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Opting out of the banquet dinner


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We have shot multi day shoots all over the western US since we started shooting. There are a very few shoots that really have excellent formal dinners or even excellent dinners without being too formal. Those we have gone back to. Others (over half) are the opposite with terrible dinners in the evening. So as a result we usually do not attend dinner events and do something else in the evenings instead. Those few with excellent dinners we go back to. Sometimes we are skipping meals we paid for and other times the shoots make the evening dinners optional-like Winter Range and others. What is wrong with some dinners, well poor or cold food, burnt food, undercooked food, inadequate seating, inadequate lighting, too cold held outdoors, very very late food service, later dinner schedule-us old folks eat pretty early, expectation that every attendee be in formal dress, etc.

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The "must be present to win" stuff is just silly. That pard who may have had to duck out for a real good reason (maybe a kid or a dog got sick, or wife/husband is dead tired), paid the same fees others did. Don't use your prizes as some way to pad your egos about how many folks turned out for a dinner. Unless the caterer is kicking you back money if you get over 200 heads to buy the dinner ticket to attend the prize drawing with a meal attached.

 

Door prizes, drawn prizes, guns given away - if the entry was free because it was covered by match fees, honor the first ticket drawn, even if you have to line up an extra FFL fee and shipping to send a Sharps to someone 14 states away. Tickets that had to be bought - even more important to award prize to first ticket drawn.

 

Hmmmmm, finally got that off my chest.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

VERY well said Joe. I hope Match Directors are paying attention!

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Thanks for all the opinions so far. It seems they changed a might since last we discussed it with more folks wanting a choice.

It looks like some folks agree it's a good idea to have awards and dinner the same night. It also seems to be important that the meal be worth waiting for. Thanks to all that praised the chow at the Chorro Valley Regulators, Western Regional.

 

Our dinner has evolved over the years but started with the original idea when our club was young, "This is OUR annual and Our party so let's have a good one!" Our dinner has always included a live band following it with a dance floor available. In the early years, The Riders of the Purple Sage entertained us a few times.

We started out with a premier catered dinner even though we live in the heart of California grilling country. We did and do now have china, real tablecloths and napkins, real silverware, and centerpieces. It's housed in a very large tent that is rented and last year may have held 450 people. The caterer comes to us, the dinner is on-site within stumbling distance of your tent or the Howling Wolf Saloon. The menu includes Prime Rib and Shrimp Scampi, all cooked to perfection. The appropriate salads, pasta dishes, breads and rolls are also served. When you're done you can enjoy cheesecake, carrot cake or maybe, choklit cake. Wash it down with free non-alcoholic beverages. Now all you have to do is loosen your belt, light up a ceegar, and wait for the music to start. This costs us $35 for which we charge $35. Juniors eat for less even though some Juniors can outeat me.

Thanks again for all your input. If you're within driving distance, maybe you should come see us at the Western Regional this year.

 

Fillmore

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The "must be present to win" stuff is just silly. That pard who may have had to duck out for a real good reason (maybe a kid or a dog got sick, or wife/husband is dead tired), paid the same fees others did. Don't use your prizes as some way to pad your egos about how many folks turned out for a dinner. Unless the caterer is kicking you back money if you get over 200 heads to buy the dinner ticket to attend the prize drawing with a meal attached.

 

Door prizes, drawn prizes, guns given away - if the entry was free because it was covered by match fees, honor the first ticket drawn, even if you have to line up an extra FFL fee and shipping to send a Sharps to someone 14 states away. Tickets that had to be bought - even more important to award prize to first ticket drawn.

 

Hmmmmm, finally got that off my chest.

 

Good luck, GJ

"Pad your egos..."

 

Really????

 

So...we can't have a difference of opinion on this while maintaining our integrity...interesting.

 

I think the present to win should stay...but...guess I'm just padding my ego.

 

Perhaps there's a valid reason to make being present to win a necessity...

