a planning guide for hosting
Local Rallies and State Rallies
Regional Rallies and National Rallies
written by Sandra Creekmore (Madame Boomer)
for iRV2.com in 2004 and revised in 2011
Special credit to Beaudry RV Resort in Tuscon, Arizona for granting
permission to incorporate their rally planning guide into this manual.
THE NEED FOR A PLAN
Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of planning an event, small or large in size or scope, must recognize the necessity of having a workable plan in place for the event to be considered a success.
"Organization Is NOT a bad word"
There's nothing wrong with the concept of having details planned in advance - a successful event thrives on it!
This rally manual is primarily to enable anyone to step to the helm of a National Rally, but the ideas incorporated herein and the suggested guidelines can be scaled down to use as a master checklist for a local, state or regional rally as well.
Use the guidelines for a local, state or regional rally
and feel free to add or omit suggestions herein or structure them to fit your specific rally need.
The greatest achievement of a successful rally master
is the ability to delegate!
This manual will show you how to delegate the various responsibilities of organization into smaller groups or committees that oversee the many aspect of an event. The committe chairmen, working together with the rally master, will make small tasks flow together into one large, well planned event. Isn't that what everyone wants?
Another wonderful aspect of sharing the responsibilities of planning a successful event is
people WANT to be a part of something great!
Surround yourself with others who understand the direction and vision you have for your event. Share that with them...and turn them loose to help!
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THE RALLY MASTER
The term "wagonmaster" was first used in the Old West days to describe the person in charge of leading a caravan of wagons from one place to another. The success of the trip fell upon his shoulders and his job was to map out the best route to take, to determine where the wagons would stop overnight, to bring enough provisions for the duration of the trip, to provide protection along the route and attend to many other responsilities during the course of the adventure.
Times have changed, the "wagons" have changed and so has the name, but the duties of the Rally Master today are very similar to those of the earlier times! The Rally Master still shoulders the responsibilities as the leader of an RV'ing group of modern times.
Qualifications of an iRV2.com Rally Master
... should be a member in good standing with the organization.
... should be a detailed oriented person willing to coordinate the various aspects of a rally in the best interest of the group. It is not necessary to have prior experience, but it is good to have a working knowledge of the industry and a willingness to rely on the available help of experienced Rally Masters when needed.
... should recognize and accept the time involvement required to put together rallies for a local, state, regional or national group and be able to make a commitment for that specified time period.
... should be above reproach and put the interest of the entire group ahead of personal feelings.
... steps up to do the job with the right motivations and intention always recognizing the importants of being above-board in all actions.
... should be familiar with the policies and procedures of iRV2.com and be willing to abide by the final decision made by the Administrative Board in matters regarding the hosting of National Rallies.
... should never accept financial renumeration for personal gain for a job he/she volunteered to do. Any gratuities offered by rv parks, campgrounds, sponsors, regional groups or others should be appreciatively accepted, but given to iRV2.com for deposit into the general account.
"Ask NOT what iRV2 can do for you, but what can YOU do for iRV2"
quoted by Bill Rowell, founder of iRV2.com
paraphrased from the infamous words of President John F. Kennedy
This quote depicts the type and character of people who hold the position of Rally Master of a local group, a state group, a regional group or a national rally group.
Without your strong leadership, your commitment to the organization and your vision for rallies of any size,
we would be nothing more than loners riding the nation's highways
without a destination and without good friends to enjoy the experiences!
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POLICY AND PROCEDURES
This section is currently under revision
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NATIONAL RALLY TIMETABLE
The rally master may not always have the recommended time requirements to plan a rally, but certainly the earlier you can begin to plan and promote your event, the more organized it will be in the end.
18 MONTHS PRIOR TO A NATIONAL RALLY
Submit a proposed location and recommendation for rally master for administration consideration. The proposal should include date of the national rally, location, accomodations, special attractions nearby and entertainment venues.
