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Attendance count?

Discussion in 'Oktoberfest 2010' started by GSMetal, Apr 9, 2010.

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    GSMetal

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    Looking forward to my first Ofest this year.

    How many people normally attend this event?
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    CRKrieger

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    Between <500 and >1000. I would expect it to be on the high side this year since it has never been at Road America and it hasn't been in Wisconsin since 1981.

    We have also 'added' 5er Fest 2010 as an event during the middle 3 days of the week. This annual gathering is usually separately held for E12, E28, and E34 5 Series cars. Those have been conspicuously absent for the past few years at Oktoberfests and this is 'our' opportunity to show everyone that the early fives aren't dead yet ... we've just been hanging out on our own. I'm hoping to see 50 to 100 of those.
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    GSMetal

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    Really? Only 500 to 1000? Wow.....isn't that sort of low for a group that has 70,000 members nationally?

    I belong to BMW MOA (Motorcycles) and we have 35,000ish in our group and the national rally usually draws 7000 to 10,000.
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    bcweir

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    I can think of several reasons most can't make O'Fest...

    ....especially in this difficult economy.

    Job responsibilities, time commitments, personal commitments on day its held, not the least of which would be planning and funding what would likely be a cross-country trip for the majority of the members here, since it's only held in one city at a time. Then there's the cost of registration, participating, food and possible hotel accommodations once you get there.

    For the rest of us, it's less expensive and more accommodating to watch the highlights online or in the pages of Roundel.

    It's great if you can go, but no one will hold it against you if you can't make the trip.

    I should also add that the 500 to 1,000 is an estimate, and is probably a conservative one at that. Also, attendance will likely vary according to the local population of the municipality in which it is held. Also, while 500 to 1,000 is a small minority compared with the entire membership, it's still a LOT of people!
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    steven s

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    Where do 7000 people sleep?
    Ofest participants like to stay in hotels.
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    GSMetal

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    Well, some camp, others bring motorhomes but the majority do stay in hotels (present company included). The number of people camping has been dropping over the years as boomers decide that hotels are more comfortable than an air pad. :p We've seen this trend with our State Rally as well - that's hosted in the Wisconsin Dells (no shortage of hotels there!). Last year, our State Rally drew in about 800 people - we've had as many as 1100.

    One of the qualifications for the national rally site is the ability for nearby cities to have enough hotels to take in the majority of members. This year's Rally is in Redmond Oregon.A few years back it was here in West Bend, Wisconsin.

    I've stayed in hotels across the street from the Rally site and I've had to stay in hotels 45 minutes away. Needless to say the hotels get wind of the Rally and jack the rates up to the moon. Supply and demand at work.
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    steven s

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    With Ofest, the ideal situation is one large hotel for everyone, big open parking lot and ballrooms large enough to hold a vendor area and usually a dinner. For that you need convention type hotels. And with crowds reaching 1000, one hotel is not big enough. Oh, did I mention that it needs to be fairly close to a race track? That kinda limits us.
    It's also a week long event and people's time is limited. I think if it can average 800-1000, that's pretty good. Ofest brings lots of first timers. And 2nd timers. Not to mention those who have been going for 30 years.
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    GSMetal

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    Yup, that's a lot of criteria. As someone that has helped organize the state rally, I totally understand the hassle a group has to go through to try and please the masses. (Note the word "try"). Our state rally has really the best mix of hotel, camp and something for everyone. Vendors seem to be in shorter supply with the price of fuel going up and, let's face it, you can sell over the Internet easier than driving across the country to set up camp in hopes someone, maybe will buy something. Vendors I think will go the way of the Dinosaurs - and that''s too bad.

    ANYBODY can armchair quarter back an event but its a select few that roll up the sleeves and puts their shoulders into it.

    I agree with vacation time being a major factor in making a decision on whether to go to an event like this or not. For me, the motorcycle events have to be in a 2 day driving distance -800 to 1000 miles - since I only get 10 days of vacation. I won't be going to Oregon this year.

    As far as cost? Well, I for one disagree with most people on this issue. I don't think cost is a major factor. BMW cars and motorcycles aren't cheap (although sometimes their owners are ;) ) and the cost of an event is really pretty reasonable for what you generally get. Never been to an Ofest but our state BMW motorcycle rally is only $45.00 for the entire weekend which includes free camping and use of the hotels showers and waterpark. You also get 2 nights of live music, and a huge dinner Saturday night (do I sound like a commercial?). That's pretty good value. Despite that, I hear people complaining about the 'high cost'. To which I answer "Then stay home - don't come." I mean, geeze, if you go out to eat thats probably $20.00 for one person. You know...WTF?
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    CRKrieger

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    Yeah; I'm MOA, too (since 2007) and went to the West Bend rally - my first one. The only explanation I can come up with for the disparity is that MOA members seem to be a lot more hard-core campers while CCA folks - don't. It is still a pretty intense week, but we tend to recognize a large number of others as we go to subsequent events. I will probably instantly recognize about 10% of the CCA crowd and they'll know me. How long does it take to get to know 7000? :D
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    woodym3

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    I think the number of hard-core enthusiasts among our 70,000 members is VERY small. Most of the enthusiast members I know in my chapter never consider going to Ofest.

    O'fest 1990 was near Columbus, Ohio. There may have been 500-600 attendees. A hot rod gathering in town the same week had over 10,000 cars.
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    steven s

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    I think a weekend or a single day event generally attracts more people.

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