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Old 12-29-2010, 11:30 AM   #1
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January President's Message

I just read January's President's message sent out to the membership. My overall impression is that progress, if any is being made, is occurring at a snail's pace. Norm's message to the membership gives little hope that the International Rally this year will be a success. In fact, I will go as far as to say that his mentioning of the vendor situation indicates subtly to be about as lackluster as the sign-ups for the rally. There is mention of just one vendor, an insurance company. I know of no other vendors who will be available at the rally. I have seen the number of vendors go down year after year. I suspect that this year will be more of the same. Norm does mention that this particular insurance vendor can potentially save me enough money to cover the cost of my WBCCI membership. However, I will point out that in order to get that savings, I would have to pay $475 in International fees plus 3800 miles worth of gas to cash in. I am not seeing the savings in that.

Norm mentions that his wife collects dolls and that she is working with a local club from St. Louis to bring an exhibit of some sort to Du Quoin. I think this is fantastic – this is actually the first convincing reason I have heard to attend the International rally yet given. However, I am not a doll collector so I am afraid that more may really be necessary to compel me and perhaps others to jump on this one. Together my wife and I collect a lot of things, tools, astronomy equipment, old L.P.'s, jewelry, Airstreams... You get the idea. Besides dolls, what other shows will be available for the attendees to enjoy while in Du Quoin? Quite honestly, I have no idea whatsoever. Oh, the Blue Beret mentioned something about some sort of music venue I seem to remember but still... is that all?

WBCCI's own site has 4 links about this years International – The application, the Vendor application, a logo for Du Quoin and a First Timers Guide. That's it! So far we have not really heard what events are taking place at this International rally – nothing! I think this time last year, we heard more about Gillette, but I may be mistaken. In any event, we have nothing to grab us and say – Man, I gotta go to International to see that!!!!!

Norm also mentions his positive experience with his Equal-i-zer hitch that he got for free for giving his old one back to the company. That's great, but if most of you are like me, you aren't in need of a new hitch. So this part of his message sounds more like a paid endorsement than anything else.

Lastly Norm mentions that the time is running short to get in on that great deal to save a whopping $25 by registering early for Du Quoin. There is only 376 memberships registered currently. He states that the treasurer is concerned by the lackluster registrations received so far, but he is not. Well Norm, I have a feeling that it ought to be your primary concern. That concern ought to be bigger than which insurance vendor you are bringing or what doll expo your are planning. In your message, beyond being told that this was THE International to attend, you really have not given me a compelling reason this is THE international to attend. If my primary reason to attend International is because I can see an insurance guy and a doll show, I am not enthused.

Here is Buttercup's synopsis of why Norm's message fails to truly reach the International going crowd:
  • It offers only one vendor attending International
  • It offers only one event to attend while at International
  • It offers only one incentive to sign up early, a $25 reduction in the price.
I think we can do better than this. So, here is Buttercup's synopsis for how to get the ball rolling on International:
  • Start updating all members of which vendors are attending, especially the one we care about the most – who is going to be selling parts! I spend hundreds in parts at each and every International. I also buy shirts from practically every shirt vendor! Update us on all the vendors – if the word gets out as to who is vending, other vendors might be encouraged to attend!
  • Start NOW telling everybody what events will be happening as they are proposed and/or scheduled. There has to be more than a doll expo going on! But I can find nowhere on WBCCI's site what other events are planned and/or scheduled. There is literally nothing!
  • Offer more incentives to attend – the $25 dollar price reduction is just not enough to really grab them. Heck, I'll burn more oil in my motorhome just to get to Du Quoin than that will save me! I know it is too late for this year, but the real incentive for people to go is not a full hookup! So get back to having options in price ranges that we all can afford! This venue is too expensive, especially during times that people are having to cut back on expenses. If it could be done this year, you might just see the rally numbers go up.

The membership needs to feel like there is something for them to look forward to and be a part of International. I know I am getting on my soapbox here, but if WBCCI had a better grasp of its own web infrastructure and a methodology for communicating better with its membership, discussions like this could take place and improvements could be made real time to the web site. Volunteers could be sought to present relevant seminars, updates to the rally schedule could be made in real time and the membership could feel like we have a vested interest in this International.

As it stands – IMHO, there is low interest in this international simply because WBCCI itself has low interest and enthusiasm for it. Also because the cost is just too high darn for what is being offered to the membership. Maybe an interest can be bolstered for this rally, but leadership needs to start now showing what the value is – if they don't, this rally will be another losing proposition for WBCCI and leadership will have once again failed the club! The milk-toast way of doing things has to change sooner than later. The club is going full steam ahead towards an iceberg, only in this case the captain(s) of the ship know it. The closer we get to it, the harder it will be to steer away from it.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:15 PM   #2
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Here’s a concept for International.

A $35.00 “Discount” off the price for every child under the age of 18 you bring.

Take the money used to pay the IBT/EC7 to travel around to rallies promoting the International rally and use it to bring in a climbing wall, Merry-Go-Round, etc… for the kids.

Get a local college band/singers, jazz, classical, etc… to play.

Get a local dance rock band to play at a dance. (Think the wedding singer)

ETC…., Etc…., etc….

