White Mountain Chapter BMW CCA
Social Events Committee Meeting
Monday, October 29, 2007
The meeting was called to order @ 6:35 by the chairperson, Cassandra Vorisek-Creto. In attendance were Cassandra, Tom Blinn, Dana Sion, and Michael Morin. Paul Michali was unable to attend due to prior commitments.
The meeting venue was the Common Man restaurant in Merrimack, NH.
SEC business: A number of items were discussed, some requiring near term action and some for future development. We also reviewed the reception we hosted at NHIS during the recent three day track event.
Holiday party preparations:
Michael Morin is working on the content for the web site so we can open registration. He expects to have it completed by mid-week, that is, November 1.
In the past we have designated a local charity to receive a donation from the chapter from moneys raised during the holiday party, for instance, the proceeds from any raffles. Last year the designated charity was Kelly’s Cause to benefit Kelly Goddu. This year we are proposing that the designated charity be Webster House in Manchester, NH, a home for troubled children. Their organizational web site is http://www.websterhouse.org/ which has a statement of their mission and provides a “wish list” of items that chapter members may wish to donate during the holiday party, in addition to funds raised at the event. The selection of Webster House was considered appropriate by the members present, and is subject to confirmation by the WMC board.
The entertainment coordinator (Dana) has identified several possible performers. Among them the one that seems best suited to our requirements and also seems very interested in gaining our business is an improvisation group from Boston called Stage Coach Improv. Their http://www.stagecoachimprov.com/ web site identifies some of the services they provide and members of their staff, as well as some of the events and organizations they have supported in the past. They have offered to provide a troupe of four people who would deliver 60 to 75 minutes of entertainment for around $3500, the exact price to be confirmed before we commit to contract with them. They want to meet with representatives from the chapter (perhaps at the next SEC meeting) to identify some content themes that will encourage an entertaining and interactive event. Some of those present thought we should invite George Bixby to participate, since he has a proven sense of humor. Dana suggested we might want to meet with the selected entertainment group at C R Sparks, since we will be in a larger room this year and he wants to assure that we understand how to best set up the venue and use the available support services.
Dana expressed a concern that some members felt that during last year’s event there was not an adequate distribution of door prizes. We brainstormed ways to assure that there is at least some prize distribution that isn’t based solely on being first to go to the table and pick from the booty.
Track event reception review:
We have received very positive feedback on the reception, both during the event from the members and guests in attendance, and from the DEC, especially Gordon Geick, who wrote that “Our Social Events Committee's mixer on Saturday was very well attended and we appreciate their efforts!”. Dana and Michael did the bulk of the work to support the event, ordering all the food and beverages and delivering the beverages to the track. Tom helped Dana pick up the food from the local Sam’s Club, with the exception of the batch of hot (both ways) chili that Michael had prepared. The Hobgoblin English Ale proved to be very popular, and there was an abundant supply of soft drinks, Labatt’s, and light snacks including sandwiches, veggies and dip, assorted cheese, sausage, and olives, a variety of Frito Lay chip products, and cookies. The reception took place in the tech shed area where the available benches provided a good space to lay out the spread. We might have had better attendance if it had not been cold and rainy all day, but we still had a good turnout and several people commented that it was a good selection and really hit the spot. People found the beer cozies from 3D Auto Works especially attractive with the Hobgoblin cans, and all of them that were available got carried away. A number of the 3D Auto Works plastic travel mugs also found new homes. We should definitely do this again at a future track event, and try even harder to get more of the chapter membership to come up and see the activities and participate in the reception.
Meeting day changes:
We are changing the SEC meeting day from the 4th Wednesday in the month to be on the last Tuesday in the month. The November meeting will be on the 27th and we intend to continue to meet at the Common Man restaurant in Merrimack near exit 11 off of the Everett Turnpike instead of in Concord.
Suggestions for future implementation:
Dana Sion expressed some concern about how we can move ahead to solicit sponsors for the holiday party (the sponsorship model proposed at last month’s meeting was approved by the WMC board after their review of the proposal). Dana is willing to actively take on the role of “marketing manager” for the chapter, but feels that he has not received the kind of approval he needs to do the work. It was the sense of those present that there is a real need to have one person responsible for coordination of the chapter’s “marketing” and especially for sponsor / vendor contacts, to avoid overloading or confusing sponsors. Those present felt that Dana would be willing to take on that responsibility as well as do many of the actual marketing activities, which he has done in the past. The general sense of the meeting was supportive of asking the WMC board to officially declare that Dana is to act as the WMC marketing manager and support him in that role.
Tom Blinn suggested that we should invite our local dealerships to bring the new 135i and M3 V8 events (as well as any other models they believe would be interesting) to our track based driving events, both safety skills and high performance instruction. We would need to coordinate this with DEC so that we would provide free “admission” to the activity for the dealer staff who bring the vehicles, with the understanding that there will be opportunities for other attendees to experience demo drives and rides during the event. This would be something similar to what Mike Cooney of Concord Motorsport has done by bringing a Dinan Mini Cooper to these events and encouraging people to try it out. While our goal is to get chapter members a chance to try out the new BMW models in a more interesting environment than the usual dealer test drive, the dealer’s goal should be to get chapter members really excited about the new models and their performance. It should be possible to achieve both goals, to the benefit of all parties, and with any luck would lead to some new car sales that would be easily seen by the participating dealers as directly related to their active participation with the chapter in driving activities.
There was no in depth discussion of the wine tasting event, other than to report that no firm progress has been made in planning. Other nearer term activities have been higher in priority. We hope to engage Jerry Brenner to assist with the planning, since he has in the past shared several good ideas for implementing such an event.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM