February 9, 2016
In attendance: Tim Weidemann, Gretchen Everett, Wayne Reuter, Amy Colman, Tasha Mikko, Alyson & Ron Bauer, Tim Irwin, Keith Brown, and Brent Vitolins.
Last month’s minutes review – Motion moved to approve as written.
NWR Board Report (Gretchen Everett) – Was unable to attend board meeting. Nothing to report.
Treasurer’s Report (Kristi Brown) - Current report showed $4500 more than previous year mostly from the NT and Tour. Decent weather all year helped with total turn out.
NORPAC Report (Keith Brown) - Combined meeting at the convention with all the other regions. A lot of discussion about other things than solo. Solo development is ongoing. More than 50% of the cars are running on street tires. 4% of the cars running in solo are in the CAM classes. So this class is doing great in other regions, and has definitely met its expectation of increasing participation in SCCA events.
WWSCC Report (Keith Brown) - Schedule should be out on the list and on the website this week. First event for season is at Emerald Downs the first in April.
Equipment Report - Mike Leuty has retired from the Chief of Equipment position. So if anyone is interested in taking on this job let us know as soon as you can.
National Convention Report: (Gretchen and Keith) – A review of the convention was presented by both Keith and Gretchen. Gretchen’s notes are included later in these minutes. Keith reminded the group that all incidents no matter how small or unrelated need to be documented. (IE child fell off the bike, someone tripped and fell. All need an incident report filled out.
Recruiting Report – (Joey and Tasha)
Finalized a tri-fold pamphlet design and obtained printing cost options - Costco seems to have the best deal - $220+Tax for 1000 units printed on 100lb gloss paper with an AQ semi-gloss coating, full color. We are seeking approval for this budget item. Motion made and approved to print a total of $1000. Tasha will coordinate. Finalized the design for the generic business cards and calendar business cards - Vista Print had the better deal for the quantities we want (500 of each card) - budget previously approved - these have been ordered ($76.43)
XXX Root Beer Import Meet - - Issaquah, WA - Joey has been in contact with the meet officials and is in they are looking for a person to attend the meet with Joey. Contact Tasha and Joey if interested. We will make two free entry certificates to be awarded via drawing at the XXX meet - they will be non-transferrable (winner's name will be written on the certificate), cover the cost of pre-registered entry only. We will create an entry form that includes name and email address. We will write a post to FB regarding our planned attendance at the XXX meet. They need to investigate power options for TV/monitor at events. A simple 300-500W generator will work. The one used to power the solo bus may be overkill and will be unavailable if there are ever date conflicts.
They have contacted BSCC and received approval to hand out SCCA promotional materials at their events. Scott Engler donated a monitor that we can use to display auto-cross videos at car shows/meets. Identifying potential car shows for the 2016 calendar year which includes (but is not limited to): Hondafest NW - - Pacific Raceways, Drive Northwest - - Pacific Raceways, Hot Import Daze / Hot Import Nights - TBD 2016 - Evergreen Speedway, Opposites Attract - TBD 2016 - Griot's Garage. Identified a handful of car clubs/groups that could potentially be interested in doing a meet & race day (like what the 86 group did last year) - 86 Sessions, Mustang Club NW, Rain City Subies/NWEvo /Northwest Nights.
Coneheads Banquet Recap – Gretchen asked the group if they liked this year’s format. Those in attendance agreed it was fun to have everyone together. She wants to give a big thank you to Doug Mikko for putting together the NEW awards presentation, and also taking most of the pictures presented at the banquet. The group agreed that we could hold the same type of banquet next year at the same location, but would like to see a better selection of beers.
STP - Where do we put this class on a Regional level – A design was made to put STP in NS5 with STU and STX.
2016 Specialty Chief Job Description and Event Plan – Gretchen is working on an updated 2016 Specialty Chiefs checklist and event plan. She will present her ideas at next month’s meeting. She has suggested to the group that the time has come to make some changes on how we run our events in Packwood. With the limited number of course workers available for the afternoon group on Sunday, things are no longer safe and/or running efficiently. The group agreed that we should consider moving to a one session day. The group discussed having only one morning signup then 2 or 3 run groups based on how many show and prepay.
