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MacGyver
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« on: October 12, 2011, 11:03:39 pm »

I can sense that some people that there is a bit of frustration from the last few STN nationals.   The source of which being low attendance and that people value their free time immensely.  

Face it, lots of us have very little free time to actually relax and do something that excites and inspires us.  The long journey down the same boring road that one travels to reach that national meet has long lost its appeal the 2nd or 3rd time around.  The mystery is gone.  Many of us have read about the upcoming national, pondered a bit, 'not this year, I'll do a long weekend instead', and went on their mini-trek and had a blast.   I totally get that and I hope those that read this do as well.

To volunteer and organize a national event to many faceless avatars is a thankless job.  The unrealized sacrifice of their own enjoyment and precious time so others might get a hot meal or a reserved room barely goes noticed past a few keystrokes after the fact.  
I've been to a few of the holy shit huge ADV rallies and I can see why they do so well.  They are planned a whole year ahead of time.  Seriously.  A week after the event is over, the gears are turning for next years event.  The level of commitment those crazy FF's show is amazing.  

So, that being said, someone pipes up on here and says, 'yeah, I'll head it up'.   I think they really need to step back and realize they need to commit to something bigger than they realize it is.   It doesn't matter if your an Alpha, Beta, or Omega...    

In order for a National meet to be successful and popular year after:

1) Locale needs to be moved- not far, but moved -unless it's super popular
2) Picked yesterday(read asap)
3) Local knowledge - Gotta sell it baby!
4) Ask for help - real help - not just token effort - and know when to say no thanks when that help is lackluster.  You folks are too darn nice!

There needs to be consensus made for 2012 right now.  Do we go ahead and plan Arkansas now, or pick a new place?  It needs to be polled in every regional forum and in the riding forums.  You, the community, might think your duplicating stats but just take an average from each pool and let the choice happen.  Move the 2012- Yes or no.  
I make this point now because, I will most likely not go to Eureka Springs again.  (I got hit by a truck while walking down the shoulder)
18 people showed up at Custer.  That speaks volumes.  I feel ES is going to have the same outcome.   Working your ass off for a meager showing really sucks.  I've seen it, done it... sucks.. bad.

Soo.... with all that pomp and circumstance... (read bullshit)

I throw my nomination for a 2012 destination of Boscobel, WI.  This is Peter Egan country for a reason..... and I offer my services to be head shithead at said location.  
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« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 11:19:29 pm by MacGyver » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 06:13:21 am »

So, why the poll for Arkansas then?   :pokestick:

Boscobel is good, but about the same distance as Arkansas for me and I don't have to deal with Chicago traffic by going south.   Wink  OTOH, I really enjoyed a five day trip to LaCrosse a few years ago.
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 07:13:31 am »

Without a sampling of opinion, there isn't one person on here that can say with affirmation that going to Arkansas is a well informed decision.  

Your personal interest is being asked, not your level of inconvenience.  (Take the badger ferry..... it's a vacation)
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 07:15:15 am by MacGyver » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 08:15:51 am »

 :popcorn:
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2011, 08:18:32 am »

Uhhh, yeah.   Pass the salt for the :popcorn:
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 01:51:39 pm »

If it's in Wisconsin instead of Arkansas I'll still do my best to attend, it always boils down to getting the time off.  That said, I'm hoping for Arkansas because I've only gotten to ride there once and it's better riding than what's in Wisconsin.  Plus, it's easier for me to do Wisconsin on my own just because it's so much closer and I've ridden there enough to kind of know the area.

If you poll Arkansas or not Arkansas I'm not sure it's very productive. Wouldn't you get a better feel for a preferred location if you named options?  For instance, if you polled Arkansas vs North Georgia you're going to get a lot different response than if you poll Arkansas vs Southern California.  To provide feedback on a location move I need to know what my other option is.

Just my 2 cents.
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 02:30:25 pm »

Having "volunteered" to organize the group dinner this year, I can sympathize.  EEK!

Frankly, a big problem is that I planned initially on what happened the year before (big turnout).  Had I realized we were going to have such a relatively low turnout and many not really committing until the last minute (the economy), I would have really just tried to pick a good place willing to give a group reservation a few weeks out rather than plan a catered event.
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2011, 02:36:56 pm »

Having just moved from the east coast tto the west coast and ridden across the center - anything inbetween is not going to happen for me.

I'll do something in the west, but fng way I riding across the plains again - unless I am in a competitive LD rally where I have to to win.