Amenities to look for in selecting the location and accomodations:
1. what will bring people to the area - special attractions and venues
2. availability of the location to host your rally
3. some considerations when selecting the location (rv park, campground, etc) should include:
16 MONTHS PRIOR TO A NATIONAL RALLY
1. set in place committee chair personnel and have them begin filling their committees with volunteers to carry out the various aspects and duties of their job description.
a. ease and ability to maneuver rigs in and out easily
b. large sites to accomodate big rigs
c. ample number of 50 amp sites.
d. short sewer hose connections
e. cable tv and wi-fi connections
f. rally hall with a/c and full kitchen facilities
g. swimming pool and playgrounfd facilities
h. availability of bus/tour/shuttle vehicles to transport attendees to area venues.
2. set in place the schedule for the national rally week to outline the various activities and venues you want to accomplish.
3. gather financial information for the various activities (site fees, welcome supper, entertainment, catered meals, etc etc) for the rally and prepare a rally package to include the cost of all the activities that will be presented. Present to the Admin/Mod Board for final approval.
4. submit an announcement of the National Rally on the forum in the National Rally section to include all the particulars of the rally: dates, location, directions, rally package, additional venues not covered in the package, schedule for the week, etc.
12 MONTHS PRIOR TO A NATIONAL RALLY
1. schedule periodic meetings to make sure all duties are being covered and on schedule by each committee.
2. prepare visual presentation of the rally to be announced at the current year's National Rally.
3. set a "begin" date and and "end" date to accept registration and payment information.
4. work with the authorized irv2.com personnel to publish the rally package PayPal and begin the registration process by posting a sign up on the forum for the attendees.
COUNTDOWN TO A NATIONAL RALLY
1. continue registration and payment process on the forum.
2. continue to meet with your committee chair personnel to ensure all is still going according to plan. Make adjustment as needed.
Prepare a back up plan and be prepared for changes!
Inclement weather, last minute arrivals, etc
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NATIONAL RALLY COMMITTEES
An important step a rally master needs to take is to assemble a good crew of volunteers to work with them. The volunteers need to be aware of the job descriptions and time involvement in their area and must be willing to see their jobs fulfilled to the end.
Once the committe chair personnel are set in place, they can assemble their own list of volunteerss to help out in that area if needed. The intent is no one takes on a heavier load than necessary!
Below is a list of committees that may be assembled for a National Rally as needed. Some will be more active prior to the event, while others will be more active during the event. Some committees may overlap where the chair personnel will need to co-ordinate with each other to enable a smooth plan...example: the Entertainment Committee will rely heavily on the Transportation Committee to move attendees to and from major area attractions or venues.
PARKING AND SECURITY COMMITTEE
ON SITE ADULT AND CHILDREN'S ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE
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COMMITTE JOB DESCRIPTIONS
Design a registration page to post on iRV2 under the National Rally forum as soon as the date and location of the rally has been determined and announced.
"Marry" the registration and payment paperwork on the website for easier access and registration for those planning to attend. You'll need to work with the Admins/Mods to accomplish this merging and posting of information.
Determine the best method of payment: check, money/order or PayPal. Be sure to inform registrants that there is a percentage fee charged for PayPal transactions to cover the costs of additional credit card charges.
Maintain records of attendee registration and advance payments. The records should include name, address, city & state, zip along with iRV2 screen name, email address, rig size, amps needed, number in party attending, dates of arrival and departure and venues selected for the National Rally.
Report status status of registrations and payments on the National Rally announcement thread and to the various other committes who need this information to work on the details of their particular committee assignment.
Announce the National Rally on the appropriate forum to generate interest in the event. The sooner the announcement is made, the better.
Contact local newspapers for "free" ads in their newpapers to announce the rally.
Make up flyers announcing the upcoming rally and post them at rv parks/campgrounds you visit prior to your rally date. You may also want to print up some iRV2 promos with information to hand out to other guests in the campground.
Contact the local tv stations to make free announcements of the event.
Contact other RV related websites, other local RV groups, Trailer Life, Highways, Good Sam and others to request permission to advertise through them.
