With preparations well underway for the 2008 Drum Corps International World Championships in Bloomington, Ind., more than a dozen DCI staff members and the major players of the World Championships Advance Resource Team traveled last Wednesday to Memorial Stadium on the campus of Indiana University (IU) for the next in a series of detailed planning meetings. The Advance Resource Team has been assembled as part of the Music Crossroads Initiative of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA), made up of community leaders who with DCI and ICVA liaisons, have been working for more than a year on the development of the upcoming World Championships in areas including logistics, promotions, volunteer recruitment, fan experience and corps housing. The group also met with local coordinators from the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau, forming a core group of more than 30 in attendance.
The Indianapolis-based team members were transported from downtown to Bloomington by Star of America bus lines, the company once associated with the former DCI member corps Star of Indiana. The bus trip served as a test run of the shuttles that will take fans from downtown Indianapolis to Bloomington during the week of the World Championships. After disembarking at the foot of Memorial Stadium, DCI executive director and CEO Dan Acheson described for the assembled groups the setup for the spectator entrance and festival marketplace at the World Championships, stressing the necessity of a quality fan experience and a roomy, open marketplace area. Team members then headed up to the press box for a formal welcome and a short orientation from Acheson. After a brief lunch, participants broke down into committees, focusing on fan and corps experiences at the Championships, on finance and fundraising, and on securing local volunteers and promotional opportunities.
Theresa Rhodes, president of Indianapolis' Lacy Leadership Association and chair of the Music Crossroads Advance Resource Team, facilitated the meeting. "Today's meeting was extremely productive. I roamed around through some of the teams as they were having their discussions, and they were accomplishing exactly what I hoped they would accomplish," she said. "Everyone really drilled down and said, 'Alright, what other efforts can we put in place in order to make these events a success?'"
Dan Acheson, DCI executive director and CEO, addresses the assembled group.
A quick tour of Memorial Stadium allowed meeting participants to see the same view corps members will this August as they prepare to descend on the field for competition. Rhodes remarked, "It was exciting just to get the feel of what the corps members will experience as they make that turn into the stadium. What a feeling that will be for them, to come around that corner and see that whole side of Memorial Stadium filled with fans who are there to watch their performances. It'll be a great venue, a beautiful facility, there will be a lot of Hoosier hospitality to go around, and excitement will abound." View a photo gallery from this meeting. Photos by Brett Jackson, John DeNovi. Related news: 'All Systems Go' for Bloomington World Championships Purchase your tickets to the 2008 DCI World Championships.