LD SIG Local Meeting Handbook

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Revision 1, January 23, 2007
Seth Neumann

Contents

Acknowledgements

This work was primarily produced by the LD SIG Local Meetings committee, consisting of Seth Neumann, chairman and Craig Bisgeier, Ted D’Iorio, Andrew Keeney and Scott Perry. Additionally it was reviewed by the LD SIG board, The OP SIG board, the (San Francisco) BayRails Committee and San Francisco Bay Area PCR/LD/OP SIG Annual Meet committee, particular thanks to David Adams and Ed Loizeaux of the Area PCR/LD/OP SIG Annual Meet committee for the Budget, Registration and food sections. Michael Pennie contributed to the section on Ops Weekends. In addition we’d like to thank the Clinicians, Layout Owners and Participants, without who these events would not happen!

Introduction

This document provides guidance and useful information for organizing SIG meetings and activities at other than the NMRA National. This document is not to be taken as a canonized set of rules, but merely a collection of suggestions, useful experience and best practices: as the organizer of a regional/local meet you will want to apply the guidelines to your local situation. The successful project manager will borrow and adapt as necessary to meet local requirements.

The LD SIG (and to a lesser extent the OP SIG, to whom this is also addressed, as the authors are active in both organizations and both SIGs serve an overlapping membership base) primarily serves its membership through it’s publications and a robust program held with the annual NMRA convention. Unfortunately, only about 10-15% of the membership can attend the National in any given year and about half of them are “regulars” leaving perhaps 80% of the total membership without personal contact more than once every 10 years or so, when the National convention is local to them. Local meets are powerful tools for delivering service to members in the absence of a national meet in the area.

Local meets provide the following benefits to members:

  • Consulting services
  • Education through clinic and panel discussion programs
  • Opportunity to meet fellow modelers concerned with similar design issues
  • Opportunity to become active in work/construction groups and operating groups
  • General integration into the modeling and rail fan community

Benefits to the SIG:

  • Delivery of service demonstrates performance on our 501c(3) obligation as an educational institution
  • Providing local and in person service will attract more new members.
  • Creating a venue for social interactions helps member retention
  • Write-ups of clinics and panels at regional/local meets provides content for the SIG’s national publications
  • Expanding local activities creates a larger base of experience and expertise which can be shared with other regional/local groups and the national convention committee

Target Audience of Meets

  • SIG members
  • Potential SIG members

Generally participation is open to current members of the sponsoring organizations as well as anyone interested. Local concerns may require restrictions on attendance.

Leadership

Overall support is provided by the LD SIG Local Activities Committee. The committee is made of people who have participated in organizing a Local meet or are planning to do so. The committee will respond to requests from local groups and try to identify local coordinators in regions where we have membership to support a meet but there is no local meet.

Volunteer Support Process

We intend to solicit local volunteers in the LDJ, DO and on the lists. As local groups step forward we will provide the following support services:

  • Provide this document
  • Provide a Local Activities Committee member to be an “executive sponsor” and mentor the local group through the planning process. It would be best if the sponsor could commit to attending the event in person.
  • LD SIG may provide seed money to help local groups get started

We will try to make contact with NRMA Regions and recruit local members to lead local SIG efforts at their conventions.

General kinds of Meets

Table 1: Meet types:

Type of Meet Participants Suggested Activities Joint With Duration
In-home <20 Meet & Greet, Show & Tell Usually SIG only 4-8 hours
Roundtable at Convention <30 Meet & Greet, Show & Tell Local NMRA region 2-3 hours
Free-standing meet (incl OP SIG) 30 – 150 (typ) Welcome Dinner

Clinic Program

Discussion Panels

Birds-of-a-Feather

Consulting Program

Design Challenge

Layout Tours

OP Sessions

Prototype tours

OP SIG, NMRA Region, solicit other likely sponsors 1 – 2 days
Meet with Hist Soc or RPM 30 – 250 (typ) Clinic Program

Discussion Panels

Birds-of-a-Feather

Layout Tours

OP Sessions

Prototype tours

Hist Socs with local presence 2- 4 days
SIG Track at NMRA Regional 50 Sig/300 total Clinic Program

Discussion Panels

Layout Tours

OP Sessions

Prototype tours

Local NMRA region 1-3 days
Operations Weekend 20 – 150 OP Sessions

Clinic Program

Layout tours

Event at local Hobby Shop

Usually organized by a local group of operators who are loosely connected with OP SIG 2-3 days
NMRA National 150/1,500 All of the above plus

