2012 Public Relations Officer Convention
To say the 2012 Public Relations Officer Convention (PROC) was exciting and informative would be an understatement. With general sessions including Rider Readiness, Motorcycle Rights, Colors, Incorporation and Sponsorship, Marketing and Motorcycle Safety, the agenda was packed.
Add in guest speakers such as World Drag Race Champion Rickey Gadson, drag race new comer sensation Dystany Spurlock, the legendary Sharon “Lady Ninja” Cancel, Harley-Davidson’s Director of Market Outreach John Comissiong, Sport Bikes Inc. Publisher Allan Lane and I-San Hung of M1 Entertainment who helped to bring us the SPEED Channel and there was never a shortage of valuable rider specific information.
This year’s PROC was held at the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC) in ATL hosted by the Front Runnerz M/C Atlanta chapter. Preliminary numbers estimate more than 3,000 people and 700 clubs from throughout the U.S. attended this multi-day convention of education, sharing and camaraderie. With this level of reach it’s easy to see why companies as Roaring Toyz, Speed and Strength, Mountain Motorsports and Leo Vance signed on as primary sponsors. “We knew a lot of eyes would be on us and a lot of riders would be attending” said Eric “Bigg Dogg” Adkison, President of Front Runnerz M/C, ATL., “From our Thursday night Hang Night to having our club members assist with greeting guests and providing transportation at our overflow hotel. We wanted to make sure we showed that southern hospitality to everyone while in our city” he said with a smile.
General break-out sessions were held for Presidents and Vice Presidents, Sergeant of Arms, Road Captains, Secretaries and more. I had the opportunity to sit in on the PRO break-out session, where Front Runnerz (ATL) PRO, Poochie’s words rang hard and true. “When trying to lock down locations such as the GICC, do you homework. Do a cost and comparison analysis, get involved in that organization’s community efforts and build a value-added relationship” she said passionately. Lady Kim of Philly’s Double Lyte Posse and BIGG ROBB of #1 Stunnas (Chi-town chapter) drove home the point of how to effectively and strategically communicate and promote your club and club’s events without falling off the radar by overwhelming your networks with repetitive information overload. Lady Ninja dropped advice from her 30+ years of riding experience in the National Sport Bike Association and Female Riders sessions while Mr. Rickey Gadson conducted an engaging and colorful session on Motorcycle Safety complete with statistics, real-life experience and graphic images in a compelling effort to enlighten those in attendance.
No doubt, however, it was the 2011 Fallen Riders Dedication that garnered the most attention. With attendees rightfully overcome with emotion remembering our fallen riders along with a powerful testimony and prayer for all those that ride regardless of style or race. “…. think of your love ones when you turn the key. God Bless all the Bikers and also God Bless Me!”
While the general-sessions were a must to check out, the vendor floor had its own share of excitement with bikes from industry icons Myrtle West Customs and Roaring Toyz with their cadre of sport bikes and baggers. Mr. Johnny Map aka Bike Paparazzi was on the scene with his raw/uncut grudge bike coverage and skillfully crafted original Safari paintings. Our own Throttle Angels Kenecia and CiCi had the floor on lock with their own photo and video shoot by media provider and apparel brand Rock The Throttle with bikes from Myrtle West Customs. Several organizations were also on-hand including Riders Against Domestic Abuse, the East Coast Biker Rally team, PROs for Charity and the ladies of Females Leading Our Way (F.L.O.W) who were busy promoting their upcoming 1st Annual F.L.O.W. Weekend July 13-15 in NJ. Not only could you find information on upcoming events, charity rides and new products, there was also a health screening area complete blood pressure, stress and cholesterol testing – areas too many of us take for granted far too often.
TomBoy of VA’s Soulja Girlz was doing her thing “evaluating” some of the different club spirits (stay tuned for more on this topic from her) while Deacon of B-more’s Black Tigers, Risky of Shifin Gearz mag, SxySix of #1 Stunnas, and Whip and the fellas of Indy’s 317 Ryders seemed to be everywhere. Hosting the very lively and entertaining adult comedy show/discussion “Taboo Talk” was comedian Troy Rawlings where any and everything was open for discussion and best believe Troy didn’t waste any time bringing his comedic timing to get the crowd engaged and laughing. But, you can’t end an event like this without one key element that has become synonymous with the M/C scene and that is Big Mucci of Omens M/C (Cleveland chapter) and his legendary Biker’s Shuffle. Talk about shutting it down!
“We’re very happy with the results and attendance this year and are already preparing for 2013 with taking lessons learned in order to continually improve the PROC” said Brian (Seven) Lawson. Next year, Houston Texas will be the home for the 2013 PROC, hosted by the dynamic ladies of Gorgeous Ladies on Wheels (G.L.O.W), the first time an all-female club has hosted the PROC since 2005 with the Speed Divas. For more info check out proconvention.com or glowmotorcycleclub.com
For more pics and coverage, check out our Facebook page. A special shout of recognition to the PROC Committee team Butta, Seven, Ladie, Lexy, Mocha and the PROC Home Team Leaders Beast, Cotton Candie, Tiny, Wood and Big Red for doing the damn thing!
Written by: Leon L. Brittain
Motorcycle Journalist and photographer