BMW Tech Conference

fmorelli

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Many years ago, BMWCCA used to run something called Gateway Tech. It was in St. Louis in February or so time frame, and a selected hotel that could support such an event. There was a fee (it wasn't much) that helped support funding the event costs. If I recall correctly, it was a Fri/Sat event where people often flew in Thu night and out Sunday AM. There were 2 days of technical presentations given by all kinds of folks, mostly vendors, racers, and even BMW corporate people. There was also a vendor display area.

For those that went, it was a great opportunity for sharing technical knowledge, learning, and getting to know some of the more technically inclined people face-to-face. Over time it also became an opportunity to get to know and hang out with acquaintances that became friends.

It strikes me that this community could benefit such an event and maybe take a few best practice pieces from a prior event - central US location, mid-winter when nothing is going on, short - just a few days. I'm just throwing this out here wondering if there is any merit to the idea, whether there is enough critical mass for an event like that - maybe 12-20 people willing to give a 50 minute tech talk, Q&A, et cetera, and whether a couple hundred people would find it worth their time.

Please share your thoughts ...

Filippo
 
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LessIsMore

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Wow, great idea. As long as there is tech, not just an advertising vendor fair.
 

Panzerfaust

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I for one would absolutely try to attend, and think it's a great idea. Even if it's not centralized around the decade-old N54 I currently own it would be exciting.

I know similar conventions (as well as car shows and events) are held at "Pheasant Run Resort" in St. Charles, Illinois. It's about an hour away from Chicago, has various price ranges depending on if you want a 1-bed or 2 story suite, has several conference rooms and even has a smaller airport right behind it which is probably why similar events are held there. It's also conveniently 20min away from where I live :grin:
 

fmorelli

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Just to be clear, I was not suggesting N54 specifically ... and not looking to get too deep in a semantic conversation of scope. I will just say that I was thinking probably more in terms of the turbo cars, and I'm curious what the interest level could be.

I could imagine a lot of interesting presentations from just people I've seen here, a fair number are vendors, but some are not. There are tech and topic that are inclusive to N54 but not unique to it - on turbos, vacuum system, fueling, chassis development, engine management, tuning, and so on - all of which have various potential topics, and product development, et cetera. I can think of so many things I've seen here in the last year where a tech talk would be cool. The flex fuel development, the DCT swap and how it works, principles behind BMW vacuum system and configurations (seems a partial mystery to many), basics on how the DME and sensors work alone is huge, much less aspects on tuning, how to actually interpret logs, other current development work, how to use BMW diag and programming tools, and on and on. The laundry list is long.

When Gateway Tech ran for the BMW club, it was annual. It never got boring - so many topics and so many smart and enterprising folks. We're now 15 years later, the tech is at least an order of magnitude more complex and advanced in the electronics and with the turbocharged generation of cars, which are really a car with two motors (the piston engine and the turbo) sharing an oiling system, vacuum system, intake system. Prior to the modern turbo cars, almost no one was trying to get 2-3x the power out of the cars. I think the subject space is broad and deep.

Just thinking out loud ...

Filippo
 

Jeffman

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I like your thinking. But I’m not sure if Spoolstreet has the numbers in terms of capacity and marketing reach to effectively organize and manage such an event, but I imagine BMWCCA would...
 

Rob09msport

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Honestly 50 to 100 would make it financially feasible 100 per person and vendor fees based on time or size of booth could easily cover costs and I have no doubt that we could do it. If this site hosts group buys for items over g in niche market a broader subject should be no problem and I have no doubt in the abilities of the owner and certain members in getting it out their.

I would love to entertain the idea of having a lodge type membership where we can organize low cost event a few times a year in different locations so that we have chance to meet and just raise enough money to get few key people aka double spaces and other organizers to said locations . This way guys can go to all or just one that is more local to them, I think would be great networking tool to grow site and everyone's knowledge and possibly income.
 

R.G.

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I can dig it
Like comiccon (sp?) for turbo bmws.

Spoolstreet...acon...is a terrible name and a disservice to spoolstreet, but something similar.


Should be in Vegas but I can always use an excuse to travel if on East Coast. Anyone have experience with something like this that could estimate how many pre sold tickets before vendors would be interested / vendor spots filled to sell tickets?
 

Rob09msport

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200 tickets would be 20g. If not for profit getting 100 people per meet would be plenty do something like set 4 or five locations with 100 dollar hold on card once each location hits number to cover cost charge goes through and If breaks certain number either do raffle or lower cost if doesnt happen within 30 days before event issue refund and it's over.
 

doublespaces

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I can dig it
Like comiccon (sp?) for turbo bmws.

Spoolstreet...acon...is a terrible name and a disservice to spoolstreet, but something similar.


Should be in Vegas but I can always use an excuse to travel if on East Coast. Anyone have experience with something like this that could estimate how many pre sold tickets before vendors would be interested / vendor spots filled to sell tickets?

There is literally a convention every day in Vegas it seems. I try to go annually for a marketing conference usually held at Paris...No sir.. not Harrahs, please turn around.


200 tickets would be 20g. If not for profit getting 100 people per meet would be plenty do something like set 4 or five locations with 100 dollar hold on card once each location hits number to cover cost charge goes through and If breaks certain number either do raffle or lower cost if doesnt happen within 30 days before event issue refund and it's over.
Conventions/conferences like these are usually better if there are vendors with booths and such but I think that is a bit out of the scope of what is possible here. What do you propose an attendee would get for $100?

Besides the Networking aspect of things, you've got to mix that in with gambling, hotels and sports. I think something like an annual drag strip rental, test and tune would be a better place to start perhaps.
 
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Jeffman

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As a start, maybe we should focus the event on tech discussions and keep it small. Definitely include as many vendors as possible. An added plus - an area to work on cars and show how installs / maintenance / adjustments are made.
 

Rob09msport

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That's why I think some vendor support would be huge and honestly I would think tuner support would be great maybe a dyno run included. Or honestly track rental would be great obviously would cost more per car but using a track would alleviate insurance issues of a private event somewhere if wanted to run cars.
 

Rob09msport

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Thinking about it should start a poll on strip or dyno and then could tier the pricing accordingly for if running car
 

The Convert

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If everyone is serious about this, linking it to a bigger event would be better. Do it on the side at PRI or SEMA, then you'd certainly have vendors and industry there.
 
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Rob09msport

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Let's start a thread with a list of who wants do and maybe doublespaces can take cc info on file so no posers