5th Annual MINIs on the Dragon (May 3-6, 2007) The 5th Anniversary of the largest MINI event in the nation. Ready to take your turn trying to tame the Dragon?

MOTD 2008 - Suggestions

  #76  
Old 05-09-2007, 08:47 AM
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I agree having that area for parking is better for most of us. One thing to worry about is putting the vendors on the grass might result in a muddy, muddy, muddy vendor area with all of the foot traffic and (inevitable?) rain. Plus, having installs in one place and sales in another might stretch some of the vendors a little thin on manpower.

However, putting the vendors by the 'old' registration building isn't a bad idea, IF there is a reason to go over there if you aren't shopping - I'm sure the vendors like being right there so we had to walk past them to get to the adventure center!

How about a 'community' tent setup near the vendor area (at the old registration building), with tables, chairs, and possibly the guy selling the giant hot dogs and beer? Done properly (with maybe a projector showing slideshows/videos from other MINI events) this could become a social gathering spot that people will make their way to.

(and if there is enough room, the car show could be over there as well.)

Just an idea, feel free to poke as many holes in it as possible!
 
  #77  
Old 05-09-2007, 08:59 AM
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The Old Registration area isn't a great idea for the vendors. They'd be disconnected, so to speak, from the main place where everyone congregates, the Village. I understand you don't want the Vendors to be the focus but we also don't want them to forego coming or setting up either.

On the grass for installs is a nightmare waiting to happen when the rain inevitably arrives.

Down by the General Store is a no no from what I heard as Fontana wants to keep that area open and flowing, it is a store after all.

While looking through my pictures today I happened on some photos of the 2 lots behind the Grill & Indoor Pool. I will suggest that the installs happen there (flat areas, high ground so no flooding, still in the village and on a circular road). Their shops should go near the tent where any dinners/mixers/gatherings would be, IMHO.
 
  #78  
Old 05-09-2007, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by PassatDoTd View Post

While looking through my pictures today I happened on some photos of the 2 lots behind the Grill & Indoor Pool. I will suggest that the installs happen there (flat areas, high ground so no flooding, still in the village and on a circular road). Their shops should go near the tent where any dinners/mixers/gatherings would be, IMHO.
Having theinstalls away like that would make it much easier for the vendors to do them. i'm sure they were being distracted every 2 minutes by someone with a questions while the person having the car worked on is sitting there waiting. With no installs in the frong of the adventure center that would open up alot more room for the tents on the upper parking.

Just a thought.
 
  #79  
Old 05-09-2007, 09:05 AM
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I do not see why that area to the side of where the Detail tent was, would interfere with the General Store at all. After all, does the car wash venue interfere? NO. Besides, A/C and M-7 were doing installs there last year, so why not bring ALL the installers to that area NEXT year?
 
  #80  
Old 05-09-2007, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by PassatDoTd View Post
The Old Registration area isn't a great idea for the vendors. They'd be disconnected, so to speak, from the main place where everyone congregates, the Village. I understand you don't want the Vendors to be the focus but we also don't want them to forego coming or setting up either.
But... If you located the dinner venue tent over there the vendors would get a large crowd forced over there 2-4 times during MOTD. Plus I & I think many others would make a special trip over there just to check out their wares. I mean there aren't too many MINI shops located throughout the US so I do believe everyone would go over there at least once to check them out. But to me after you have been thru the tents once, seen everything, & bought what you are going to buy I don't want to go thru there again so I don't want the tent city to be the center of everything because then I have no where to go & meet new people or see all the unique MINIS

p.s... If I have to forgo my swagbag or dinner prizes to get back our central meeting place then I am willing to do that
 

Last edited by bamatt; 05-09-2007 at 09:25 AM.
  #81  
Old 05-09-2007, 09:37 AM
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Ok, I feel like I'm just opening my mouth with you guys not being able to hear what I am saying.

THE MAIN PROBLEM WITH THE AREA NEXT TO THE GENERAL STORE IS THE FLOODING. THIS WAS AN ISSUE LAST YEAR FROM WHAT VENDORS TOLD ME AND THEY DON'T WANT TO BE THERE AGAIN.

Darkness, I agree with you, and if we could move the installs to behind the grill and indoor pool that would free up the road and adventure center parking lot.

Teresa, most would feel they had to drive to the the dinners if they are at the Old Admin Building as its a good distance to walk, especially from the cabins on the south side of the Village. Then when you add the huge dinner tent and all the vendor tents there'd barely be any parking left for people to arrive. I spent a good bit of time at that location last year (cause that's where the Brew Swap was) and I wouldn't want any crowd larger than what we had in that lot. It'd be way too crowded.
 