Not real hard, fun stuff, not a bunch of $$$


Better yet, with the numbers we current have attending; you could get half a campground in Myrtle Beach (some have over 1000 spots) that has a pool, playground, etc… no need for early workers, full hookups, pay for the time you play and be done with it.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:33 PM   #3
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That suggestion above is exactly why the mere membership should have the ability to work with "leadership" in producing the international. In truth we should be able to make this OUR International rally. I have no doubt that if Pauls' suggestions for the climbing wall and a few other fun things were thrown in for the kids, more would see this as a value and think about attending.
Of course, the "Pay as you Play" concept is the best option as it relieves WBCCI of anything more than perhaps arranging a band to play. Breakfast for the volunteers??? Throw a potluck and save us the money.

BTW - every AirForums Rally I have ever been to was a "Pay as you Play" rally and not a one of them was a dud. AND, there were plenty of happy kids there.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:26 PM   #4
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A modest proposal

Divide the amount of money lost between the IBT members, rally deficit problem solved.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:36 PM   #5
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It would be wonderful to have the International at Myrle Beach SC.

Only problem is this event is during the July 4th holiday.
The campgrounds are usually booked up and charge the highest fees.
But, there is so much to do and see.

Region 3 has had rallies at MB in the past.
Tentative site for the 2012 Region 3 Rally is Myrtle Beach at Ocean Lakes.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:10 AM   #6
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Having attended the rally in Bozeman and last year in Gillette, I think what may be turning people off to this rally is that there is very little to do at the rally location. With no agenda posted or vendor list publicized, there is not much to draw one to attend in a year when gas prices may hit $4.00 a gallon by summer.

I also don't like the thought of being sitting ducks in tornado alley for a week or two. And next year's location (Missouri) doesn't look much better from that viewpoint.

At the 2010 Florida State Rally, Norm made a good pitch for why he picked Du Quoin, and it sounded good at the time. The presentation at Gillette was also good, but as more (or less) facts come out, I don't see the logic anymore. We are on a caravan this year that starts in South Dakota, so it would be a good stopover for us on our way up there, but we haven't committed yet.

I like the ideas expressed above, but in a decade of rising gas prices, having a single International Rally might not bring the attendance it use to. I don't see members traveling to the opposite coast just to attend the rally. We need to consider another solution to getting the business done that takes place at International, but that would take a major reorganization of the governing documents and I don't see anyone willing to take on that challenge.

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Old 01-03-2011, 12:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by SilverCabin View Post
Having attended the rally in Bozeman and last year in Gillette, I think what may be turning people off to this rally is that there is very little to do at the rally location. With no agenda posted or vendor list publicized, there is not much to draw one to attend in a year when gas prices may hit $4.00 a gallon by summer...
I like the ideas expressed above, but in a decade of rising gas prices, having a single International Rally might not bring the attendance it use to. I don't see members traveling to the opposite coast just to attend the rally. We need to consider another solution to getting the business done that takes place at International, but that would take a major reorganization of the governing documents and I don't see anyone willing to take on that challenge.

Randy
The internet would allow e-mail, webinars and conference meetings to be held at any time without regard to locality and could well be inclusive and attended and audited by the vast majority of club members. Business should be conducted in the most efficient manner to allow member access and reduce operating costs. However it is under the auspices of "business" the EC and early workers reunion tour and events are "fueled" and funded and directed. They desire and have a vested interest to make travel mandatory to conduct club business and it is not to their advantage to have a majority of membership involved and be able to make changes that redirect focus, perks, budget and power away from the exclusive control of those that intend to maintain their international travel club all about their friends rather than brand identity or unit demographics.

Internationals or rotating region rallies planned around the best value and interest for general membership and newcomers and prospective members is what is needed to grow the club. Growing the club is not paramount to the current leadership, funding their exclusive WBCCI lifestyle and experience and raising dues to cover their expenditures is.

It appears nothing has changed except that the EC has been further emboldened by the liberties they have been able to take and get away with. Apathy and lack of communication are great aids to their cause and success. They will continue with more of what works toward their purposes and simply disallow anything or any one that gets in their way. The balance of power is skewed and cannot be righted without ACTION, just sayin...
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:09 AM   #8
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attendance

does anyone know how many "volunteers" were included in the total attendance of 2010 and how many of the current people who have signed up for 2011 are "volunteers? Just curious...
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:05 PM   #9
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kmtyme, This won't be a really accurate answer but, I think it is in the correct range. We arrived in Gillette on June 22 for the Presidents/Delegates parking day; six days before the Opening. There were 370 units already on site; more than half of the 709 attendees. Of the 370 on site, there would be several International & Regional officers and the rest would be early workers.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:06 PM   #10
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370 early workers? half of the attendee's get a free ride!
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:10 PM   #11
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I am sure they have to pay just like the rest of us, but they get in early and camp twice as long. That plus the daily breakfasts.
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:11 AM   #12
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The club, at the International level, has always been a club for retired people with lots of time to travel and set around and talk. The seniority method of picking leaders by advancing through nine years of chairs until you are able to get to a decision making position, guarantees it will remain that way. The leaders will always do what is personally best for themselves. The more days per year you are able to devote to participating in club functions, the lower the cost, per day, for participation and the more benefits you are able to receive. Young working people are free to donate their $65 per year to support us old people, but please do not ask us to listen to you.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:09 AM   #13
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I am sure they have to pay just like the rest of us, but they get in early and camp twice as long. That plus the daily breakfasts.
I thought early workers were just that---early workers. Who got their sites free in exchange for whatever they did to help set up the International.

Can someone clarify this?


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Old 01-06-2011, 07:17 AM   #14
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Early workers pay the same rally fee as everyone. What they receive is an additional week or two of parking, breakfasts, use of the facility, at no extra charge.
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