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MAS Annual Show "Town Hall" Discussion/Brainstorm

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ROWEBLAST User avatar
Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 240
Location: Crystal
Good morning everyone,

I wanted to share a little tidbit of information for MAS members. This upcoming Monday (5/15) there will be a discussion and brainstorm session on the Annual MAS Show. We will be covering what you - the members - want to get out of the show in the future. Come prepared to discuss any and all ideas you may have. This is intended for current members but if you have any interest in joining MAS we more than welcome you to swing by!

We will be meeting at 7:00pm on Monday May 15th at the Perkins @ 694 & Lexington in Arden Hills (3855 Lexington Ave N, Arden Hills, MN 55126)

There may be a short questionnaire (less than 5 minutes) to fill our before we start to help get the juices flowing! Expect a majority of the MAS board to be present. All we ask is you come with an open mind and ready to share ideas/opinions.

Please let me know if you intend on joining us in the discussion so we can reserve a large enough space.
Minnesota Aquarium Society - President
MAS Board of Directors 2015 to Present
Hobbyist Since 2010


Check Us Out @ Aquarium.MN

Passionfish Level 20 Member
Level 20 Member

Posts: 12233
Location: apple valley, mn
Interesting that at May meeting no one wanted to get down to the nitty gritty about concerning show. All BOD candidates sounded like they either knew nothing about the issue or did not want to take a public stand on the issue. OK maybe they are waiting for the meeting on 15 May to determine what they believe is best for MAS.

I have offered to serve as show chair. My past expierence as show chair resulted in lowest show cost to MAS, I have financials to back this statement up. BOD showed no interest in my current offer. Presume BOD has fallen into micromangement of all MAS functions. If BOD cannot micromange it then the program is off the table.

If MAS wants a show without an auction, then MAS is going to have to subsidize the show. Accept it, this is what an aquarium club does. Without a show, MAS is failing some members. Members of a society are not homogenus. Some like the show, others like other club programs. Remove the show and MAS falls into a second rate club.

If MAS were to add an auction to show, the auction would cover show costs. Most aquarium clubs use this model.
Lately it appears MAS cannot find enough volunteers to handle a 900 item auction and no longer needs to raise funds from a big auction. It is unlikely we will see a show auction.

Sure this is all conjecture but since a change in MAS bylaws, it is no longer required that BOD report anything to members via AquaNews or any other method of communication. Correct me if I have misrepresented the change in bylaws and direct members to transparent actions by BOD.

Lastly MAS has email services to all members. In the interest of hearing all interested members, would an email survey or a in person meeting at a restuarant result in the best feedback from membership?
Like a complete unknown

ROWEBLAST User avatar
Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 240
Location: Crystal
Let me do my best to try and address all the different topics you raised.

As for discussing the show during the elections; my understanding is a majority of those running for a board position want to hear from the members via the meeting tonight prior to making conclusions on the show. Clark summed it up very well in saying that he wished to hear what members have to say before moving forward on any changes. I do not think it is the case that any of the candidates did not want to take a public stand.

At tonight’s meeting I will be bringing a survey for attendees to complete. We are considering making that survey available to all members via an online option… survey monkey, or something the like. I simply haven't put it together in an online form yet.

The idea of the meeting is not to walk away with a finished product of what the show should be. What we are aiming for is to understand what is most important to the members, and what do they feel the main goal(s) of the show should be (recruitment, education, money raising, celebration, competition, other). Of course any suggestions that come up tonight will be considered.

This is the first I have heard of your interest/offer to serve as show chair.

Thank you for bringing forth the idea of running an auction during the show weekend. It is an interesting option to help subsidize the cost of running the show. You raise a very good point that getting enough volunteers to successfully run auctions has been difficult. Having served on the show committee, we have seen similar challenges in the last two years. If, at the end of the day including an auction as an element to the MAS show comes up as a major interest among members the Show Committee and BOD will take it under advisement.

I reached out to the Secretary to get a better understanding of how AquaNews and the BOD meeting minutes had been shared in the past (as I am new to the Board in the last year). Transparency is very important and I agree all the information should be available to any member that wants it. He mentioned that the intention is to publish all minutes via the web portal (aquarium.mn). I cannot speak to the timeline of getting them onto the online portal. If you or any other member want access to the minutes in the meantime please let me know.
Minnesota Aquarium Society - President
MAS Board of Directors 2015 to Present
Hobbyist Since 2010


Check Us Out @ Aquarium.MN

willie Level 8 Member
Level 8 Member

Posts: 1497
Location: Minneapolis
I'm away on vacation and will not be able to attend tonight's discussion. Having been a volunteer on multiple occasions, a class/division sponsor and exhibitor for the past 10+ years, I have one suggestion.

I like to see a little more appreciation for the exhibitors who spend a huge amount of time preparing their fish and setting up the tanks. (I know one individual who took off from work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to get ready for Friday set up.) I see aquascapers spending 6 - 8 hours meticulously setting up one tank to perfection. Then there are the folks aspiring to the Showmaster award... The show IS the entries. If we dropped the swap tables, the talks, the banquet, the raffle, etc., there would still be a show as long as there are entries.

In the past, if you win a class/division, you would get a plaque with a picture of the winning fish/tank. Now, everyone gets a wooden plaque with plastic tags stuck to it. Handing out the old-style plaques with pictures is something that would boost show entries at very little cost. Plaques with multi-color tags usually end up in the trash, not the fishroom. (Mine didn't make it out the garage.)

Having attended other local fish shows, I support Bob's idea of an auction. It doesn't have to be an MAS-style auction. Many shows will do a more limited wild or exotic fish auction. It generates income and also brings in more attendance.

Willie


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