Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

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shrek4
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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by shrek4 » 10 April 10 11:34 pm

We attended as two families totalling two adults and two children, we had a ball and loved the whole weekend.

While there were parts for the next committee to consider

Kid friendly - I know it was our choice to bring a two year old and a six year old, but the games (esp the Megopoly) were far too much for us to do on our own with youngens in tow. In the end we traded with other teams, which was a great way to meet and share experiences with others. One of the reasons we enjoy Geocaching is the fact we can do it as a family - age is no barrier. Obviously organising an event is a balancing act to get the pace right, what might be right for us could have been dead boring for a team without kids. Perhaps a suggestion for next event is to have an event which is only open to teams with kids under 10 years old. This can then 'level' the playing field etc.

I agree the bon fires were lit to late for the littles. As a positive the easter egg hunt and helicopter drop were real winners! The kids went on and on and on about those.

The family who was with us were virgin cachers and really got the wrong first impression about what Geocaching is, that is the 'car rally' style we pursued. Having said that we did find some 'real caches' and spent most of the trip home to Adelaide stopping and finding caches.

Another thing to consider and that is the TB table, I would have liked more notice as to when we could collect the TB's. By the time we got there (after the announcement over the PA system) most had already gone and perhaps it could have been a good idea for the committee to put on the website a requirement for people dropping in TBs to print off the current goal so everyone can have a read. Some were very interesting but had no information - including ones we dropped off. We'd not considered the grand scale of over over 600 TBs logged in.

The location was fantastic, and will obviously be an important factor in determining where the next event will be, I can't wait and am only to happy to help where I can, be a committee member, or volunteer time to assist in any way.

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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by psychokat » 11 April 10 10:30 am

My turn, I deal with a lot of Festival Committees and Agricultral Show Societies. The Oz Mega committe did a fantastic job especially considering they had no idea of how many people to expect. The standard of entertainment was what I normally see at a function of over 3000 people not 700.
With the supplier of the children's amusement rides I've asked around and found out that he double books himself. That way no one else gets the job. Unfortunately Easter is a busy time and it's difficult to get a reliable operator with short notice. My family's company Flaherty Family Amusements is generally booked out over a year in advance for our rides and inflatables when we aren't working the show circuit. Unfortunatley we don't know the local Wagga company personally so we couldn't warn the committee.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
With the prizes you can't say once you have won one prize you are inelligable for any others because if you enter the comps you have the right to win any that you enter. But you can have second chance draws for people who haven't won a prize you just have to do the main comp first.
Thanks Mundoo for starting this thread.

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Richary
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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by Richary » 11 April 10 11:23 pm

psychokat wrote:With the supplier of the children's amusement rides I've asked around and found out that he double books himself. That way no one else gets the job.
That seems like a pretty poor way to do business, and will guarantee that he won't get a booking from the same people again. Somewhat shortsighted.

Can I suggest that someone from the Rivcache Committee reports him to the Office of Fair Trading if this is a regular practice as it can't be kosher.

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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by psychokat » 12 April 10 12:29 am

It's no use. He'll just say that as he couldn't attend the function he handed the booking to another company and he's extremely sorry they didn't turn up but it's out of his hands. Then you call the other company and they have no idea what your talking about. We've had plenty of phone calls from people in Canberra who abuse us for not turning up only to find out that Mr ---- of ---- company told them he gave us the job so it happens all over. All you can do is let people know you've been let down and word of mouth with take care of the rest. The person in Canberra went out of business after a few years.
This really bugs me because it gives my industry a bad name and the company in question is a well established business. Some people though have the opinion that if they can't earn the money no one else should earn it either.
I should mention that breakdowns happen, casual workers often don't turn up and jumping castles get regularly slashed by louts . But there is never an excuse for not turning up.

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Richary
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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by Richary » 12 April 10 12:35 am

Hmmm, seems like if it is a common theme they should be able to nail him. Oh well, hopefully the rivcache community can spread the name around Wagga at least so he doesn't do any more business there.

Anyway, back on track to the constuctive feedback, and say to the next event organisers try and check out in advance who you are using from word of mouth recommendations I guess. Again no fault of the committee for the last one, they booked someone and he let them down.

