The 116th Annual Texas State Convention – Thankfully, It’s NOT An Olympic Event!
Every two years we are drawn to thinking about the majesty and excitement of one of the world’s most special athletic events – The Olympic Games. Everything about the Olympics is so special – from the opening ceremonies, to the competitions themselves, to the spectacular venues and finally to the closing ceremonies. This summer, that cycle will start again with the Tokyo summer games on July 24th. But, with almost every Olympic host venue with the noted exception of Los Angeles in 1984, comes an unfortunate reality. When the cheering stops and the games are over the host venue is many times left with a huge amount of unplanned debt that sometimes saddles them for years. But how can this happen? With all the expensive ticket sales, all the merchandise sales, all the TV money, how could venues come up short? The answer lies in letting enthusiasm for the events and facilities overshadow realistic planning. In a sense, from a financial and planning viewpoint, the greatest athletic event in the world has become the “poster child” for how NOT to plan and execute an event! But more about that in a minute.
While we’ll all be cheering on the Americans in Tokyo in July, long before that – on April 24th to be exact – many of us will be cheering on the Knights of Columbus of the great state of Texas at our 116th Annual Texas State Convention at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. This year’s host will be the Dallas Diocese Chapter and the Convention will be a first class event filled with wonderful presentations and information sharing, tremendous social events, and great spiritual and inspirational opportunities. Most of all it is an chance to celebrate who we are and what our Order stands for – especially here in the State of Texas. Many of you will be able to attend live and possibly have the opportunity to be a delegate representing your Council. Grand Knights and FS’s among others have already received brochures with details. For complete details of the event all Knights are invited to visit: www.kofcdallas.org/convention
One of the primary financial tools that the Convention has historically used to put on such an enjoyable event and to avoid any undue burden on the host venue is advertising sponsored by Councils, Assemblies and affiliated groups throughout the state in the Convention Program. So you might ask, why is it necessary to even have a Convention program?
- Well, first of all, there is a tremendous amount of information in the program that attendees either need to know or want to know. In fact, in the most recent program there were about 25 of the total 60 pages of convention dedication, agendas, welcoming letters, pictures of state and local officers and clergy, maps etc. that are necessary for the Convention but that produce no revenue at all.
- Ads in the Program give Councils, Assemblies and others the opportunity to publicize the great works of charity, service and support that they are involved in and why Texas leads the nation in so many ways.
- And finally, although there is one host diocese (in this case Dallas), advertising from around the state reinforces the notion that this is a Texas statewide event and the Unity and Fraternity that are such important cornerstones of our Order are also an important part of the Convention.
So, it is imperative that we have an attractive and informative Convention Program. But there are 3 other facts that we should all bear in mind when considering whether to fund an ad. First, the cost of creating and printing the needed 1200 copies of the program alone is about $6,000.00. In other words, before one dollar of other expenses of the Convention is reduced, we have to sell $6,000.00 worth of advertising just to print the program! Also, historically relatively few Councils have participated in supporting the Convention Program. For instance, in last year’s program, only 39 Councils took individual Council ads (not counting District or Chapter ads). We have 816 Councils in Texas so that means only about 5% chose to fund a Council specific ad. Finally, for those that do choose to advertise, please consider creating an ad that will give everyone a glimpse of the great works that the Council is involved in as opposed to simply listing the Council name and names of the officers. This is so much more meaningful and interesting, particularly for those 1200 or so attendees and for the State and Supreme Officers to see.
It is with the spirit of Unity and Fraternity all Councils statewide should carefully consider funding an ad in the Convention program. Ad rates have been adjusted, a new feature allowing for individual Knights to take a $40 Sponsorship has been added and the whole process has been simplified for this year’s event. All ordering details and information can be found at www.kofcdallas.org/store.
So Brothers, let’s make sure that the biggest event of the year for the Texas State Council doesn’t turn out to be like so many Olympic games – a great time while the events are going on but much consternation afterwards. It’s an honor for the Dallas Diocese Chapter and for any diocese to be entrusted with the responsibility of putting on the annual Convention. When the events are over and the closing ceremonies take place, we should all be invigorated, fulfilled and anxious to get on with the mission of The Knights of Columbus in the great state of Texas. This is OUR Convention and OURS to make it great. Please ask your Council to help make “The 116th” our best ever!