We would attempt to get 4 or 5 runs. We will need to keep in mind that we can’t have people out on course for too long so how many runs will be dependent on the amount of people who attend. If we have enough entrants, then we will go with three groups, and everyone will have one down group. If we do not have enough people, we will only have two groups. Going to this new idea may reduce our income because of the loss of our afternoon TO entries, but we may actually have a chance to have fun runs.
Gretchen would also like to look into a way to pre-pay for registration. Motivating people to pre-register and pre-pay will give us a better idea of the number of people we will have in attendance. We can develop a new pay structure similar to last’s year fee structure, but would offer a higher incentive for those who pre-register and pre-pay. Registration and payment would still be allowed on-site the day of the event. Pricing could be: non-registered and non-pre-pay = $40, Pre-registered only but not pre-pay = $35. Pre-registered and pre-paid = $30. This is only a suggestion, and we will need to decide prior to the first event what the structure will be.
Gretchen will speak with Brett Wilson about this opportunity, but is thinking it could be accomplished using the new Square service, just like was used for Coneheads registration or it is already available through PayPal. There was some concern that we would need a system that would have a way to prove that someone has prepaid. Gretchen reminded the group that we will have an active tablet available at registration with internet connection, so looking this up shouldn’t be a problem.
We will have credit card payments available this season on-site for each event. We will finalize our Solo Square account, and Charly Spyksma has volunteered to allow registration to use his tablet during each registration session as long as we reimburse him the cost of his data, which will never be more than $15 a month.
Looking for Specialty Chief Volunteers – We are currently looking for Specialty Chiefs. Charly Spyksma has agreed to be Chief of Timing for the day, and Gretchen Everett has volunteered to cover Registration for the day. Any people that held positions in 2015 will have the first right of refusal for the same position this year, but will need to let Gretchen or Tim know they are interested in maintaining their position. Chief of Equipment is open, along with a couple of more, but we will get confirmation from current chiefs and send out a notice for volunteers once we understand which additional positions are open. We are going to focus on eliminating the total number of Specialty Chiefs this year. In most cases, there is no need for two official chiefs. Each assigned Specialty Chief can certainly have a “season” worker assigned, that will always be there to assist.
EVO School - Junior Johnson says there is enough interest to hold an EVO school again this year. He contacted Keith Brown to see if our region had an interest, and also to see if there was a date available. There may be a possible spot open at Packwood. Gretchen will contact Angus and get back to Keith.
Tire Rack Street Survival School – Will be held on at Pacific Raceway. Tim Irwin has stepped up to take over this program for NWR. Way to go Tim!! He is currently looking for volunteers. He needs basic workers, instructors, and people to help set up course. This is an incredible program, and we would appreciate any help to teach new drivers how to be safe on the roads and make ourselves safer in the process.
Charitable Event – An idea was presented to hold some type of charitable event. Brent V. suggested the idea to invite under privileged children in local groups from the community for ride-a-longs or some type of connection to the day of the event. It was also brought up that SCCA will allow one “free” event where they will waive the sanctions for an event of this type, so that a donation can be made to the partnered group. The group thought it was a good idea and asked Brent to do some additional brainstorming on how an event like this might work out.
2016 Sponsors – All three of our sponsors have returned. We would like to thank Tight n’ Tidy racing for sponsoring our Pro Solo series, DirtFish Rally school for returning as our Novice sponsor, and a HUGE thank you goes out to Doug Chase, at Chase Race for returning as our title sponsor and signing another three-year contract. We are all excited to have you back again this season.
2016 National Convention Notes
It has to be FUN!! It needs to be EASY. Make connections. Present information out front.
Getting to Know the New SCCA programs.
Making decisions to keep our program culturally relevant, and current. The goal is to see these new activities increase the overall SCCA brand. New programs will not make current programs suffer. This is Heyward’s main responsibility.
100 events – 23 tracks. Only held on weeknights.
Recreational showcase for SCCA.
Heavy lifting all done by SCCA staff allows time for us to socialize, communicate and reach out to entrants to familiarize them with our other local programs.
Full Day. Facilitated performance driving school. *Track night is where you play – Starting line is where you learn!