Obtain needed quantity of medium to large plastic bags to use as a "goodie bag" to be given to each rig attending the rally. Note: Camping World will often donate bags with their logo.
Contact area merchants for "giveaways" such as pens and pads, buttons, flags, keychains, bottle openers, etc. They may also give quantities of discount tickets for area attractions and/or advertisement "deals" for those who shop in the local area.
Contact the local Chamber of Commerce for printed publications and advertisements. Many times they will add "goodies" that are donated by local merchants to the bags as well.
National Rally Welcome Packet
Design and print a Welcome Packet to be given to each attendee upon arrival. This can be a pamphlet, a booklet or a worksheet with detailed information about the event to give to each rig in attendance to be inserted in the Welcome Packet. Information should include
Welcome page with iRV2 logo and National Rally information
Daily Schedule for the Rally
Campground Map and information
List of vendors, sponsors and donors who participate or sponsor the rally.
Area attractions brochures and map of the area
List of rally attendees and their site numbers if you have them.
Emergency Phone Numbers and Addresses for hospitals, Emergency Care Centers, Dentists, Veterinarians, RV Park Office and you might invclude the cell numbers of the Rally Master and Committee Chair Personnel for attendees to call should the need arise.
National Rally Name Tags
Design and print name tags for each attendee. This is a must if you have a large group - especially helpful for new members/attendees. Include their iRV2 logo or National Rally logo, name, screen name and their hometown.
Some National Rallies have designed and printed rig signs to put up on each rig during the rally - very helpful to identify "who's who" in what rig!
PARKING AND SECURITY COMMITTEE
Display a National Rally iRV2 sign if you have one near the entrance and make directional signs (if needed) to the "welcome area" so attendees will know where to park as they are getting signed in.
Assemble a "welcome area" and staff with 4-6 volunteers to greet attendees upon arrival. Items needed: awning, table and chairs, clipboards w/ attendee information for the volunteers, walkie-talkies for communication between the welcome area staff and parking team.
Assemble a "parking team" and make arrangements with the resort for the use of golfcarts to lead rigs to their site.
As attendees arrive, they will sign in and receive their welcome packet then be led to their site by the volunteers of the parking team.
Good communication is vital with a large group attending an event. You will only have the entire group assembed together a few times during the week, so be prepared to "get the word out" should there be schedule changes, etc.
Create and maintain and community bulletin board to attendees that can be set up in the rally hall. Information posted can include attendee lists for various tours, volunteer rosters for daily activities, sign up sheets for activities, any changes in information or schedule, lost and found item notes....whatever info you need to get to the attendees!
ON SITE ADULT AND CHILDREN'S ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE
On site activities promote camarderie among attendees and enable them to step outside thie normal boundaries to meet new people! Promotion of on site group activities is important because there may be attendees who may not desire/be able to attend local attractions or venues that everyone else might be attending. These suggestions can also be incorporated into the schedule where everyone can attend.
Flea Market - have everyone put their "for sale" items out on the picnic table by their rig or designate a location on premises where everyone can meet and look for treasures!
Ice Cream Social - always a big hit
RV Open House - designate a specific day and time for participants to leave their front porch light on to invite others to come in and see their rig.
Contests are great crowd drawing events. Host tournaments for dominoes, cards, horse shoes, ladder and washer games, etc.
Children soon get bored with swimming and the playground area, so provide some entertainment for them as well! Plan some time during the week for fun kids activities, games, craft times or group events.
Determine the type of entertainment (if any) you'd like to provide for the event. Most rv resorts/parks will have a listing of local entertainers to select from. You may also contact the local Chamber of Commerce to get names of local bands,solo performers, etc who are willing to entertain for special events. Work with the contact person to schedule the date and time for them to come and any special requirement that they may have.
Contact local attractions or venues in the area to obtain pricing information, times of operation, etc. Local attractions are a big plus for a national rally event. Be sure to include the pricing information in the "rally package" presentation
TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEETransportation is not always necessary, but certainly is a big consideration for a National Rally if you want to transport large groups of people to a particular event or venue outside the park.
