Some of my best memories of the past rally are meeting forum friends in person for the first time or renewing old friendships kept close by the forum but separated by distance over the rest of the year. We were unable to organize an ad hoc event on the forum. With the growing importance of the website and the forum in the life of the BMW MOA I am making this modest proposal to turn it into a formal event at the Gillette rally and beyond.
I propose that a ‘«ˇForum Bag Lunch Meet and Greet‘«÷ event be added to the official rally schedule of events/seminars for the Gillette Rally and beyond. The event (what ever the final name) is to be held Noon to 1PM Saturday of the Rally.
Begin with time for people to meet and greet each other and eat a lunch they brought themselves. Renew old friendships; meet a forum friend in person for the first time. Allow approximately 30 minutes for this.
The meet and greet would be followed by a brief presentation from the Media Staff about what happened in the previous year, where the website and forum are headed in the future, meet the mods, facts and figures about the website and then a brief Q&A.
I suggest this order of things because the main purpose is to meet people. Having the presentation and the Q&A in the second half of the hour time bounds that for the presenters. Any further praise, discussion or debate that people feel they need may then be taken back to the forum when people return to their key boards.
Timing and Location:
Noon Saturday seems the least likely to interfere with other seminars people would attend. It should not conflict with other traditional events such as the ON Contributors, Ambassadors or Club Presidents events for example. There is a great deal of overlap in people of those groups and the forum.
The beer garden or a breakfast location sound good; however, based on my observation they present alcohol/food related problems.
The beer garden would not be conducive to the presentation I am proposing. In addition there are people on the forum that don‘«÷t hang out at the beer garden for a variety of reasons.
A breakfast meeting is too early for some. People SS&S, go for rides, sleep in or go out for breakfast in the morning. The logistical demand on a rally location could create problems which a ‘«ˇbring your own lunch‘«÷ event could avoid.
Prior to coming to the rally urge potential attendees to print a name tag that has their avatar, screen name and first name. Size the tag to fit a clear plastic name tag holder. Have peal and stick name tags available for those who do not remember to print one.
The cost to the Association would be
‘«ů Staff time for preparing and presenting the presentation and Q&A
‘«ů Meeting room space
‘«ů Expenses related to the name tags.