Chicago Region BMW Owners Association boasts over 250 members... the largest and most active BMW Motorcycle Club in the region. Meeting on the SECOND Thursday monthly, 7:30 pm 'til 9 pm at Elmhurst Elks Lodge, 711 W. St. Charles Rd, Elmhurst, IL 60126.
OK. The topic came up for discussion at the July meeting. Some members add great thoughts that I had not considered. Unfortunately, I did not have my note pad at hand to capture these fine essences. I did proclaim at the meeting that this topic existed on the Forum and that thoughts be collected here. We will soon be asked to vote on the topic. I hope that the most important aspects will be shared here.
As of the moment, the club is going to make a decision on topic at the July 2019 meeting. Ergo, my thoughts on the matter as follows. Very little discussion on topic happens at the club meetings or other club events that I am aware of? Maybe this thread will bring to light some pertinent thoughts and serve as a record of said thinking at this time?
Do we want to continue the club presence at IMS? MAYBE? Consider the following points as you will before rendering judgement.
- Hank Barta did a great job on the slide show. Thanx to all who submitted pix for the effort. Maybe one fuzzy pic and only a couple of duplicates. The questions remain, how to measure the impact it has on show attendees? And how to improve on its impact. It is my opinion that w/o it, our booth would appear drab and of no particular eye-catching interest. Being able to direct show attendees from the aisle to the "Booth with the slideshow" is much better than making them try to read the signs. I remain open to ideas that would replace this flashing eye-catcher with something better and hopefully less labor intensity.
- Mucho thanx to whomever secured the donation of the slide show equipment.
- Mucho thanx to ALL the personnel who schlepped, dragged, toted bikes and gear to and from the show. It's mean, ugly work that absolutely has to be done in order to make anything happen in the first place and during whatever weather is thrown at us too.
- Mucho thanx to all who helped set up and push bikes and gear around and stayed late for loading bikes and packing up. "Roadie" work, like Motherhood, is always under-valued.
- Thanx to all who worked the floor and the booth. Maybe next year I will begin to remember to pack ibuprofin and wear better shoes and bring a cushion for the stools provided by the show?
- Thanx to whomever provided water and froze some to act as cooling ice. This was a godsend to us who talk a lot.
- Peppermints seem to work better than chocolate. Your opinion may vary.
- The hot dog schedule is about the only "come-on" that the aisle workers have. Exactly what materials and how much must be available and how they might best be presented needs to be assessed. The damn schedule NEEDS to have the web site on it. Sheesh, 3 years in a row that we can't fix this?
- The 'center aisle' layout worked well for me. It funneled a lot of attendees right to me and I didn't have to move around so much chasing prospects.
- We seem to be doing the "same old same old" but with a bit more polish. If this is all that the attendees see year after year, what is our attraction?
- We still do not take advantage of the 12 month time period between IMS events to discuss options, plan show activities, and present something of interest that changes every year that attendees would want to be sure not to miss. We are not having nearly as much fun with IMS as we could be nor as we should be. IMS should be begging us every year to perform. We should be a well renowned show "Draw" if not headliners in IMS advertising.
- IF "Membership" is the only metric by which we decide on our success and we only get a few members of which we retain zero, then maybe we should quit IMS and apply the same energy and finances and time to other ways of acquiring members?
- "Membership" is probably the least understood dynamic facing club members. When it works, everyone takes credit even when they do not understand what happened and how to make it work repeatedly and reliably. When it does not work, nobody knows why nor what might be done about it.
- If we are going to "sell" memberships at IMS, we should make it plain to attendees. Our demographic is 'old,rich, white guys with time on their hands and not too smart about bikes and bike clubs. They should not ride much nor too well so as to fit in. Loose wallets only.". Do not approach females, ethnics, young people, kids, or anyone who looks like they might ride anything non-BMW. Do not speak to unknown riders at 'hot dogs' unless they fit the club's demographic.
- Beitknown that I have had zero success at getting riders to become members. I seem to be one of those people whom 'sales' talent has completely not happened. Make of that what you will. (Due Diligence completed.)
Special notes: (Deleted as it does not seem to add anything worthwhile to the topic)
- IMHO, we should continue doing IMS ONLY if we are willing to experiment wildly in hopes of developing something worthwhile. The amount of time and effort needed year round to make the show worth anything must grow exponentially and have the man-power to support the effort. I have seen the 'camping' and the 'safety simulator' themes in years past. Yet no membership data nor any other data is available for comparison. If we are not willing to pull our IMS act together, we might as well do something else. The 'same o'same o' is just not cutting it and probably getting in our way of moving on. OR, IMS participation could stand as our "annual club rally" and become something for which our club is famous? And no riding is necessary..
just another one of those damn bikers,
The following user(s) said Thank You: Patrick King