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Old 10-29-2012, 10:03 AM   #155
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Although this is not cast in stone and the results may vary however in the "East" trying to grab as many snowbirds as possible as they pass can be a plus for attendance. Sometimes members are reluctant to move far if it's only for the single reason of attending a rally. Convert that opportunity to 2 good reasons to get on the road and the attendance curve will rise. Of course this is non-scientific but in my experience a number of folks will take advantage of the opportunity.

The larger past "East" Nationals have been geared for the fall .... the weather is somewhat cooler, sites open up and the rates typically fall. (This is typical but not always the rule)
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:04 PM   #156
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What happened to the idea of being in the Custer SD area?
My wife and I thought this almost close enough to attempt the trip.
Maybe we could hold a SnowBird event in AZ as an enticement.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:01 PM   #157
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Possum, when this business of planning on 150 rig rally started that pretty much shut out the possibility the Black Hills. If you figure 2 people per rig, that is 300 people in a social/dining hall. That number would have even strained the facility at River Plantation in 2012. There are not that many CGs with meeting/dining areas around the country.
I am still open for it and frankly don't subscribe to the "bigger is better" theory. I looked into the Black Hills and just could not find a facility that big. Even a 100 rig rally would have been tough to accomodate. Not sure we could expect that many rigs, but I also offered to do whatever I could to assist in a rally there. I would not feel comfortable heading up one when I don't know what assests are available from IRV2 and how to get approval from whomever makes the final decision.
I still am not sure how a final decision is made.
That might be a good topic for discussion for the next National - no matter where it is held.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:36 PM   #158
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I am still open for it and frankly don't subscribe to the "bigger is better" theory..
In 2011 we had 69 rigs, In 2012 we had 113. If we get the same rate of increase in 2013 we might have to make arrangements to book 157 rigs.

In 2012 we were fortunate to have booked about 60% to 70% 1st timers and there were people coming off of a waiting list.

If we begin to plan on excluding people because we are trying to restrict attendees from coming to the rally, this will be more of a challenge than planning big, expecting less and booking more. Essentially this is what happened last year.

Bigger is just that bigger. Better is something that the Wagonmaster will have to try to achieve. Being better than last year is going to be a challenge that I don't expect will be easily accomplished.

At the end of the day ... it would be a sad if we had to plan on telling people to stay home and that we did not have the room to accommodate them. Bigger therefore has nothing to do with better.

Getting a facility that can handle a crowd is not hard, it's just that it limits the choices to venues that can accommodate a large group. Putting 300 rigs in a park with a full feature facility that can handle 1,000 people is available. The only caveat is that a facility like this needs to be booked as far in advance as possible - perhaps as much as 18 months.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:42 PM   #159
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I wanted to post an update to everyone who is watching this 2013 National discussion. I have been chatting with the Admin team about changing the way we approach the National. In the past, when the event was smaller, expecting a couple to step up and host the event was reasonable. As it grows in size it's a more daunting task and it's going to get harder and harder to find people willing to step up and organize the whole thing. That being said, my idea is to select a campground, set the dates, put down the deposit and then ask for volunteers to help with various aspects of the event such as entertainment, dining, welcoming, day trips, etc. Most people will feel more comfortable offering assistance with one of these smaller tasks then taking on the burden of planning the entire event. This would also allow more people to get involved which is a great way to stimulate more local rallies around the year.

So stay tuned as we evaluate the proposals which have been made so far and also explore some ideas for other locations which have been submitted in the past. We will make an announcement at some point in the near future.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:53 PM   #160
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I wanted to post an update to everyone who is watching this 2013 National discussion. I have been chatting with the Admin team about changing the way we approach the National. In the past, when the event was smaller, expecting a couple to step up and host the event was reasonable. As it grows in size it's a more daunting task and it's going to get harder and harder to find people willing to step up and organize the whole thing. That being said, my idea is to select a campground, set the dates, put down the deposit and then ask for volunteers to help with various aspects of the event such as entertainment, dining, welcoming, day trips, etc. Most people will feel more comfortable offering assistance with one of these smaller tasks then taking on the burden of planning the entire event. This would also allow more people to get involved which is a great way to stimulate more local rallies around the year.

