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Thread: The Rally....On behalf of the Volunteers

  1. #1
    That road looks good! Norwood's Avatar
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    The Rally....On behalf of the Volunteers

    I have read with much interest both the pros and cons of the rally as expressed here on the forum in the past week. We are entitled to our opinions; this one is mine from a committee chair standpoint and on behalf of all the committee chairs and volunteers.

    To put this into another perspective, some 2000 volunteers slots where filled to create a Town. Our population was 10,000….. rally attendees and vendors. (I believe vendors may have been excluded from the rally count).

    We where able to have:
    ?À Campground for about 6000 campers.
    ?À A camp for kids …Camp Gears
    ?À We had to lay out roads with road signs, yes it was routed within the rally site…but did if you notice the thru street had a hill with a sharp right turn and blind spot…how you say…hundreds of dropped bikes.
    ?À We had a communications center
    ?À Our City Hall…the Country Store.
    ?À Mini mall within the Country Store
    ?À Created a shopping mall indoor and outside (Great vendors)
    ?À We had a post office to ship and receive your packages
    ?À Volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Department if needed…volunteers.
    ?À We had first aid stations, teamed with professionals (volunteers)
    ?À Heliport. (No you can’t camp there)
    ?À Backup ambulance service on standby and was called several times.
    ?À We had to build a stage, move the Beer Garden to comply with state Beer laws.
    ?À We had food…with a vary of menus….and a produce stand too! Love those melons and fried apple pies.
    ?À We had a RV Park and staff to escort each RV and to organize the park.
    ?À We had a police force, (security) backed by local sheriff force…24/7
    ?À We had electricians on duty and call 24/7.
    ?À We manned every possible entrance to our town (gates). 24/7
    ?À We created a transportation system to shuttle rally attendants…no fare!
    ?À We arranged a tent motel.
    ?À Parking lots (Free parking)
    ?À We had a social center (Beer Garden)
    ?À We had a ice house
    ?À We had entertainment, every day and night…wide variety entertainers both at the Garden and within the rally grounds.
    ?À We had a museum. Vintage bikes…what a great display.
    ?À We added showers and porta potties…always bring an extra roll of TP.
    ?À A GS track was build, we had a stunt rider as well
    ?À Demo rides where offered
    ?À We had a fly over to photo the site (volunteer and his plane)
    ?À We arranged for a private air show…just for us.
    ?À We had fireworks to rival any small town fireworks show.
    ?À We had a coffee shop, free coffee
    ?À Our town United Way was our selected Charity.
    ?À We created a park, complete with activities.
    ?À Oil change and Air check station,
    ?À We arranged for a Bank, (ATM machines)
    ?À Bike wash station
    ?À Internet locations within the Cyber Caf?®
    ?À Many activities where planned, 8K race, dunking booth and demonstrations to name a few.
    ?À There where dinners and ceremonies to honor our founders and ambassadors.
    ?À Seminars
    ?À Meetings
    ?À Church service
    . We gave some of citizens great prizes, door prizes, bikes, tours...Thank you Vendors for the prizes.
    ?À Newspaper: A guide to the events and our town was furnished…did you read your rally program?
    ?À The Mayor and Council (Rally Chair/Co-Chairs and Committee Chairs) handled hundreds of details, safety issues, tax issues, legal issues and answered hundreds of questions during the rally.
    ?À We annexed the school property for Registrations, Seminars, and Volunteer Central.
    ?À We annexed some 2000 hotel rooms in the rally area.

    The town only lasted four or five days and then it was packed back up to do again next year.

    Oh, the price of admission to stay at the town was $30 to $40 dollars depending whether you had voting rights in our town.

    I spoke about the volunteers, they all paid to entry…just like you, Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs paid as well.

    I would lead you to believe this was created in just three days, physically it was…but months and months of planning, thousands of emails and phone calls and I only know part of the story…The chair and co-chair can tell you the “rest of the story”

    Thanks Vance and Connie …. I would vote for you again to be our Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem.

