Author Topic: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more  (Read 10055 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline gPink

  • Iron Butt
  • *****
  • Posts: 3065
  • MMVIII C XIV
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 9403
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2017, 11:51:59 pm »
It seems to me one of the unmentioned factors in asking to join a group of riders or asking an unknown to join a group is riding style and skill level. I don't want to join the track riders nor do I want to join the picture taking sightseers. What mechanism is suggested to determine a compatible group?

Offline Harry Martin

  • ☺ Cartoonist ☺
  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 975
  • Fear is not boring
    • Harry Martin Cartoons
  • AREA: Northwest Area
  • COG#: 4090
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2017, 12:02:39 am »
History is repeating itself, once again (I think).

Seems like these questions and answers keep popping up on a yearly basis.
Is there no folder or archive detailing "sins-of-the-past" that everyone can review before each rally?
A common checklist to help the newbies and the aged and decrepit mature folks make the rally more enjoyable for everyone? :(

It would seem that since 1986, COG could remember a thing or two.

Oh well...we may get there...someday.
Harry in Wild and Windy Casper, WY - 1986 Vintage "Silverdammit" - 2015 "Greendammit"

Offline LSGiant

  • Officer
  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1177
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 7524
  • Membership Level: Area Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2017, 12:18:13 am »
History is repeating itself, once again (I think).

Seems like these questions and answers keep popping up on a yearly basis.
Is there no folder or archive detailing "sins-of-the-past" that everyone can review before each rally?
A common checklist to help the newbies and the aged and decrepit mature folks make the rally more enjoyable for everyone? :(

It would seem that since 1986, COG could remember a thing or two.

Oh well...we may get there...someday.

Doubtful, all we can do is keep trying.  I brought a new person to one of the rallies that made a spectacle of new attendees. They put in a lot of effort in to making sure new attendees were a focus. He was never so embarrassed in his life.  So there is another side to this.

Sorry drifting off topic.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 12:26:56 am by LSGiant »
This year is for Peter, Live every day
In the Valley of the Jolly Green Giant,
COG 7524 IBA 46513 GLMC 214
16 KTM 690R, 11 Concours 14, 07 Ninja 650 R

Offline GKreamer

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 12323
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2017, 12:40:53 am »
I like the scramble ride idea too.  Maybe the names could be forum handles instead of real names?  That would be easier since we don't always know real names.

Maybe include a couple name cards in the registration packet just for this?  Show up for the scramble and drop one in the box.

Another option is when everyone is in the room have them count off and then separate by number?

I appreciate the point that anyone should be able to lead a group, even riding alone we lead ourselves.

And Ron- I look forward to joining you for a motorcycle ride at the next event we're both at, thanks!

Offline Robby1953

  • Road Bike
  • ***
  • Posts: 441
  • 2003 Vulcan 800, 2006 Mean Streak 1600, 2010 C14
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 11452
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2017, 01:15:02 am »
Hello, Jim Snyder here.  I will be on the first timers committee next year just like I was in 2012 and 2014. I will be working with Ted to welcome and get first timers hooked up. I will be leading rides every day somewhere. We will post ride times on a board at rally central for all to see.One thing we did in Eureka Springs in 2012 was put forum names and real names on the badges. That is an idea we need to repeat next year. Looking forward to hosting the 2018 rally in the Hill Country.
Like to point out, it's not just first time attendees that are riding alone I've talked to a few that have been to several rallies and still have trouble connecting just like I do. I'd just suggest to focus more on making the opportunity to ride with others available and avoid the stigmatism of newbie or first timer.
'A clear conscience is often the first indication of a failing memory." Unknown

Offline Robby1953

  • Road Bike
  • ***
  • Posts: 441
  • 2003 Vulcan 800, 2006 Mean Streak 1600, 2010 C14
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 11452
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2017, 01:29:41 am »
I
Hello, Jim Snyder here.  I will be on the first timers committee next year just like I was in 2012 and 2014. I will be working with Ted to welcome and get first timers hooked up. I will be leading rides every day somewhere. We will post ride times on a board at rally central for all to see.One thing we did in Eureka Springs in 2012 was put forum names and real names on the badges. That is an idea we need to repeat next year. Looking forward to hosting the 2018 rally in the Hill Country.
Like to point out, it's not just first time attendees that are riding alone I've talked to a few that have been to several rallies and still have trouble connecting just like I do. I'd just suggest to focus more on making the opportunity to ride with others available and avoid the stigmatism of newbie or first timer.
Our posted ride times will be for all COGers not just first timers.
:13:
'A clear conscience is often the first indication of a failing memory." Unknown

Offline Sport Rider

  • Two wheel addict!
  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 6639
  • 100,000 or Bust!
    • BikePics Site
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 8603
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2017, 01:46:56 am »
well, this is frustrating.  how many times can I tell folks what we did in Helen before anyone will listen?  I went totally over the top communicating with first timers.

we had a dedicated first timers booth which was located just past the registration desk.  we got first crack at them right after they registered.

