No Gam in Your Area? Plan One Yourself!
SSCA is a member-driven organization! Most of our events, from a few cruisers gathering for breakfast to a 3-day Gam with 200+ attendees, were started by members. We are all about fellowship! And, when you add some information sharing, be it informal or via seminars, you quickly see what makes SSCA special!
If there is no recurring event in your area, please consider starting one. It's fine to start small, and Home Base is standing by to assist you. Please read on for suggested steps in planning an SSCA event.
- What? - What is the event? Is it a simple luncheon where cruisers meet at a designated restaurant and each order from the menu? Or is it a Gam where seminars and catered meals are included? Or something in between?
- When? - What are the date(s) and time(s) of the event? Is it a recurring monthly or weekly event? An annual event? A one-time happening?
- Who? - Who is welcomed to attend? SSCA members only? Other cruisers in the area? How many people are you expecting? Should they RSVP?
- Where? - What is the specific location where the event will take place?
- Cost? - Will registration fees need to be charged to cover facility costs or other expenses?
- Contact Home Base for help! We are here to assist you with all parts of planning and implementing your event. With answers to the questions above, we can take care of getting the word out for you by doing any or all of the following!
- Promote the event to SSCA members including adding it to the SSCA.org event Calendar, creating a specific page about it on the SSCA.org website, writing an article for the Commodores' Bulletin, posting the event details to the discussion forum, etc.
- Post it to the SSCA Facebook Group
- Reach out to local cruising station hosts. Once you arrive at the directory using the link, set the "Involvement Type" field to Cruising Station Hosts and set the country and/or state fields to the appropriate geographic area for your event to find Cruising Station Hosts in that area.
- Let other organizations know about it
Please mention SSCA and our sponsors!
Events are a great way to recruit new SSCA members! Please share the benefits of membership with attendees. Hone Base can send you a flyer for distribution that lists the benefits and offers a coupon code for discounted membership in SSCA!
In addition, SSCA has an active sponsor program with many businesses that support us year round. Please recognize these businesses at your event. If there is any kind of printed handout being provided, please list them there. If not, please mention them when you welcome the attendees to your event. You can find a current list of all sponsors in our sponsor directory
Feel free to stop here! The remaining steps are not required to have a successful SSCA event! However, if you are planning something a bit more elaborate than a social event with a meal, read on!
Contact Home Base for Help! We are happy to help you recruit volunteers if you need assistance. Some places where volunteers might be helpful are:
- Registration Table - If you're expecting a lot of people and plan to give out name badges or any other materials, it might be helpful to have someone stationed at a registration table.
- Set up/break down - Do you have anything to set up and take down? If so, you may want assistance in that area.
- Commercial Opportunities - Will you have opportunities for our annual sponsors or other businesses to take part in the event? Perhaps a volunteer to coordinate that effort would be helpful.
Regardless of whether and how you plan to use volunteers, Home Base is behind you every step of the way. We're happy to help. Just ask!
- Will you be offering a full meal? Or maybe light refreshments?
- Does the facility where you're holding the event provide food?
- Do you need to find an outside caterer?
- Food Trucks are becoming more and more prevalent and are a great option!
- What will the food costs be and will attendees pay a la carte at the event, or will the food be bundled into registration fees?
- Will your event feature organized educational opportunities?
- What topics are planned?
- Who will present them?
- Are microphones and speakers needed for the presenter to be heard? Are laptops, projectors, screens needed for PowerPoints or other presentations?
This is another area where help is yours for the asking. Reach out to Home Base for assistance in finding topics, speakers, and equipment!
- Space available - Is there space available at the event site for exhibit tables? If so, please let Home Base know. Our annual sponsors are offered exhibit space when available.
- Prizes - Will you offer businesses the opportunity to provide door prizes, raffle prizes, and auction items? If so, how will you give the prizes out? You might consider selling raffle tickets, holding a silent auction, or just putting the registrants' names into a hat and drawing for the prizes.
- Recognition - Please don't forget to recognize those businesses who provide prizes!
On the surface, this may seem like a lot. Please remember not all steps are needed for a successful event and, as always, Home Base is here to help! Start planning now!