Saturday, November 19, 2005

LNC Meeting Report - Convention

The LNC received a presentation from Terry Quick, our convention consultant hired by Dixon. He has over 20 years experience running conventions of all sizes all over the world. Quick has already completed a site inspection, a working budget, a marketing analysis, draft vendor agreements and the business meeting arrangements. Our cost for Quick’s services will total $36,000 plus any expenses or outside labor. His office location in Seattle allows him easy access to the Portland convention site, helping to keep his expenses low.

Quick reported the work still left to be done includes the convention website, mailing and marketing, and setting prices. He says we need to have the pricing completed as soon as possible and get the convention mailing out in December or January.

Dixon distributed initial convention budget projections. The working agenda has committee meetings scheduled for Wednesday through Friday, June 28-30, with time for various constituent or community caucuses on Friday. The business meeting would be on Saturday and Sunday, July 1-2. The Torch Club event is tentatively scheduled for Monday breakfast, July 3, followed by the first meeting of the new LNC, with a goal to complete all business by noon.

Dixon also distributed a sheet of revenue projections. While these figures are not yet confirmed, this document projected the charge for a Gold package of $300 for early registration and $340 after the early bird deadline. Silver packages would sell for $250 or $285, and the cost for Bronze packages are estimated currently at $230 and $260.

They have also retained the Basic Delegate package instituted at the last convention at rates of $45 or $55. There would be a Speakers Only package of $115 or $135. A la carte tickets include a projected $175 price for the banquet, $60 for the opening reception and $45 for a breakfast event.

The package price projections are designed to allow us to break even on the convention. The document estimates total revenue from registrations at $117,790, based on 514 total packages sold.

The Convention Committee for some time has been Dixon and Lark. Chris Farris was also on this committee, his seat remaining vacant since his resignation from the party. Region 2 Alternate Richard Burke (Oregon) was selected to replace Farris. Burke had noted the difficulty of communicating with the convention organizers regarding the extensive volunteer help being organized by the local party, so his appointment should go very far in solving that problem.

Lark said he hopes to have a greater emphasis on training and workshops for activists, and far less emphasis on speakers. Burke reported that the Oregon LP was already planning their own track of breakout sessions. Dixon said currently they are planning on only two speaker slots, both to hold down costs and allow more time for business. Nelson pointed out in that case there may not be any financial sense to offer a speakers only convention package.

Convention expenses are currently being paid out of general funds, since nothing was budgeted for the convention in 2005. Originally the revenue was supposed to go into a separate bank account, and the general fund would be repaid once money started coming in. However at the meeting it was revealed that the cost for setting up this separate account was estimated to be $1,200, which was deemed too high an administrative expense.

Carling moved an authorization of $15,000 in convention expenses for 2005, which passed by a voice vote. Dixon promised to send the LNC a monthly report on convention finances.

Secretary Bob Sullentrup submitted extensive documentation of several delegate and affiliate convention resources. These include a Delegation Chair’s Manual, a Convention FAQ for delegates, and development of various software to assist the Credentials Committee, the amendment process and vote tabulation. The documents are meticulous in detail while being very clearly organized. They will be extremely useful in educating our delegates and managing the floor process, helping to create a more productive convention experience for all, especially Sullentrup. Dixon said he is extremely grateful knowing that our Secretary is on the case and that his extensive convention responsibilities will be discharged properly.


Anonymous famularo said...

The LNC report said:
"Our cost for Quick’s [convention] services will total $36,000 plus any expenses or outside labor."

Unless an efficient project accounting system is put into place long before the convention, there will be no way to tell if the convention made or lost money. Based on past history over the last 10 years, the party will lose money on the convention. Why? Because no one is acting as an entrpenure and responsible project manager. It will be run by a committee, paid staff and consultants.

If it is impossible for the LPHQ staff to file accurate FEC reports or supply the treasurer with timely accounting reports, why would anyone expect the convention to be managed effciently and prfitably?

12:01 PM  

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