One of our favorite annual events is the BRRBQ. For employees, clients and industry friends, our BRRBQ is a way to enjoy good food and company, and take in Kansas City’s American Royal World Series of Barbecue, the world’s largest barbecue competition.
Since the first BRRBQ in 2012, the event has grown in attendance, and evolved into something that warrants a committee of employees to plan. Over the years, the trio of Scott Brown, Tim Floersch, and Brian Roggy has been a steady force behind the planning and continual improvement of all things BRRBQ. From growing our tent space to accommodate approximately 250 people each year, to finessing the barbecue that a team of employees/hobbyist pit masters spend hours practicing and perfecting, Scott, Tim, and Brian are at the heart of it.
To wrap up our sixth BRRBQ, we asked the three of them for their takes on how the event has improved over the years, what they enjoy most, and their favorite memories.
The BRRBQ is one of our biggest social events each year, and involves a lot of moving parts. How far in advance do you start planning, and what’s the first piece of coordination you like to tackle?
Scott: To be honest, the planning never stops. I’m always looking for ideas and inspiration to keep the event fresh. Actual planning typically begins a short time after the American Royal opens registration, and takes about 3 months.
Tim: We are always barbecuing throughout the year and refining our techniques. The first applications are submitted to the American Royal in the springtime, and we really hit the ground running starting in the summer.What do you think is the most stressful piece to coordinate?
Scott: Buses, buses, buses!
Tim: Working through the weekend schedule to make sure we have enough people out at the necessary times, and having enough supplies and equipment to go along with all weekend’s events.
Brian: Making sure the tent is set up in the right location, and the buses pick up and drop off as planned.
We just had the sixth BRRBQ earlier this month, and you have been our ‘Three Musketeers’ in leading this event since 2012. What lessons have you learned over the last 6 BRRBQs?
Tim: As confident as we are in our own barbecue and cooking abilities, nothing will ground you more than scores from trained judges. But on the flipside, for a bunch of architects and design professionals who barbecue on the side, we don’t do too terribly. Also, it’s always better to have a ton of leftover food, than run out.
Brian: I’ve learned you can never have enough bacon-wrapped, cheese-filled smoked jalapenos.
What are some of the positive changes that have been made to the BRRBQ over the years?
Scott: I think one of the most positive changes has been the evolution of the Thursday night event we do for a smaller group. The first couple of years, it was quickly thrown together. We’ve put more effort into making it a better event, with a unique menu, these past few years. For our main Friday night event, most of the improvements have been related to logistics and the menu, like securing a larger space, adding generators for power, getting a custom sink, expanding our drink selection, and adding new side dishes.
Tim: Growing the space over the years has been great because we’ve been able to create a better experience overall. The new event branding we introduced this year was a fun change to make, too.
What’s your favorite part of the BRRBQ prep process?
Scott: The camaraderie!
Brian: Hearing the feedback from everyone about how much they enjoy the event.
What is one of the best memories or stories you have of the BRRBQ over the past 5 years?
Scott: My favorite memories are from the smaller Thursday events over the last two years when we were able to drive up to the space in race cars, thanks to Landon Chitty!
Tim: One of the best memories so far is walking up to the stage to get our ribbon! That, and the race cars.
Brian: I second the ribbon memory. But really, the best stories are the ones left untold.