Twice was enough I plan to never see SD, Nebraska, or Kansas again on a bike by free will.  I am almost positive I will have to do it to compete, but there is so much out here that to spend my precious open days on that is silly.
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2011, 03:55:39 pm »

Your thinking waaay too hard guys.  Do you want to go back to
Arkansas? edit,  bs'ing here is fine.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 06:00:44 pm by MacGyver » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2011, 05:15:50 pm »

Oh, I already voted in your poll, I thought you were looking for discussion on the topic going by your first post in this topic.

Yes, Arkansas.
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2011, 06:00:12 pm »

It's great to see the positive output for Arkansas.  If the sampling goes 50+, I'll throw in my hat for leadership role.   Eureka Springs is easy to set up because of what's available.  The sooner we can say YES the better.  I'm all for day long rides burning up the apex's(typo?).  I would seek out and strongly promote the word of locals to expand on what they love about the ozarks.  Links to old ride reports, videos, etc..   You need to convince the once hesitant traveler to say,'Yes, this is worth my time and I want to share my time with this group.'  

Get ready for cheesy stuff.... Bigsmile   I know you guys can bring the whine... har har... *ducks*
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2011, 02:48:20 am »

Having read the feedback from numerous nationals, the feedback from previous Arkansas nationals has always been overwhelmingly positive...

so it would seem to be a no-brainer to me  Smile

there's always gonna be people who complain about the dates, or that another location is more convenient. It's impossible to make everyone happy.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 02:50:37 am by Orson » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2011, 09:01:44 am »

ESTN was lightly attended this year too. Granted (until you've ridden there), southeast Ohio isn't your typical moto mecca, and it's farther west than previous ESTN locations, but the roads are some of the best east of the Mississippi.

I wonder if the lower numbers for meets this year is (at least partially) due to a reduced sense of community on STN with all the sniping that goes on between some members and such. I've always had a great time at STN meets. I always look forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. Can't say I've ever met a STN'r that I didn't like.

I've organized a few ESTNs myself and helped organize a few other meets. It's a thankless job. No matter what you do, some aspect isn't going to work for someone (dates, location, food, whatever). If you try to kick it up a notch or three and get T-shirts (the design is the hard part), group dinners, prizes, etc then the work load goes up a bunch. I don't know about other people, but I feel responsible for other people having a good time if they are taking time off work to attend a meet I'm organizing. I don't want anyone to go away feeling they wasted their vacation days.

It does seem that a meet needs to have a "buzz", and if it's not happening from attendees getting excited and posting lots of pre-meet banter, then it's up to the organizer to try to create the buzz. No buzz, light attendance in my experience.
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2011, 11:28:25 am »

"I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure—which is: Try to please everybody."

Herbert Bayard Swope

I have always appreciated that members who have knowledge of  twisty areas are willing to pick a date and make the best riding routes known to us.  These, and a common hotel, so I can share with the group how wonderful I am, is all I really want from a meet.

I don't want an organizer to feel that my good time is their responsibility.  It's not.

If group dinners and t-shirts are a pain, turf them, or suggest someone else run with the ball.  Sometimes, a group dinner just means you don't eat when you want.

Above all, I want the organizers to relax, and not take our events too seriously.  If we can't have a good time among ourselves, and with twisty roads, it's our fault, not yours.

Oh, and if the date doesn't work for me, don't worry, I'll be at the next one.

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« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2011, 02:11:00 pm »

  garry and jimmy's attitudes toward group events exemplifies why
I usually show up at events they attend.

  I would probably ride anywhere to hang out with these guys.

  FWIW, I was already looking forward to going back to Arkansas.
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2011, 03:58:11 pm »

Garry knows it, I subscribe to the same thought he does on this.  I do take others' enjoyment as part of my responsibility.  

Personally, I think the reason the ADV gatherings are so successful is that the organizers go WAY overboard making sure they're a success.  You can't go to an ADV gathering without being astounded by the fun and activities.  If you just say "relax and see what happens" then you can guarantee nothing will happen.  A few of those and you'll be saying "where did everyone go?"
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2011, 07:48:20 am »


Garry knows it, I subscribe to the same thought he does on this.  I do take others' enjoyment as part of my responsibility.  

Personally, I think the reason the ADV gatherings are so successful is that the organizers go WAY overboard making sure they're a success.  You can't go to an ADV gathering without being astounded by the fun and activities.  If you just say "relax and see what happens" then you can guarantee nothing will happen.  A few of those and you'll be saying "where did everyone go?"


True, but if you don't have someone LOCAL doing the organizing, nothing will happen.  There is only so much someone out of area can do unless they have first-hand knowledge of the area.  Some times, there just isn't the interest from someone who is local to the meet location who want to do the work.  If he/she gets stuck with it every time, burnout is to be expected.
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« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2011, 12:32:50 am »

I had a long talk with the 'Party Boss' over on ADV this past weekend.  This guy knows his shit throwing these kind of moto rallies.  

