We got a rude awakening yesterday when we got the keys to the building here at Elkhart Campground where we plan to have our vendor booths, seminars, and evening entertainment. We have outgrown it before our Eastern Gypsy Gathering rally even starts!
As soon as Terry and I started measuring the big new room where we expected to put our vendors and hold the entertainment, we looked at each other and both said “oh oh!” There is no way we could even put all of the vendors in the room, let alone be able to cram in seating for 300+ people for the evening door prizes. We goofed, plain and simple. We overestimated the size of the building available to us, and underestimated the number of people who wanted to attend the rally.
We scratched our heads, then called our pal Greg White and had him come over and take a look. I didn’t really think Greg could build another building in twelve days, but I have seen him do some pretty remarkable things, so who knows? He walked around for a while, paced off the length and width of the room, did some mathematical calculations in the air with his finger, then scratched his head, and said “Yep, you goofed!” I can always depend on Greg to cut right to the chase.
We can expand the vendor area into a second room, and we can make that work. But there’s still the matter of where to put all of those folks in the evening.
I’m nothing if not resourceful. As the old saying goes, I’ve done so much with so little for so long, that I can now do almost anything with absolutely nothing. We are arranging for a huge tent, which will be set up on the tennis courts in front of the rally building, and that will be the venue for the evening events. It’s not perfect, but as long as the weather cooperates, it will work.
Every time we hold a rally it’s a learning experience, especially when we hold one in a new location. And we’ve certainly learned a lot this time around!
If we ever hold a rally at an RV park again, and I’m not sure we ever will, we will just collect the rally fees, and have the campground handle all of the reservations. At this rally, we were supposed to collect all of the camping fees, and pay Elkhart Campground for each RV attending. But some people made their reservations directly through the campground, some booking a whole month, and it has resulted in a logistical nightmare.
Plus, because the campground is open to other folks during the rally, we have had a lot of people who are going to be here who want to attend the rally events, but can’t understand why they should pay the rally fee, since they’re here already. They don’t understand that it costs us a lot of money to put on an RV rally. Besides the facility rental, insurance, morning coffee and doughnuts, and now hundreds of dollars to rent a tent, there are the costs of printing rally seminar schedules, the door prizes we buy to give away, sound system rental, and a lot of other things I can’t remember off the top of my head. When I told a couple of the people that they would have to pay the rally fee, they were pretty upset. But this is a business, and we have to cover our costs, plain and simple.
Oh, I’m just venting. We’ll get it all worked out, and I’ll probably only have to sell two or three pints of blood to have enough fuel to get out of town. Like I said, it’s a learning experience.
The good news is that 99.99% of our rally attendees are fantastic people who are able to roll with the flow, and if we have to have the evening events in a tent, they’ll slap on the mosquito spray, carry over their chairs, and sit down and have a great time. As for that other .01 percent, well, they’ll do some learning too, right?
Thought For The Day – When you’re finally holding all the cards, why does everyone else decide to play chess?