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Thread: Thinking About the AO NorCal SoCal Day

  1. #1
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    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).
    Last edited by Z-man; 01-20-2004 at 04:23 AM.

  2. #2
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    I wasnt there, but just by skimming down the stuff u put down, might suggest u were'nt happy with the overall event.

    Anyways... try to summarize, bullet points and phrases are a godsend when trying to getout lots o info.

  3. #3
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    Live and learn. It happens to the best of them...look at the first Shatner Ball.

    I say take a note from Phil and how he and FatMan ran the last two SC meets. These things were organized to the "T". They had a full reffing staff, plenty of air, food at the field that was catered (everyone likes hamburgers), a host hotel, which most everyone stayed at, a bar/resurant that was reserved just for us (although some locals snuck in some how).

    As for having it two times a year. Don't expect to get as big of a turn out. There are many different events that people travel to and hitting two of the same event might be a bit much.

    I havn't been to a NJ meet yet (I will be at the next one), but I can say that the SC meets are by far the most organized I have seen and some of the most fun. By talking to people that were at the No/So CA meet, not one of them had a bad thing to say about it and everyone seemed to have fun...this is the important part. I say give yourself a pat on the back (and those who helped), from what I see ya guys did good work.

    Just wish I would have made it.

    As for the picture part, just make sure I get out there, I'll cover that part

  4. #4
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    Z-man,
    Unfortunately I had planned/ran/and played in a tournament the same weekend as NorCal vs. SoCal AO day. I know I would attend an event like this twice a year, perhaps one in NorCal and then one in SoCal maybe.

    Well anyway here are my $.02... Now when it comes to reffing, I'm sure no one really wants to ref at an AO day but make it a sort of rule. For everyday you signed up to play you must ref for a 2 hour shift, look at it as a field fee of sorts. That way if it is a three day event and the person wants to play all 3 days they must put in 2 hours of work each day or a total of 6, etc...

    As for the food at the field, the BBQ or Lunch truck is a great idea. AO'ers could either buy food and drinks from it or bring their own. But it would also depend on the field, some fields may serve food.

    I know I would pay $20-$30 for a shirt, especially if it supported an event like an AOday. Depending on the cost of the shirt, have participants pre-order and pre-pay for the shirts so that you are sure to have the correct amount of sizes for the people that planned ahead of time to attend. Then of course charge slightly above the cost to pay for field rental, or any other expenses that may occur. So you could say that the players entry fee included a silk screened shirt at a minimal cost.

    I am sure we could find local field owners that would be willing to give a pricebreak in renting the field for the weekend, especially if we supplied our own refs. They would also stand to make a pretty penny off of the paint sold at the event and don't really have to pay the wages for staffing it.

    Those are just few things I thought of and should you need help planning an event in the San Diego / Riverside area (like Camp Pendleton in June) I'd really like to help out.

    -jr.

  5. #5
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    I don't see a thing wrong with how you pulled it off Z. I mean the things you have summarized are right on. You learn from the first one but even so there is NO WAY you can make everything come off exactly as you planned. You delt with it and the good thing about AO'ers is they adapt. They have fun anyway. So don't sweat it. Dig in and do the things you have noted you think will make it better and go for it. If there is anything I can do to help you with those kinds of things then feel free to ask. But your right on track.

    I do agree one good event a year is probably better than trying to stretch yourself thin. Keep the attendance up. And get someone like Muz or Deadeye or someone to concentrate on event recording. They take all that out of your concern. Delegate as much as you dare. Get an early start on negotiating hotels and stuff. If someone wants to take it on, give it to them. No sucessfull meet is so because of one person. But do indeed make sure you can trust whomever you chose to come through. I am lucky to have such people out here. It makes all the difference.


    But your thought patterns on what you want to do to make it better are dead on. Your moving in the right direction with it. I just wanted to let you know that.
    Last edited by cphilip; 01-20-2004 at 10:21 AM.


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  6. #6
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    Zak, I think it went pretty well for as big as it turned out to be. Like Muzikman said, live and learn. Murphy reigns supreme, so you just have to roll with it.

    2x a year might be pushing it. I think the turn out would be better if it was the "big event of the year" type thing.

    I'd suggest having an official North, South and Central rep and work together so no one feels they are being cut out of the decision making. You can't please everyone, but its good to at least have some input.

    I will say this, I think you personally might not have been able to enjoy it as much as everyone else did. For you, anything that did not go smoothly you might have seen as "your" fault, it wasn't.

    Everyone saw YOU running all over the place taking care of business. Everyone did appreciate your efforts, and everyone did have a great time. Even when we weren't playing we were having a blast just joking around with the other AO members, checking out each others stuff, that sort of thing.

    Everyone usually wants to do another one of this sort thing again really soon, based on how much fun they had. There is a temptation to try and do it again quick. I think its better to just step back and say, we'll do it again, but give it some time.