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Mr Router
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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by Mr Router » 17 April 10 11:47 pm

:-#
Last edited by Mr Router on 19 April 10 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by gardengorilla » 19 April 10 11:55 am

mundoo wrote: Daily program update board.
I wondered what happened to several of the program events not happening (and no fault of the organisers btw) and it would have been nice to know that the Whipcracking Show was a non-event as well as the childrens rides and well even the geocaching store not showing up. And I see from a pic in the local paper there was a hot-air balloon somewhere. I never saw that and it would have been nice to know it was going to happen as it wasn't in the printed program. And a mention of the wi-fi not being available for those who had left home before reading the last email/CGA forum.
There was a geocaching store there...Geo-What?Geostuff! got the last minute call 3 weeks before the event because the other store that was supposed to show up canceled. They did well with the short notice, had lots of stock and should be commended. Not an easy feat considering they just had a baby!

Personally, I had a real big issue with the registration form. The word 'team' to me means group of people working together towards some sort of end, in this case geocaching. I didn't see any other way to register my family (who have separate caching names)so, when I registered in January I listed all the members of my family as my team but sent an email asking how they were to be identified. I did get an email promptly saying all was fine. Well, two weeks before the event I got another email saying that if my family were going to log the event I needed to register them all as separate...meaning another $120 or $160 with the late rego fee. That they wouldn't be able to participate in any events if they weren't registered separately. I had a terrible vision of my kids discovering they were unable to find any eggs Sunday morning and having to tell them the Easter Bunny didn't exist, etc. etc. It just wasn't clear to me. All those caching families that have one name...did they all register separately?
I did work something out last minute (very last minute before our flight out I must add) with the committee but I was so stressed and really worried about what we could and couldn't do at the event. I even had thoughts of skipping it. It really wrecked my enthusiasm for attending Australia's first Mega Event.
Now, looking back it was all irrelevant. Everyone was able to take part in events and I really didn't need to register everyone separately. My family really didn't need separate sheets for the contests, we could have all used one together as I'm sure that's what most did. That last minute stress could have been avoided for both myself and the committee. And yes, I am still bitter.
For positive criticism, I guess in the future registration should be divided per person, not per team or there should be a family rate. Or I guess the committee could sell tickets to each event, as that's what they do at some Mega Events such as Geowoodstock and Geobash.

Now for a positive follow up...
We loved how organized the committee was in the main hall...
We thought the spot was perfect for the event, even if it was dusty! This is Australia....duh!
Wagga is a beautiful town, capable of supporting the extra influx of people attending several events..
Wagga has some great caching! Thanks Roostaman and all you Wagga cachers!
The food was great and those ladies worked tirelessly to keep our bellies full...
The prizes and sponsors were great.
My kids had a ball, we didn't even know there were supposed to be rides/amusements there. And I'm glad they weren't to be honest. Sam spent most of his time playing in the fire and making friends. Julia loved meeting other cachers and trading pathtags. Kids don't always need objects to assist them in play, that's why they have brains :D
Since I am not really comfortable in crowds, the best part for me was meeting people out caching. The kids liked that too. If they saw someone by a cache we had found, they would rush up to help...they thought the town was full of geocachers! lol!

rego bugs aside we had a great time and yes, we would do it again!

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Mr Router
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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by Mr Router » 19 April 10 12:30 pm

pleeeeeeease can this thread go to bed ? :-#

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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by caughtatwork » 19 April 10 12:53 pm

Mr Router wrote:pleeeeeeease can this thread go to bed ? :-#
Not at this point in time.
If the OP requests closure it will be taken under consideration.

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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by Cheesy pigs » 19 April 10 1:01 pm

I think valid points are still being raised in relation to the event. While everyone loved it, there are always going to be different views on how some things should be done or not done. Any debrief involves looking at all of these points to try and better it next time, which will be EXTREMELY difficult.

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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by mundoo » 19 April 10 1:27 pm

Mr Router wrote:pleeeeeeease can this thread go to bed ? :-#
Why? :stabby

I have yet to see or hear anyone say that the event was terrible, all the points still being raised are relatively minor and didn't detrack from the enjoyment and the committee never gave/emailed us a feed-back form so how can they or future committees of Mega events see what some issues were?