30 Schools. Regional hosted package: sanction waived for both days of the weekend. School , then all entrants in school are free for the regional event on Sunday. Will require event support = cones, timing workers, safety stewards. Students that sign the waiver will not be charged again for sanctions on Sunday, but we must provide a free entry on Sunday. Total of 24 students and 6 instructors. $300 for school. $425 with an open-face helmet, and Garmin air gauge. Working on a deal to bump it up to around $600 to add a Go-Pro camera.
The idea is that we hold a Novice School after these people have been introduced to Solo with this school. They are not talking to our current group of participants, so they feel they will bring new people to our program locally. Oregon has held two schools. One filled instantly with 24 students, so they put on a second school with 12 more students. 9 have become regular participants in their local events, and 3 have joined the committee.
Bracket Enduro – Our version of Lemons:
6-10 events – Region hosted. CRE rules (Club, Race, Experience) – Not mandated by GCR. Bracket Classes, Unlimited Classes. No illegal cars, period. Whoever runs the furthest fastest is the Unlimited Class. Bracket Class you must determine which target time works for your car. lap time – is okay, 1:99 is penalized. The extra tenth goes into your “bank”. You get two minutes to pit your car, but if you go over the time can be pulled from your bank. The idea is you end the race with nothing in your bank. Quicker lap times if you know you need to stop and replace brakes, etc. Currently have 3 or 4 events confirmed and ready to announce.
Cars do have to pass GCR Safety regulations, but they do not mandate head or neck device. Regions can add to this in the Sups though.
There are two potential opportunity for night time only races (sponsors looking for this kind of event). Right now it is a total of 4 hour time periods mixed throughout a race, time trials event already happening. Total of 24 hours. Could have 24 different drivers for one hour, and the cost will be the same. Opportunity to gain club racing novice license with enough observation from the correct event officials.
Targa Events (Brand New):
Three Days/Three Tracks/All different venues. Road Rally – Autocross – Track Time. Autocross is Packwood. Drive to PIR for track time, then back to Snoqualmie for a Rally Cross. Two different sets of awards. One for series competition, a second for those looking for an “experience only” type of environment. Under $500 total cost and will allow two drivers. Heyward literally came up with this concept while driving on a long-road trip and has been given support to research and test an event. Happening in Charlotte in August. Question was asked whether this could potentially happen on the West Coast where things were must further apart. He is still looking into the opportunities.
Event Promotions and Marketing
Does everything we send out answer the question – Why? Every post and communication should have a call to action. Stay in the field of vision. Fewer words the better. Do not overwhelm the reader or put them to sleep with too much information at once. We need to create a buzz & energy. This means using images and words that elicit emotion. Readers need to feel what they see and it better be exciting. Use images of different ages, different genders, and different activities.
Remember who you are talking to. Don’t always use the image of the perfectly stickered, gorgeous race car. Be sure to include the bone stock, grocery getter with blue tape numbers. This is a majority of the people we are looking to get to our events. Using a fully prepped Mod or Prepared car is okay once in a while to create excitement, but doesn’t seem attainable to the 22+ y/o kid looking at our FB page.
Email marketing – Should be light, full of powerful photos and light on copy. Evoke emotion (see a theme here?!?)
Study Carvin Communications they are top notch!
IDEA - Create a set of graphics announcing each event. FEW words. Mainly photograph. Use images that people want to be like… sitting in the car with helmet on concentrating or getting ready to go. Or person just finishing run taking their helmet off with a HUGE smile on their face. Natural, true emotion. NOT a fast race car out on course. Short graphic with
“Join us for our next NWR SCCA Solo Event” Click here to register. Click here to learn more. (This could be the summary of information that Tasha usually sends out).
Email out 30 days prior to the event to everyone that has participated in an event this season. Pay attention to your subject line and who the email is coming from. You won’t answer an email from a non-return address or generic address. Who does everybody love and engage with in your region? Have the email come from them. Engage and respond to request from people. DO NOT PUT THEM INTO A SEPARATE EMAIL BOX THAT IS THEN IGNORED. Take them off the list if that is what the request, but respond.
Over 100 people on your list, consider paying for a service. You can target learning versus spending, and understand how people are engaging with different mailing. Understand your conversion rate, your click rate, your spend, and your income. Use a click through to the event page with a clear link to more information on the NWR home page. Do not go straight to home page because we lose the ability to track if they are looking for a specific event or information.
Service available – Constant Contact. Sets up QR codes that say text here for more information. Need to look into this company.
FB – you’d better be doing it. This means posts on page and additional advertising. Even if you only have a small budget. Must elicit emotion – not just cool cars. “Wear your helmet to work day” w/photo of everyone at a table in their racing helmets. When using cars always show speed or movement. Energy other than normal. Again, be cautious of the photo. Speak to the right people with the right images. No stickers, no numbers. Always show 2 people inside car. This is a happy, social sport. No cool photos to “see” only cool photos to “do”! Looks accessible to them. Regular cars that feel safe and non-threatening to their daily drivers.
Two different types of posts or even separate ads. #1 Get to know us. #2 Start having a relationship with that person and showing more emotion. Facebook is a numbers game Keep driving down with who you are targeting until you have a number that matches your spend budget. Heyward has found good luck marketing to people who: Love Top Gear, Gran Tourismo, Car & Driver, Road & Track, Miatas, Corvettes, and Mini Coopers.
Track Night in America. “This is our Rush Hour”. $60 minutes on track - $150. We need to tone down on the amount of copy we are putting out into the world. ?
Emotional side – “Your car has a Soul. Let it out to Play”.
Don’t display the entire schedule on FB. Drive them to our website so we can see where and why they are coming to it. This means we need to be able to collect data. Does our website do this?
Hospitality – A culture of Hospitality. Guest Speaker – Chris Robbins, Southwest Airlines
Happy employees lead to happy customers. How does this relate to us? Happy volunteers leave to happy participants in our events? It important to communicate excessively what we expect from our volunteers. Openly communicate with everybody! Our purpose. Our vision. Our values. Our mission. Think about what is Customer Service vs. Hospitality. Customer Service is something people expect. Hospitality is going above and beyond to make sure your guests are happy and satisfied. It takes seven seconds for people determine exactly how they feel about you and your organization!
He developed this acronym for SCCA:
Greet with a warm smile and use their name.
Engage with them to start the conversation.
Act by first understanding and then meeting their needs.
Relate and connect; show interest and concern.
Solicit their feedback, and ask them to return!
SCCA.COM Information Session
55% of participants are looking at our website on their phones. We must be fully mobile responsive. Focused on east of learning/registering. They are trying to create an experience that makes it easier to put on an event and learn about participants.
Downside is to keep things updated… You have to have someone to keep things updated. Anything done for our region would show up on our region page. The new site has a full layer of metric to show us how people are engaging with our site. Surveys are included in the administration side of things. Also allows us to contact via email people directly that have registered for one of our events. They are developing live timing & scoring and online registration.
Showed how to create and develop almost every aspect of the website. Really isn’t very difficult to do. Pull whole areas over from our old site with updated images, and text. They are not operating on full access yet. They would like the NWR region to help BETA test their entire system and offer feedback on how it should really be.
I was contacted by Brian Chambers – head of the SEB that is somehow directing this process. Brett Wilson is on the committee designing this new program, but they have heard very good things about our timing program. Wondering if we all love it show much, then why should it be THE timing program. Wants to set up conference call with Brett and a couple additional key people to discuss what we love about it, what we hate about it, what we want to change about it. He has not actually spoken with Brett yet though.
Building your region for success
Southwest Louisiana SCCA. Highest recruitment and retention award the past two or three years.
Since this speaker took over the region. Focused only on Solo events. No additional venues. Very small region.
Went from 22 members to 120 members.
Being seen – Car shows and event sites with good exposure. Out on a main busy street rather than tucked away on the backside of a stadium parking lot, etc.
At car shows have one fun attention grabbing car – “mod” ish. One stock off the dealer floor car. Market to the spectators. Create your own local car show that the public can see an engage with. World of Wheels Car show. His only advice. If it doesn’t work… keep doing it! Took five years for the program to really sink in.
Bring a Buddy Program – All solo competitors that bring a person that has never participated in an autocross event saves $10 on the event entry.