SIG tour and Picnic

SIG banquet

SIG room activities

NMRA – covered separately but many of the same activities are covered Week
Event coordinated with train show 30/100s – 1,000s Meet & Greet

Show & Tell

Clinic Program

Consulting Program

Train show promoter 1 – 2 days



Process and Procedure to be Applied to the Meets above

Finances

Most of these events are fairly low overhead until you get into renting halls and a lot of AV equipment. Our advice is to keep it modest, leverage public and charitable organizations for facilities and see if members can borrow projectors from other organizations (some of the historical societies and NRMA regions own projectors). The donation request should be designed to cover expenses and provide some seed money for next year’s event. The LD SIG may elect to provide seed money to help a local group get started. I’ve included typical financials for the Bay Area Regional meet for guidance:

PCR LD/OP SIG Meet Financials

2004 2005 2006
Registration
Pre-Registrations 119 107 110
Pre-Registrations who showed 98 82 93
Walk-Ups 22 12 13
Total Attendance 120 94 106
Pre-Registration no show: 21 25 17
Paid Attendees 111 90 104 (3)
SBHA Complimentary: 1 1 1
Very late arrivals 4 2 1 (5)
Est. # people missed in rush 4 1 1
Op Sessions
# Hosting Layouts 6
# Ops slots 62
# SIG Guest Operators 60-70 60-70 62
Cash Flow
Cash from Registration $ 555 450 530
Seed $ from previous year 50
Handouts/Mailings
-174 -185 -100 (2)
-2 -20 -113 (2)
Name Tags etc -20 -20 -28 (2)
Refreshments -228 -186 -175 (2)
tubs -23
Seed $ for next year -50
Donation to SBHS -55 -50 -50
Donation to NMRA -26 -50
Net Cash Total From Meet $ 0 -34 (1) 64 (4)
Expense per attendee
Announcement mailout -$1.63 -$2.39 -$0.94 21%
Handouts & name tags at meet -$1.33 30%
Refreshements -$1.90 -$1.98 -$1.65 38%
SBHS Donation -$0.46 -$0.53 -$0.47 11%
Total -$3.99 -$4.90 -$4.40

Location and Logistics

Geographical location will depend on the presence of a host committee, but suitable venues include homes, Model Railroad clubs, community centers, schools, church meeting rooms, museums and hotels, depending on the scope of the event (see table 1). A “railroady” venue such as a club in an old depot is a nice touch if space is adequate.

Sites should have the following accommodations/ features:

  • Adequate seating for expected attendance
  • Adequate (preferably free) parking
  • In large meets, rooms for break outs, consulting, BOFs and displays
  • AV facilities including sound, screens, projectors, power
  • Permission to provide refreshments and facilities for providing them
  • Proximity to suitable restaurants or provision to bring food in
  • Consider handicap accessibility

Layout Tours and Op Sessions

One member of the local committee should organize the layout tours. These are usually selected on the basis of :

  • Overall quality
  • Innovative design or construction
  • Host’s ability to document design process, prototype
  • Accessibility and parking (don’t send 30 cars up a winding, single lane mountain road at night)
  • Note where layouts are not handicap accessible
  • insurance – see below
  • Provide comprehensive descriptions (use the LD SIG tour guides from the NMRA nationals. It is important that attendees know what they are going to see before committing to traveling a considerable distance.
  • Maps, maps, maps and instructions! Be sure they work: have someone who doesn’t know where the layouts are test drive them without benefit of NAV! Beware of last minute construction and road work that may affect the directions.
  • See layout selection criteria in the exhibits

Operating Sessions

  • This can be done by the layout tour coordinator or another individual
  • Layouts should be known to run well and have at least 3 prior op sessions with the regular crew before opening up to an event like this
  • The committee may want to request a private session with the owner and some of the regulars if the layout is not known to them
  • Very small layouts may cause carpooling problems and are more prone to problems due to last minute cancellations
  • Provide comprehensive descriptions (use the LD SIG tour guides from the NMRA nationals as an example and use the selection rubric below. It is important that attendees know what they are going to see before committing to traveling a considerable distance.)
  • Maps, maps, maps and instructions! Be sure they work: have someone who doesn’t know where the layouts are test drive them without benefit of NAV! Beware of last minute construction and road work that may affect the directions.
  • See layout selection criteria in the exhibits

Clinic Selection

Generally the most popular clinics are those that cover the evolution of a design from a prototype or fee-lance “Givens and Druthers” through the development of a layout design to an operating plan. Other favorites are discussions of new technology (DCC, JMRI), new construction techniques and industry modeling.

