Howdy from all of us up at the Metroplex Mini club in the DFW area. In case you do not know me , my name is David Mendes, I am the 2013 President of Metroplex Mini, having served as the club vice president in 2012 and I have been a member since 2007.
By now most of you have heard about Minis in the Heart of Texas, but might be unclear as to what it is and whats the point. MITHT (working on a better acronym) is a modification to the Waco run, an even that has occurred for 10 years, where a large group of minis drive all the back roads (mainly from DFW and Houston) to Waco, where we have lunch and talk MINI. We have had as many as 110 people, with a nice average at 100, (2012-101. 2011-103) Lunch has been at The Elite Circle grill in Waco for the past 3 years, which offers to take payment directly and does a nice buffet for us.
This year, I am hoping to modify this event. The Waco Run, will now be just the drive to the event (lunch), which will now be called Minis in the Heart of Texas, which will still be held on the first weekend in January, that follows Year Years day.
MITHT, is a gathering much like MOTD or MITM, but of course its in Texas. My hope is for this event to grow and become a multi day event, like the more well known Minis on the Dragon and Minis in the Mountains. However; for that to occur, the best thing to do is start small and build.
This first year, I am hoping for nothing more than to include all the clubs in Texas and increase the attendance by 1. This way we can take baby steps to grow the event in small ways and bite off to much at once.
I have also been working with MINI USA about supporting this event. I am sure most of you know that Helen Limpawit is no longer our Regional Marketing Manager. We are currently in a state of limbo. The new Regional manager has been hired and will take over in Aug. He is very new the position, so it might take him a while to respond to any of your emails. If you have been contacting Matthew Lynch, I suggest you don’t hold your breath for a reply. I was able to get his boss’s email Craig Phillips, who was very helpful. They are willing to help with the event , but he needs to know what we need from them. Their cash numbers toward new events are low, but he seemed to know a lot about our Save the Wave event this year and is interested in seeing what we do next. Prizes from them are more likely, I am also hoping they are able to hand out some of those nice marketing items that they send to new owners.
I would like to start working with you to make this event bigger and more successful this year and in years to come. For this year we need to get the following hammered out and also throw out ideas for the future.
1. Keep the event at Elite Circle grill or move to another location? (My personal thoughts, we have out grown the Elite Circle grill even at present numbers, its a tight venue) Rick the president of the Waco group might be able to help us there. If we go for another location, we would need ample parking and individual checks. (this has been an issue in the past, finding a place willing to do this for a large event)
2, Having our groups interact – In the past the Houston and DFW groups tend to table up with the people they know. (this year i would like to sit on assigned tables by color of car)
3. Accurate count – this past year, our MM group RSVPd on our site, then a large number went to eat at Rudy’s right next door. This was really embarrassing and costly as the Elite Circle grill charges a 100 fee that I cover and in the past Aaron covered, if we make the RSVP numbers the fee is refunded) So this year, I would really like to avoid that by telling everyone they can eat anywhere but please come to the venue for the event we are trying to build in the future.
4. Prizes – I am really hoping that item 3 is not a problem with raffle items. MINI USA can get us some swag and I am going to hit up the dealerships here to donate to this event, separate from our club. I encourage you all to do the same. Which brings in the the issue of: Do we just pool all the items and raffle or each group gives away the swag from their dealership? I realize the logistics but also know that getting prize donations can be tough after the respective holiday parties.
5. Contacting the Waco Police dept about traffic control – i have calls in on this but have not heard anything back.
6. Austin group – we have not had many attend in the past, but if you need a route on the back roads let me know. I have a friend in the Austin Miata club who can refer you to several maps. Also if posisble , locate people from San Antonio, I have a contact for a sales person at SA mini but no club info.
Next Year Items:
Moving the event to another location – If we are unable to find a new place to have the lunch, we may need to look in another city. College Station would be my next choice. The city has multiple large venues and is used to handling large crowds. The city is generally more flexible with events given the off season of students in January.
Growing the event – more than just Lunch but still thinking small. Maybe a car show? or demonstrations like detailing or stripes? Fun mini events?
This is all I have for now, sorry if some things are not clear as they may be fuzzy in my mind. I wanted to get this email out as we are at the 6 month mark and it is best to communicate early. Please start spreading this event to all your members and really promote it.
If anyone has any input please reply to all, I really want to this to be an event organized by all of the clubs in Texas to show MINI USA that our state really has the best clubs
Hello everyone! this is the start of what i will hope be a new regional event in Texas and bring people from all over.
Minis in the Heart of Texas will be replacing the Waco Run Lunch down in Waco. The Waco Run, will now be the drive to the event.
For this first year we hope to build on our 100 person attendance we usually have. Stilll just a 1 day event, but hoping the event grows as more people attend.
This Jan, the event we will in Waco, as the event grows we may need to move it to another city in order to accommodate the number of people.
Also the Minis in the Heart of Texas will be a club sponsored event, and I am hoping the other clubs in Texas will join with us to equally make this event a success. This is about bringing all of us together and having fun, the January date assures that we should not be conflicting with any other major event, on the mini calendar. It also may help us meet with other people around the state and country.
What to look forward to that is different from the Waco Run – this first year not much. However, we will be grouping tables by Car color. This way we are forced to interact outside our social circles of our respected clubs. We hope to have games and prizes from the various sponsors.
Please feel free to share your thoughts. This thread will be modified with updated info as it comes up. Such as Lunch location (if anyone knows waco and can recommend a new place with LOTS of parking).
(note: the Waco run drive to the event will continue to not be a club sponsored event)
- President of Metroplex MINI Club