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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by The Rats » 19 April 10 2:37 pm

Mr Router wrote:pleeeeeeease can this thread go to bed ? :-#
If you dont like it Mr Router, dont read it. :-"

Onto the "AAR" as we call them in the SES.
I was going to send my feedback directly to the committee but thought I'd post it here too. Like many before me, for our (Australia's) first Mega Event the committee have to be commended for such a great effort. With relatively nothing to work with as a yard stick they did a fantastic job and there will always be things that can be done differently, not necessary better next time.

Pros:
* I enjoyed that we were able to utilise the camp anywhere approach. We had a large group attend from the Illawarra and to have them camp in a group (out the far back) rather than rows I thought was great. I acknowledge that if 1000+ people were to camp there that this probably wouldn't work.
* The overall friendly atmosphere of the event was fantastic. Nothing was too much for any of the committee when asked.
* The nightly entertainment was good, yeh some parts (presentations, speeches etc) did draw out a bit. But to have a band/music (which encouraged participation) for 2 nights was great, some fantastic fireworks (thanks Team Crackers) on Saturday night.
* The Easter egg race, you couldn't call it a hunt with so many eggs was great for the kids. Even my little kids managed to grab their fair share of eggs.

Improvements not Cons:
* The wine tasting afternoon. Apparently the hosts were expecting alot more people to attend and had catered for lunch assuming many of us would be there for lunch. If it was organised that way it needs to be promoted that way.
* The PA system. Like many others have said it was poor and hard to understand in some parts of the park.
* The bonfires could have been a little more timely but thats only trying to accommodate small kids wishes.

Comments on others feedback:
* I like the idea of a large notice board for all to post messages on.
* Sponsors selling stuff would be good.
* Cachers camp locations would be handy as someone mentioned earlier, but in our case where we camped anywhere that wouldn't work. hence why the notice board would be good.
* Dissappointing the kids rides didnt show up but that was out of our control.
* Registration, I've heard both sides of the coin how some families had to double pay or partners had to double pay as they cache under 2 seperate names, but I also heard how some took advantage of the 10 lines in the registration to combine teams to save money. You will never please everyone.

Overall, I think the first Oz Mega Event was a huge success.

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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by winterdragon » 19 April 10 2:43 pm

Mr Router wrote:pleeeeeeease can this thread go to bed ? :-#
When there's a thread that I don't want to know about for some reason, I employ a useful technique that I call "not reading it".

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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by funkymunkyzone » 19 April 10 2:49 pm

We had a great time at the event. The level of organisation and planning that went in was totally apparent for the whole weekend, and we thank the organisers immensely for putting this together and giving us the opportunity to attend a mega, and have an excuse for an Aussie roadtrip.

But we'll chuck our 2c worth in, for the purpose of constructive feedback on a few things.
Pesky! wrote:The competitions were fun,and so well tought out, however i felt that 10-12 hours work for virtually no result made me feel like I'd been running around for no reason. We do not know if we even got it all right,and as only 3 or 4 entires were drawn out ,it ammounted to a waste of time and effort to have your entry torn in two or discarded. Without some form of listing or leader board etc. There is always a problem when it comes to deciding, and adjudicating winners. I', not bitter about not winning a prize ( a 3 in 700 chance) i had not expected too. Perhaps some admin on the sumissions before the draw would save some ill feelings. ( obviously putting your entry in at the last minute was all that was required)

Prize draws need to be done in order of value, and ensure that this is agreed to on the registration form by way of disclaimer/caveat on submission of the registration. Not allowing volunteers, admin teams , or family of organisers to enter would make it more fair. Allso once you have won a prize, for anything, you are inelligable for another prize
too many prizes went to the same small number of teams/players.
The mega event was a social gathering of geocachers, not a hardcore competition, so we totally agree with Pesky in that once you won a prize, you should be out of the running for the rest - share the enjoyment, as it were. Perhaps that means they should have drawn the prizes from biggest to smallest as well, I dunno. It's not about being sore losers, but we would have liked to see more different people go up for prizes.