List of previous clinic topics from the Bay Area meet:

  • A Tale of Two Layouts (compare and contrast)
  • Bay Area Scenes in a Garage
  • Yosemite Valley Paperwork
  • Unistrut Bench work
  • WP Oakland 3rd St Depot
  • Homabed Update
  • DCC for Ops/Design for DCC
  • Update on Steel Bench work
  • Montana Pacific Revisited
  • Multi deck layout construction
  • DCC conversion of the Durlin Branch
  • Changes in the Santa Cruz Northern
  • How to operate
  • Ops for Dummies
  • DCC Ops considerations
  • Getting a permit for excavating a train room
  • Lego Train Operations
  • NYO&W Kingston Branch
  • Variations on the timesaver
  • Getting an existing layout ready to operate
  • UP, NP, and YVT in Eastern Washington
  • WP & SN in Marysville
  • Telephones for Operations
  • Fire safety concerns in MR design
  • Port Costa modular layout
  • SP in Lathrop
  • Salt Lake Expansion of Western Pacific layout
  • Garden Railway design for ops
  • Railroad Paperwork
  • German/Marklin model railroading and layout planning
  • Panel Pro
  • Bedroom, n scale
  • Modeling Milk
  • Car Cards for Realistic Operation
  • State Belt Railroad
  • Adaptable Operations
  • Low Cost DCC Sound Decoders
  • Southern Pacific Santa Barbara Subdivision
  • 20 Years of Operations Organizing
  • Researching the Prototype to Dresign a Prototypical WP Layout
  • Modeling the Prototype with the Free-mo Modular Standard
  • How High is the Layout? How Deep are the Scenes
  • Los Osos Valley Railroad: SP Coast line from San Luis Obispo to Paso Robles in 1949


We’ve also had short (5 minute) updates on previous clinics to update on the lessons learned.

Publicity

  • Obtain mailing list of SIG members in the target region from the local activities committee and do mailings
  • Obtain mailing lists of members of other sponsoring organization in the target region and do mailings (check for overlap first, there will be a lot of it)
  • Publicize in LDJ/LDN, DO, local NMRA region and pubs of other sponsoring organizations
  • Calendar on LD SIG Wiki (Joe: insert link)
  • Magazines: Scale Rails, MR, RMC, RMJ etc.
  • Publicize early and often on email lists of all sponsoring organizations
  • Flyers at local hobby shops, train shows
  • Refer to the websites of the layouts, if they have them, in the publicity, also refer to published articles about them
  • Web sites – see the Bay Area site at http://homepage.mac.com/jacobsen/LORM2007/

Consulting Program

  • 12-16 weeks before the meeting

- Talk with Seth to come up with idea for space, theme, etc., etc. - Start drafting Design Challenge Backgrounder - Discuss/ revise/ finalize Design Challenge Backgrounder

  • 8 weeks before meeting

- Get list of email addresses of past and current registrants from Jake

  • 6-8 weeks before meeting (I try to get the first one out _before_ the holidays)

- Send email describing design challenge (usually there are no responses) - Send follow up email, start begging/cajoling people I think will participate - Send design challenge background material to designers - Start working with designers to help them complete their entries

  • 4 weeks before meeting

- Approach candidates for Design Challenge discussion panel (I try to have these all wrapped up in a week or two)

  • 2 weeks before meeting

- Deadline for designers' entries. Don't allow exceptions, it's not worth the hassle, IMHO - Start creating powerpoint for presentation -- must be shorter than designers would like, usually! - Confirm with discussion panelists, send them challenge Backgrounder (find new panelists if one or two bail)

  • 1 week before meeting

- Finalize powerpoint presentation, send to designers so they know what they will present - Send presentation to Seth for download on presentation PC - Prepare and email _short_ capsule version of presentation to discussion panelists a few days before meeting - Prepare _short_ paper handout for discussion panelists to hand them the morning of the event

  • Day of the event

- Bring presentation on CD just in case - Bring paper handouts for discussion panelists - Have fun -- it will be great!

