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About lcarlton

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  1. Columbus Saints average for 2019 was 20.5; and in 2018 it was 21.5. Age spread is 14 - 45 in 2019.
  2. We have to remember it wasn't always like this. There are the ole corps in the NE, up till 2014 there were still a lot of corps and clusters outside the NE. In the last 12 years in DCA we had You had two CA Corps, two Texas corps, two GA Corps, 2 Florida corps, 1 CO Corps, 3 MN corps, 2 Conn Corps, 1 TN Corps, 2 OH Corps, and a few Internal CA, UK, GER corps..look at 2012 - 2014 as a good indicator of how it was and could be. For me, the elimination of the Class A coordinator in line with those drastic changes and slow growth of A corps is telling.
  3. I will point out, for reference since 2013 the first year of SS, more corps have joined OC outside of the program than have gone through it. Since 2013 : Battalion, Golden Empire, Louisiana Stars, River City Rhythm, Heat Wave, Shadow, and Vessel. Les Stentors returned this season without going through SS. So far out of the 12 corps that have applied for OC from SS 3 made it. Guardians in 2013, Southwind in 2016, and Encorps in 2019. A fourth corps joined DCA Class A in 2018 and competes there, with another SS team rumored to be applying for DCA next season. I'm very impressed with the growth and impact SS is having on the all age portion of the activity. If you consider the majority of the consistent participants are all-age like Railmen, Rhythm in Blue, Impact, Star United, Rogues Hollow, Sonus, Lakeshoremen, Columbus Saints, Mon Valley, Les Titans, Rocketeers, Florida Express, and MBI. The fact they also picked up Chops this season and helped spawn a few DCA corps and mini-corps shows good cross cooperation. If anything the gravitation of All-Age ensembles to SS should be a message to DCA that they look to grow mini-corps. IMO making mini-corps its own class, and building a competitive season around them, then create two classes i.e. standstill and a field class. Have standstill class just do the normal mini corps champions. Then have field class go on in Prelims with the champion performing in exhibition. Could help foster a lot of sub 35 corps and those in mini-corps that may want to make that next step without fundamentally changing how everything flows for DCA.
  4. I'm challenging the argument of impact on fostering new corps; there have been more corps started and made it into OC since SS started, than those that did SS and applied to OC and made it.
  5. 1.) Respectfully, Cost and Time are a HUGE barrier to participation; plus the fact you have entire demographics of people not participating outside of clusters like CA, where travel and membership costs are lower. You've seen a slow loss of participation from women, and minorities over the last twenty years along with former stalwart areas of junior corps like NY, OH, and WI now only having one or two Jr. Corps to march while other marching arts like DCA, WGI, and or summer band programs growing exponentially. On the WGI note; a common response when you poll performers is "DCI is too expensive, and I don't want to be gone all summer - I can have a better experience in WGI for a fraction of the cost" and that's a solid case for why that activity is exploding. It's why corps like CT, Saints, and even Carolina Gold pull so heavily from WGI ensembles because they offer an affordable option for members to work, and march. 2.) It worked out well for MBI actually; they were able to recruit enough people to march Class A, but instead decided on SS. They field a full drumline, front ensemble, brass, and guard but opted for SS. It can be cheaper, but it also depends on how you manage your season and what choices you decide in shows during the season. If you just do one local show and go to Indy then you can make it reasonable; but if you try to do a few exhibitions, go to a few regionals and try to structure it like a drum corps season it can be a challenge for groups.
  6. Another thing I think would be helpful would be development sessions. As in, there are lots of Marching Arts education programs and development courses but nothing specific to DCA. Maybe gauge other directors, and staff; then just do some Facebook Live sessions and take about the path to the field. IMO; if you're a WGI Indoor drumline, or WGI Winds the path to fielding a corps should be nice and short and it's pretty affordable especially if you're east coast. In the same way Impulse and Pulse Percussion work. Maybe even a building high level document that lays out why you should join Class A, and a few ways to accomplish it.
  7. I challenge you on those numbers; and the participation with the rate of failure for groups who've tried to move to OC, or the groups that tried to and are moving to DCA.
  8. I'd argue DCA's pool should be different than DCI's pool as there is a HUGE barrier to DCI participation: COST & TIME. IMO the best way to detail this is by the circuit defining, promoting, and owning their differences to control the conversation on what DCA is, instead of letting DCI corps tell young people who drum corps, and what DCA is about. You control your brand and what it represents instead of someone else... When MBI was coming back out they had a GREAT campaign around this. DCA is drum corps for EVERYONE! World Class Staff - Weekend Only Schedule - Affordable - Crowd Focused & Fun! The clearest delineation is the cost, and time commitment.
