At the May 3 MCA Board of Directors Meeting, MCA President Steve Prewitt met with the Show Leadership to determine the best course of action for resolving any and all outstanding issues with the 50th Birthday Celebrations and to chart a course forward.
It was decided that a dedicated forum on the MCA Website (www.mustang.org) would provide the best conduit for questions, along with a web form for direct submittal of specific issues. The forum can be accessed at http://www.mustang.org/forumdisplay.php/492-50th-Birthday-Celebration-Issues-and-Answers.
In addition, MCA President Steve Prewitt drafted up the following response to be published on the MCA homepage:
A note from MCA President Steve Prewitt on the Mustang 50th Birthday Celebration
Now that we have had a chance to look back and reflect on the Mustang 50th Birthday Celebrations, there is so much to review and add comment about. Did you have a good time or did the issues associated with not getting all your goodie bag items or having to stand in line too long, or the high prices you had to pay, cast a negative pawl on the entire event for you? I would certainly hope not. Yes, there was a specific plan for executing the events. Did everything go as planned? No it did not. But that said, Anniversary events, beginning with the 30th in 1994 in Charlotte, have always been unique animals. In the case of the 50th celebrations they were doubly unique in that dual events had never been done before. Now there are sure to be those with the “we told you so” attitudes. But the majority of the thousands that attended the Las Vegas event were very happy they did not have to drive 6000 miles or more to Charlotte and back in order to be a part of the 50th birthday of the Mustang, and that was one of the primary reasons for the dual events. Dual events would make it realistic for virtually anyone anywhere in the country to be a part of the celebration. All previous Anniversary events had been held East of the Mississippi and each time there were those that said once again MCA had ignored the west coast and the fact that if they wanted to be a part, it would require a trip cross country to do so.
One of the major issues with the 50th that impacted the problems encountered with the goodie bags, long lines, and event lanyards, simply had to do with MCA answering the call by many to extend/reopen registration for those that for whatever reason did not get registered before the deadline of March 15th. When registration originally closed, the phone calls, emails, and social media were alive with requests to please find a way to reopen and extent registration for those that missed out. After looking at what the impact would be, the decision was made to extend the registration to March 31st, and subsequently allow car registration at the events themselves. The extensions of registration and allowing day of show registration added well over a thousand registrations to the events. It has been said that the only reason we extended registration was to make more money. I rebuke that assertion. We extended the registration so that those people that requested it could have the opportunity to be a part of the party.
The primary impact of the extended registration was that items that were ordered to cover the registrations made before the 15th of March would run short. Was this immediately recognized? No, and as a result we ran short of items to fill goodie bags, provide participant awards, and the resultant long registration lines. Even before the events ended, orders to replace those items had already been placed so that those missing items would have them as soon as possible.
Speaking of registration lines, approximately 75% of the total registrations were seen on Wednesday, which in actuality was the day before the events even opened. Based on historical data from previous Anniversary events, this was totally unanticipated and occurred at both Charlotte and Las Vegas. Personnel manning the registration areas at both venues were simply overwhelmed by the numbers they were faced with. Also, please remember this staff was made up entirely by Mustang enthusiasts that had volunteered. To wrongly malign any of these people is just inappropriate.
We will continue to examine and take note of the issues with all the events. These lessons learned will be carried forward for use when planning future events of this magnitude. These were not National MCA shows and no comparison between the 50th and National Shows should be made. As MCA President, I offer my sincerest apology if the 50th did not meet your expectations and promise that every effort will be made to prevent a repeat at an Anniversary event in the future if MCA choses to host another.