  • Follow-up

- Thank-yous to designers, panelists - Contact editors for possible inclusion of articles

Liability

There is a concern about liability for personal injury in any public event. Two main concerns are for injuries that may occur at a central meeting place and injuries that might occur in a home or club where a layout tour or operating session is held. In the case of injuries at a meeting place, the owner of the space (club, school, church, community center, etc.) may request a certificate of coverage.

As of this writing, neither the OP SIG nor the LD SIG has its own liability insurance. After discussion with the NMRA leadership, the OP SIG recommends the following (and the same should apply for LD SIG events):

  1. Arrange for the local NMRA region to jointly sponsor the event. (See above under “Joint meets with OP SIG and NMRA Regions or Historical Societies, or RPM”). Note that the NMRA region’s name must come first as in “Pacific Coast Region/LD SIG/OP SIG meet”
  2. If a certificate is required, write the NMRA 6-8 weeks in advance asking for the certificate. Be sure to indicate the “who, what, when, why” and who the certificate is covering. There is a processing charge for the certificate (as of this writing it is $25), this can paid out of the contributions.
  3. For layouts, make sure that all the homeowners/clubs are NMRA members. If not, enroll them (As of this writing, you can use the $9.95 6 month “railpass” introductory membership, however if the owner is going to open every year it would be better to use a full membership.). We suggest you pay for this out of the registration funds. The layout owners must be NMRA members for the coverage to be in effect. Do this far enough in advance that the membership is sure to be in effect at the time of the meet.
  4. There is some ambiguity if the attendee is not an NMRA member, so everyone involved should be encouraged to join. The OP SIG is considering an NMRA membership requirement to remove this ambiguity.

Reporting/Sharing

The LD SIG is a 501c(3) educational organization and our bylaws call for us to:

  • To act as a forum for the members' exchange of information and ideas, and to develop improved ways for hobbyists to learn the art and science of layout design.
  • To provide leadership for planning, developing, coordinating, and expanding the knowledge of planning model railroads; and
  • To promote, develop, support and encourage participation by the public in model railroading.

In order to help fulfill these obligations, we strongly encourage that all meets have one or more designated scribes who will note the procedings with a view towards recording the events and especially innovative ideas. These ideas may be found in the clinics, panels, BOF sessions and of course on thelayout visits. The reports should be submitted to the LDJ editor for publication and clinic presenters should be encouraged to put their material into article form for use by the LDJ or DO as appropriate. We also provide a summarized version to the editors of the newsletters of any co-sponsoring organizations.

Registration process

Two or more people should man the desk, Bay Area experience suggests the registration table be "remote staffed" after the first hour up to the lunch break by someone chartered to keep their eye out late arrivals and get through the registration sign in process.

Volunteering to man the registration desk has the added bonus of being a great way to meet a lot people!

The registration team should be at the venue 1 hour prior to the advertised opening. Our experience suggests the registration table be "remote staffed" after the first hour up to the lunch break by someone chartered to keep their eye out late arrivals and get through the registration sign in process. Be sure to provide for the following:


  • Chairs and tables for registration
  • Pre printed registration signs that include the meet name, date, time, sponsoring organization(s) and registration fee.
  • Masking tape to post registration signs
  • Pre-registration lists
  • walk-up registration sign in form separate from the pre-registration sign in lists
  • Pre-printed badges for pre-registrants (The Bay Area group uses badges with a space for name, era, road, interest)
  • Badge holders
  • Transparent tape to use on name tag holders if the badge holders are prone to popping open.
  • Box of pens for name tag fill ins.
  • Dollars for making change for those ATM $20 bills everyone has.
  • paper weights of some type to keep the stacks of handouts in check
  • Blank badges for walk ups
  • Agenda/schedules
  • Special arrangements for parking, if necessary (e.g. change for parking ticket machines, validation stamps as required)
  • Membership application forms for all of the sponsoring organizations
  • Sample copies of publications of all the sponsoring organizations
  • Container for receipts

Each attendee should be checked in and any fees collected, the registrant is given his (her) badge and agenda

Food/ local restaurant guidelines

The first step is to obtain an accurate headcount of expected attendees. Asking the Registrar is probably the best way to obtain the pre-event registration headcount. Then add on for later registrations as well as walk-in registrations. These latter categories are best determined by the experience of past years for the same, or similar, events. In the end, a total anticipated headcount is the basic number from which all else flows.