So stay tuned as we evaluate the proposals which have been made so far and also explore some ideas for other locations which have been submitted in the past. We will make an announcement at some point in the near future.
Outstanding idea!!!
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:21 PM   #161
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now we are getting somewhere......It is good to see that 13 pages of discussions is leading us closer to the main event. I look forward to it
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:04 PM   #162
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Andy et al,

At one time I was a mover and shaker in a largish group dedicated to a large hobby. Every year we would hear people claiming they would be hosting a bigger and better convention than the last one. Self defeating because all of a sudden we were not getting people or regional clubs to attempt hosting because it became too onerous on the host(s) people or group.

I would suggest the newer bigger and better mantra be dropped in favour of an event that is planned to be fun and entertaining. I am not really big on sitting in an audience to watch a professional performer do their thing, especially in a genre I am not a fan of so by doing this type of hype promotion are we actually driving people away?

I know there are portable shelters for rent that are big enough to sit 1000 or so for about $3.00 per attendee for the week. We all or most of us (I think) carry those folding plastic camper tables (28 X 72) that would sit six people. We could ask who does and are they willing to share theirs with those who don't have a similar unit. We carry a couple of inexpensive folding card chairs for eating outdoors. If everyone showing up were informed to bring enough for themselves that would eliminate having to source a site with a huge pavilion available for our use.

Denise and I are quite comfortable boondocking for a week and then finding a dump station as we head home. I think about 95% of us Wallydock or seem to with that unending thread.

If we were to look into an austerity program rally maybe we could become what some purport to be when it comes to being a semblance of Green. We would much rather sit around chatting, playing cards, and enjoying each other's company and for sure we don't need to be entertained by professionals. The sponsors and exhibition suppliers don't have to be indoors do they? The whole RV experience is outside so why couldn't we do just that.

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Old 10-29-2012, 10:47 PM   #163
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When this discussion first started I suggested a place that can more than satisfy what are ya'll looking for. It was suggested that I be the Wagon Master. That part is not gonna happen. I have to many irons in the fire right now. I have helped put one of these together. Even though it was smaller than the one this year it still took a lot of time and work. As ya'll know full well that it does.

In June of 2007 Bounders of America and Bounders United held a rally at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia. There were over 300 Bounders that attended this rally. Counting those people plus all the kids and vendors that were there, there was over 700 people at that rally. Plus there was a stock show going on at the same time. Add in those people. Probably over a thousand people there that week.

The facilities at this place are outstanding. Plenty of room for what ever you plan on doing.

Also a lot to do in the area.

If you have a member that lives close to there ask them to check it out and give the Administrators a report.

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Old 10-30-2012, 08:45 AM   #164
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Possum - I agree that the rallies need to be fun and appeal to a broad range of people and feel that we should change them up a little every year. If we can get a new, more streamlined, approach to defining a location and getting members to help in different areas then the long term goal is to encourage more smaller rallies this way. So if your music taste is more for a certain music genre then hopefully we can have a smaller rally with other members meeting up to see a festival on that genre with a more loosely planned event.

If we can get this new process in place and our promotion strategy dialed-in I can see the National growing into a pretty large event. Some people love that and others hate it. So I'd like to see more small events for those who want a more intimate setting to hang out with a smaller group of like minded members and then the big National for those who enjoy things on a bigger scale.

The first RV forum I founded was for Airstream owners and that community has probably 50-100 member driven rallies each year. They have evolved and grown with events being held annually at the same place to others that meet-up for things like NASCAR, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, or even Burning Man. As our community gets larger, we need to make sure we our members have a broad range of events our members would enjoy and we'll try to foster that in the years ahead.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:26 AM   #165
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Possum - I agree that the rallies need to be fun and appeal to a broad range of people and feel that we should change them up a little every year. If we can get a new, more streamlined, approach to defining a location and getting members to help in different areas then the long term goal is to encourage more smaller rallies this way. So if your music taste is more for a certain music genre then hopefully we can have a smaller rally with other members meeting up to see a festival on that genre with a more loosely planned event.

