Yesterday was the final day of our 2010 Eastern Gypsy Gathering rally, which consisted of morning coffee and donuts sponsored by Mac McCoy, one last chance to visit the vendors who had not already packed up and left, and the tour of the Heartland Recreational Vehicles factory. By noon we had all of the tables and chairs put away, and the building emptied out.
We spent most of the afternoon trying to get our motorhome back to some semblance of normality, stowing away rally materials in our bays, and sorting through leftover brochures, display materials, and notes we had hastily scribbled on slips of paper about interesting places to visit that our attendees had suggested, and good campgrounds they thought we might like to stop at someday.
Our dear friends Tom Owen and Diane Rojewski came by to chat for a while, and Frank Hinman popped in for a few minutes. Rumor control has it that there may be another visit to Tom and Diane’s houseboat in Key West in our future. Tom and Diane graciously invited us to stay at the houseboat two years ago, and we spent a wonderful week exploring Key West and the rest of the Florida Keys, kayaking, and playing tourist. We’re really looking forward to getting back down there again.
Soon after Tom and Diane left, Orv Hazelton stopped in, and we solved most of the troubles of the world; then Greg White came over to join us, and he had answers for the few dilemmas of mankind that Orv and I had not gotten to yet.
I spent a couple of hours reading over the rally feedback forms that we asked each attendee to fill out. There were a lot of glowing compliments about the rally, which are always nice, but also some good feedback on the different seminars we had, as well as suggestions for future rallies.
Terry and I read each and every feedback form, and give those suggestions serious consideration. We don’t always go with them, for various reasons, but we have incorporated several of our attendees’ suggestions into our rallies.
One comment that gets repeated frequently at every rally is that we have too many seminars at the same time, and that a person can’t attend one that interests them unless they miss another in the same time period.
One of the things that sets our events apart from many other RV rallies is that we focus on a broad spectrum of seminars. We had 60 different seminars at the rally, which is about average for one of our events. Not just vendor seminars, but also seminars on all kinds of other topics. At this rally we had seminars on bicycling, kayaking, traveling to Alaska, genealogy, Midwest travel destinations, RVing history, RV electrical systems, tire safety, weight safety, fire safety, and more!
True, sometimes there are conflicts when somebody wants to be at two different seminars held at the same time, but the flip side of that coin is that at least we offer plenty of options to choose from, to suit every interest. If we offered fewer seminars, and repeated them twice as some have suggested, we would drastically reduce the options for others who may be interested in something else. To us, more is better when it comes to seminars.
Of course, we can’t please everybody; we had comments that people wanted more computer related seminars, such as the nine that Geeks on Tour presented, and comments from other folks who said they didn’t care about computer seminars, they wanted seminars on RV maintenance, or pet care, or crafts, or… you get the idea. The problem there is, of course, finding people qualified to teach those seminars. All we can do is to continue to find new seminar topics and new people to present them.
Comments were mixed on having the rally at a full hookup campground. Some people loved it, and some said they would have been just as happy at a fairgrounds, if the cost had been less. And, of course, there were folks who wanted the full hookups, but at fairgrounds prices. That just doesn’t happen!
We had 165 RVs registered the rally, as well as a dozen or so others that had not registered, but were here at the campground on a weekly or monthly basis, and signed up for the rally when they learned about it.
Most of our vendors reported good sales, and a few said that they made more money at our rally then they did at the big Newmar Kountry Klub rally the week before in Goshen, which had over 600 RVs.
With rally week behind us, Miss Terry and I plan to sleep late today and spend some time recharging our minds and bodies. We’re worn out, but we’re gratified that we have another successful rally behind us.
Thought For The Day – A ton of regret never made an ounce of difference.