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Poker Run Orgs/ Boat Builders need YOUR input.

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Old 10-19-2011, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jackie.fpc View Post
hey, we weren't invited!
Wonder why?

Can't wait for Key West! The REAL poker run party!
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:11 PM
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At the LOTO Shootout, one of the best events was the parade down to the strip, and then the street party. Everybody that I could see had a blast, spectators could see the boats up close and personal, and they could talk "boats" with the drivers and crews. I would think that many manufacturers (both boat and accessory) would like this as they could actually engage in conversation with folks on a personal basis. You also have to remember that many wannabe boaters do not have a boat, so this would expose them to our sport without them having to be on the water. Most of them have only seen these boats while going 75 down the highway.

Oh yea, the Street Party was several hours long and nobody blew a motor, broke a drive, spent hundreds on gas, gashed new paint on a dock, or found themselves broken down on the water.

I would definitely be more likely to attend an even that had a Street Party before.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:27 AM
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I wrote and posted this a few years ago

"Moving forward I think (I have written this before) that nowadays runs should be EVENTS that are including a boat race , a car show, charity auction, concert, ect.... It is harder to provide value and still get a great turn out so make it a bigger event for a bigger bunch of people and oh by the way a poker run breaks out in the middle of the weekend LOL

We were one of the first (Not the only one) who started doing our event (Smoke On The Water) for charity (Make a wish) many followed our lead and NJCCP's lead

We were not a 501c3 yet we were the largest single outside contributor to Make a wish of Michigan

The first two years of our event my partner Bob and I lost $10,000 of our own money
Had we run it as a 501c3 the kids would have been less that money

By the third year we started to make a modest profit and we stuck what few extra bucks we got back into the event to make it better. The amount of time and work that goes into this is unbelievable

FPC has been a for profit organization for years and no one does it better than Stu. It is his business and why should he not make money for all his work? He is, by the way, much of the reason all the little poker runs have turned up all over the country these many years to make many $$ for charity.

I am always amazed by those who say poker runs should be ALL for charity. It is kind of like saying all NASCAR events should be free They run car races for charity but they also run them for profit.

If you want to run only runs that benefit charity and do not want the people who put them on to benefit one dime, then go ahead and only attend those events. Better yet put one on yourself and give all your time and money to make it happen! Do not put down the few groups that do it for profit as they are the reason offshore poker runs exists in the first place

I believe in the charity program (we were on the cutting edge of this idea) but I think every person that says "Last thing I want in a poker run is a payback" should quit wasting the money they could give to charity on gas for their boats, and vow to just send their boat spending money to a charity and stay home.
Why do you have to attend an event to donate your money? Go boating in your home lake and then at the end of the day send a check to a charity. Why do you have to have people work their butts off to put on an event so your money can be given to charity ? Basically you want something for your charity (money, a run, an event, food , prizes) but you do not want the organizers to benefit?

Again I DO believe in events run strictly for charity, but I also believe we should not put down those who put on events for profit (my 45 cents worth) If you only want to attend charity events then great, but do not forget who paved the road for you to run in these events "

Let me also say there should be some rules for attendees

1) Do not sign up to run the event the last minute!!! Many wonder why the organization ran out of food and t-shirts yet they did not enter until the week before the event. Help the promotors figure out what they need prior to the run by signing up early
Organizers need to have some idea who is coming so they can plan for food, launch, dock space, blocking out rooms (paid by attendees but reserved by the organization) and t-shirts and other assundries

2) Do not expect preferential dock space just because you have a cool boat (they are all cool)

3) Stop adding up the cost of the event for the organizers in your head and trying to figure out if the promoters are making money or not. You don't want to be there, then do not come.

4) Obey the rules (both event and local waterways) most events promoters have to go through a ton of approvals and permits with local governments. Give them a break, they have to answer all the questions to the local officials long after you have gone home.

5) Make sure your credit card or checking account has enough balance on it for your weekend fun. Many promoters end up chasing refused CC payments after the event and have a hard time getting attendees to pay up after the event is over (this is getting better with immediate CC approvals or denials by the cc company's)

6) If the event is helping a charity then get involved, do not complain that an event needs to be done for a charity, and when it is, then you do not contribute or help with rides or other activities during the event that help the participating charity

7) Do not park your BIG RIG in the middle of the road and expect everyone in town to drive around you while you register for the event across the street

8) Do not walk the city with open receptacles (alcohol) unless you are in Key West. Most cities do not allow alcohol while walking the streets

9) Respect the town and its people you are visiting as you may be there 2 or 3 days but they live there year round

10) Go easy on the promoters and their staff. Whether they are run for profit, or for a charity, the work is immense and the payback is not nearly what it cost in time and grief

Again we were one of the leaders in having a charity event (Smoke On The Water Poker Run) but it should not matter whether it is for profit or not. Pick the events that you like and go have fun and stop picking on the guys and girls that are providing you the venue to have an event

Last edited by boatme; 10-20-2011 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:54 AM
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Great points re the responsibilities of the attendees and the courtesy towards the organizers.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie.fpc View Post
hey, we weren't invited!
After working with Bill Taylor and his APRA Safety Meetings I wouldn't waste one second of my time working with him again. Period.