  #82  
Old 05-09-2007, 09:47 AM
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One issue I had was that you had some vendors with cars next to there booth but they did nothing to display there products. Not to name names but one area was filled with cars and not one of the cars was displaying anything or being worked on.

I prefer the vendor area to be in the center. I like to watch the installs and it makes it easier for the vendor to work with his customer's and do installs. If they have to display there products in one area and install in another it is going to be very difficult.

Let's face it Fontana is not ideal for a HUGE gathering like MOTD has become. And just becuase I see tents and not mini's when i leave the brew swap doesn't upset me.

What I loved is that the mini community does more than show cars at a gathering. They do installs, drive, hang out and just have fun.


May i suggest that after everything for MOTD 2008 get's ironed out, the planners go to Fontanna in person and map everything out to make sure it looks as good and flows well.

and more importantly. I would like to Volunteer....
 
  #83  
Old 05-09-2007, 10:03 AM
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The Brew Swap was great. So was the Drive-In. Maybe because these were events that you could socialize with other people. So.....

Let's have a "MINI Dine Around" on Friday at lunch. Charge for attendence and let each of the clubs have a booth that sells items for lunch. Let it be a specialty from that club's area (similar to the beer swap). Whether it's aligator meat from Fla. or crayfish from La, or BBQ from NC.
 
  #84  
Old 05-09-2007, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by vdubdoug View Post
... What I loved is that the mini community does more than show cars at a gathering. They do installs, drive, hang out and just have fun.
See I am curious where did you go this year to hang out? That's what I missed the most. There was no place to hang out. Only a crowded side-street lined with the few MINIS lucky enough to find parking
 
  #85  
Old 05-09-2007, 10:13 AM
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Way had a GREAT idea with the used parts consignment sale. Hopefully he will bring it back next year and maybe make it a bit more visable.

Registration being in the same building as Check-in was a great improvement over last year's registration in the Adventure Center. My only suggestion would be to move it to the lobby so that it is on the same floor as check-in and a little more visable.

I personally did not find the vendor area an inconvienence. I like having all of the vendors together in the middle of the action. I guess being by the general store would be good too, just doesn't seem like there is enough room there.

$3.69 a gallon for premium. Come on, seriously, i know it is a captive audience, but can we ask Hellbender Pitstop to keep the price gouging to a minimum?
 
  #86  
Old 05-09-2007, 10:31 AM
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Since Fontana is not a wide-open, expansive place we will likely have to implement a hybrid solution of some kind. With the discussion so far, I am personally in favor of splitting up the "install" vendors from the "swag and bobbles" vendors. Since space is limited, it seems to make sense to split them up some - but not to scatter them since there are plenty of logistical reasons to group as many together as possible.

For various reasons, I too think that they should be as near the center of action as possible, without necessarily being the focus.

On a related note, I think that Teresa has brought up something worth more consideration. While maybe not the best place for certain things, that old registration area was severely under-utilized and maybe we should think harder on how to maximize the use of that space.
 
  #87  
Old 05-09-2007, 10:41 AM
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I had some install vendors say they would not mind having a "sales" booth by the other vendors and then a "install tent" in another section so they can get the best of both worlds.
 
  #88  
Old 05-09-2007, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by vdubdoug View Post
May i suggest that after everything for MOTD 2008 get's ironed out, the planners go to Fontanna in person and map everything out to make sure it looks as good and flows well. and more importantly. I would like to Volunteer....
I'd love to. But living in Phoenix, Arizona makes that pretty darn difficult.
Maybe I can do that for MOTD 2009
 
  #89  
Old 05-09-2007, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Mini2Go View Post
On a related note, I think that Teresa has brought up something worth more consideration. While maybe not the best place for certain things, that old registration area was severely under-utilized and maybe we should think harder on how to maximize the use of that space.
I agree and think its a perfect place for small to medium gatherings. Once you hit a certain number though that area will get mucho crowded. I'd love the car show to be there but it might not be big enough.
 
  #90  
Old 05-09-2007, 10:49 AM
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My opinion (and that's all it is, an opinion) is that the "behind the adventure center / pool area" for installs is worth a look... but if it isn't up to par, we just have to keep using the parking lot in front. It may turn out that it truly is the only viable choice.

