Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

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Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by Cached » 17 December 10 9:27 pm

Quoting myself from the "Launch" thread.
I'm sorry, but I would like to be a voice of dissent.

I doubt I will make the effort to attend this one. For the expense of attending, I, and many others, cannot see the value in a bag drag across essentially the same area as last time. I'm not convinced by the "progressive" nature of the weekend.

Discussions off forum - which nobody else is game to mention here - are suggesting that it appears to be :

too much hassle for families
too much focus on competition rather than opportunities to find listed caches
many despise country music/boot scooting
striking camp after one or two nights is too big an effort, especially after driving across the country, and particularly for those with small children
very difficult for those who cannot drive in to the event, such as international visitors
too close to the previous event to warrant the travel expenses
and finally, little justification for the $95 entry fee.


I speak not only for myself, but for many others. I feel this "surprise" mega event could have benefitted from much more community consultation than has been given.

Yours

Cached

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by Greenish » 17 December 10 9:57 pm

I have to agree with what Cached has said. I loved the Wagga Mega, but we have now explored that area, founda lot of the caches, and were really looking forward to going somewhere new to experience another Mega.

I'd also prefer it to be only in one place. Obviously that's just my opinion, but I liked that in Wagga there were many opportunities to either stay on site, or stay in Wagga, and travel around, and see all the sights, experience all the interesting things in a big town, but know that we could come back to 'base' at the camp site.

I'm also not into boot scooting one tiny iota :lol:

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by Damo. » 17 December 10 10:10 pm

Friday night camping in a showground with a fish dinner doesn't hold much appeal for me given my wife has an anaphylactic reaction to fish and is allergic to most livestock!

Two nights camping in the snowy mountains region sounds nice though (can we pitch the tent away from the feral horses?) so I might just wait until closer to the date when details are clearer and see if that's a viable option.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by Cached » 17 December 10 10:14 pm

If we can begin to enter into a discussion at this early stage, maybe some of the anticipated problems can be dealt with at an early stage. This is not an attempt to sling mud, nor to be a negative Nelly.

It has almost been implied that this Mega Event plan is the same group of cachers who ran Wagga. Apart from one member, it is not.

I'm not excited by the plans for this Mega - and I certainly was over Wagga. I'd be much more inclined to attend if it was in one location or the other. I can't imagine trekking hundreds of kilometres to get set up, and then have to do it all again - and both times in areas that aren't "cache rich".

Discussion has been rife off board in at least South Australia and Queensland (I only have so many friends!). With the current arrangements, I'll be surprised if this event makes Mega status. It isn't being well received, and I really believe needs to consult more to find out what AND WHERE the community are willing to travel to attend.

Lets have LESS competition, not more. MORE caches, not less. MORE socialising, not less - and not enough social time was a major criticism last time.

I want great mega events. I love events and meeting people. Unlike the advertising, I'm sorry, but I'm not dazzled (as promised) by Gundagai, Tumbarumba, and not particularly by the trek between the two.

I do hope I'm not the only one game enough to speak out publicly. Maybe there is still time for others to come up with alternate plans. I am not in a position to do anything for 2012, although at this point, I wish I was.

To quote an anonymous (sarcastic) cacher:
Thinking of holding an event over Easter 2012 where u can pitch your tent and leave it there, there will be no boot scootin boogie theme no exciting colored balloons no endless game with a money prize incentive no exciting sound and lighting and no $95 fee to get free camping it would involve lots of caching and conversation and fun and will have colored wristbands just for the fun of it
Hoping to generate some discussion - not a flame war.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by shrek4 » 17 December 10 10:27 pm

Some interesting thoughts have been raised. At the end of the day the Committee has stuck up their hand to offer to put on an event which I'm sure will be fantastic.

Could it have been better at a different location? Perhaps, but was there a Committee elsewhere who put their hand up? No (aside from NZ who is pending). It's easy to say it would have been better at Albury/Wodonga, Ballarat or places in-between the reality is it takes a dedicated bunch to pull it off. At the end of the day the event will be located where there are people willing to DONATE the time and energy to organise it.

