Like why on the SCAA homepage UPCOMING EVENTS section the N. Central RBC 2/18-20 and SE RBC 2/11-13 are up there while NW RBC 1/28-30 happening before them is not? Hmmmmm

 

NW Region being dissed (ignored, forgotten) by the SCAA or what?!

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Indeed, who organized the last training event?  Good job, Jason... all you there.

 

Complaining?  I simply requested an explanation for how a small portion of a $45 membership fee that's already being spread too thin could possible justify a $150 price break.  Fortunately Dan already spoke to that, so you're off the hook.

 

Penalizing non-members is not the same as creating value for members.  That's all I'm saying.  Do you agree, or not?

 

Jason Dominy said:

And for the record, who organized the last training event in the SE? Who voted this year for Camp Pull-A-Shot to be on the East Coast next year instead of the East Coast? I did. Few people care as much about this community through my work with the BGA than I do. Do I take it personally? Heck yeah, I do.

 

And again, Brady, quit complaining about the fee differential. Again, it costs $500 on average for each competitor for a regional competition. The SCAA is asking baristas to shoulder the load. At a $150 discount, the SCAA is still having to fork over the difference. It is a benefit as a BGA member. You can't call it anything else.

Lastly, I'll say, I'm done with this. I am going to step back and let others like Trevor chime in. But let me assure you, the BGA is for baristas by baristas. I don't know why this became a BGA issue, when it's an SCAA/USBC issue, so I can't speak on their behalf, but I will say that we in the BGA leadership work tirelessly on your behalf. On making great content and community as accessible as possible. We exist for furthering the barista community forward to the highest level of quality and community. That is why I do what I do, and why we on the BGA's EC will keep doing what we do, learning and growing along the way. And we need you all.

I was speaking of the Skill Building Workshop, but I must give you credit for the Southeast Regional Jam. Didn't mean to slight you, although it seems I did, and for that I'm sorry.

And no, I don't agree. Members want value. Do you want to save money because you joined Costco?



Brady said:

Indeed, who organized the last training event?  Good job, Jason... all you there.

 

Complaining?  I simply requested an explanation for how a small portion of a $45 membership fee that's already being spread too thin could possible justify a $150 price break.  Fortunately Dan already spoke to that, so you're off the hook.

 

Penalizing non-members is not the same as creating value for members.  That's all I'm saying.  Do you agree, or not?

 

Jason Dominy said:

And for the record, who organized the last training event in the SE? Who voted this year for Camp Pull-A-Shot to be on the East Coast next year instead of the East Coast? I did. Few people care as much about this community through my work with the BGA than I do. Do I take it personally? Heck yeah, I do.

 

And again, Brady, quit complaining about the fee differential. Again, it costs $500 on average for each competitor for a regional competition. The SCAA is asking baristas to shoulder the load. At a $150 discount, the SCAA is still having to fork over the difference. It is a benefit as a BGA member. You can't call it anything else.

For those that are getting tired of the same discussion over and over again, perhaps it would be worth taking some time to address the concerns that some of us keep bringing up over and over again?

 

Unless you all wanna do this again this fall?

What do you see as the biggest challenges from the BGA?

Brady said:

For those that are getting tired of the same discussion over and over again, perhaps it would be worth taking some time to address the concerns that some of us keep bringing up over and over again?

 

Unless you all wanna do this again this fall?

Thanks.

 

OK, we can work with this Costco thing...  let's call it Sam's Club though, so we can bring in Wal-Mart too... ok?

 

I absolutely expect my Sam's Club membership to save me money vs my local Wal-Mart (their open-door alternative).  I expect Sam's to reduce my prices to the lowest sustainable level they can, charge me a membership fee, and not sell to non-members at my member price at Wal-Mart.  I expect them to make a little money on our overall transaction - they are a business after all, and I'd like them to be in business next year.

 

If, in addition to reducing prices at Sam's, the owner of both chains decided to jack up the prices at Wal-Mart, to sell more Sam's memberships, would Sam's be creating value or would Wal-Mart be ripping people off?  Its the latter, isn't it?  However they won't actually rip anybody off - nobody would shop at Wal-Mart anymore and everyone would just get Sam's memberships, not because they liked Sam's better, but because it would be stupid to pay so much more at Wal-Mart.

