We were at the beginning of the “we don’t know where to put cars” fiasco. You pre-register nearly 600 cars, you’d think you’d know where you were going to put them prior to the opening of registration. My husband and I arrived at registration together. I received my parking # and went on to photos, he checked in and was sent to photos as well but did not receive a dash card or parking #. When I pulled around to be parked, they said I was the last in that row. Sharing some cleaning supplies, this would not work for us so I asked to wait to see where my husband had been assigned; that’s when I noticed he was backing away from photos back over to registration. I made the comment that we needed to be parked together and the gentleman parking me radioed to someone that I didn’t want that spot as we wouldn’t be parked together. The response was, “well, they needed to arrive together” (attitude #1)… um, we did! An hour later, we finally received 2 spots that were 3 spaces apart, no big deal. The problem was when we were issued these 2 spots, the comment that came with them was, “you can take these 2 or go home!” (attitude #2). After driving 2 cars over 12 hours to attend this event, it only took an hour to learn how much our participation was appreciated, ZERO! When I talked to an MCA official about our experience, his response was, “well, it’s hot”.
This was the second MCA show this year where we were treated as such, the first being Asheville. Yes it rained there, yes it was hot in Florida (August/September + Central Florida = HOT! Shocking!) but neither “excuse” is valid for treating participants who followed the rules poorly and even if the end result wasn’t going to change, the message should be given in a diplomatic way and not with the snarky undertones. The problem is that the MCA condones these excuses and will argue til the death that if you’ve never put on such an event, you have no room to complain; which of course is also false. We (the MCA membership) pay our dues as well as an un-godly amount of money to attend these events! Without participation from US there would be no national/grand national shows.
The major problem plaguing these events is not the weather, it’s not that it’s run by volunteers, it’s not even the venues chosen by the hosting clubs and approved by the MCA… it’s the severe lack of communication between each aspect of the event. I read an earlier comment, “The registration tent does not have the information on how the show field is set up according to MCA rules. Every spot is numbered for judging purposes.” My question is why don’t they? They go hand in hand, one should know what the other is doing and more importantly, why. The Cougar should have never been turned away. The person who did that should have consulted someone else prior to making such a decision on their own OR they should have been informed that there was an “other” class that included non-Mustang Fords. The second problem is the attention to details. In Asheville, there was no signage stating where to meet for the Biltmore cruise nor was there a representative in the lobby instructing people as to where to go. If you charge for such an event, you need to make sure everyone that paid is present before departure or at least make an effort. We didn’t attend but heard tale that the cruise on Thursday in Disney handed out directions that were incorrect. These are the little details that should never be overlooked. But I’ve never hosted a national or grand national show so I’m certain I have no idea what I’m talking about.
After checking in on Friday, the rest of our experience was wonderful. We stayed off property so did not encounter the parking problems at the Coronado. Of course there was no parking for the awards but we just simply parked over at Blizzard Beach and took a bus over. That process was painless. Overall we had a great time and were happy with the sub-events we attended. We looked forward to this event just as long as the host clubs planned for it and were not dissappointed. I just wish the MCA would accept constructive critism instead of always jumping to the defensive; it would make future shows that much better.