Charity Event w/ a popular local charity. Offered one free gimme from SCCA. Waive sanctions. Involve the charity in the event – “Beat the Heat” with local law enforcement officers.
Attendance incentive – every event you get one entry to a drawing good for one full season. The winner is then drawn at the year-end banquet and you must be present to win. Increases event entries and banquet entries and socializing!
Remember the new people. You may answer the same question 10 times, but it is extremely important to those 10 people so be nice about it!
Encourage people to volunteer. Not a closed, private club. The more people get involved, the less the core workers get burned out.
Firing volunteers – sometimes it IS necessary! Lose 1 person, but gain 20.
Be prepared – smooth running events create a positive, organized vibe.
Develop a Kids Zone – enclosed trailer with kid’s movies playing. Games inside and outside if the weather is nice.
Big wheel race for kids. This foster an environment that provides enjoyment for the entire family. Helps cancel out the veto vote when the wife and kids want to go to. Have mom’s help with babysitting – could be a work assignment.
Don’t be afraid to put money into the club!
Indianapolis Region – doubled membership . Went from 360 – 680 members.
They focus on a lot of engagement outside the event, and investing in their members. You can’t buy a fan base. You have to invest in your people to cultivate the environment that you are hoping for. Installing a sense of connection makes everything more worthwhile to them.
Get the funds flowing! Participate in opportunities provided by National Office. Street Survival events net over $1000 for each event. Starting Line School. Hoosier Challenge – invite every region in state to compete. night social event prior to event weekend. Take a winter trip – region pays for the transportation bus ($25 per person). Go to a ball game – pay for the evening. Go karting – pay ½ the entry and put on a competition tournament. Hold road rally’s with a fun destination ending. Activity Points = loyalty program for high participation competitors. Earn Lucky Bucks to use for banquets, or maybe regional events.
Get the pulse of your organization and LISTEN to them. Stay rooted, but you must break away from the “naysayers” and those in the “inner sanctum” that don’t believe in these types of activities.
Go Program – posters that will highlight Solo for $24 each. Available through Fed Ex online from SCCA. John Taylor agreed to have the region pay for a few of these. I will follow up to make sure this happens. Great for the car shows we have planned.
Volunteer Retention & Recruitment – Michael McKee, Central Florida Region
Have Fun! Be Safe! Go Fast!
Be the voice of the member. We need to know the details. Number – participation level. New faces? Demographics? Attrition? Identify the problem. How do we address the membership? How/Who/What. What is the value proposition for the new people to come out and volunteer to work corners? Too many events have almost been cancelled because they do not have enough workers. Determine our “chair-guy” demographic. Who can’t afford to race or isn’t comfortable racing? Determine where to find them. How to promote SCCA events. How to get involved and become a volunteer. Slow, steady pressure. Once you get them what do you do with them? Be prepared with strong materials and procedures in place and ready to go.
Very disappointed in this seminar. Very race related.
Making an Event of It!
Johnathan Burchardt, Southwest Louisiana Region. To find success in smaller Regions sometimes you need events that are a little more than “show up and drive”. Efforts made by the Southwest Louisiana Region to make sure their autocross weekend speak to the community, not just the competitors.
Again, very small region. 100 + members, but have seen huge growth since Johnathon took over.
Across the state Triad – State Level Event.
What is our identity?
Have a relevant and updated website – they use the SCCA model.
Make things more than one event – make them want to come back!
Make sure everyone is noticed. Let them know that you look forward to them being here again.
Greeter Kits – small bag with water, snacks for kids, flyers about the club or the next event.
During the event – assign someone a worker position to take photos and then use them! Non-car photos. Get people shots with the wife, family, kids. Smiles!
Newsletter mailed out quarterly
FB Group for forum discussions – he said this was very important because it was less regulated by FB.
Before the Event – know your product. Know your job. Value everyone’s opinion. Be a Team. Scheduling is very important – organization and event plan. Venues! Set goals. Who shows commitment to stick it out with you?
Delegate! Don’t over work yourself. Pre-Event – Test n’ Tunes. Five car challenge. Fun, silly contests. Post Events – Dinner to continue fostering that community environment.