    This is getting longer than I had planned. To sum it up, I had a blast. Great job.

  7. #7
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    Blennidae pretty much summed up what I was gonna say. Zak we had tons of fun even though the air situation wasn't ideal. Just meant the games were more of a strategy then shoot and waste type of games. It to me seemed like hopper ball with a 1 or 2 pod limit (for the mag peeps and more for the cocker, viking peeps). Either way we'd love to do it again. Save it for next year. Twice a year could push it for now but a small group travel wouldn't hurt. I for one enjoyed myself up there and wouldn't mind driving back up to play with your group again. Either way Zak you did a hell of a job. Congrats and SoCal had more of a showing then expected. We had around 15-20 there. Although the tourny didn't play out it was still fun and exciting. Great job zak.
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  8. #8
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    Next time around, I can probably help with the T-shirts in the next go around. Whether we decide to do heatpress or silk screening.

    Anyways though Zak, if you think about it, the 2K max fills might help a little in the reffing situation. When one person would run out of air, they would ref for a x amount of time. That's what I did.

    All in all, you did a great job Zak.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by PsychoBaller
    I wasnt there, but just by skimming down the stuff u put down, might suggest u were'nt happy with the overall event.
    Actually I was very happy. It was an even bigger turnout than I expected. But this is the critique / suggestion / idea for next time thread.

    THanks for the thoughts so far buys and keep them coming even if they are the same, this will be added to my "Bible" on how to organize one of these things. I am shooting for best in the US so watch out!

  10. #10
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    You did a good job Zak, thanks for hosting!

  11. #11
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    Zak,

    You did an excellent job at organizing the meet.

    It's hard to believe that the most common element in our atmosphere was so difficult to get ahold of during the meet.

    Nevertheless, it was just as easy to play a few sets, load up on paint and re-gas, repeat.

    What was truly awesome is how the folks at Breakout and yourself tried their d*mnedest to make sure everyone had air. All of you truly went above and beyond the call of duty.

    Rock on.
    Jim

  12. #12
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    Great Job

    Hey Z-man, I was there! I think you did a great job, I was a local boy out there and I thought you did very well with what you had to work with. The whole generator thing aint your falt so know worries there. But it seems that with 100 plus people though there is know way you can organize anything with no air. Everyone at the field seemed to help out with what they could as you pointed out. Hey man, if you ever need more ref for anything let me know. I would love to help out AO!. Just let me know. Give me a IM someday at MBwrestler86.
    Great Job.

  13. #13
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    Zak you're being way to hard on yourself. The event went well. I still think we should have gotten a stripper with the contents of the bucket. But seriously I hope that you didn't go broke trying to get the new generator.

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  14. #14
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    No I did not. I am eternally grateful to you all for doing that. Combined with Breakout, I think I broke even on that (which is just fine with me!)

  15. #15
    USAF-Flyboy with a Mag Guest
    I think overall it went off pretty well. I had a great time and don't regret it at all. There are a few minor details that you have noted out that will make the next one run much more smoother. The only thing I can think of is for dinner plans. Both nights we tried to go somewhere as a group and no restraunt could accommedate our numbers in a resonable time. I think have prearranged reservations would be good, or maybe talking to the hampton inn and having them give us the banquet room and have food catered? Those are just some thoughts I thought I would throw out your way. You did great Zak. I think next time you should deligate more of the duties to others, so that you don't overwhelm yourself. You spent more time playing host then you did enjoying the the fruits of your labor ya know? If you get more help you wouldn't have to stress as much.
    Thanks again,
    Martin

  16. #16
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    Zak,

    We all owe you a big thank you for all the hard work you put into the meet. I'd also like to thank tato for fixing my X-Mag, thanks to Miscue for the 4.00 upgrade, it rips, literally, it ripped the ball out of my ball detent, and thanks to tato for fixing my X-Mag a second time. I'm looking foward to the next meet.

    David

  17. #17
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    You know there is always going to be something wrong when you try to put a big event like this on, it was a lot of fun! Now for my .02$ and keep in mind that this is just from a logistics point of view, I really wish that it was more of a tournament, SoCal-v-NoCal; we drove up from Vegas basicaly to have a day of paintball, now please don't get me wrong or take it the wrong way, it was cool talking to some of you that I see on the forums and put a face to a nickname, and like others have said it would be great if there was a central location to stay and maybe have have a meet n greet that night. Big big thanks for all the effort Zac. Maybe next time there will be a way to have true bragging rights..
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  18. #18
    hey z-man have you gone over the video footage yet? Im interested to know if you shot any of foootage of me shooting the viking or just playing since i somehow managed to escape the camera.
    You better watch yo' self B!

  19. #19
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    Z-man u did an awsome job and I had a hella good time as did the rest of the guys I came with. If u got those few issues cleared up would have been even better but it was still a huge success.


