"Commercial" events?

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Happy Chappies
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"Commercial" events?

Post by Happy Chappies » 30 May 15 8:48 pm

Hi all,

Just a query for those with a better knowledge of the rules and guidelines than I can summon.

What are the rules in regards to events which just happen to take place at a business location? I've noticed a few events taking place over the last year or so at a geocaching-focused business (this being the latest: http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC5V ... h-oh-oh-no) and while I appreciate it's probably just about 'convenience', and is no doubt of interest to many geocachers, it always feels a bit uncomfortable to me, that it borders on solicitation.... This one particular had me scratching my head as I thought a flash mob was more about being in public, rather than tucked up in a private shop.... I appreciate the effort of the CO and have no doubt it'll be fun, but doesn't quite feel right to me.

Is this sort of 'commercial' cache something that is allowed or slips through the gaps? Or am I misinterpreting the guidelines?

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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by caughtatwork » 30 May 15 9:44 pm

The cache listing is not commercial. The event is at the event organisers geocaching shop? That seems commercial and should not be permitted. If it's not at the shop then it doesn't seem commercial.

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Happy Chappies
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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by Happy Chappies » 30 May 15 9:53 pm

caughtatwork wrote:The cache listing is not commercial. The event is at the event organisers geocaching shop? That seems commercial and should not be permitted. If it's not at the shop then it doesn't seem commercial.
As far as I know (I haven't visited the address personally) the event is at the same address as the CO's geocaching shop. However it doesn't say that in the listing. Maybe it's the CO's residence also... I assume the admins are aware of the location's coincidence and have approved it, but it did surprise me somewhat.

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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by LouiseAnn » 30 May 15 10:22 pm

The location isn't residential. A number of events have been held there over the time the shop has been there. There is a large space to have social or presentation type gatherings and even though it is a shop, there is no feeling let alone obligation that attendees should buy anything whilst there.

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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by caughtatwork » 30 May 15 11:26 pm

Maybe not, but it's a great way to plug your business. Sounds shonky to me but luckily I don't make the rules. If you feel concerned shoot the reviewer an email to get a ruling.

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Happy Chappies
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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by Happy Chappies » 31 May 15 12:08 am

Thanks LouiseAnn - that's kind of what I figured...

I'm not hugely bothered. Not enough to make a fuss with an admin and cause a problem for those already going and the CO. It just had me confused as it seemed, at least in appearances, a touch commercial and I was wondering if I'd missed something re the guidelines (given that an old cache of mine got questioned merely by being located in the carpark of a certain business!)

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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by Goldenwattle » 31 May 15 2:05 am

I had to remove from a cache listing that it was possible to get a coffee from the nearby shops, as I was told that was commercial. It wasn't just one cafe, but several, so I wasn't plugging a business, but still I couldn't mention this. I like to know where I can take a break when caching and get a coffee, and thought others would like to know too, but this was unacceptable.

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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by on4bam » 31 May 15 3:43 am

Goldenwattle wrote:I had to remove from a cache listing that it was possible to get a coffee from the nearby shops, as I was told that was commercial. It wasn't just one cafe, but several, so I wasn't plugging a business, but still I couldn't mention this. I like to know where I can take a break when caching and get a coffee, and thought others would like to know too, but this was unacceptable.
That seems strange as there's even an icon for it on gc (food nearby), what about "fuel nearby", "Access of parking fee".

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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by Yurt » 31 May 15 11:28 am

There was a local GC event in Sydney held in the car park of an international fast food franchise. I didn't attend so I'm not sure if it was actually held inside the establishment. That would seem to go beyond mentioning there's coffee available but really I couldn't care less where an event is held provided it doesn't end up being an Amway type meeting!

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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by Happy Chappies » 31 May 15 2:06 pm

Goldenwattle wrote:I had to remove from a cache listing that it was possible to get a coffee from the nearby shops, as I was told that was commercial. It wasn't just one cafe, but several, so I wasn't plugging a business, but still I couldn't mention this. I like to know where I can take a break when caching and get a coffee, and thought others would like to know too, but this was unacceptable.
That's kind of the loophole which I find a bit funny in all of this. You may have no connection to a business, but mentioning it even casually in a listing can get it prohibited. However, hold an event at a business location and just make sure not to mention it in the listing, and it's hunky dory. I guess that's why loopholes were invented, eh? :roll:

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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by gmj3191 » 31 May 15 9:55 pm

I think it's probably meant by gc.com to protect their commercial interests by not providing a vehicle for advertising by their competitors.This seems perfectly reasonable.
It's the interpretation that sometimes gets a bit mystifying.
A couple of years ago I had a vague reference to a nearby shopping centre, and that had to be removed before publication.
It was more a navigational aid and historical reference than anything else, but it had to go.

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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by Happy Chappies » 01 June 15 12:03 am

gmj3191 wrote:I think it's probably meant by gc.com to protect their commercial interests by not providing a vehicle for advertising by their competitors.This seems perfectly reasonable.
It's the interpretation that sometimes gets a bit mystifying.
A couple of years ago I had a vague reference to a nearby shopping centre, and that had to be removed before publication.
It was more a navigational aid and historical reference than anything else, but it had to go.
I actually assumed it was more a mechanism to prevent other businesses (non-competitors) from utilising the gc.com space to advertise or solicit more generally... . You could easily imagine a chain of restaurants getting in on the act and hiding caches in their properties to build a bit of passing traffic or a smaller cafe to build some community awareness.

In that sense I perfectly agree with them not wanting caches which say "Come to X, it's awesome, try the veal". However I must admit it feels a bit constricting when you can't even mention a business as a reference point. And of course, the application of the rule varies widely. I've seen caches called 'Bunnings', which I was surprised by!

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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by iamapom » 01 June 15 10:54 am

Being described as "shonky" in a public forum.... yet more GCA threads to talk to the lawyer about later this week. I'm having trouble managing all these screen shots and dumps of GCA and Facebook threads. Still they paste nicely into Word as a permanent record.

shonky
ˈʃɒŋki/
Australian/NZinformal
adjective
adjective: shonky; comparative adjective: shonkier; superlative adjective: shonkiest

1.
dishonest, unreliable, or illegal, especially in a devious way.
"shonky political goings-on"

noun
noun: shonky; plural noun: shonkies; noun: shonk; plural noun: shonks

1.
a person engaged in suspect business activities.
"we need to rid the building industry of these shonkies quickly"

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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by caughtatwork » 01 June 15 11:27 am

shonky (ˈʃɒŋkɪ)
adj, -kier or -kiest
1. of dubious integrity or legality
2. unreliable; unsound

No-one described you as shonky. The event, held at your business premises, sounds shonky. i.e. of dubious integrity or unsound in that is seems to fall foul of the GC rules regarding being a commercial cache. But, as I'm not the arbiter and the cache has been published, it would seem to be legitimate. I have queried the cache listing with the reviewer, but I have not received a response. If I receive a response where the cache stands, then I will withdraw my statement.

Please avoid threatening or inciting legal action.

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Re: "Commercial" events?

Post by gmj3191 » 01 June 15 12:54 pm

It seems ironic that GCA was formed in an atmosphere of rebelling against the restrictions and commercial controls imposed by Groundspeak. Free and open caching was the catch cry.

Now there seems to be all this concern that the Groundspeak rules are followed to the nth degree.

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