Over the past few weeks I have been entertained by some of the discussions on the forums. One item that stands out to me is that people get tired of just sitting around a national show, cleaning their car and sitting around and then dusting off the car and then sitting around. Granted, many of us do not wish to do drag racing or cross country events especially after driving our Mustang hundreds of miles to the show. We want the car clean and ready to be judged. Those who get tired of just sitting around should volunteer to be a judge's assistant and then maybe take the test and become a judge. Seems those who bark the most about their scores are the ones who need to take some time and learn the judging system. While the system is far from perfect, it is currently what we have within the MCA.
It also seems that some or even many clubs wanting to host a national show do not fully understand how to keep people entertained while they are visiting the host club's town. We at the Blue Ridge Mustang Club of Asheville hosted a national show at the Biltmore Estate in 2010 and gave plenty of opportunities to visit our city and the estate. Our show was not perfect, but hearing people still complimenting us on the show over 2 years later means we must have done something right. In 2013, we once again will be hosting a national show. It will not be at the Biltmore, but we have taken the steps to insure that participants will have plenty of options to not just sit around all day. We have special tours of Asheville set up, a pony run through the Biltmore on July 4th with a catered dinner followed by fireworks, special pricing for the Biltmore while visiting our show, indoor and outdoor tennis, indoor and outdoor pools (total of 3), hiking trails, zip line trails, aerial adventure trails and possibly even a mini pony run on the Blue Ridge Parkway (which, by the way, is what our yearly regional show is all about, 300 plus Mustangs on the Parkway every September!)
I know this sounds like an ad for our 2013 show, but all I am trying to do is encourage clubs that want to host a national show to look around your area and find what makes your area so attractive to visitors and then get into meetings with the local chamber of commerce and come up with ideas for keeping people entertained. If you have a drag race or autocross facility nearby then offer that. Heck, if we had one close to Asheville, we would offer it as a fun night for our participants!
Take some time and really put some thought into where you can host the event. Surely, there are other locations that are not just big parking lots. The show in Utah was one of the most beautiful venues that I have ever witnessed in the 5 years that I have been attending MCA shows. To integrate a Saturday arts and crafts show with the car show was perfect. The scenery and the cars and the arts and crafts show made for a great weekend.
Folks, take the time and explore your own back yards and come up with some great locations and give us the option of exploring and being entertained. There will always be those who just like to sit and wait for the trophies, yet there are many others who want to be active and enjoy what the host club has planned to keep us entertained. If we are looking to get the next generation of Mustang owners to the shows and increase our membership within the MCA then host clubs need to be much more creative. See you all next year in Asheville! Anyone up for a zip line excursion?