 

Sam's and Wal-Mart don't do that in the real world, because it doesn't work.  Sam's charges what they need to charge to stay in business, which is a little less than Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart charges market price.  The company also work to improve the make Sam's the kind of place that people would choose to shop at anyway.

 

Does that make sense?

 

(PS... I hate Wal-Mart and don't like Sam's much either... just a useful analogy.)

 

Jason Dominy said:

I was speaking of the Skill Building Workshop, but I must give you credit for the Southeast Regional Jam. Didn't mean to slight you, although it seems I did, and for that I'm sorry.

And no, I don't agree. Members want value. Do you want to save money because you joined Costco?

 

Accessibility of benefits for the rank-and-file membership.

 

You guys have worked so hard to build a great curriculum, certification program, trainer certification program.  Now get it out there.

 

 

Jason Dominy said:

What do you see as the biggest challenges from the BGA?

Brady said:

For those that are getting tired of the same discussion over and over again, perhaps it would be worth taking some time to address the concerns that some of us keep bringing up over and over again?

 

Unless you all wanna do this again this fall?

That would be a good analogy if the SCAA was increasing the price of competition to sell BGA memberships. However, they raised the prices to try and attain sustainability for the competitions rather than eliminate them altogether. Unfortunately the value of competition has been taken for granted, being that they never charged folks the actual cost. Let alone the actual value.

"Companies are dropping out of sponsorship opportunities like flies. "

And that's a major concern.  And I can only presume that you guys are asking the hard questions on why that is the case.  From my perspective, it's like anything: value.  Does the sponsorship give value for the money?  If the companies are dropping like flies then perhaps a serious revamp is in order.

 

"We need you. We need Chris. We need Jay. We need everyone we can to make this happen."

I can only speak for myself but to my mind, this is the root of our discussion.  I've done the "volunteer for the SCAA" thing.  What drives people away from the volunteer ranks isn't the lack of understanding from the membership and the public, it's the disrespect shown for our volunteerism by the SCAA.  

 

Instead of bearing in mind that there are real world costs and consequences to volunteerism, the SCAA just goes on doing whatever it likes, no matter the cost.  Demonstrate a little show of thanks for the effort?  Fat chance.  Just look at the current issue of judges paying to volunteer.

 

You want to attract good people and keep them to improve the association?  Then you need to take care of them.  There will always be a new round of fresh faces eager to learn and gain experience but the only ones that tend to stay are the ones looking to exploit their rise to the SCAA leadership.  And those that speak up and speak out tend to be excluded - I'm looking at you, Marty Curtis.

 

"All reasonable criticism is welcome, but it has to be reasonable, thinking from all sides."

Perhaps you ought to take a break.  You've already said that you're taking this discussion personal - and when you've invested blood, sweat and tears, it's understandable that you're taking much of this personally.  However, you should note that I don't think anyone here is making this personal (except the SCAA President).

 

Bear in mind that since you are taking this discussion personally, it becomes difficult to impossible for you to truly discern "reasonable criticism."  You're already impartial because of your involvement.  Just take it easy and try not to take the comments personally.  Because they're not.

 

 

"However, they raised the prices to try and attain sustainability for the competitions rather than eliminate them altogether. Unfortunately the value of competition has been taken for granted, being that they never charged folks the actual cost. Let alone the actual value."

 

Hold on, now.  While I appreciate the enthusiasm, I seriously doubt that the SCAA would eliminate the competition altogether.  There's simply too much money at stake and to be made for that to happen.

 

To be honest, I'm not really put off by the SCAA raising the entry price of competition.  And I care little that the BGA member gets a dramatically discounted price.

 

However, the fact that the SCAA is willing to discount the entry fee that dramatically demonstrates just how flexible that pricing structure really is.

