Please feel free to discuss also.
I don't like the sponsorship idea. I didn't like it before and I don't like it now. When someone in the industry who belongs to the site brings food to the picnic, that's great. I recall Antonio Burrell coming to the picnic with his family and bringing food, and that was really cool. (I can't recall how many times he's attended, but this one particular time, I recall my husband having an enjoyable conversation with his family).
The time the picnic had sponsors, the food was prepared and dropped off. Perhaps there were people accompanying some of it, but it doesn't stand out in my mind. It felt like restaurants had been strong-armed into sending food. I'm sure that's not what happened, but it felt to me like they thought they had to do it. Maybe I'm the only person who reacted that way, but that's the way I felt. The food they sent was good, but I didn't care for the whole thing.
It doesn't seem like restaurants need PR when we're just talking about the members of this site. It's not like some restaurant no one has ever heard of is going to be showing up at the picnic. I like that the very talented members of the site bring food, and sometimes it's the very simplest dishes I enjoy the most.
There are numerous events at restaurants for the members of the site. The picnic is for members and their friends and family. I don't like the idea of commercializing it.
As to the other relevant element, I have a hard time knowing if I will be around to attend if it's announced two months in advance. I have no clue about my schedule (or my husband's) four months from now. I know reserving early is good to get the particular picnic site, and maybe other people know their schedules much better.