The second step is to decide what kind of beverages are desired and what are the preferences of attendees. After taking two surveys of this particular topic, it is my opinion that most of the guys really don't give two hoots about what they eat or drink -- within broad limits. Therefore, the following ideas are my own opinions unsubstantiated by any facts at all. In the cold mornings, hot coffee is a highly desired beverage. In warmer afternoons, cold soda pops (Coke, 7-Up, root beer, etc.) are good choices. Do not overlook plain old bottled water which ranks right up there with soda pop in the popularity contest for beverages. Lemonade, ice tea and other healthier drinks are popular, but to a much lesser degree. You should assume 1-1/2 servings of hot beverage per person in the morning and another 1-1/2 servings of cold beverage per person in the afternoon. It is best to avoid alcohol in any form. Some folks really feel strongly about this.

The third step is to decide about solid (non-liquid) refreshments. In the cold mornings, hot doughnuts, bagels, warm pastries, etc. are popular. In the warm afternoons, fresh fruit such as bananas, apples, grapes, cherries, etc. are popular. Candy bars and/or granola bars have not yet been tried, but will be experimented with this year (2007) for the first time. I suspect candy bars will be popular. You should assume 1-1/2 servings of solid refreshments per person in the morning and another 1-1/2 servings of snacks per person in the afternoon.

Fourth step is to astutely find the cheapest source of buying all the desired stuff. BevMo (Beverages & More) or CostCo are good places for the liquid beverages. Krispy Kreme works fine for freshly cooked doughnuts. With Krispy Kreme, it is best to place an order at least four days prior to the event in order to obtain a healthy price discount. About a 20% discount is available if I remember correctly. A good high-quality upscale produce retail outlet is best for the fresh fruit. Fresh fruit should generally be purchased two to three days before the event to allow it to fully ripen by the day of the event. Chain grocery stores rarely have good quality produce although there are probably exceptions to this general observation. Chain stores do just fine for ice, candy bars, etc. Yes, ice will be needed in order to keep the cold drinks cold. Also, some large tubs in which to keep the ice and soda pop will be needed. Also, determine who will supply the equipment needed to make hot coffee. As a general rule, buy the best quality stuff you can find. Cheap doughnuts will result in complaints. Outstanding doughnuts will result in compliments. The same holds for the fruit.

Fifth step is to find a helper guy to help you unload all the stuff from your car and set it up at the event. Do not try to do this all by yourself. It is too much work and the stuff gets heavy in a hurry. Just ask around and someone will volunteer to help you. He will also help you clean up the mess and discard the melted water, boxes, etc. after the event is over. Take the tubs home and save them for use the following year. Leftover cans of soda pop can also be kept for a full year and used over again. Contrary to some opinions, the stuff does not go stale.

Sixth step is to use MapQuest, or something similar, to print out a map of all restaurants within a 10 mile radius. This map is handed out in the morning and becomes the basis for attendees to decide where to go for lunch. The same map could apply to dinner if dinner is part of the event.

Enjoy yourself and don't blame me for the calorie count.


Criteria for Ops and Display layouts

I found most of the host layouts via the OP SIG mailing list. The rest came from people the OP SIG people knew. In urban areas, it’s easier to find layouts than in rural areas, and there are likely various round robin groups and clubs to draw on as well. Layouts need not have scenery, but they should have been operated a few times before the event.

The size of an operating event is determined by how many layouts you can round up, how many operators each layout can accommodate and how many sessions a layout owner is willing and able to host over a weekend. Some layout owners have some sort of thru or continuous staging, and can host 3 sessions in a weekend. Folks with stub staging probably won’t be able to do this. The BayRails group in California does not ask owners to run on consecutive days because of the reset issue.

Layout Selection Rubric for LD SIG Tour

Name:______________________________________________ Address:____________________________________________ City:___________________________ ZIP: _________________ Phone No:________________________ (G/O/S/HO/N/Z) Railroad Name: _______________________________________

Accessibility 1

Handicapped Hostile

2

multiple steps, sills

duck-unders

3

1 to 2 steps

average house

4

no

significant hazards

5

Special height or lifts

Size 1

4X8 sheet or smaller

2

Bedroom full

10’ X 10’

3

About a one car garage

10’ X 16’

4

Most of a two car garage

20’ X 16’

5

Fills California Ranch

20’ X 30’ +

Scenery 1

Plywood Central

2

Less than 50%

3

Scenery well begun but not finished

4

Woodland Scenics everywhere

5

Every inch fully sceniced and detailed to match reality

Mechanics and reliability 1

“You mean that the trains are supposed to run”

2

Halting train movements. Electrical problems

3

Reliable operations

4

Interesting for technical reasons

5

Glitchless operations with multiple trains

Layout Design 1

Bowl of Spaghetti

or simple oval

2

One of the better choices out of “101 Track Plans”

3

Can be made to operate with a few compromises

4

Coherent layout. Possible to understand.