However, one modification that could make a huge difference, is to reserve the upper parking lot area for all "install" vendors and the actual cars being worked on only... with very controlled access... but leave the road right beneath it open for vehicular traffic.

When I suggest only "actual" cars being worked on, I mean exactly that. Vendors could not arbitrarily park their own cars nor their friends cars in that space either. If there is enough space though, perhaps one "parking spot" per vendor would be allowed there, for a demo car. Some vendors had multiple non-install cars parked in that area, the entire weekend. Why? Sure, we'd all like to be the center of attention, but space is at a premium now.

Hopefully that would work out as a compromise. One of the big dramas that occurred at MOTD was between a vendor's customer and a NAM representive. The vendor apparently asked the customer to park their car there as a "demo" car, but did so without talking to the NAM rep first. The ensuing shouting match between the customer and the NAM rep was very unfortunate.

Although everyone involved could have handled the situation better, the fact is the blame must also fall on the vendor for giving implicit permission to the customer without the proper authority to back it up.

These sorts of things don't need to happen next year. A clear policy needs to be put in place, and all vendors need to know, understand and agree with it.

If space allows, having a strict "1 demo car per install vendor" limit would go a long way towards this.

SB, bamatt... and everyone else who misses the "parking lot full of MINIs" view of previous MOTDs... I understand, I agree... but the reality of the situation is that MOTD has grown so much that the prime real estate most likely can't be used just for parking any more. A shame... yes. But the Panoramic Photo, discussed "show" event(s) and other possible similar "big MINI parking" events may have to substitute.
 
  #91  
Old 05-09-2007, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by COOP310 View Post
$3.69 a gallon for premium. Come on, seriously, i know it is a captive audience, but can we ask Hellbender Pitstop to keep the price gouging to a minimum?
That has been the norm in San Diego for a few weeks now. The rest of you are all spoiled!

Originally Posted by Mini2Go
For various reasons, I too think they should be as near the center of action as possible, without necessarily being the focus.
The install guys spend almost the entire time under cars. At least let them sort of feel like they're involved with everything else going on.
 
  #92  
Old 05-09-2007, 11:17 AM
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If I was a Vendor I'd be pissed if you told me I couldn't park my cars in the area. Why? Because they paid significant fees to have the space they did this year. If you reduce their ability to park their cars or their customers' cars then you need to reduce the fees being paid for those areas.

And Edge, I agree, the spot behind the AC is worth checking out but it may not be suitable. And if its not there really isn't any other area to do it that hasn't already been discussed.
 
  #93  
Old 05-09-2007, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jibeho View Post
The MINI parade was billed as a slow familiarization run but turned out to be much faster. If we bill it as such we need a pace car to slow it down some. This was our first time, I think I did fine but my wife wanted to walk back
I led the parade last year (MOTD4), because it didn't look like anyone else was starting it, and it was getting late (9:20am or so). I was very deliberate to set a calm and casual pace for the entire thing... and I also encouraged (via radio) that everyone behind me follow my lead in turning around at Tabcat Bridge and heading back, since I knew it could quickly become a traffic jam otherwise.

I heard very good feedback after that... apparently people said that we did a much better job of staying together as a group than in prior years. I would hope that the casual pace of my lead car played a role in that.

I didn't participate in the parade this year... I planned to, but I got too caught up in other things that I missed it. I'm sorry to hear that the pace was too fast... it's a reminder that the people leading it need to remember that it's supposed to a casual parade not a blisteringly fast run.

Perhaps we need to have a set number of volunteers (say 3 or 4) to be the lead cars for next year? I'll be happy to do it again, although I have no problems with letting someone else take the job. The reason I suggested more than one leader is in case one of them doesn't make it... that there are others.
Originally Posted by PassatDoTd View Post
If I was a Vendor I'd be pissed if you told me I couldn't park my cars in the area. Why? Because they paid significant fees to have the space they did this year. If you reduce their ability to park their cars or their customers' cars then you need to reduce the fees being paid for those areas.
That depends entirely on what the vendor "paid for". Parking a car on display obviously takes up additional space than that used for installs. This is all stuff that can be agreed to in advance with each vendor. As more vendors show up, and the space stays the same... something has to be put in stone to allow reasonable equity between vendors (at least "install" vendors). My suggestion (and again, just a suggestion) of only one "demo car" per install vendor seems (to me) to be a fair method of ensuring that.
 