The rv park would have a listing of available bus companies in the area who would be able to pick up/drop off attendees there at the park.
Contact the bus or tour company for pricing information and be sure to add that venue in to your "rally package". Venues such as this can be planned automatically into your rally package or as an added venue event.
If you schedule an event with bus or tour company, you'll most likely have to sign a formal contract with a deposit to secure the venue.
Maintain list of attendees going to the event and coordinate communication with the rally master and bus/tour company.
Meals are a major part of any rally and must be well coordinated so the event will be successful. Whether you have a Sponsor to provide the meal or whether you go with a potluck style where each attendee brings a dish or if you have a meal catered in, it is necessary to determine what type of event you want to schedule.
For any meal event, post signups on the appropriate iRV2 thread so attendees can sign up to attend. You'll need to know how many to plan for!
For potluck meals, you'll need to determine the amount of food you'll need. A good rule of thumb is to total the number of attendees and divide by the types of dishes (meal, vegetable, salad, dessert, etc) so you'll have a catagory they can choose to bring in a dish.
Example: if your potluck supper will be attended by 70 rigs (140 people) you would divide 140 by the 4 examples above (meats, salads, veggies, desserts) to determine that 35 signups would be needed for each category to bring a dish to feed 10 people in order to have enough of each category for the entire group.
Assemble set up and clean up crews to handle necessary tasks before and after the meals.
Obtain and provide listing in the Welcome Book of local restaurants in the area as many will want to go out to eat individually or in smaller groups during the week.
A National Rally is a perfect opportunity to invite local or national vendors to participate in the event. Click on LINKS on any page on the forum for a listing of National Vendors who have participated in past national rallies.
Set specific dates and times and an area for vendors to set up their wares.
Prepare and mail a letter of request to a potential vendor inviting them to participate in the event. Follow up with a phone call and then an email to confirm.
Consider looking outside the rv'ing realm to other types of businesses that might be invited to participate as a vendor as well: dog grooming, fashion jewelry, antiques, crafts, etc. Involve as many potential businesses as possible for a variety of displays!
Many of the Vendors on this list might also be included and invited to prepare a seminar for the event.
Provide the Vendor with a copy of the iRV2.com Guarantee (see below)
Seminars are a welcome attraction for a National Rally as they can provide current information pertaining to the RV Industry as well as helpful tips on every type of rig.
Contact local RV related companies to invite to host a seminar. Prepare a letter, phone call or email to present an invitation.
Set specific dates and times for the seminars during the National rally week.
Provide the Seminar host a copy of the iRV2.com guarantee. (see below)
Fundraising is another important aspect of a National Rally as it provides an activity, connectivity to RV industry businesses as well as raising funds for the expenses of the National Rally. It does require a lot a promotional emails, phone calls and letters to solicit products of interest and use to RV'ers.
Work with the Rally Master to designate a specific date and time for the fundraising event during the National Rally event.
Prepare a phone conversation, letter or email to potential donors with your request. It is always more appropriate to send a letter first, followed up by a phone call or email.
Provide the donor a copy of the iRV2.com guarantee: (see below)
Develop and maintain a spreadsheet with information from all the donors including their name, address, type of donation and dollar value of their donation.
Collect the donations by FedEx, UPS or postal service. Sort and prepare them for the fundraising portion of the National Rally.
Additional items needed for the fundraising event: display tables, labels, rolls of tickets, to use during the event.
iRV2.COM VENDOR SPONSOR DONOR GUARANTEE
iRV2 will post a listing in the National Rally forum
and will include their business printed in the Welcome Packet
and appropriate mentions of their company throughout the
National Rally event.
They may also donate a banner, signs, placards or business signs that
will be appropriately displayed at the National Rally and any donated promotional materials (pens, pencils, etc) will be included in
the Goodie Bags.
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Examples of printed material available upon request
meal sign up forms, registration spreadsheet,
letters to vendors or sponsors, etc
questions, help or other appropriate advise
with planning a national, local, state or regional rally
or by private message to Madame Boomer on iRV2.com