2011 Browncoat Ball

The wave is being sent out for bids for the 2011 Browncoat Ball:

“Browncoat Ball 2011 Call for Bids

The Inaugural Browncoat Ball (BCB) was held in Chicago in 2004, with the goal of establishing an affordable, annual, nonprofit event created for fans by fans, capable of bringing Browncoats from geographically diverse locations from all over the world together to celebrate Firefly, Serenity and our fabulous fandom. The BCB has been held in San Francisco (2006), Philadelphia (2007) Austin (2008), and Portland (2009) and it will be held in Charlotte in 2010. (It’s not to late to attend!  www.browncoatball.com)

Hosting the BCB is a labor of love. While the central BCB Committee will share planning materials and tips and offer assistance in the fundraising and promotional process, the 2011 hosts should respect the fact that it is hard work to host a successful BCB, but it is extremely rewarding.  Since the BCB is a small event and cannot sustain comping volunteers, a guiding principal of the BCB since its inception is that everyone pays their own way (attendance, lodging, airfare): committee members, volunteers and attendees alike. This way, the attendees do not subsidize the volunteers or committee members.

Applications for hosting the 2011 BCB should be completed and e-mailed to bid@browncoatball.com (with “BCB Proposal” in the subject line) by October 8. The BCB Committee will review the proposals, make follow-up inquiries and render a final decision by October 15th.  The selected host committee will have until October 22 to accept/commit and the 2011 location will be announced at the 2010 Ball on Saturday, October 23.

Serious applicants should send a proposal with the following information:

1. A statement from your group about why you would like to host the 2011 BCB.

2. Proposed dates for the event (a nonholiday weekend in August, September or October 2011).

3. Proposed location, including the city and, if possible, a specific hotel that would have reasonable rates and at least 20-25 rooms available for the proposed dates. (This doesn’t have to be the final location, and multiple sites can be proposed if that is preferred)

4. Estimate on the total cost of a ballroom/banquet facility that has availability during the proposed dates, including room rental and catering. Financial details for previous BCBs are available for reference.

5. A list of 3-5 additional Firefly/Serenity ‘verse-themed activities that could be done at or near the BCB site and an estimate and explanation of the costs associated with these activities (for example, transportation to and from the event, admission fees, food charges, decoration costs). All activities and related transportation costs should be included in the BCB ticket price.

Think creatively! Some of the best activities cost very little, can be tied in easily with the Firefly ‘verse and don’t require a ton of planning. For example, the 2004 BCB included a Chinese Welcome Dinner and Tea Ceremony on the rooftop of the hotel, the Train Job Luncheon on a privately chartered commuter train and an Afternoon in the Core with suggested activities around Chicago. Additional details from past BCBs are available on request. The sky is the limit! This can be more of a brainstorming list of possible activities rather than a final list.

6. Additional transportation details such as how far the BCB site is from a major national/international airport, what transportation options exist to and from the airport and how much they cost, and how far the site is from other major cities within driving distance. Please take into consideration the availability of accessible options for Browncoats with disabilities for all aspects of the event.

7. Total estimate on the operational costs (not including lodging and airfare) and estimate of ticket cost (we suggest between $100 and $150), including possible options for different event packages.

8. Coordinating Committee: A tentative list of 5-10 people willing to:

• Make facility reservations and coordinate event planning

• Register guests

• Promote the event, including Internet updates, newsletters and invitations

• Be the Webmaster for the 2011 Web site. (If no Webmaster is available, the BCB Committee can maintain the Web site, but the 2011 hosts must be willing to provide/edit/review the text for the web site.) There is a forum, as well as MySpace, Facebook and Yahoo! BCB groups, that the hosts can use to promote the 2011 BCB.

• Handle incoming and outgoing money and create and work within a budget (treasurer). This is extremely important, as the 2011 hosting committee will bear the financial responsibility if the event goes over the budget. The BCB Committee will provide financial summaries of the prior events to the 2011 hosts to give you an idea of what you can look forward to with regards to expenses, although the cost of the event will vary depending on the location. You are then required to provide a similar financial report to reflect how your event was managed, so future events can benefit as well.

• You can propose to host a BCB in an area other than where you live, but at least two 2011 coordinating committee members should live/work near the site being proposed.

• Committee members must be willing to commit to approximately 3 or 4 conference calls or conference chat sessions with the BCB Committee so all parties can be sure things are still on track and to discuss any major changes, if any.

9. Contact information, including name, e-mail address and evening phone number for one member of the coordinating committee who will serve as a contact for notification purposes. (The BCB Committee will in turn provide the 2011 hosts with contact info for consultation purposes.)”

Who knows, maybe 2011 could be the first year of a non-US Browncoat Ball – wouldn’t that be a nice thought … ?   No, that doesn’t mean that either Odile or myself will be throwing our hats into the ring – unfortunately both our day jobs and doing the podcast mean that neither of us have the time to devote to the organizing.


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