  #94  
Old 05-09-2007, 11:24 AM
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A quick note to all, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the lack of driving events this time around due to the fact that simply no one stepped up to do them? If I remember right, the big honkin' white board was, in addition to other announcements, meant for folks planning drives and whatnot.


-Paul!
 
  #95  
Old 05-09-2007, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul! View Post
A quick note to all, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the lack of driving events this time around due to the fact that simply no one stepped up to do them? If I remember right, the big honkin' white board was, in addition to other announcements, meant for folks planning drives and whatnot.
Yep. The only "driving events" that I'm aware of were the parade on Friday, the Ice Cream run, and Midnight On The Dragon.

Hopefully next year we'll have a number of other drives too. Just needs volunteers to organize them!
 
  #96  
Old 05-09-2007, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul! View Post
A quick note to all, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the lack of driving events this time around due to the fact that simply no one stepped up to do them? If I remember right, the big honkin' white board was, in addition to other announcements, meant for folks planning drives and whatnot.
-Paul!
Yes but last year the drives were organized prior to the event and most people signed up for them in advance.

Snooter has volunteered to spearhead the drives for next year. Anyone who wants to organize one should just let him know what you want to do. You don't need his approval or anything, but he organized one at MOTD5 and it was very nice. I know Agranger is coming back next year and he plans to do one as well. So at a minimum there should be two.
 
  #97  
Old 05-09-2007, 11:36 AM
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A ladies' drive is also in the works!
 
  #98  
Old 05-09-2007, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Edge View Post

SB, bamatt... and everyone else who misses the "parking lot full of MINIs" view of previous MOTDs... I understand, I agree... but the reality of the situation is that MOTD has grown so much that the prime real estate most likely can't be used just for parking any more. A shame... yes. But the Panoramic Photo, discussed "show" event(s) and other possible similar "big MINI parking" events may have to substitute.
One option could be to put the vendors on the lower parking lot/road, with intalls possibly behind adventure center/pool, and leave the upper parking lot open for parking and a thru street. That way you get the parking lot full of MINIs look and the vendors get the space, and a little better traffic flow. Not sure how that would work out though, i think that parking lot is one way. Just another thought from me.
 
  #99  
Old 05-09-2007, 12:05 PM
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Something struck me posted above....why are vendors being charged "significant fees"? What does significant mean and who is charging them? I realize they are they to sell us stuff but they have expenses getting themselves and their wares to the area, plus they are generally being asked for door prizes and give-aways too. I saw that some had nice large tents, which was helpful during the rain. If that was part of the fee I am sure that was a benefit. It just struck me funny.
 
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Old 05-09-2007, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by queenB View Post
Something struck me posted above....why are vendors being charged "significant fees"? What does significant mean and who is charging them? I realize they are they to sell us stuff but they have expenses getting themselves and their wares to the area, plus they are generally being asked for door prizes and give-aways too. I saw that some had nice large tents, which was helpful during the rain. If that was part of the fee I am sure that was a benefit. It just struck me funny.
Here's my understanding... although I was not directly involved in MOTD planning or execution this year, so take it with a grain of salt:

The reality of the matter is that vendors want one entity to contact and someone to "go to" with issues, concerns, etc. Fontana Village expects the same thing. NAM is therefore "liason" between Fontana Village, the vendors, and the members. NAM therefore "negotiates" with Fontana to make arrangements for vendor space, use of the common buildings like the Adventure Center, and oh, little things like the 20% discount on FV accommodations for all MOTD attendees.

This sort of planning and arrangement comes at a cost. A large portion of that cost comes in the expectation of donated prizes for drawings. I don't know about the term "significant fees" though, because clearly they were reasonable enough to have 29 vendors sign up to participate (even though only 27 managed to show).

Organizing an event of this size takes a huge amount of effort from a few individuals, and without some kind of structure, 800+ people and 500+ MINIs just showing up in one place would be quite chaotic!

The key (I think) is finding the right balance between structure/organization where it is needed (such as vendor presence and large indoor meals/events), and a more loosely structured set of "activities", ideally arranged by fellow volunteer NAM members.

Hopefully next year we'll have many more people step up to organize smaller activities like group drives and tech demos - although we had a few good ones this year, we can always use more.

In short, I don't feel MOTD doesn't have to lose all of it's member-oriented, grassroots feel, but some structure is absolutely necessary.

Am I the MOTD expert? No. I've only been to three. But I'm a passionate member of the community just like you all... and I want MOTD to continue to grow in a healthy way, just as long as the needs, hopes & desires of the community as a whole are not forgotten.
 

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