Would it be better in the one location? Possibly but we've so far only got the Wagga Wagga event as the benchmark. Sure it would be easier not to move and whilst we had a 2.5yr old at Wagga and at the 2012 we'd have a newborn (10 month old) too, sure it would be easier to stay put. Does that discourage us? Not one bit. I'm sure the effort is worth it and I've every confidence in the Committee who stuck up their hand as to their justification for making such a decision. Keep in mind it would be easier for them too to organise so their must be some compelling reasons for the progressive part of it.

Lack of consultation with the Geocaching community could be a view formed by some, to be honest decisions need to be made, dates booked, cheques written etc. To consult widely would slow the progress of the planning down as you can't please everyone. Perhaps where key ingredients haven't been set in stone yet there could be some 'vote/poll' type decisions put to the community. Otherwise, again I'v faith in the Committee to make decisions on my behalf.

As to the fee, yes it may be higher than the last Mega, but I recall saying many times with disbelief 'how can they pull this off with such a small fee?" We'd of happily paid twice or thrice that! I don't think value for money is something people will walk away from the next Mega with negative thoughts about.

At the end of the day it's a personal choice as to attend or not and if you do attend, how you go about it. Some people will surely go to socialise, other to trade path-tags. Some will stroll through the activities and play the game whilst others will power through it quicker than Oprah with a block of Cadbury's finest. We all value the opportunity for different reasons and in different ways.

I know their was much discussion and feedback re the last Mega. I do hope the Committee has taken some of it on-board. Our main gripe of the last was that with the little one it tow it took us CONSIDERABLE time to complete the game and in the end and despite our best efforts and intentions we had to swap answers with other teams. The pace for us was too quick, we didn't get the opportunity to do hardly any local caches and felt disheartened by cachers who did few caches and were spoon fed a fair majority of their answers.
Please give some thought to how to cater for families (with members of all ages) as well as those that like it fast, action packed. [-o<

My hat is off to the organising Committee and would be only too HAPPY to help out in any major or minor way if you are looking for a SA rep.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by homedg » 17 December 10 11:20 pm

My humble thoughts #-o
Have we done it before - NO (This concept)
Was it AWESOME last time - YES
Can you spend a Long Weekend with the family for less than a Hunjy? - NO
Is my 4 y.o. excited about it - YES
Is my 17 y.o. excited about it - YES
Will we be surprised and blown away by what goes on - YES
If people don't want to attend does anybody care - NO
Did people miss the last Mega that wished they attended - YES

Who are all of the "offline" people that agree with you cached. Where do you meet and talk? I would love to be a part of that discussion.

BTW When do you plan to organise your "perfect" MEGA event?

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by The Coffee's » 17 December 10 11:33 pm

As part of the committee I welcome your thoughts and you are welcome to ring me on 0401 496649 anytime (after morning coffee 10am and before bedtime coffee 11pm) to discuss your concerns.

I would like to address your written comments as follows:

We decided after much discussion to make it different from Wagga Wagga and travelling around visiting some excellent locations that “if not for geocaching Mega I would never have visited” will be fun, exciting and completely different to any other previous event.
The competition is not compulsory but well worth entering and hopefully fun for all the family, and starting the competition by noon will not require anyone to having to rush.

If the attending numbers are not there by April 2011 we will have to make a final decision on the event, and between now and then we welcome ideas and suggestions but please offer an alternative solution to your posts.

Please have a look at the external links and see why this area deserves to be the host of the next Mega event.
Yes we could stay in one spot but this is designed to showcase spectacular locations and meeting other geocachers whilst stopping at cache locations is something we all do and log. Add the enjoyment of catching up later in the day to discuss the days adventures will make it just that bit extra special.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by Cached » 17 December 10 11:43 pm

Replying to HomeDG:

I didn't say anything about perfect. The last mega was nothing short of wonderful.

If I wasn't in the middle of picking up my life and moving it to another state, I WOULD be putting my hand up to be involved in organising something - and I likely will in the future. I am the action rather than talk type.
Who are all of the "offline" people that agree with you cached. Where do you meet and talk? I would love to be a part of that discussion.
Not offline - just not on here. And the common theme - they wanted somebody to say to the community - this doesn't seem good, this seems rushed and ill thought out. They are from a wide cross-section, and some give rise to reasonable concerns that this could all go pear shaped. The recurring theme was they didn't feel they would be "allowed" to voice any dissent - and so I became the volunteered.