    P.S. How did that 32 ounce stake come out? 0_o LOL

  20. #20
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    steak pwn3d

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Z-man
    steak pwn3d
    yes, yes it did.

    zak, i know this is starting to sound redundant, but you did an awesome job putting this event together. the aforementioned problems really were, in my eyes, unavoidable, at least this time. i say that because now, we know how to make the meet even more rockin' next year. its problems like this that make the even better the next year.
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  22. #22
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    Zak you were the man all weekend! Me and everyone else had a great time! Stuff happens and we all apreciated you going all out to get it fixed.

    Thanks from all of us at,

    AGD

  23. #23
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    Hey Zack!!!

    Overall it was a great day for everyone. Don't sweat the little things!

    I think an itinerary is a great idea, I'm good at making those so let me know if you need help with the next get together.

    I enjoyed helping out as a ref for several of the games, but I really had no idea what to do besides paint checks LOL

    I really like my shirt. I think the way it was done is great and would be willing to pay up to $10.00 - $15.00 (with all the other expenses and the shirt being an option I think that would be a good price). I'd rather have my name on it.

    Maybe having a local lunch truck come out to the field??? Or find out which fast food places are in the area, choose one (there are a variety of burgers but a burger is a burger) then collect the money and take the orders the night before (for those who are interested). Most places will let you phone the orders in too. A group of people could be designated to pick everything up. With so many people though, that might get hectic. The food issue really wasn't that big of a deal....especially since Joe was nice enough to make the trip for us to pick everything up.

    Unfortunately, we didn't get up early enough to see you on Saturday before you left for the field so we didn't get our CD but Nick said he would take care of it. I'm sure they came out great and it was a great idea!

    Well, I put in my 2 cents.

    I had a wonderful time and will only remember the positive highlights of the event. You did an AWESOME job Zack!

    Originally posted by Miscue
    Romeo... bah! He's a pathetic fool who was lamely obsessed with the impressionable Juliet.

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by TooDamnSweet



    Unfortunately, we didn't get up early enough to see you on Saturday before you left for the field so we didn't get our CD but Nick said he would take care of it. I'm sure they came out great and it was a great idea!
    Unfortunatly I'm having probs seeing all the pictures. I can try burning you guys a copy and pass it onto you guys and you can see if it works on your computer. LMK if you guys want me to try it.

  25. #25
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    If you are having troubles with the CD, you can find me on IM at VetterNoisesii and I will IM you the whole 240MB of images including Tato's and a few dozen others I recently got. Illbe on for a while and then again this evening.

  26. #26
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    Originally posted by RoadDawg

    Unfortunatly I'm having probs seeing all the pictures. I can try burning you guys a copy and pass it onto you guys and you can see if it works on your computer. LMK if you guys want me to try it.
    Thanks for trying! If you have the time it would be great but if not it's okay. I'm sure we're seeing alot of them online anyway.

    Zman, I have no idea how to download stuff so maybe gibby can do it later if Nick has problems???

    Thanks!

  27. #27
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    yeah the slow but one immediate solution I have done is IM'ed the who 240Mb of picts out to Steelrat and USAF-FLyboy who have informed me that they all work. If I can get them on an unlimited bandwidth server, then we are set. Ill try and see what can be done about that.

  28. #28
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    You know...before this event, it was feeling like a grudge match between NorCal and SoCal. After the event, it seems as if there's been a magical bond made between the two.

    /me with tears in my eyes.

    Everyone is so filled with joy and fond memories.

    But alas! This bliss cannot last forever! A new day will come and NorCal and SoCal will have forgotten about the past and find themselves head to head once again!

    The world will shake once again!

    Hehe...thanks Zack!

  29. #29
    Zak -

    First of all, the department of redundancy department rules dictate that I say GOOD JOB again. Great time had by all.

    Most of these events probably start small and grow. Your first event had a huge turnout, media coverage, a private field to play on, and drew people from 2-300 miles in either direction. Who knew? Even one month ago we were still joking about it being our usual Norcal group hanging out by ourselves.

    The time we spent in the lobby and conference room at the Hampton was great - good, cheap fun. Lots of good info, got to meet people, definitely a large part of the whole experience. We obviously need a private room of some sort that will let us go to the wee hours.

    I keep thinking about headcounts. Who could have known how many would actually show? I thought about bringing a PA system but figured naw, we won't need it to make announcements for the 20 or 30 people attending. Hah.

    I don't see how you could have made arrangements for food without a fairly solid headcount, either for catered food or going out on the town. We lucked out on our third try Friday night, and the pizza thing worked out fine on Saturday. Bringing food in is probably the most economical method and as long as we have a place to sit.

    Perhaps some of the folks that have planned other events can offer suggestions on how to get a good headcount so we can plan for the get-togethers and dining.

  30. #30
    USAF-Flyboy with a Mag Guest
    The SOUTH shall rise again....

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