The 2016 1st Signal Brigade Association (1SBA) Reunion was attended by 277 members. This was the largest number attending a reunion. Jerry Petersen and Dave Wilson conducted and analyzed the survey. Dave Wilson’s analysis determined how this reunion was so successful. It is something to use as the 1SBA plans its next reunions.
Larry Schumann’s vision on where we should go for our reunion as well as providing mentorship to develop a request for service (RFS) from available vendor was essential to getting the right vendor in place. His recommendation to follow up with a planning visit ensured that there would be a successful event. The RFS used at the Branson reunion should be a template for future reunion.
It was determined that the 1SBA would manage attendees and their tours from the 1SBA database. Danny Potts once again, did this. He coordinated a myriad of details e.g., number of attendees, tours paid, cancellations, providing information to EMO, receiving reservation information from hotel, web site reunion advertisement etc. It has been recommended that these functions be included in the RFP for future reunions.
Reunion registration began on 7 September 2016 at the Radisson Hotel in Branson, Missouri. Our event management operator (EMO), Gathering Plus lead by Pam Brown provided registration support for information packet, name tags, and tickets for all our guest. Yvonne Costales was the POC at the Radisson.
Dave and Elaine Harris took pictures of all attendees. Dave was instrumental for coordinating Dave the photographer for our event. The group picture was very professional and it only took 20 minutes to get three different pictures of three different groups from 277 attendees. This was truly remarkable.
Stan and Anita Grieco distributed the 144 coffee mugs which were ordered by our attending members. Coffee mugs not claimed or sold were returned to Dennis Byrnes. However, before the reunion was completed all coffee mugs had been sold. Jiyoung Keenan oriented the recent arrivals on the location of the hospitality and merchandise suites. This worked well and should be incorporated with the EMO.
Danny Potts reconciled late registrations, no shows, and distribution of late registration event tickets from the no shows. This was a critical feature of our registration. As we move forward and possibly thinking about the EMO assuming this role, this support will be critical again but this time done by the EMO.
Dennis and Elaine Byrnes collect over $3,900.00 in sales which Dennis advised is the highest amount ever received for merchandise.
Bernie insured the ballroom audio and visual equipment was delivered as expected. He coordinated the Honor Guard from the local area. It worked flawlessly both the speaker and the dual screens.
Bernie put in much detail work to make the Banquet a success.
Bob Van Pelt developed a list for members who needed rides to the airport in Springfield, Mo. This was a success and it was a program that wasn’t developed until the reunion started. It is a program that I recommend we continue at future reunions.
The hospitality suite(s) and at one time we had 5 of them were fully supported with the procurement and transportation of food and drink by the Dan Jett and Pat. There was some unplanned augmentation to help them. For future reunions, a team of people needs to be in place to support this effort.
EMO supported the tours and transportation to and from these venues. They were on time and EMO agents were always available to answer questions or provide information. This was a primary contributor to a highly successful reunion.
Pete Kind chaired the Business Meeting and provided a video of our founder Emmett Paige’s and spoke to his induction into the CECOM Hall of Fame.
The Radisson hotel sent us a bill for $350 dollars after the reunion. Most of this was mitigated by Pam Brown and it appears the only cost we may have incurred was the cost for the Audio and Video equipment in the hospitality room $40.00 per Dan Jett. At this point I am not sure if we paid the Radisson for this service.
Lastly, but most importantly, Pete Kind observed this reunion was different than those of the past. People were not sitting with the groups they were familiar. People were meeting each other across the tables for the first time. The conversations were lively. The 1SBA members were no longer fragmented but were becoming one with each other. In my opinion, this alone was the top accomplishment of our reunion. We were becoming a family.