Megaweekend - megagreat or megawaste?

by Sheldon Wolfe, RA, CSI, CCS, CCCA

Will we get at least $70,000 worth of value out of this megaweekend?


At the end of July, CSI revived the "megaweekend" on a trial basis. For those who aren't familiar with this activity, it offers region chairs a chance to meet their Institute committees face-to-face. The intent is that the region chairs will learn more about what it is that Institute committees do, then bring that knowledge to bear at the region level, to eventually be passed down to chapter committees.

The last such meeting took place two years ago, after which the program was terminated. Although the intent of the meetings was good, the results made it difficult to justify the expense. Until that meeting in 1998, it was apparent that many region chairs arrived unprepared. They didn't know what their jobs involved, and many of them had received no direction from their region directors.

The lack of preparation and participation resulted in suspension of the program, at least until its benefits could be evaluated in light of the meeting's expense. We were recently told that megaweekend comes at a high price - about four dollars per member, or $70,000.

and what about this year?

I am pleased to report that the initial reaction to this year's megaweekend is positive and quite promising. This year's crop of region chairs included a lot of new faces, along with a seasoning of people who had served on Institute committees last year.

Perhaps they were better prepared by their region directors, or maybe it was just the enthusiasm of people new to an activity, but whatever the reason, there was a lot of enthusiasm in the group. The region technical chairs had some good dialogue with Technical Committee, resulting in a fresh view of chapter technical activities. One of the initiatives created by the technical chairs was an "expertise database", which promises to be a useful tool for members who want to know more about construction products. The first information should begin to coalesce within a couple of weeks; I'll report on progress in future columns.

The real results won't be known for a few months, maybe longer. Will we get at least $70,000 worth of value out of this megaweekend? Or will the enthusiasm die, leaving no choice but to terminate the program? You are part of the answer. If the region chairs are to fire up the chapter committee chairs, those chairs must attend the region workshops. And when the chapter chairs return home, someone will have to be there to help carry out their assignments. Will it be you?

2000 Sheldon Wolfe, RA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
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