The below article was supposed to have been in our club's roster issue, but that didn't happen. Right now, it won't get published until the May-June issue, which will probably come out after our convention this year. So I've posted it below in hopes of getting some 2014 convention bids prior to our 2013 convention since we always like to determine and announce at least one year ahead where the next convention will be.
Putting in Your Bid for our 2014 NDC Convention
by Bill Noble
You may be asking yourself, what is Bill thinking? We haven’t even gone to the 2013 annual NDC Convention yet, and already he’s talking about the 2014 convention. Well, we NDC Trustees like to plan ahead. And now is the time to submit your bid for next year’s convention. That way, we’ll be able to look over your bid, resolve any issue we have with it, and then put it to a vote during the annual Trustees’ meeting held during the 2013 convention.
The planning and putting on of one of our conventions does require a lot of work – just ask any of the previous hosts. But I’m sure that they’ll tell you that it’s all worthwhile. It’s like putting together a big family or class reunion. When it’s all done and over with, you can look back and smile knowing that you did your best, and you and a whole bunch of our club members had a good time. (And then they’ll want you to do it all over again!)
Granted, it was way back in 1993 when I, my wife, and the Buckeye Chapter hosted the Dayton Convention. But the lessons learned then still apply today. And it doesn’t require that you be in one of the club’s chapters in order to host a convention. Some of our best conventions have been put on by individual club members. It does help, however, to have some friends willing to lend a hand!
One of the first things you’ll need to do is find a good host hotel. In addition to having lots of rooms, hopefully at a reasonable rate, there needs to be one or more large rooms to host the trustees’ meeting and the Friday evening social. Lots of parking and a place to wash the cars is also a plus. And having the Awards Banquet at the host hotel can be nice, but it isn’t a necessity since using a near-by dinner facility can be quite nice as well, like last year when we actually went into the next state for dinner!
The second thing you need to do is to figure out what we’re going to do each day during the convention. You don’t have to worry about what to do on Saturday since most of that day will be taken up with the car show and the Awards Banquet. And on Sunday morning there’s the farewell breakfast. This, like the Awards Banquet, does not have to be at the host hotel, especially if there is someplace nearby that is known for their Sunday brunches. It’s finding things to do on Thursday and Friday that can be troubling. At least one day, if not both, should be spent doing something car related, such as a car museum, restoration shop, or a driving tour. While going on a bus tour is okay for one of the two days, it seems to be more fun if the De Sotos can be driven on one or both days. And, lately, there have been Wednesday evening get-togethers for those coming in early to the conventions, but that isn’t required.
At this point, you need to figure out where the car show is going to be. If it’s going to be at the host hotel, then that makes things simpler. If not, then one of the problems is making sure everyone gets to where they’re supposed to be. Detailed directions and maps are very helpful. The “follow me” method usually doesn’t work out too well due to the number of cars and getting separated by traffic lights and such. If the show field is not at or next to the host hotel, it will need to have adequate parking as well as eating and restroom facilities near-by. If the show field is on grass, then you should have a back-up plan for where to go if it has rained a lot recently.
Having the Awards Banquet at the host hotel makes things simpler too. If not, then there is the same concern about directions. Regardless of where the Awards Banquet is at, there’s always the debate about which is better – sit-down dinner or buffet. Each has its good points and its drawbacks. I really don’t have an opinion one way or the other on this issue; do whatever you like. (You’re not going to please everybody, so do what’s easiest for you.) Just ensure that there is a good PA system regardless of wherever you have the banquet. And handing out any door prizes when people first walk in can make that part of the banquet go a lot quicker and be more enjoyable!
Another thing you’ll need to determine is who you plan to be your chief judge. Besides the host, the chief judge is one of the most important jobs during the convention.
The biggest problem with this nomination package is that it needs to have a preliminary budget. Why, I hear you ask, do I have to include a budget with my bid? It’s because the Trustees want to ensure that you have tried to keep the costs down so our members can afford to attend and enjoy your convention.
Once you have all of the above figured out, now what do you do? Well, you sit down and write all of this up into a nice neat package and send it to me. I’ll then send it out to the rest of the Trustees for review and questions. Usually, when there is more than one bid for a convention for the next year, it gets decided at the Trustees’ meeting during the convention.
If you have any questions that haven’t been answered by the above paragraphs, you can check out the Convention section of our club’s guidelines on our club’s web-site. You may find it to be a bit overwhelming, but it’s not as bad as it seems. And you can always contact me or one of the other former convention hosts – most of them are more than happy to talk about their convention experiences.
Once you’ve been picked to host a convention, then I have another list of helpful hints and lessons learned (the hard way) to help you with running the convention smoothly. So if you’ve been thinking about putting in a bid to host one of our conventions – either the 2014 convention or perhaps the next year – or you have any questions about how to do so, please contact me at either firstname.lastname@example.org
or at 2214 Grange Hall Rd, Beavercreek, OH 45431-2338. Happy hosting!
NDC Convention Coordinator