    If 1500 attendees volunteered, than means 7500 did not.

    To the Volunteers, I tilt my helmet to you….you did a wonderful job.

    Don Norwood
    Volunteer Chair
    Last edited by Norwood; 07-27-2009 at 03:51 AM.
    2011 R1200 GSA (My Radio Flyer)
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    " Oh Lord I pray, Let me live long enough to do everything they say I've done"

  2. #2
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    Great post Don!

    Thanks for all the hard work..........FEMA could learn much from you folks......Simply amazing!
    RoyB....
    2007 BMW K1200R Sport (abs),2007 Suzuki dl650 V Strom (abs),2004 Honda VFR (abs),1972 Honda Trail 90,
    2001 Moto Guzzi V-11 Rosso Mandello

  3. #3
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norwood View Post
    I have read with much interest both the pros and cons of the rally as expressed here on the forum in the past week. We are entitled to our opinions; this one is mine from a committee chair standpoint and on behalf of all the committee chairs and volunteers.
    You know, I don't pay much attention to the specifics of either the pros or the cons, but I do take note of the acrimony when someone posts a grouse. Of course, the grouse is often an acrimonious grouse. Whatever....that isn't my point.

    I do hope that the people taking on the enormous task of organizing the next of these events filters out the slaps and slams and pays attention to the lists of plusses and minuses that get generated in these forum posts. I get the sense that the complaints MAY get rejected out of hand and I hope that isn't the case. Feedback is a good thing, both positive and negative.

    I have nothing but respect for the volunteers who stage a huge event like this and you all deserve a big thank you and probably a $5,000 check for your time and efforts!
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  4. #4
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Good response Tom.

    It's kind of like mining for gold. The prospector has to sift through tons of gravel and is happy to find a few gold nugget.

  5. #5
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    As I walked around the grounds and saw all the of the site I was vaguely aware of the scope of this undertaking. Thank you for taking the time to fully illustrate this for all of us.

    And a BIG thank you to all who volunteered. This event could not happen without you!

  6. #6
    Can't Grow It?? Mow it!! bullit7801's Avatar
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    Hey all,

    Two points on follow-up from a Board member.

    First, all volunteers pay their own admission, as stated above. Know that members of the MOA Board of Directors also pay their own admission and are NOT reimbursed for travel or meals for the International Rally. Most of the Board also work the rally as Chairs or Co-chairs. Most of the Board also took a turn in the Dunking Tank. My buddies in the Beer Garden made sure my time in the barrel was cold by dumping 20 bags of ice in the tank before my turn. The tank looked like an empty beer serving tub at the start of my turn. Burrrr!!!

    Second, the board reads the "Rally sucked" thread. I have found several comments in that thread that will be passed along to next year's rally chairs to improve our rally in Redmond. That is what this organization is all about. Volunteers working to improve the rally experience and members offering feedback to have a better rally next year.

    I thank all the volunteers, especially those who helped us have a great Beer Garden experience, and all those who have offered suggestions for improvement. All of those suggestions will not be used, but many are good ones that will improve future rallies.

    Thanks to all,

    tb (still not home yet after the RA rally, but probably tonite)
    Tom "Bullit" Buttars
    Ambassador
    1978 R100RS, 2006 F650GS, 2007 F800S

  7. #7
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    There are glitches at any gathering but I thought the rally was run amazingly well with the size and challenges presented. Most of the problems were anticipated and handled. Many of the glitches were unavoidable due to local regulations and restrictions.

    The few things that could have been done better will be addressed next year and there will be new glitches that pop up.

    The volunteers from the Rally chair to the go-fers did an outstanding job. Anyone who things they can do better should step up and volunteer.

    Ken
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  8. #8
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    thanks

    my thanks to the rally organizers for giving me a great four days. For them I would say. some people you can hang with a golden rope and they would bitch because it wasn't platinum..In my opinion JOB WELL DONE.