 

Phantom

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There is a match I will be attending soon. My son has started shooting this year and he will be competing with me. My wife, his wife, and his two daughters will be going along. They are my guests. Extra banquet tickets are $25 each. So my son and I get fed with our entry fees, and I spent an extra $100 for 4 extra banquet tickets for my wife, his wife and two daughters.

 

Of course we would get a better dinner for $25 a head at a restaurant, but I'm thinking about the memories my two granddaughters will have sharing the moment with their dad and papa and grandma. A few bucks will get to stay with the sponsoring club for their trouble.

 

The extra dinners were optional, and I bought them. Your mileage may vary, it was worth it to me.

 

And I'm not rich.

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"Pad your egos..."

 

Really????

 

So...we can't have a difference of opinion on this while maintaining our integrity...interesting.

 

I think the present to win should stay...but...guess I'm just padding my ego.

 

Perhaps there's a valid reason to make being present to win a necessity...

 

Phantom

Hello Phantom,

 

I too was taken aback by that comment and just chose to not comment until you "broke the ice." :o

 

I've had my opinions called "silly" and I didn't like that much either.

 

Regards,

 

"Just Allie"

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If I'm at the dinner, then must be present to win sounds good to me at the time.

 

If I'm not at the dinner it doesn't.

 

But if the major door prizes are described as everyone shooting the match has a chance to win blah blah, and then it's given away at the dinner and you must be there to win, then that ain't right in my opinion.

 

But if a match wants to use some of the door prizes as a way to increase dinner attendance, and makes it clear in the match promotional info, that's their choice.

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Over 1100 views and only 44 post . But what is noticeable a strong majority wants a choice .( IF ) a match uses awards and or door prizes to fill the seats of the dinner then isn't your customer base sayn they don't want the dinner . So why do the dinner in the first place . I would also add that while Fillmore's dinner sounds great it would be a bit pricy for some of the shooting families I know .

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If I'm at the dinner, then must be present to win sounds good to me at the time.

 

If I'm not at the dinner it doesn't.

 

But if the major door prizes are described as everyone shooting the match has a chance to win blah blah, and then it's given away at the dinner and you must be there to win, then that ain't right in my opinion.

 

But if a match wants to use some of the door prizes as a way to increase dinner attendance, and makes it clear in the match promotional info, that's their choice.

 

 

Damn if you don't make a lot of sense at times Grizz.

 

 

EC

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I ain't skipped the banquet at any match I've ever shot in. If it were an option, I'd still pay and attend. I think it could get VERY difficult to plan for a nice venue and nice meal if you don't know well ahead of time how many will be attending.

A lot of it depends on the match. At some I have gone out to eat after even paying the money.

If all meals were like this years Bayou Blast. Folks would be beating down the doors to eat.

Thanks Possum

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I have been to a lot of matches, most I could have done better at my RV. Some I didn't eat much. I like cooking but it is easier to let someone else make the mess and clean up after a day of shooting. I like the choice, but I always opt in.

I wouldn't miss the dinner at the Western Regional.... it's good!

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Well going in to our 8th year RJ Law and I can tell you that if you have not had to plan and organize these events then it probably looks sway easier than you think. I will put our formal dinner/awards banquet at Wolverine Rangers Range War (SASS MI State Championship) up against anyones. We feed you, do our raffles and giveaways and awards and have you done in under 2 1/2 hours. We have to reserve the facility 11 months in advance. We also have to guarantee a specific number of plates, which means that if we guarantee 300 plates and only get 250 people we pay for those 50 plates anyway. We do listen to our shooters and our shooters have told us that they like the formal meal and banquet. For MANY of our shooter this is their BIG match of the year, and the banquet is an important part of it. One year I asked if folks would be interested in a at the range bbq type get together instead and I received death threats LOL. Do what works for your venue. For us the formal banquet works well.