If we can get this new process in place and our promotion strategy dialed-in I can see the National growing into a pretty large event. Some people love that and others hate it. So I'd like to see more small events for those who want a more intimate setting to hang out with a smaller group of like minded members and then the big National for those who enjoy things on a bigger scale.

The first RV forum I founded was for Airstream owners and that community has probably 50-100 member driven rallies each year. They have evolved and grown with events being held annually at the same place to others that meet-up for things like NASCAR, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, or even Burning Man. As our community gets larger, we need to make sure we our members have a broad range of events our members would enjoy and we'll try to foster that in the years ahead.
Andy, I agree…it can’t be one size fits all plus we need to look down the road and try and promote regional rallies as well as at the National level. If we plan on growing the National rally maybe we should pick 3 or 4 locations across the country and rotate between these so we can plan further ahead, 18 + months allowing us to reserve a venues capable of hosting larger groups. The regional rallies could cater to those folks that have like interests and they can be designed to be smaller and less structured. Texas Boomers come to mind with their upcoming Christmas event end of November.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:41 PM   #166
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Andy et al,

At one time Denise and I coordinated the activities of the 1000 or so volunteers for the TerriVic Jazz Party when we lived in Victoria. I believe I still have the disk with the base information on it that could be adapted to attendees, RV requirements, activities etc. etc. to be included in and we could act as a long distance registration hosts even if we can't attend. Lists and such could be put into PDF format and shipped to each activity coordinator to keep them apprised of who what where etc. I think it could be made to work if you lot are agreeable.
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:50 PM   #167
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In 2011 we had 69 rigs, In 2012 we had 113. If we get the same rate of increase in 2013 we might have to make arrangements to book 157 rigs.

In 2012 we were fortunate to have booked about 60% to 70% 1st timers and there were people coming off of a waiting list.

If we begin to plan on excluding people because we are trying to restrict attendees from coming to the rally, this will be more of a challenge than planning big, expecting less and booking more. Essentially this is what happened last year.

Bigger is just that bigger. Better is something that the Wagonmaster will have to try to achieve. Being better than last year is going to be a challenge that I don't expect will be easily accomplished.

At the end of the day ... it would be a sad if we had to plan on telling people to stay home and that we did not have the room to accommodate them. Bigger therefore has nothing to do with better.

Getting a facility that can handle a crowd is not hard, it's just that it limits the choices to venues that can accommodate a large group. Putting 300 rigs in a park with a full feature facility that can handle 1,000 people is available. The only caveat is that a facility like this needs to be booked as far in advance as possible - perhaps as much as 18 months.
Mike, i'm not so sure you'll ever get many more rigs than 2012 rally. i think that Smoky Mountain National Park helped greatly to the sucess of this years rally. i am aware that this website is fast approching 100,000 members but if you go to the COMMUNITY page at top & scroll down to Members List---look at all the many members that are NOT active on this website----many many names with 000's for posts. i had to go thru the 1st 52 pages of names before coming to a name (AL) that attended the rally. not sure if they would attend a rally wherever it would be held at.

anyway, i'm going to post 5 states with the most attendees:

Florida---14
North Carolina----13
Texas----10
Georgia---9
South Carolina, Virginia & Pennsyvania ---7 each
you know more of these folks than i do but these 67 are probably members of the more organized groups on this website. yes i was a 1st time attendee like others but it would be questionable how many would return in 2013. Location, Location will play a big part.

i've added my 3 cents worth---so i'll shut-up!!!!
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:26 PM   #168
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If it were held during school vacation, more families could attend and others also would be able to include g'kids. Does it have to be at tradition campgrounds?
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