  9. #9
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    I do hope that the people taking on the enormous task of organizing the next of these events filters out the slaps and slams and pays attention to the lists of plusses and minuses that get generated in these forum posts. I get the sense that the complaints MAY get rejected out of hand and I hope that isn't the case. Feedback is a good thing, both positive and negative.
    that was the reason for the Rally Sucks thread. get all the negative comments in one place so that the people who plan the rally can see them.

    there are a ton of good ideas in that thread. (and more than a few positive comments... can't people follow instructions??? )

    ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    ________________________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  10. #10
    ltraklasik
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    Talking Great rally!

    I have just joined the BMW family after many years riding the vertical air-cooled, v-twins. I have been to more Daytonas and Myrtle Beaches (and HOG rallies) than I can count. Those folks could learn volumes from this rally. I had a BLAST. Lots of vendors than I shared commerce with, unlike a HOG rally where there are NO vendors other than a few chosen dealers that sell nothing that doesn't have a "bar and shield" on it. Granted, I read about the problems with Gillette last year so I was not sure what to expect at this rally, and I'm new to BMWs, but this was a great rally. Thanks to the volunteers!

    G~

  11. #11
    Rather Be Ridin' alabeemer's Avatar
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    Talking

    Thanks Don for your very informative post! Now I know why I am exhausted!

    The points are well taken and although each suggestion can not be put into place, as Bullitt points out many items have been passed on and will be discussed shortly in a meeting of MOA staff and rally chairs (me). As of last year, a follow up meeting is being held post rally to discuss opportunities for improvment. This meeting helped me a lot last year and I am sure it will be benficial this year for Deb & Stan. Many of the comments I have read as suggestions for improvment are in fact site specific and therefore will not be relative to next year anyway.

    (For Instance: It was never the plan to locate vendors along the exit route but because we booked so many vendors (to provide those all important farkles for us) we were forced to locate them at the last minute in that area to make it all work for providing utilities, etc. Further a shift of vendors from the original plans was due to BMW's space requiremnts and unlevel ground that we planned to use but some vendors could not, etc.)

    So it is not always easy and even the best planning is subject to change once the rally is actually assembled. The constructive criticism is a good thing but sometimes the commentary that comes along with it rubs a little.

    Rest assured that the staff and volunteer rally chairs are working hard to make each and every rally and event the best it can be...cause we know it will be reviewed by the members!

    As for this year, although it was not perfect, I had a blast doing it! I have my notes and we will be trying to make it even better going forward. Cause one thing is for sure, if we are not trying to improve in all that we do...we are backing up! So I welcome your comments pro and con.
    Vance Harrelson
    MOA Ambassador/ Director
    R1200GSA - G450X - G650GS Sertao
    "Always Remember, Whatever You Believe, You Might Be Wrong" - Paul Thorn

  12. #12
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    i forgot to say...

    ... before this rally, i had never met don.

    we had a nice long talk and it was like we knew each other forever.

    very nice guy and did a great job with a tough assignment.

    ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    ________________________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  13. #13
    Rpbump USN RET CPO Rpbump's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I'm already in the preliminary stages of planing my route to Redmond, OR via Killeen, TX. My good friend JR has expressed an interest in going to the Rally and frankly I look forward to riding cross country in the company of another Old F--t like me. The Rally in TN was a very enjoyable experience for me (1st National Rally) and has whetted my appetite for more. I will volunteer again for the Beer Tent/Garden and probably for registration as well. I met the nicest/friendlyest people at the Rally site and look forward to meeting them again in OR. Ride Safe

  14. #14
    Rally Rat CATHDEAC's Avatar
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    Thanks.. wish I coulda been there..

  15. #15
    Stronger, Faster, Tougher iRene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathdeac View Post
    Thanks.. wish I coulda been there..
    So do we! Maybe Redmond? A terrific site!
    BMW MOA Ambassador
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