Unfortunately, the focus of the megaopoly game was simply to get the answers right (perfectly so in fact, as one entry was invalidated at the time of drawing prize winners) so a number of teams simply traded answers or split the load between them, as opposed to some of us that undertook the entire task by ourselves. In our rush to get around all the spots, we might have even got an answer wrong - in at least one spot neither answer was correct or the answer was ambiguous anyway. The grand prize winner even admitted to teaming up. Nothing can be done about that, and this isn't criticism about the event, but we wondered at the time if that's really in the spirit of caching (like sharing the final coords for multis and puzzles?)

As far as organisers or volunteers winning prizes, as much as everyone appreciates their efforts, everyone paid money to enter those competitions, so we felt they ought to be held to the same (legal?) standards as any others - and that is that those potentially in position to sway the results cannot enter the competition. We're not saying anyone did, but without that separation, it could happen. And we're not saying that the volunteers, for example, shouldn't be able to receive any kind of reward, as no one would begrudge them a nice volunteer "thank you" prize. Just a thought.
Pesky! wrote:i think the ball drop could have been made better by numbering all balls, so there was not a fight over the 3 numbered ones... i think i saw at least 2 people with the same number ( What the?) . if all balls were numbered then have a lotto draw, there may have been more fun for everyone. then after top 3 prizes drawn, all others line up for a fluffy toy!
The ball drop was a nice idea, however in execution, as soon as the balls dropped it turned out to effectively be another game for the kids - as soon as they start running, you have no option but to stand still and let them go for fear of knocking them over, which we certainly didn't want to do. It may have been better to number all the balls and say one team, one ball, and then immediately have a random number draw for the winners. On the flip side, the fluffy toy consolation prize was a very nice idea, so everyone was a winner.
gardengorilla wrote:Personally, I had a real big issue with the registration form. The word 'team' to me means group of people working together towards some sort of end, in this case geocaching. I didn't see any other way to register my family (who have separate caching names)so, when I registered in January I listed all the members of my family as my team but sent an email asking how they were to be identified. I did get an email promptly saying all was fine. Well, two weeks before the event I got another email saying that if my family were going to log the event I needed to register them all as separate...meaning another $120 or $160 with the late rego fee. That they wouldn't be able to participate in any events if they weren't registered separately. I had a terrible vision of my kids discovering they were unable to find any eggs Sunday morning and having to tell them the Easter Bunny didn't exist, etc. etc. It just wasn't clear to me. All those caching families that have one name...did they all register separately?
I did work something out last minute (very last minute before our flight out I must add) with the committee but I was so stressed and really worried about what we could and couldn't do at the event. I even had thoughts of skipping it. It really wrecked my enthusiasm for attending Australia's first Mega Event.
Now, looking back it was all irrelevant. Everyone was able to take part in events and I really didn't need to register everyone separately. My family really didn't need separate sheets for the contests, we could have all used one together as I'm sure that's what most did. That last minute stress could have been avoided for both myself and the committee. And yes, I am still bitter.
We thought about a few ways the registration process might have worked better, but came to the conclusion that it was probably the easiest (and ultimately cheapest for everyone) the way it was. Any tighter way of ticketing with a per person element, combination, or whatever, just results in having to police it at the gate, and that could just get messy and expensive. We understood that registering and paying the fee meant you got the registration pack and the event coin, the right to enter the competitions, and most importantly, the right to log attendance to the event under the registered caching name. So a family registering under one name only gets that caching name to log attendance. It certainly wouldn't be fair to register under one name and then have all the family members log in their individual names, otherwise a lot of people could have gone together paying 1 fee, and log it separately... It's ultimately cheating the charity that received the leftover money. Effectively for gardengorilla, it means they all get to log attendance separately, because they all paid.

Anyway, just some thoughts on a few things. Certainly don't want to get into a mass debate over things - rarely even look in these forums! ;-) And none of the minor issues discussed above would have had any bearing on us going at all. Too many great things about the mega event to list as positives, so thanks again to the organisers and volunteers. And thanks mundoo for being brave enough to start this worthwhile thread.

fmz

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Mr Router
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Re: Constructive Feedback for the Next Mega Event

Post by Mr Router » 19 April 10 3:21 pm

to all that have had "constructive" comment, put your heads and financial resources together,name a location and list a mega event !
and see if you like the "constructive" suggestions that may be handed out on trivial issues.
This post is aimed at no individual and is my "constructive" comment for the "next mega" :stabby

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