We're concerned. The progressive part of this adventure has dangerous written all over it. And if expressing "our" concerns can be productive, and improve the Oz Mega, then that's a good thing.
Can you spend a Long Weekend with the family for less than a Hunjy? - NO
Less than a Hunjy? For those coming from South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia - this will not be a cheap exercise. Might be a cheapy for you, but many of us need to travel fair across the country for this.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by homedg » 18 December 10 12:29 am

Cached wrote:Replying to HomeDG:

I didn't say anything about perfect. The last mega was nothing short of wonderful.

If I wasn't in the middle of picking up my life and moving it to another state, I WOULD be putting my hand up to be involved in organising something.
Say no more, you obviously have soime personal stuff you are dealing with.
However, I still don't understand who you are the spokesman for?

Hope LIFE turns out good for you;
dg

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by The Coffee's » 18 December 10 12:38 am

Not offline - just not on here. And the common theme - they wanted somebody to say to the community - this doesn't seem good, this seems rushed and ill thought out. They are from a wide cross-section, and some give rise to reasonable concerns that this could all go pear shaped. The recurring theme was they didn't feel they would be "allowed" to voice any dissent - and so I became the volunteered.
It certainly was not rushed or ill thought out it started a week after Wagge Wagga. We have put it together first then posted it with heaps of planning and activities in place, rather than just suggest an event and be flamed down with negative posts of no this no that.
Cached please offer ideas and, help it be another Mega event that will be talked about till the next one. email me on georgei@bigpond.net.au or ring me on the coffee hotline on 0401496649. Its all in place booked and ready to go once the numbers get there, but if we can be flexible on some things. I am not a huge fan of country and western and maybe we can work on that in some way but bear in mind a middle type band like Paul Kelly is in the vicinity of $75,000 for 2hours plus transport, food and extras. If you know a friend who knows a friend of a friend who could get a tip act for nothing then that would be a great help.
Personally I would have liked to get George Throroughgood, Pink, Charlie Daniels Band, Silverchair, U2 etc etc but until I win $30million it aint going to happen.

Last three things:
Over the next few months I will be trying to get a major sponsor hire car company to take on the event and offer cheap cheap car rentals, and maybe a camping company to assist or coles to do 10cent fuel dockets for geocachers. Anything is possible

Any event even the best plans could go pear shaped but with doing it this way we reduce that from happening.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by sully1 » 18 December 10 12:49 am

I have read through much of the "other" discussion to which Cached is referring, before coming over to check this one. Along with Cached, I don't wish to cause any angst either, especially when people have clearly already put much thought and effort into the planning stages of the next Mega Event.
But over the last 24 hrs my interest has most definately leaned towards doing NZ, INSTEAD of, not as well. As mentioned in previous posts the shifting after already traveilling up, does not really appeal. If I book Motel accomodation as we did for Wagga, minimum booking over Easter is almost always 3 nights. Where does that leave all those who will chose Motel accomodation?

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by The Coffee's » 18 December 10 1:00 am

sully1 wrote:I have read through much of the "other" discussion to which Cached is referring, before coming over to check this one. Along with Cached, I don't wish to cause any angst either, especially when people have clearly already put much thought and effort into the planning stages of the next Mega Event.
But over the last 24 hrs my interest has most definately leaned towards doing NZ, INSTEAD of, not as well. As mentioned in previous posts the shifting after already traveilling up, does not really appeal. If I book Motel accomodation as we did for Wagga, minimum booking over Easter is almost always 3 nights. Where does that leave all those who will chose Motel accomodation?
Which island have NZ settled on and camping ground, food, toilets etc. Hey it's your choice good luck on deciding no one is making you attend this one, if you have made up your mind good for you. Like whilst running for State and Federal government, "I am not here to change your mind, and I probably wont. I am only offering you an alternative party event for 2012"

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by SA_ParrotHead » 18 December 10 1:15 am