I'm not going to trash him publically on here but those who were involved with that group know why I feel this way.

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Old 10-20-2011, 09:11 AM
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Default Good thread...

Yes, I wanted to attend the meeting.... However scheduling an "important" meeting before, during or right after a large boat show will not work for boat manufacturers. This is why you didn't see more builders at the meeting... I barely get to sleep in the month of October, let alone find an extra weekend to drive to Sarasota...

There are many valid points presented here, from both sides. I'm sure we would all appreciate Stu and Jackies viewpoint as well.

We are signed up for FPC Key West as a sponsor. We are running our new 399, and also have a trailer display spot in the village. This is not an inexpensive event for us. Between staff, lodging, food, transport, boat, dockage, etc....this is big $ for us. That said, we are excited to be going and looking forward to it. Stu and Jackie always do a great job organizing and running their events.
But, when I come back to the factory after the event, and the checking account balances out, I need to have a honest justification for spending the money. Did we sell a boat because of the event??? It becomes harder and harder for us to justify the expense. This has been the case for years...
I do understand that our sponsorship is important to the promoter, and their ability to provide a good event, but it can't be a "donation" on our (all sponsors) part.
Promoters always give me the "such an opportunity" speech when trying to get us to be involved...
So, I tried a different approach to them.... None of which accepted.... You say it's a great opportunity for success? ... You want $5,000? How about this.... I'll pay $1000. You give me free reign to promote our boats... And If I sell a boat from the event.... I'll send you $10k.... This is playing your cards, right? None have taken me up on the offer....

We also make our decision to sponsor based on the entries. I have been given grossly incorrect boat entry counts by promoters...as "bait"...
I sponsored one recent event that wound up costing me $400 per boat entered! I would have got more recognition if I just walked the dock and handed each boat owner a fist full of money!

Sponsorship costs are so high that it makes it difficult for companies to sponsor the event.

I understand the position of the organizers, the sponsors and the participants. Everything revolves around the $. There has to be the right blend for all.

That leaves us, the builder, the promoter, the participant/boat owner, participant guests, and oh...how about the spectators..? So many views and requirements to satisfy...

See you all at the Ft. Lauderdale show, and hopefully on the Key West Poker Run!
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:00 AM
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Marc, great breakdown from someone that has "been there". thanks.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim G. View Post
Yes, I wanted to attend the meeting.... However scheduling an "important" meeting before, during or right after a large boat show will not work for boat manufacturers. This is why you didn't see more builders at the meeting... I barely get to sleep in the month of October, let alone find an extra weekend to drive to Sarasota...

There are many valid points presented here, from both sides. I'm sure we would all appreciate Stu and Jackies viewpoint as well.

We are signed up for FPC Key West as a sponsor. We are running our new 399, and also have a trailer display spot in the village. This is not an inexpensive event for us. Between staff, lodging, food, transport, boat, dockage, etc....this is big $ for us. That said, we are excited to be going and looking forward to it. Stu and Jackie always do a great job organizing and running their events.
But, when I come back to the factory after the event, and the checking account balances out, I need to have a honest justification for spending the money. Did we sell a boat because of the event??? It becomes harder and harder for us to justify the expense. This has been the case for years...
I do understand that our sponsorship is important to the promoter, and their ability to provide a good event, but it can't be a "donation" on our (all sponsors) part.
Promoters always give me the "such an opportunity" speech when trying to get us to be involved...
So, I tried a different approach to them.... None of which accepted.... You say it's a great opportunity for success? ... You want $5,000? How about this.... I'll pay $1000. You give me free reign to promote our boats... And If I sell a boat from the event.... I'll send you $10k.... This is playing your cards, right? None have taken me up on the offer....

We also make our decision to sponsor based on the entries. I have been given grossly incorrect boat entry counts by promoters...as "bait"...
I sponsored one recent event that wound up costing me $400 per boat entered! I would have got more recognition if I just walked the dock and handed each boat owner a fist full of money!

Sponsorship costs are so high that it makes it difficult for companies to sponsor the event.

I understand the position of the organizers, the sponsors and the participants. Everything revolves around the $. There has to be the right blend for all.

That leaves us, the builder, the promoter, the participant/boat owner, participant guests, and oh...how about the spectators..? So many views and requirements to satisfy...

See you all at the Ft. Lauderdale show, and hopefully on the Key West Poker Run!
Tim,
Thanks for all the builder-side input. These are the things that we all need to understand in order to make an event thirve, or even survive.
You and I have had many conversations about this and I wish I had notes from every one. Your insight is invaluable.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:13 AM
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If it was fun before and not now, make it like it was before.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim G. View Post
So, I tried a different approach to them.... None of which accepted.... You say it's a great opportunity for success? ... You want $5,000? How about this.... I'll pay $1000. You give me free reign to promote our boats... And If I sell a boat from the event.... I'll send you $10k.... This is playing your cards, right? None have taken me up on the offer....

:
Tim i would have taken a negotiated version of that deal in a heart beat back when we were putting on SOTW
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