5

Clear and logical progression driven by theme

Feature or theme 1

Generic Railroad running on plastic grass Mat

2

Generic era: steam, diesel or transition

3

Attempt to recreate some specific road or place

4

Few anachronisms

5

Jack Burgess

True to a prototype and era

Operations

  • Innovative techniques

(Structural, Electrical, Scenery)

  • Narrow gauge
  • Garden Railway
  • Traction
  • Well Documented (brochures, schematics, etc.)

Subjective Factors:

  • How far out of your way would you go to see this layout?_______


  • General Comments and things we should know.


  • Well known: Locally/Nationally/Magazines/etc.

___________________________________________________ List

Layout Selection Rubric from BayRails

(San Francisco Bay Area local operations meet)

This form is more suited to selecting which layouts the participant would want to operate.

Layout Evaluation

Size

5

500 sq ft. plus

Large home or club sized

4

400 sq ft. 20’ by 20’

Garage or basement

3

200 sq ft. 10’ by 20’

Half a garage

2

100 sq ft. 10’ by 10’

Small bedroom

1

50 sq ft. 5’ by 10’

Half a bedroom

Scenery

5

Full scenery, exceptional detail

4

Full scenery

3

2/3rd scenery

2

1/3rd scenery

1

Plywood

Central

Prototype

/theme

5

Full fidelity to prototype

4

Some compromises with prototype or freelance.

3

Attempts to evoke specific era/time

2

Generic era/RR

1

Mix of eras, railroads and
locations

Rigorousness

5

Tightly structured per prototype.

4

Closely adheres to prototype practice

3

Purposeful operations

2

Attempts at prototype operations

1

“Holler and Hope” operations

Theme, prototype, and location of the layout: Documentation, Orientation and Signage:

_ Fascia mounted track diagrams

_ Station names / MPs on fascia

_ Handout describing layout and op session purpose

_ Timetable if appropriate

Pace of operating session

_ Fast Clock

_ Sequence

Purpose of the railroad and/or operating session Car Forwarding Scheme

_ Car Cards

_ Switch list

_ Computer generated

_ Tacks or markers on cars

_ Other: __________________

__________________________

Tone and Atmosphere of operating session

_ No extraneous conversation

_ Fairly disciplined

_ Casual

_ Other:

Operating scheme:

_ TT&TO   _ CTC   _ Track Warrant/DTC   _ ABS/Rule 251   _ Other:______________________

Control system:

_ DC / Block Control   _ DCC / System: _________________________   _ Other: ________________

Communication system:

_ 5 Channel radio   _ FRS Radio   _ Telephone   _ Other: __________________   _ None

Other important features of operations:

Layout Name Owner name
Address: City State
Phone: Email: Zip



Additional exhibits (to be added):

List of previous BOF topics

Sample Timelines

The following times lines are provided for guidance and to provide an idea of how much advance planning is required. Roles are identified for reference. The coordinator (project manager) should be aware that these are generic plans and that not all the tasks will be required for each event, nor will the intervals always work for your event. The wise project manager will modify these to suit while leveraging the information in this guide. Make only new mistakes!

In-Home Meet

Image:Timeline1b.gif

Roundtable at Convention, Train Show or RPM Meet

Image:Timeline2.gif

Freestanding SIG Meet Timeline

Image:Timeline3.gif

Joint meet with another organization

(Historical Society, RPM, full SIG Track at an NMRA region)

Image:timeline4.gif

  1. Or earlier, often planned more than a year in advance
  2. Assuming the other organization has a space worked out and hotel arranged



Operations Weekend

Image:Timeline5.gif

  1. This should be done a year in advance. Try to avoid holidays and conflicts with other major model RR events
  2. Depends on how open you want the event, they range from invitation only to open: most will be "seeded" but take requests for invitations
  3. This will depend on your objectives, but good places to start are: people who've hosted the committee, nominees of the hosts, groups who sponsor similar events in nearby cities
  4. By email unless an invitee is known to not be connected
  5. Try to ensure that everyone get at least 2 of their top 3
  6. Clinics, layout tours but other activities may be appropriate
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