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Well going in to our 8th year RJ Law and I can tell you that if you have not had to plan and organize these events then it probably looks sway easier than you think. I will put our formal dinner/awards banquet at Wolverine Rangers Range War (SASS MI State Championship) up against anyones. We feed you, do our raffles and giveaways and awards and have you done in under 2 1/2 hours. We have to reserve the facility 11 months in advance. We also have to guarantee a specific number of plates, which means that if we guarantee 300 plates and only get 250 people we pay for those 50 plates anyway. We do listen to our shooters and our shooters have told us that they like the formal meal and banquet. For MANY of our shooter this is their BIG match of the year, and the banquet is an important part of it. One year I asked if folks would be interested in a at the range bbq type get together instead and I received death threats LOL. Do what works for your venue. For us the formal banquet works well.

It helps that the food at the range war banquet is very good. The venue is great and with two food lines the wait is not that long.

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Well going in to our 8th year RJ Law and I can tell you that if you have not had to plan and organize these events then it probably looks sway easier than you think. I will put our formal dinner/awards banquet at Wolverine Rangers Range War (SASS MI State Championship) up against anyones. We feed you, do our raffles and giveaways and awards and have you done in under 2 1/2 hours. We have to reserve the facility 11 months in advance. We also have to guarantee a specific number of plates, which means that if we guarantee 300 plates and only get 250 people we pay for those 50 plates anyway. We do listen to our shooters and our shooters have told us that they like the formal meal and banquet. For MANY of our shooter this is their BIG match of the year, and the banquet is an important part of it. One year I asked if folks would be interested in a at the range bbq type get together instead and I received death threats LOL. Do what works for your venue. For us the formal banquet works well.

+1.....I was involved in organizing a large match for quite a few years. The "Banquet/Dinner" is the biggest pain in the rear BY FAR. I would rather put posses together twice over than have to deal with planning and executing the Banquet.

 

Having been on that end I try to always support the Banquet....even if I don't attend I buy the ticket.

 

Remember....VOLUNTEERS plan these events. They do the best they can......Cut them some slack.......Nobody says "I'm gonna spend hours and hours planning and executing the banquet and I hope it sucks for everyone".............stop by a burger joint if your meal sucked or you didn't get enough.......and if you feel like you MUST tell someone how crappy they did at putting on the event wait a few weeks and let them calm down a bit.......please. I had to learn that lesson the hard way as well.

 

The MEMORIES are worth the price of admission.....who really cares what the food is like.

 

Stan

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Seems a lot of what I've read is "If the food is good"..

 

I've been to some banquet dinners where the food is cold.. not enough to go around... bad menu..

I've been to some GREAT banquet dinners that I thoroughly enjoyed the evening..

 

Can't name 'em all but some that come to mind are..

Tennessee State Wartrace (held off sight)

Illinois State Kaskaskia Cowboys Sparta (held off sight)

Fall Roundup.. Illowa Irregulars MIlan (held on sight)

 

Rance ;)

Thinkin' yeah.. I've missed some :blush:

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I think the key thing Deuce said and Fillmore is doing is poll you customer base. I'm all for majority rule whether I agree or not.

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About the only big match I make any more is the Missouri State and Friday and Saturday night banquet is included in the price. I enjoy the meals as I can visit with people I only get to see that 1 time each year. But I would like the option to save a little money and not attend.

 

I do have 1 problem with any Banquet, while I don't look the part I"m disabled. Due to many broken bones and joint injuries I can't walk far, or stand for long.

 

Long lines or out, I'm either 1st. in line, or last and as stated in a post above the choice of food can be limited when your last

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Okay, so I'll be devils advocate. Nothing about this sport is cheap! The shooting part or the running a club part. Most major matches are the clubs big fundraisers for the year. The more people in the seats at the banquet, the more raffle tickets sold, the more money the club raises and on state matches and above more money for the SASS scholarship. All of which ultimately help us the shooters have better places to shoot!

 

 

All that being said I don not support the thought of a club jacking up entry fees as a pure money grab.

 

That is all, carry on.

