4. The point of #3 is that it takes planning, it takes a location that offers something unique and that appeals to different ages and interests and it may require some sponsorship and as Gary said that is tough because the attendees want to know what vendors and activities will be involved before they commit and sponsors want to know how many attendees there will be before they commit.

5. Having said all of that I encourage people and groups to expand the number of key events. Just understand the realities and work to put together an event at a place and with activities that are unique, exciting and different.

Good Luck and Best wishes.
 

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Jedi and others,
. . . an event at a place and with activities that are unique, exciting and different.
Good Luck and Best wishes.
Ken,

Spot-on! Without a great destination and some exciting support activities smart weekend events will cave under their own weight.

THE DRAGON is very remote, very unique and by itself is the draw. Respecting the fact that there is no shopping mall, movie theatre, very spotty cell/Wi-Fi service you go for THE DRAGON and the great folks who attend.

Yes, somewhere in town you can buy White Lightning in a mason jar and down the road a piece they are filming Deliverance II.

Once the sun goes down and the batteries die on the RC smarts - you have banjo pickin', smart wrapping and story telling followed by breakfast at Lynn's Place.

And that my friend is a GREAT WEEKEND!

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ken,

Spot-on! Without a great destination and some exciting support activities smart weekend events will cave under their own weight.

THE DRAGON is very remote, very unique and by itself is the draw. Respecting the fact that there is no shopping mall, movie theatre, very spotty cell/Wi-Fi service you go for THE DRAGON and the great folks who attend.

Yes, somewhere in town you can buy White Lightning in a mason jar and down the road a piece they are filming Deliverance II.

Once the sun goes down and the batteries die on the RC smarts - you have banjo pickin', smart wrapping and story telling followed by breakfast at Lynn's Place.

And that my friend is a GREAT WEEKEND!

Tom
Stock yard, Death Star/Cowboy stadium, Victory Park, Texas Motor Speedway I think we got something to do! :D
 

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smart NATS:

Make sure we have a few great tours and that those of us from out of town will be able to rent a smart for this event at the airport. :smartje.zw.zw::smartje.grs.zw::smartje.rd.zw:
 

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Dallas would be a great place for a nationals event! You might get some grief about two national events somewhat in the same area of the country. I would run on the theory that if someone complains, they should step up and be involved with the next event's planning. Kind of a step up or shut up thing.


I was disappointed that the reigning beauty queen didn't stop in or some of the local dignitaries. That would have been fun!!
 
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