 

From what I recall of years past, the average regional cost about $15,000 to stage.  All of this cost was borne by the local host.  The SCAA provided supporting materials and standards and was also paid a fee, as well as the help of a staff member (in the past, Michelle Campbell, today presumably Marcus Boni).  Spread that cost out over 30 competitors and there's your $500 cost.

 

In past competitions, the SCAA never had to put out $15,000 since that was put up by the host and the event sponsors, so "offering" that it costs $500 and that $150 "discount" is really a bit of a misnomer.  But I can't fault an organization trying to make money.  It is what we do, after all.

 

Consider that the SCAA is readily willing to give the entire field the discounted rate if they are BGA members.  That means that the event would automatically be $4,500 in the hole due to discounted revenue.  That's a third of your needed revenue eliminated and the event is in the red.

 

Those of you who run your own businesses know that operations cannot survive very long running in the red - and if every event is running at a deficit, then obviously the money is coming from somewhere else - probably in the form of more sponsors.

 

Which means that the discounted rate is quite flexible and not indicative of the true operating conditions of the competition.

 

With that in mind, perhaps the SCAA should take the competitions to higher levels and higher fees.  Let's start charging more to compete and let's start paying people instead of relying upon volunteers all the time.  If it costs real money to stage the thing, start charging real money to pay for it as well.

 

After all, the referees running the NFL games aren't working for free...

on a slightly different note, i think we're eventually going to have to devise a radically different model for barista competition and community. i'm not sure the current model (15 minute x 4 espresso + 4 cappuccino + 4 sig drinks) is a sustainable measure of barista skill and prowess. perhaps it might not be a bad thing for a competition costing more than an average baristas weekly wage to be eliminated?

First, my original post had nothing to do with or any reference to the BGA. Personally I believe the BGA is doing the best they can and making progress.

 

On the other hand, I once was a paying SCAA member but am not now and have zero plans to be again in the near future if ever. The level of professionalism not even being able to post major events on the website but one reason. I was not a roaster member but chose retail member because of the much higher price to be a roaster member even if you just roasted for your own retail shop, even if you didn't even have a retail outlet and were just starting out. Out of whack pricing schedule IMO. Seems most everything the SCAA does is more geared towards helping those that already succeeded in making money with change to spare for their fees continue to make money. Starts ups, I see little to zero value in SCAA membership. Then there's Roaster's Guild Membership and it's high price. I've talked with the SCAA reps on the pricing of roaster guild membership and the argument supporting it comes down to IF you pay to go on the origin trip and the attend the retreat the money you save by being a member versus non-member in fees justifies the high cost of roaster guild membership. Again, an argument that says if you have a lot of money already you get to save more money. If you're a struggling startup you're frakked. Oh, they did say they could throw in a 6 month subscription to Roast Magazine to add more value. Right. Now that's something of value I subscribe to already because I'm very serious about roasting, very serious about coffee as culinary. The SCAA, I don't think so much, very serious about money above excellence in coffee. Just my jaded opinion of the SCAA operating just like most businesses in corporate American, the haves at the top get more while trying to hold down and convince the have nots to keep giving and paying more so they at the top can have even more...

 

OK... looks like I need to clarify, since so many seem to be misunderstanding my thoughts on this.

 

I see nothing wrong with competitor's fees being increased to insure the current and future viability of the event.  Barista competition adds a lot to our industry and community, and provides lots of opportunity for baristas and the industry overall.  The sanctioning organizations should do what they need to do.

 

That said, I suspect that exactly zero competitors or judges will pay the full non-member registration fee.  All competitors and judges will join the BGA.  Is that good for the BGA and SCAA?  Absolutely.

 

I guess my question is this: Does the $300 registration actually represent the sustainable competitor fee level?  If so, has the SCAA determined that a regional competitor is so valuable to the BGA ranks that they are willing to discount the fee severely to guarantee they join?  That makes a little more sense to me.

 

Still just trying to understand the logic here.

 

Trevor said:

That would be a good analogy if the SCAA was increasing the price of competition to sell BGA memberships. However, they raised the prices to try and attain sustainability for the competitions rather than eliminate them altogether. Unfortunately the value of competition has been taken for granted, being that they never charged folks the actual cost. Let alone the actual value.

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