Have you considered the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, California..??? They have a fabulous bandstand for groups to play and many buildings for suppliers. Two campgrounds with full hookups and loads of space for dry camping....Dennis
Charlotte, I will definitely be there and would volunteer to help out in any way possible! I wouldn't need to camp out, as it's the area I am in. Roger Anderson, if you are reading this, get your butt in gear and get it here in Charlotte... Or Marcus, kick Roger's butt in gear for me... Roger, I do know where you live..lol
Knoxville, I may could attend, but would be harder to volunteer.
I had a fantastic time. Volunteered and the GS staff was so friendly and accommodating! I learned much more about the rally than had I just attended. Since it was my first don't have much to compare to but I have been to several large education conferences and know that running a large event is tricky and requires a coordinated staff who know or can get accurate information ASAP.
1. Waiting in crowds is difficult for people. I heard some complain that they had to wait over an hour at the peak of registration--having more table space and instantly dividing the registration into more last name alpha lines was needed as soon as the wait became more than 10 minutes a line. Same for the peak of the RV entrance times. Multiple lines and dividing the traffic could have helped. I talked to folks who were in the handicapped parking area because they had extra spots there and the rest had filled so it was not because they were improperly parked, just that they needed to fill the spots.
2. People had to wait for 5 and 6 full trams to pass before they could get a seat. I asked one tram to send for an empty one to pick up folks at the further stations and he said he had but it had not happened. Why not?
3. The trams were a bit dangerous. I even observed that a lady fell. Don't know if all rallies use trams but more volunteers watching the crowd may have helped. Maybe have someone at each station to help seat people and help them off.
4. Entertainment seating was marvelous--lots of help from volunteers I thought. I heard that at least one person fell in the stands too and that the emergency personnel seemed to come quickly. The exit and tram filling was a bit slow. I was lucky that I could walk back instead of taking the tram afterwards. A bike or a scooter was a boon. Could have had more lockable parking at the entrance for these vehicles.
5. Pay attention to fairness! At least one of the early match prize recipients had to forgo their prize because the husband was there but the wife was volunteering and the crowd said HAD TO BE PRESENT TO WIN! But when Marcus took over he was more reasonable and if someone was present to pick up the prize he awarded it. He also switched prizes so that someone could win something they could actually use! That was impressive too. Thinking fairness on your feet is a rare thing these days.
6. The sanitary company stopped right by the seminar tent to empty the johns while a seminar was happening! Yuck, smell and huge noise. I asked if they could wait 30 minutes but of course once started the guy did not want to stop. Reported it afterwards. Should have stricter schedule for noisy interruptions--even non-emergency announcements.
7. The AV support person was great--showed up to help everyone I saw who needed it right away. Checked on things after each presentation. In one case the sound from one tent was drowning out the one I was in but I asked the volunteer in that tent to see if he could help and he was able to get the volume adjusted. Very cooperative staff. Too bad the music sound checks had to interrupt the seminars too though.
8. The vendors I talked to really appreciated the Phoenix site. Just after their Quartzite shows they had another chance to make sales they said. Also there is a lot of RV interest in Arizona and many resorts that came to show off their spots. It was way too hot in the late morning and afternoons in the exhibit tent the first couple of days. There seemed to be more fans operating by the end of the week.
9. I think it would have been fun to have a reception for rvnetters. If there was one, I missed it! I really enjoyed the seminars--that was my volunteer stint and had I not been assigned I might have missed them too.
10. Chapter receptions might be a good idea too. It was nice to talk to folks from around the country on the trams--good way to get people together. But perhaps it would help to get people more involved locally with more receptions. The time was pretty filled with entertainment and other activities though! This could have been held during the early bird days.
Too bad there could not be another Rally soon in AZ! My choices would be Las Vegas, Denver and Nashville or Knoxville for next year. I could get to those sites and they provide three completely different natural surroundings and experiences. The Denver climate is reliably pleasant and the mountains are a wonderful getaway.
This seems like a wonderful way to share ideas from the Rally. I am obviously a great believer in feedback, especially if someone is listening.
Lots of good ideals where rallies should be held. I think it should be divided into three rallies. Western states, Midwest states and Eastern states. It is a long haul from California to the East coast and at $5 (pushing) a gallon is not an inexpensive or time consuming trip. We (my wife and I) had a great time in Phoenix and it was only about a 10 hour drive. If it is closer you might also getting people that are still working to take vacation time to attend the rally and also do a little sightseeing.