Hosting a BVA National Convention
by Dale Stamper
Early in 2012, the Spokane Inland Empire Regional Group began exploring the possibility of hosting the BVA 68th National Convention in 2013. After much consideration, we voted to put in a bid at the convention in Galveston. The constituency of the membership present decided to award us the bid. This started us on a very exciting and challenging journey.
As the Convention Chair, I was grateful for a great team of workers ready to do their part to make the convention successful. Committees were immediately formed to divide the work. These groups included: George and Linda Davis as head of the Activities Committee, Jim and Marsha Harrington taking charge of the Hospitality Committee, Martin and Charlene Lund as supervisors of the Fundraising effort, and the following additional volunteers: Gerald and Sandra Willis, and Tom and Debbie Alvarez. It was essential to have a good team in place and to communicate regularly.
Along the way we would meet together to share updates, encourage one another, and make suggestions.
All the work paid off during the week of August 19-23 when guests began arriving at the convention. Everything seemed to go smoothly at the airport. Participants in the planned tours of the Spokane area appeared to enjoy them. The staff at the hotel and the volunteers looked out for the comfort of the BVA members and guests.
One thing we had focused on rather heavily was the hospitality room. We wanted it to be a great experience for all in attendance at the convention. The room was kept open throughout the day and provided a place to unwind and visit. In the evening, the mild weather allowed members to congregate on the terrace outside the room.
I encourage other regional groups to consider hosting a national convention in the future. Yes, it is a lot of work. However, a good team cooperating together and encouraging one another makes the effort easier. Hosting the convention proved to be a rewarding time for the Spokane Inland Empire Regional Group. The experience most assuredly knit us together and made us a stronger and more unified group.