Biggest thing.  

Money

Keep it around $50 for each person for the whole event.   Unexpected variables aside,  get all money ahead of time.  It will cost you more for a walk up attendee.  If you pay and can't make it, it's on YOU to find someone to take your place.  Otherwise, thank you for your donation.  In the case where you biff it on the way to the rally, that's the one exception for a refund.

Attendance

A big downfall I saw at every STN meet so far(IIRC).  No one is 100% sure who in attendance has paid or even checked in to get their swag. So... I'll utilize a simple setup with a master list - sign in and receive a wrist band and a bag o'stuff.  For each attendee, you'll be asked to show a wristband for prepaid activities.  No bullshit - no band - no stuff.  

Food

Around Christmas when everyone is on their laptop watching their ass grow wide, I'll be asking around for local eatery input from Eureka Springs. I'll definitely be hitting up yelp and trip adviser to weed out the clunkers.  I'll talk up a tentative agreement for meal service at the top contenders and they'll be critiqued before a contract is signed.  I'm sure an STN'er or two wouldn't mind traveling for a meal to try the cuisine for quality and quantity.  I want honest opinions.  
I want to do a Tuesday and Wednesday dinner from a preset menu.  I will try, read try, to get a keg or two of the local micro-brew for each dinner.  Once that beer is gone, your on your own.   If you want to get smashed, do it on your own time back next to your room or tent.  

Lodging

The usual drill of blocking off rooms will be done for an reasonable price.  As per usual, the room block will be open for the amount of time set by the hotel and once the block is full or expired, your on your own.  No bones about it.  
Camping info will be available.

Sponsors

Sponsorship brings people in.  Call everything - Even if it's a banner or a brochure.  Accept anything and everything they'll send.  I know there has been heartburn about a lack of feedback or appreciation from previous sponsors.  
I'll even offer to mail the stuff back after we are done using it.    Twisted Throttle might send out a brick of catalogs.   As long as they send something,  we can carry them on as a sponsor.  Promote the local tour companies dealers, cruiser, adv, etc...     There will be FU's, nah's, and no response but something is better than nothing at all.  It takes a thick skin for this. Get a nearby moto shop/dealer on board to perform tire and minor services for us if one of us crap out or, heaven forbid, crash.  I would include them as a sponsor if they agree to put us to the front of the line in our time of need.
These things seem over the top but the sponsorship in the most modest form works wonders for the meet as a whole.  There will be raffles for swag and the usual method of paired tickets will be used.  

Shirts

We do a good job already on that. High quality, long lasting shirt with a well done print is our standard.  If someone wants to design something cool.  Awesome.  My creative streak is a best utilitarian.  You've been warned.

Rides

If we get to the point that local STN'ers offer up to lead a group ride, that leader needs to pre-ride their route shortly before the meet(read 1 week).  We need know if a bridge or road is closed/damaged/chip sealed.  It really does matter to those behind you because they are counting on a kick ass ride.  Not a blah time.  
There are folks looking to ride hard all day long.  Some want to sleep in and ride a relaxed ride.  And lastly, you have the scenic types that want to stop at every photo op.  Please let that be known ahead of time so those of the same feather flock together.   If the group gets big,  keep in mind that a lunch time (I remember a tasty local dive next to a reservoir, but the service was slow) stopping point needs to be designated ahead of time so those who missed a turn won't be left for dead.  It makes a difference to the Arkansas first timer.  Trust me.  

Planning

I will have a meal price, hotel price, and open the gates for collection funds by February.  It will be a paypal payment method. The 'in' list will be simple.  If you've paid, you'll be counted.  If you say IN but haven't paid yet, your not IN.  I don't care.  

 
I know I'm preaching to the choir for a lot of this but I think this covers the basics.

All in all.  If you get to experience this event amongst friends riding together and you don't have fun, God help you.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 12:41:21 am by MacGyver » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2011, 10:55:19 am »

I'd love Boscobel, but Eureka Springs works well too  . . . . .

You're right in that the effort needed to put this kinda thing together is Homeric  . . . eveyohne thinks about swag, food, and roads, but few consider who'll check in riders, and like that --

put me on the list to volunteer to help . . . .
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« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2011, 05:57:21 pm »


I'd love Boscobel, but Eureka Springs works well too  . . . . .

You're right in that the effort needed to put this kinda thing together is Homeric  . . . eveyohne thinks about swag, food, and roads, but few consider who'll check in riders, and like that --

put me on the list to volunteer to help . . . .


Thank you for the offer.  I'll assign you to the 'Wet Noodle Gang'.
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