Thinking About the AO NorCal SoCal Day
Well I have been going over what those 3 days were like and how the event evolved. I wanted to put down my general thoughts on the meet and open the floor to you all to comment and suggest ideas for the next one
First off the even I would say was an overall resounding success. We CLEARLY had over 100 people out there which was more than I hoped for; the weather was great, no one got hurt and people seemed very happy.
I also want to tell you all what you already know. The AO population is a really amazing group Many of you don’t know but a bunch of of the AO guys and gals got together and made a donation to me to help cover the costs of the last-minute generator costs that I took. I mean I did not even get up and ask for it, you put it together without encouragement. That says a lot about you all. And it was not limited to that, everyone gave when and what they could to help each other out. It was about as close to Communism as I think you can get and still have fun.
That being said I want to go down the list of problems that I saw and now know how to avoid for the next NorCal SoCal Day.
First and by far the most obvious was the generator. Having no compressor to fill over 100 people is NOT a good thing and I learned REALLY fast about how much power you need to drive a 5.5hp engine. Basic rule of thumb: 2Kw per 1Hp. I ended up going through 4 different generators but I finally learned.
This problem can be avoided next time either by me bringing down our 15Kw generator or renting one for the event but that should take care of the air.
Second was really no having made an itinerary for the event. In my naive state, I figured we could all just “go somewhere.” Let me tell you that 30+ people never just go anywhere. We need directions, maps, phone numbers and reservations. This too can be easily solved by simply planning for it. In addition we need backup plans because Murphy’s Law is something you can rely on in an event like this
I know to watch for it now so it’s taken care of now. I think what Ill end up doing is delegating out small portions of that for a few willing people so no one has a big load and can do a good job on a small part.
Next was field organization. Though many people offered to ref for long periods of time, we really needed to have some “official” form of reffing planned out. I was very happy to see that even without refs, people played very honestly and it appeared that it was a very fair day.
Next time we do this, I will make up a tim slot list for the day(s) we play. Since few if any of us come to AO Days to ref, I think that breaking it into 1-4 hour shifts would be best. People can sign up as they wish, but the big help is that its a commitment by the person on record and should ensure that we are reffed the whole day. As far as a tourney goes, I am happy to help plan one but it seems to me that an AO Day is so much fun when you can simply play random games all day as you feel like it.
Then there was the food issue. I had wanted to plan out some kind of food at the field but that never got finished up. Preplanning it could be tricky as it’s hard to please everyone and no one wants to get stuck footing the bill ;) I am open to suggestions on this one. Ideally I would like to get a BBQ truck out to the event and let people buy stuff as needed. It would be nice to NOT have to leave the field to get food as all your stuff is lying there and it takes longer.
Hotel reservations. We needed to centralize that. It’s to be expected that many people will crash at friends houses or some favorite place, but having one “AO Hotel” is a wise move because it puts the majority of us together (sorry Tom, I spoke too late on that one). Ill also try and secure a conference room so we can talk all night and what not.
AO Shirts. This one I need suggestions on. I know that if I di it again, Ill commit earlier so I dont blow my mind but how would you all respond to the following thoughts?
-1 logo or 3 (like you saw; NorCal, SoCal and nor vs So)?
-heat pressed shirts or silk screen?
-Personalized? (AO/real name and all that)
-how much would you pay? $10 $15 $20?
-should I consider making other event logo apparel or stickers or something that I am missing?
Now of course, silk screening would raise the price and probably mean that I could only make one logo with no names but I thrown it out there.
Photos and media. I am still collecting images from the event and I am sure I will never have them all (but most of them is good enough). Did those of you who got my CD that I made for you like that? I think that if everyone got the photos of the event then there is not this overwhelming force demanding photos ;). Next time Ill have to get 2 or 3 computers to burn fast enough (unless someone wants to bust out one of those mass burning towers ;) )
Oh and I am hoping that SoCal will muster their forces for the next AO Day. I would like to play a NorCal vs. SoCal game.
Those were the big problems that I could see happen during the event. Now what else would we want to add (if anything) to enhance this even more?
Some of you suggested making this a 2x a year event?
I suspect that the next time we have it we may do it at Breakout’s soon-to-exist commercial field. This would be nice because it would be setup to take an AO Day and would be less work to prep. No solid dates one when but I know this has to be at LEAST an annual event.
Sorry to cram so much into so small a space but this will be the thread of long replies (perhaps).