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Idea Fair

Back to the Club Weekend 2020

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

INTRODUCTION: Among the varieties of events the DAC hosts within the walls of its Albert Kahn-designed Clubhouse, the flagship is the annual Back to the Club—a weekend of celebration during which seemingly nothing is left to the imagination as all seven floors, the basement and the Pavilion are transmogrified into one big party.

THE CHALLENGE: Pre-pandemic, we have celebrated over two days—a Friday concert with 700 people and a Saturday event using the entire Club to welcome over 1,600.

How was this idea implemented and what have been the club members' reactions?

THE PLAN: In 2020, there had to be limits, notably on the number of people who could gather in a single room or on the grounds of the Clubhouse. Instead of a banquet table of temptations, members were served—and ate up—an a la carte selection. We reviewed all of the possibilities and decided that instead of one event, we would create 25-plus opportunities or events for members to build their own weekend.

THE STRATEGY: To ensure that we conveyed what the party and experience would offer, marketing played a more prominent role. In addition to the typical email and website marketing, we made a huge push on our social media platforms. Our social campaign had a total of 170 dedicated posts across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, generating over 1,500 engagements. We also had daily promotions in our story on both Instagram and Facebook, totaling over 400 story posts and reaching about 300 accounts each on average.


  • The weekend began with golf, followed on Thursday, Sept. 24, by the first of a series of tastings encompassing premium gin, rum, tequila, whiskey.
  • On the rooftop and ground floor, DAC restaurants created special dinners, such as the popular Seafood Frenzy in the Club’s signature restaurant, The Gallery & The Fresco, and menus in The Stadium Club revolving around libations such as beer and whiskey.
  • Throughout the Clubhouse itself, members had the opportunity to learn how to decorate cupcakes under the tutelage of a DAC sous chef or learn to dance the rumba or, for the kids of the Club, TikTok.
  • All of it wrapped up Saturday evening, Sept. 26, with a cornhole competition and a “silent disco”—ostensibly a participant activity that for onlookers served as a pretty amusing spectator sport.
  • Punctuating the event: fireworks over the outfield of the Club’s next-door neighbor, Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers.

THE RESULTS: The memories of previous Back to the Clubs—of huge throngs, crowded ballrooms, over-the-top decorations and dizzying offerings of food and beverages—would not be possible if the Club were to hew to its mission to be the safest place to socialize in Detroit. But the DAC brand is not about size and sizzle. It is about life-enriching experiences, bringing members together with other members and with their beloved DAC staff. You don’t need a big room for that. You just need a big heart. And a good-size imagination. And all hands on deck.


  • “The layout of Back to the Club Weekend this year was fantastic and offered many options. I normally do not attend BTTC because it is so many people at once. I appreciate all the time effort and creativity that the DAC is putting into this and all the events.”
  • “Day one ... you hit a home run!! Nice job on the first day of Back to the Club ...”
  • “I wanted to let us know how impressed I am with what you are doing with event. Creating new content and different events. Specifically the programming of BTTC this year, normally we would not attend, but liked how many different family events we have programmed.”
  • “Thank you for two wonderful evenings at the Club this past weekend. Dinner both nights in the Grill Room were terrific! Looking forward to getting back to normal and being a more frequent diner.”

About the author

Tai Tran

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