May 8, 2015 at 3:42 pm #1866
Feel free to reply to one or all of the following topics (Preparation, Merchandize, Event, Catering, Final Thoughts) just think before you write, so we have valuable input. If you want the event to go a specific way, then get involved and make your voice heard!
Brew Fest at the end of May or in June
Expo availability dates are May 14, 21, 28 and June 11, 25. All Saturdays. Reserve soon. Red Dirt Run is at the race track on 9 April 2016. They are done running by noon. In 2015 they had 1000 participants. Think of all those thirsty people looking for somewhere to go relax that afternoon!
Sell More Memberships and have some available on the Friday before
Final membership numbers to sell is decided in March when we order glasses. We can’t discriminate between early and late memberships, everyone gets the same glass unless the deciders want to stand at the table and explain why the glasses are different. For the last three years we average between 75% and 85% attendance. It would be the officer’s call as the event nears to add more memberships but it may promote people to procrastinate instead of getting their membership early. Maybe use those 15-25% for “special guest” of the brew club officers on the last few days? Still a risk.
Sell paper memberships
I think we can go with 200 online and 400 paper. The 200 online would be for our regular members and out of town folks. Since the owners of Liberty Bell are members, can we give them 200 and let people buy them like they would a Boots and Brew? The last 200 are for our members to sell to their friends etc. The 400 paper would require someone to enter the data manually, collect cash, follow up any incomplete forms, and send e-mail verification to the purchaser. This is a big job, but it can be done.
More Club member participation in planning the event
Good luck! 5 people can pull it off. Selling paper memberships, Membership drives, and manning the Merch Booth/Front Door will be taxing enough for most of our members. No need to help Merci, but someone needs to check/refill the water jugs at least one time (Thanks Bam Bam).
Programs and Brewer’s list needs to be the same.
Make an official copy that is sent from Brew Registration to Program person. I had a few people point out the inconsistency, but they still voted for their favorite beers.
Better selection on Shirt sizes. Large Women’s seems popular but the Small size is to small
Look at orders vs remaining inventory. 2015 we have 12 shirts remaining and we spend less the $600 on T-shirts. We still have 34 shirts from 2014! I think we need to stick to the $600 cap unless we get more than 400 memberships sold by March when orders are due.
Expo is large enough with good parking and restrooms and easy to find
Mass Hall (problems are parking and restrooms), cost ?
Suggestions that include inclement weather, parking, restrooms, easy to find, cheaper …
Anouncer, sound and entertainment
Announcer and sound system cost us 2 memberships. Live entertainment would have to know they are background to the beer not the main event. Let’s see how it works for Shreveport at their 3 October event.
Shorten the event. 2-7, Boots and Brew is from 6-10
As soon as the winners were announced at 7:30, Longview and Shreveport started packing up and the crowd thinned significantly. Clean up unofficially started at 7:45 and we were done by 8:15 (Thanks to the hard chargers who stayed behind!). More people will take longer to clear out. I think 2-8 works.
Get Credit Card service working
This would help. We have a year to make it work.
This year Merci was about $6.67/plate for 300 people. I got two plates myself so my plates cost $3.34 each for Sliders and big piles of Mac/Chees and slaw. There were no shortages. Questions….
We got lucky. The number of brewers was down compared to the last few years, but we had fewer people. We still averaged about 1 gallon of beer per person. We could have gone with 0.5 gallons if we had 600 members which is still plenty of beer.
No breweries or TAPS came to the event despite messages in Feb, March, and April
Solicit donations from Austin Homebrew early and stick to their “kit”. I asked for grains instead and didn’t get a response.
I think the 0.5L and 1.0L steins and the glass boot were good trophies; we should stick to them. Relatively cheap and useable.
Tasting glasses need to keep the same pattern with no year so we can reuse them. Pint glasses can change and need to keep year.
No need to advertise as much on Facebook. I don’t think it pulled in many people. The event was posted on community calendars. Maybe some closer work with the Chamber of Commerce in February and MarchMay 9, 2015 at 8:08 am #1867
I am of course with the Shreveport-Bossier MMMMM’s.