  9. You're welcome. It really is great. We had this order done for our poster and it only cost $15 and was done in 1 day . If you scroll through you'll see our poster for our show a few images in. Same for the videos; we got them done for $20 and turned around in three days. We attached a ticket purchase link to it, and people were buying tickets online through Facebook using our vendor tickettailor; easy peasy!
  10. A few comments: DCA shows typically pay corps to perform, while DCI all-age events are without pay. Not that it makes a huge difference but getting $1-3K from a show to cover travel can make a huge difference. Marketing does not require a full-time office in the age of social media, and the gig economy. As proven by DCI's marketing initiatives, and marketing examples such as Jersey Surf you can have a distributed team of people in varied geographic locations that help support marketing efforts. WIth only tools like Spark, and Canva, and gig sites like fiverr you can get all of your design and promotional needs resolved cheap and easily. Most recently, I did marketing and promotions for a few years for a major Miami fashion event called "DiveSwimWeek" during Swim Week. This is a VERY high level and high end fashion event featuring new designers like chromat and more. 1.) I never step foot in Miami 2.) there were two interns who helped post content 3.) we developed all of our marketing content MONTHS in advance and scheduled it out so the work during the events was based on engaging the audience. Keep in mind - this is not my full time job and completely unrelated to my day job. I've done marketing for a major DCI show for five years; after the second year, they stopped physical advertisements and went solely to only advertisements. 8 World Class corps including BD and Bluecoats; a budget of $500, coupled with about 60 man hours over the course of 8 month and we helped grow the events ticket sales year after year topping off at 3600; with 1800 pre-sale tickets EVEN WITH THREAT OF RAIN. Content was generated by myself months in advance; scheduled; and I even went and built the website with updated data. We hosted a two corps show this summer with no physical marketing, instead using all digital marketing, in a market that hasn't had a DCA show in over 20 years. Turnout exceeded expectations by 20% even in high heat; areas we can do better - some physical marketing and direct contact with directors for group discounts. Better engagement from local musical ensembles and vendors for support of the show. The biggest success and comments we received were around our professional developed videos and posters... all of which were purchased on for less than $50 TOTAL. IMO - all corps and the circuit have to be more diligent about marketing. Ask for help; delegate it to others; develop a brand strategy and just go after it. DCA is such an expansive circuit it absolutely breaks my heart that the history of the circuit; market that's distinctly different than DCA, and more isn't being exploited. Fostering an engaged digital fanbase: The DCI Ambassador program is a good example of how to start cultivating a grassroots agency and engagement for fans. Special passes; discounts on tickets; instantly enhanced social media presence; along with fans that now are commenting in a semi-official capacity about each corps going ons. This has the benefit of organically aggregating news and content on corps and the circuit by engaging and rewarding active social media users. I wrote a plan for this a year ago that may work for DCA; I offered my assistance with no real interest.
  11. They also have a DCI Ambassador program which has yielded results It's basically a team of students, and fans who help advertise for the circuit through social media, attending events, and more earning free merch, tickets and more. Gives them agency in helping #growdrumcorps
  12. Yes, the Columbus Saints wouldn't have been able to perform if they went on at 10AM as they'd be missing nearly 40% of the corps. The extra hour made a huge difference though we had people literally rolling up as we took the field only to join us for finals in the evening. About 40% of our corps are students in HS, College, or Band Directors who couldn't miss games or events on Friday, and thus had to leave Friday night around midnight driving through the night to arrive in the morning. We have a pretty sizable contingent from Cincinnati so that's an 8.5 hour drive (with stops) assuming you don't stop to sleep. We appreciate the gracious effect made by the other directors, and willingness of the Governaires to initiate the discussion on changing times to help us out. Class act!
  13. The Columbus Saints will begin selling off G Bugles in the coming months. There is a mix of Dynasty, Kanstul and more that will be up for sale. The Kanstul's are tentatively spoken for by a local corps, but the Dynasty's should be available.
  14. Send the artist a note! She's so happy that we selected her music as she was introduced to drum corps by it!
  15. Which is pretty ironic since we would go to Ocean City for vacation after DCA the years it was in Annapolis. Almost empty; cheap drinks, and good food.