 

Whiskey Kid

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Well going in to our 8th year RJ Law and I can tell you that if you have not had to plan and organize these events then it probably looks sway easier than you think. I will put our formal dinner/awards banquet at Wolverine Rangers Range War (SASS MI State Championship) up against anyones. We feed you, do our raffles and giveaways and awards and have you done in under 2 1/2 hours. We have to reserve the facility 11 months in advance. We also have to guarantee a specific number of plates, which means that if we guarantee 300 plates and only get 250 people we pay for those 50 plates anyway. We do listen to our shooters and our shooters have told us that they like the formal meal and banquet. For MANY of our shooter this is their BIG match of the year, and the banquet is an important part of it. One year I asked if folks would be interested in a at the range bbq type get together instead and I received death threats LOL. Do what works for your venue. For us the formal banquet works well.

 

Some of the people who do the planing have no clue what they are doing to start with and have no business doing it. That is one of the things that make for a good or bad dinner, me I know I do not have the skill to do it right so I don't I just help where I can. I have a hard enough time figuring things out for 10 people. Put me in charge and not only will there be enough to eat at the dinner but everybody will be taking home doggy bags.

 

We have a lady that shoots with us, she does catering. Her food is always good and is as hot as it can be for being catered. She is the first one to criticize I actually seen her take charge of one dinner that was not going well and got people throw the lines and feed, she does all the dinners at our club

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I generally skip the Banquet and ask one of my buddies to pick up any award I may have won.

 

IMHO there is only One good reason to have a Banquet....

And that is to visit with friends.

But I've been visiting with friends already for the last two or three days!

 

So once the shooting is done If I'm going to the Banquet what do I have look forward to..........

 

1. More visiting with friends..... Good

2. A several hour wait with nothing to do when instead I could be well down the road back to Home...... Bad

3. 75% chance that I will be served a meal not worth eating..... Bad

4. Then another night in a motel or camping.... Bad

5. Or a long drive home that starts late at night..... Very Bad

 

 

Hummmmmm.... Looks to me that the Bad outweighs the Good.... See Ya'll at the Next Shoot ;)

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Yes, I would like the option of not attending. Frankly, after a hot day on the range, I prefer a nice

shower, shorts and a T shirt (no cowboy banquet and especially dinner in my dirty, sweaty cowboy clothes!) and a pizza or sandwich while resting on the bed of my hotel room watching tv or a movie.

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There are many folks with medical and food allergies that can't have the great food offered. ;)

So-What's wrong with giv'n the shooter a choice IF they want(CAN HAVE)the event food or not? :wacko:

WHY pay for the meal if you can't eat it? :o

LG

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IMO, at many big matches, for reasons that have already been explained, it is not possible to give people a choice lest the banquet that is very much an important piece of the puzzle that draws people to the match would not be possible. I would venture to guess that the majority of matches that offer a banquet do not have $35 per head invested.

 

Here's how a banquet can die and the associated match goes with it: The cost is $15 if everyone is counted on to be there. The option to opt out is given, some drop out and the cost per person goes to $25...which causes more to drop out...which causes the fee to go to $35...and the dropping out continues until there's no banquet and the important piece of the puzzle is gone.

 

Ambush here in Alabama is just such a match where the banquet is part of the persona of the match. The option is not given to opt out...partly because the cost per person would hardly change the fee...but it would certainly change the event. Does every match have to be built on the banquet model? No. A new match is coming up soon in Alabama (Breakout at Brock's Gap) where there will be no banquet and the entire fee is, interestingly enough, $35. Based upon current registration, It is anticipated to be a success, but if cost alone is what drives folks, it would be filled by now.

 

For an even different model, take a look at Comin' at Cha in English, TX where the approach to food is to include everything, even lunch. The cost is more than most matches I attend, but people pay eagerly because they have a good time. I dare say that had this match model been presented to a committee, it would have been shot down. With the name removed, the Wire would have it dead in a heartbeat.

 

While it might appear that the majority on the Wire is in favor of the opt out option, the fact is folks will pay for the enjoyment factor. Not every match model must be the same.

