Below is the list of annual meetings, location, and attendance for the past 19 years. This from the nice folks at SBC This Week.
So, you’ve got a high of 11,959 in Orlando, 1990 (thank you, Mickey Mouse) and a low of 4,852 in Phoenix in 2011 (well, it was ‘dry’ heat, so you fried while not sweating).
Note the big crowd in Greensboro in 2006 where there was a hotly contested election. Somehow the brethren and sistren can come up with convention money when they want to strike a blow for their favored candidate. Same for this year in Dallas.
I liked Phoenix once but if we’re going to have the annual meeting in June, I don’t understand the love affair with the city where the average June high temp is 104 degrees.
I’m OK with Dallas and Houston, a bit cooler than Phoenix, but the humidity is usually around 150% making for pure misery unless you find a good taco place.
We’re headed to Birmingham next year. Good. Just a few hours away. Birmingham has aspirations. Ought to be just fine.
After that: Orlando, Nashville, Anaheim, Charlotte, and Indianiapolis.
I’ve already said (here and here) why any system of sattelite locations or remote voting is a bad idea but that will not slow down those who think our problems will be solved if only more people can attend.
If increased annual meeting attendance is a good thing how may it be achieved. Here are a few ideas. I don’t endorse all them.
- Fire one of the entity heads just prior to the meeting. That will stir up the crowd and people will find funds to attend. My hope is that we’ve seen the last of this type of motivation.
- Have a hotly contested election. This may be done positively or negatively. This past year’s contest was positive if only the candidates spoke but, unfortunately, immediately degenerated when supporters got involved. Folks can make their own judgment about which side should bear more guilt.
- Scholarship money. A handful of small church pastors receive money from the Pastor’s Conference and/or Caskey Center to attend. Good.
- Put a lot of celebrities on the platform. No, wait, we did that this year and it might hurt rather than help.
- Offer a better selection of swag in the exhibit halls. Hundred dollar bills would generate a crowd.
- Try a meeting in Toronto. Average temps are in the 70s in June. Might be some legal reason the SBCAM can’t be outside the US, though. So, go with Buffalo…umm…maybe not.
Might be best, though, to let the annual meeting grow (or shrink) organically. Let those attend who feel it is important and want to participate.
See you in Bmghm.