If people don't want to attend does anybody care - NO
We firmly believe it is the right of the organiser to host an event in the manner they choose, it is their event and their creation. In a potential situation where this event doesn't achieve mega status this thread might be useful, to look back at as an indicatior as to why some people didn't come. In regard to the above quote I would imagine that if the organisers don't make mega status then they would indeed like to know why people didn't come. Discussions in other forums today have raised issues that people have regarding the event however there was concerns that if we commented on the forums we would be banished for daring to have a say about how we see it. Well banished I'll be if it means I get to speak my thoughts.
Was it AWESOME last time - YES
One's experience of something is subjective and I'm pleased homedg that your experience of Wagga was awesome, but it wasn't everyones experience but those who dared to offer up feedback were savaged in the forums to the degree that resembled a witch hunt. Cached has offered up feedback from those of us who have today been chatting about the 2nd mega event however in true and predictable style such feedback is attacked even though it was asked that this be a congenial and open discussion that might prove fruitful to the committee. So in the end if the people don't come you can stand around and scratch your head and wonder what happened.
There was no opportunity for anyone interested in being on the organising committee because the first we knew of it was to hear that everything was organised and to watch this space for time and whereabouts-all done all dusted, and, after there had been posts in the forum indicating that another event wasn't being organised in that area. So my reasons for not being excited about the event: I would rather an event that was about the socialising and caching opportunities. I want to meet people from across this land and those from overseas, last mega I was lured into the megopoly that in the end just took me away from meeting people and which I found to be tedious and uninspiring and so I see that spending hours in a car driving all day saturday after having spent two days driving just to get to gundagai takes me away from social opportunities and a chance to kick back and hear people's stories.
I am also not inspired by the sound and lighting-what is that about-please feel free to enlighten me as to why I am to be excited by the fact that sound is available-if you are having speeches and performances then of course you need sound and if people are to view said speeches and performances then of course you need light-I must be missing something. I dislike boot scootin and country music with every ounce of my being and so I am not lured or excited by this as a drawcard to get me to attend. Then don't attend I hear you all say-well I won't be if this current format is all done and dusted but that's okay because that's the beauty of caching you choose what you want to do. So if this doesn't get mega status, and I hope it does, please feel free to revisit this log.
BTW When do you plan to organise your "perfect" MEGA event?
Come to any SA June long weekend event and you can see for yourself. We don't seek mega status but we have a mega of a time with a great bunch of people.
Cheers
Mrs Parrot.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by Richary » 18 December 10 1:28 am

I will start by saying that I had a sneak preview of the event on Wednesday when I happened to be in Wagga for work and caught up with Greg for lunch. The only concern I had then was the moving part for those camping, though I hadn't considered the minimum stay requirement for motels - and that may not apply for smaller towns like Gundagai and Tumbarumba. Then again, how much offsite accomodation is available in Tumbarumba or nearby for those who don't do camping? Not a criticism necessarily, but something the committee should investigate (both how much and how long) and consider if they haven't.

The transport is also an issue for those that need to fly in, I know at least one of the US cachers went by train to Wagga, did the event, and then carried on the Melbourne and then Adelaide by train. I am sure people would be happy to offer lifts, though in my case if the Suzuki is full of our camping gear that pretty much limits us to 2 people. Of course people could always fly to Wagga and hire a car for the weekend.

homedg, the discussion Cached refers to that I have seen has been on facebook posts.

Finally, for the listing part of it - what are the coords? Technically to attend an event you just need to turn up and sign the log book, you don't need to stay for the whole duration. So is that only the Gundagai sign in times (in which case you don't need to travel up the mountain if you don't want to), or can you also sign in at Tumbarumba.

For me, the great thing about Wagga was the socialising. I found that much more interesting than the competitions or spending the whole weekend out of the camp grabbing as many local caches as I could. So it won't worry me if the areas aren't cache saturated. And I probably won't worry about all the competitions - I tend not to even when they are part of regular events.

Those concerns aired, the group organising this has every right to organise it in the way they want to. As has been said, if people choose to come then they do. If they decide not to, then that is their right as well. Barring a better offer, Anna and myself are looking forward to it, breaking camp and resetting up is a slight hassle but not a major drama, but then again it's just the two of us and we don't have kids to worry about keeping occupied while all that happens.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by homedg » 18 December 10 1:34 am

i keep hearing terms of "You", "They", "US" and organisaton names I won't mention at the risk of being segregated [AGAIN].

Where are the Politcicans that banned me last time I had a view about Geocaching in NSW, about FREE and OPEN etc.

Where are the voices?


[Hidden behind the bunker of Membership Fee's is my Guess]

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