Podcasts. 20 episodes with 20 hours of content. Sowela SCCA broadcast. Event coverage. Lots of explanations. Driver interviews. Tech sessions. Season Recaps – ½ way through and then at year end. Hot competitions. Felt this encourage people to socialize because someone heard about the series competition between “Ron and Kevin” gave opportunity to have something to talk to them about. How is your car? What’s going on this event? Teen sessions. Tuning advice. Course breakdowns. Top 5 lists. Equipment reviews.
Filter drivers at registration. Current Members – New Members – Non Members. We’ve always got a class for you!
Use different colored waivers to understand who everyone is.
SCCA Champions Program
Champions Club for Track Night in America.
Heavy influencers in our sport. Positive reflection of our program. Genuinely like the program and want it to succeed.
We choose who participants in the program. Ask them why they want to get involved with this program? Strong social presence, both in person and online.
For every 6 entrants (or whatever number we see financially feasible) they get one free entry. They are given codes for $25 off an event for each of the 6 people which is tracked using the SCCA pre-registration website. Again, we choose the dollar amount. Maybe it’s $5 off and we use a paper coupon instead of a code. But you provide a special insider discount for a “good friend”. Codes may not be distributed on forums or in social media sites. Can only be given in person. They scan the web looking for posts of each code.
Champions get all of the information and tools they need and are treated very well by the lead for the team. Special treats. Things that make them feel special. Again, we are creating advocates for our program. They need to feel important and that the work they are doing is important to promote our club. Set clear goals and expectations from the beginning. Let them be creative. Listen to their ideas. They will have an idea what may or may not work to motivate people to participate in our events. Make sure they feel recognized and appreciated.
All Solo Callout Group
Looking for nominations for the Wendy Allen Foundation scholarship. Pick two female competitors that with support could do much better with club integration. In general, we are making a larger push to increase women competitors in Solo. More information to come on this.
Look for the Solo Cookbook. Available online. Was created by the Solo Development Coordinators groups. Covers site information, marketing, etc. Car Show in a Box. Printed materials/posters to help with car show displays. SEB plans to hold two town halls. One summer event. One event at Nationals.
Developing an online safety steward training program for regions that are too small or too broke to send multiple people hundreds of miles away for in-person training. Paying way more attention to Solo Matters. Trying to determine why some people are not receiving the correct communications to learn about program like this. Email Randall Prince directly if you are not seeing emails from Solo Matters. There is also a Solo Matters FB page.
Currently working on a Soup to Nuts event organization program. Event planning from start to finish. Online registration, sanctions, online – live timing, 100% of the assets that we need to run an event. Open source. Like I said, Brett Wilson is on the committee of members developing this program. Brian Conners wants NWR to get involved in BETA testing the program, but they are currently on hold until National office hires a Technology Director. Once that happens and we get permission, they would like us to start using and providing feedback on how to make it work the way our region needs. Not complete CF like the current webpage has been received.
Waivers are going to change. we will receive communications about this. We need to discard the older forms and start using the new. There will also be new forms for annual waivers for adults. One form to be signed by registrar or Chief of Waivers. Second form that can be used for notaries.
Minor waivers are also changing. If they are competing in the event, must try to get two parents signature. This is extremely important to protect SCCA in case one of the parents sues after incident. If the minor is ONLY spectating then one parent is okay. This is not ideal, but is acceptable.
If the minor is ONLY a spectator is stays in the marked spectator area they are not required to sign a minor waiver. They will be covered by the “spectator insurance”. Two parents come in with 16 year old son and girlfriend. Parents sign for son, but they will still allow girl but she must stay in spectator area. NOT allowed in any hot zones. Course or Grid, etc.
Minimum age for rides is 12 years old OR 57” inches tall. Insurance company doesn’t like this. They want 12 years only, but SCCA has called out 57” inches, so tall kids can ride.
Creating a hard card for minors and eliminating pink carbon copy sheets.
Coverage from National Program; Event General Liability, and event participant accident. Regions must purchase their own (if something is purchased in region name) – General Liability, Property, Inland/Marine, Business Auto, workers compensation.
We must hold onto signed waivers for 7 years. For minors it is until they are age 18 plus 13 more years. Basically forever.