Please keep in mind, I love Nac Brew Fest! I will be back next year. Somtimes I sound pissy or snarky online, but its not intentional an I love your club and event.
It’s noted that we started packing up at 7:30. Half of our kegs had floated. We have found that the Nac crowd is pretty mellow, which we love and is a reason we enjoy coming. We are used to the Louisiana fests which have more voracious crowds and we will typically float all of our kegs in a shorter period of time. We also all had to get up early, load up and drive into town… plus we like to end with a sit down meal somewhere.
We are hoping our crowd is more like yours but we will see. This and the fact that I saw a lot of brewers showing signs of fatigue after about 6:30 makes me think a shorter time period is better. Shorter fest length encourages attendees t show up earlier.
At Shreveport Brew people line up at the gate over an hour before it begins… We expect ours will have the same early rush. Also, since the Shreveport River Revel (one of the South’s largest arts and music festivals) is beginning that weekend, we will have a built in after party. We are looking for more of a cocktail party feel, after lunch, before dinner. So we will probably have less big food items and more finger foods.
1) Putting a date on your glass/shirts makes them more unique, but it also makes them virtually worthless as soon as the event is over. We will have no dates on out items, if we clear them all out, then we can simply change the color or something next year. I would suggest y’all do the same. Its a lot easier to deal with overstock. For us, we are unsure how many brewers we will have. So the # of memberships we ultimately sell is still in the air. We have a cap due to event hall space, so we are only selling enough to cover all the costs with a healthy cash reserve. If we have space we will open up more. As to the procrastinators, don’t tell them how many are left! Simply stick with percentages, or vague “we are almost sold out” statements.
2) Music: We are looking for a good cover band, but it is about the beer. We are looking for a band who will let us interrupt a good deal and who won’t dominate or overpower the crowd. Not quite coffee shop, but not a rock concert either.
3) Booklet: There were quite a few typos, and my beer wasn’t even listed, but was instead old copy from last year. The booklet is important as it helps the crowd navigate the massive amounts of beer.
4) We don’t have a great website, so we are having to rely on paper memberships. Hopefully as we grow we can improve our website. However, manually entering the info really isn’t that bad. We are also fortunate that we have two tap rooms and a homebrew shop in town so we have “epicenters” of beer lovers to go and trawl for memberships.
5) We missed the pro brewers this year. I know its hard to get these guys to participate. We are avoiding it this year because we are worried that having commercial beer might be in conflict with local sampling rules that would come into play since they are licensed.
6) I missed the occasional events onstage.May 10, 2015 at 8:51 am #1868
Thanks for your input Jeremy. Both of our events will be stronger for this kind of critical thinking. I can say you will need every bit of the next four months to prepare for 3 October. Thanks to MMMM and the other visiting brewers for attending Nac’s Spring Brew Fest. Attending and supporting each other’s events is key to our combined success.May 11, 2015 at 11:22 am #1878
I thougt we were discussing having 2016 BFest in April? Is the Expo Center unavailable those weekends? That race April 9th would be good to overlap with.
On the other hand, pushing the date into late May/June seems like it could work… As far as I can tell, we’d only be missing out on a few transient college kids leaving for the summer.
We should sell more memberships for sure! Especially if we’re holding onto the Expo Center. Some of the feedback that’s been passed on to me is the place was too big for what all we had in there.
It may be advantageous to raise the price after the first 400 or so sold. More of a late-bird penalty than a early-bird special.
I’d suggest swapping your online/paper membership #s. At some point it’ll become difficult to justify the existence of our website if less than half of our members are using it to sign up. I think the method of signing up needs to be revamped anyway. As it was, I had to backflip through hoops getting that mess of data aggregated off the website in a meaningful way.
The brewer info was definately screwy! I take some responsibility there- There were multiple versions of the brew’s info online, some being updated, some not. It wasn’t clear which one to use when the program was compiled. I’m still working on organizing all our files online, and it’d probably be beneficial to show all the officers how to access & edit them.
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