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:FlagAm:

:FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm:

Definitely would like the option. I could grill one heck of a steak at the campground and still be ahead. Last fall I paid for two dinners at a shoot and they ran out of meat. Several of us didn't even get an apology let alone compensated for it in any way. I'd rather take my chances on my own and pay less.

 

This happened to us at a state championship about 4 or 5 years back. And there were 6 of us who came a long way and only got some salad and some poor excuse for meat. We weren't even able to sit at a table INSIDE the hall! :angry:

I don't like to complain about thing like this because I know that $hit happens sometimes.

But we were not so much as given a complimentary drink.

 

So yes, I would like the option of skipping the banquet. We like to go out and try the local food when we take road trips.

 

Mustang Gregg

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Some logic seems to be missing in this discussion. Club hosts a major match of some kind. In the process it acquires some very nice gifts from vendors to be distributed to some of the shooters via some means. Club has trouble getting enough attendees at their banquet/dinner get together, so they edict that only those shooters that will attend and or pay for the rubber chicken dinner will be eligible for the nice vendor gifts. To be fair, if you have to be present to win, only those that pay to attend the banquet/dinner should pay extra to be eligible for the gifts OR all shooters should be eligible for the gifts whether they attend the banquet/dinner or not. This could be done by selling raffle tickets to only those attending the banquet/dinner for example. If the club sells raffle ticket to all shooters ie during registration, then they better be very clear that you MUST pay for dinner also or you are wasting your money.

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How about this.....

 

Instead of a formal/informal banquet, how about just a cocktail ( or beer and wine) "reception" on Saturday evening with snacks and finger foods. Have it about 4:30(ish) and hand out the awards. That way those who want to get on the road that night can, thise that want to go to town for a restaurant meal ca, those that can grill a great steak at their RV can, and those that want to stay for the Top Gun shoot off on Sunday morning can.

 

What it comes down to is the banquet meal has to be good. Real good. And comfortable for everyone to be at....seating and such. Chorro Valley does a GREAT job, but they are using an honest to God REAL catering company who knows what they're doing.

 

I've organized these sort of things before and THEY ARE NOT EASY! If you're going to have club members cook and serve the dinner, only do what can be executed fast and easy....but tasty. A great hamburger is much better than a dried up "BBQ" chicken breast. At our local archery club, the annual shoot includes a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread. Time it right and it's easy to do. And over 400 are served.

 

And if your going to cook your own banquet....check out Adobe Walls at Faultline Shootist Society. They serve several meals throughout the weekend, all are tasty and hot, with plenty for everyone. OK, so they have a large amount of Clampers in the club and they do the cooking......BTW if you want good, fast, hot, tasty food, get the local Clamper chapter to do it. They have a ton of experience at it

 

And yes Brother Ramrod......Floyd is the exception. I get it. Jeeeeesh.

 

 

EC

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First off, your banquet cost not only covers the cost of the food but also of the venue, where generally the awards for the Shoot are given. I personally think it is an insult to the home club NOT to attend the awards unless you have a very compelling reason not to attend. This is the time to thank all who worked so hard, to wear your fancy duds, to visit with your friends you didn't see much of during the shooting, to get to know new people and have some fun. Door prizes should go to those attending, IMHO, they are usually smaller gifts and why should the home club have to bother trying to get them to you if you can't bother to attend? Raffle prizes are another situation, and usually you do not have to be present to win. I have had food that was great, some not so great, etc. but that is not why I attend the Banquet. Sometimes I am too busy to eat anyway.

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After thinking on it.

 

Don't like to be nickel and dimed.

Just give me a price and be done with it.

 

If there is something I do not want to attend. That's on me. It was there for me to

and was part of the match in whole. If I don't go. My loss.

 

 

And personally. I like the must be present to win.

On prizes.

Even though it has cost me a gun or two in the past.

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Dinner should be optional. My wife doesn't shoot so I'm most often on the the road after the last stage to spend some time with Momma

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