Thirteen lucky club member attended the Blufftops and Visions brainstorming session on Monday, November 20, 2017. Jennifer brought everybody up to speed on planning for next year’s N4C convention, to be held in Dubuque on Sept. 14-15, 2018. All hands will be needed to make this project a success.
There is quite a bit of work to do in order to prepare for this event. Our club has already reserved banquet and meeting space in the downtown Dubuque Holiday Inn, along with a block of rooms. We need to choose keynote speakers by January. Hunts Photo and Video has already expressed interest in being a vendor, and they have a variety of speakers that we could contact.
Another priority need is identifying business or corporate sponsors (remember, we are a grassroots community organization, but not an officially registered 501c3 nonprofit). Prior conventions have used different levels of sponsorship (such as Gold – $1000, Silver, etc.) and have accepted in-kind donations, such as the use of a vehicle or van
We will need to create registration materials and awards. We also need to decide on the individual cost for conference registration. The club must give 25% of the net proceeds to N4C (keeping the remaining 75%). Sorry, volunteering will not mean free tickets. It will mean a potential for terrific presenters, photo opportunities and workshops, with most events to be held within walking distance of downtown.
Based on attendance at past conferences, we can probably expect 120-160 people from out-of-town. Dubuque is centrally located on the map of N4C clubs, so our convention might very well be the best attended of all time. We need to figure out tactics to market to the college and 20-something demographic. A student discount may boost attendance. We already have a Facebook page and an email list setup on MailChimp. Jennifer suggested adding Instagram to our social media repertoire.
It’s traditional to have Thursday be the convention’s arrival/welcome night with free hors d’oeuvres. Big banquets (with food served by the hotel) will be held on Friday and Saturday, with lunch on your own. Photo Essays are played during one of the banquets, along with awards, etc.
As far as field trips, it would be helpful to make a list up of photogenic local spots for our visitors to choose from (an “on your own” pamphlet for self-guided field trips). Ideas tossed around included a junkyard in the rain, birds/owls from a raptor center, or arranging for models for a studio session.
It’s best to plan a variety of seminars should be encouraged where people can use their own cameras. We also need to be considerate of the commercial vendors and set specific hours for them so they don’t have to sit there forever without a break. Remember to contact Ron or Jennifer with any thoughts or ideas that you may have to help make next year’s Blufftops and Visions a sucess!
2018 Bald Eagle Watch
Saturday, January 20, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Grand River Center, Port of Dubuque
Find out more at the Dubuque Audubon Society website.
We will have a vendor table at the Bald Eagle Watch. As in previous years, we need volunteers to staff our display. We will be promoting the Blufftops & Visions convention, and a slide show of member-contributed photos will be on display. This year, club members have an option to sell prints. If you have nature-themed prints that you would like to offer for sale, contact Ron or Jennifer.
Holiday Party — Monday, Dec. 4 at 6:00 p.m. (note early start time). Don’t forget to RSVP! Bring food and family or loved ones. No other meeting and no submissions in December.
TUESDAY, Jan. 2, 2018 @ 6:30 p.m. — First meeting of the New Year. José García has volunteered to share his post-processing secrets with the group. Bring a laptop if you wish. Discussion will focus on Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.