Forty-two board representatives from 17 organizations participating in this year's Drum Corps International Tour recently convened in Chicago for two days of informal yet informative discussions and presentations on a variety of operational, strategic and philosophical subjects pertaining to operating their respective drum corps entities.

Although their boards represented organizations with varying needs and perhaps slightly different missions, meeting organizers said that bringing everyone together to share information provided an outstanding opportunity for strengthening the DCI collective.

"Overall it was a great step in the right direction to help better our activity," meeting organizer and Boston Crusaders board member Garry Martin said. "There were many takeaways such as best practices for document sharing, communication terms for inter-organization board assistance, and planning for our next session as a consortium."

Day one of the meetings took place on Saturday, April 6, and centered on the results of a detailed survey that all organizations were asked to complete prior to the weekend.

"This survey and the corresponding dialogue allowed for insights around challenges, opportunities and best practices across all the organizations," Martin said.

Meeting attendees also participated in a forum on risk management during Saturday's sessions, discussing best practices for drum corps organizations to mitigate a number of potential business risk challenges facing their operations.

Day two on Sunday, April 7, included a "State of the Union" address by DCI Executive Director and CEO Dan Acheson, giving those in attendance a detailed look at the latest business initiatives and updates on recent successes of and opportunities facing Drum Corps International and its member organizations.

This consortium of corps board members is working to host a follow-up meeting during the week of the DCI World Championship this August in Indianapolis.