I had a team of great people  to welcome and interact with them.

I had badges which I had made and asked specific people to wear them during the week so that first timers would recognize them and be know who could help out and ask questions of.

I had a very nice trinket, which was a bottle opener with the rally logo on it, superimposed with a "1".  very well received.

I put together specific handouts for first timers that everyone got when we picked them up after registration.  there were handouts of all the activities during the week, and background information on how to best plug in.

i scheduled specific ride to eat locations on three days and specifically told the first timers about these locations so that even if they were riding alone, they knew where cog crowds would be.

I had small handouts for each of those RTE locations to further generate interest in attending these.

much of this was taken from my own negative experience at Johnson City, and having tried to help out some in Cortez.

Other things that have been tried is to have a "buddy" identified for first timers.  this totally didn't work for me in JC as a first timer.  But I did meet Ted there.  (obviously the worst experience of my life...LOL)

we generally have a meet/greet for first timers with the leadership team from all regions who attend the National.  In my personal opinion, our ADs and AADs should be ashamed of themselves for not attending this HIGHLY important meeting with first timers.  How sad does it look that first timers show up to a meeting from a given region only to find that NO leaders from their area care enough to attend.  I made it a point to ask both ADs and AADs to attend in Helen.  only a couple were there.

I offered to discuss with anyone that wanted to learn for the next rally to do a better job than I did in Helen.  no one asked.  I believe i forwarded the documents which I created, but from the sounds of this, it must have fallen on deaf ears or something.

Sorry for being so frustrated, but how many years can we talk about this before the LEADERSHIP of COG make this a priority?  It truly is a disgrace.

Anyone that REALLY wants to know what can be done, call me.  I have offered in the past and will continue to offer my help.  After I had such a bad experience in JC, and seeing how poorly Toby was handled in Cortez, I swore I wasn't going to let others suffer the same experience I did.  I believe Helen was a great model to build on.  I guess no one else gives a s*** about new people.  our club's current approach is to just collectively say WE DON'T CARE.

Do you think I'm passionate about this????

 :deadhorse: :deadhorse: :deadhorse: :deadhorse: :deadhorse: :deadhorse: :deadhorse: :deadhorse: :deadhorse: :deadhorse:
North Carolina AAD
COG, VROC, VBA, IBA, USCA and other TLAs
05 C10, 94 C10, 06 Nomad, 15 CB
https://www.bikepics.com/members/ncdave/

Offline Rev Ryder

  • Officer
  • I Need a Life
  • ****
  • Posts: 8634
  • We came. We saw. We Concours-ed.
    • Presbychuck
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 7235
  • Membership Level: Executive Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2017, 01:52:15 am »
A couple of things...

Fred has made it pretty much a standard thing that all name badges have names, forum aliases, and COG numbers visible. 
To that end, starting with the rally just finished, the name tags were double sided so that even if it spins around backwards, the info is still in plain sight.  I think that was Brian Snowberg's suggestion and it was a great one.  Very helpful.

Everyone has different comfort levels.  We don't want to make anyone feel neglected or over emphasized.  But that is tough to do.  In any case, some folks WANT to ride alone and they always have that option.  SOme want to ride in groups with their friends and no one is going to force them to do otherwise.  However, we want everyone to have the opportunity to ride with others if they choose to do so and have every opportunity to make some new friends.  That's really what we're about is making friends.  The 2017 rally was one of those special There were new folks to meet all over the place.  :great:
Fortis non Ferox
 Shafties Can't Wheelie

Offline Sport Rider

  • Two wheel addict!
  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 6639
  • 100,000 or Bust!
    • BikePics Site
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 8603
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2017, 01:56:51 am »
Personally Rev, if anyone is so stuck up that they are not open to riding with others, they are a poor example of what COG is about.  I'm not saying everyone should ride with a bunch of strangers, but being that shut off is just a negative reflection fo what we're about. Seems like they don't remember that they were first timers once upon a time and someone had to take them into the fold.
North Carolina AAD
COG, VROC, VBA, IBA, USCA and other TLAs
05 C10, 94 C10, 06 Nomad, 15 CB
https://www.bikepics.com/members/ncdave/

Offline Rev Ryder

  • Officer
  • I Need a Life
  • ****
  • Posts: 8634
  • We came. We saw. We Concours-ed.
    • Presbychuck
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 7235
  • Membership Level: Executive Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2017, 02:04:19 am »
Personally Rev, if anyone is so stuck up that they are not open to riding with others, they are a poor example of what COG is about.  I'm not saying everyone should ride with a bunch of strangers, but being that shut off is just a negative reflection fo what we're about. Seems like they don't remember that they were first timers once upon a time and someone had to take them into the fold.

In a way I completely agree, but even I like a solitude type ride now and again.  I guess my point is no one is going to be forced to do anything that they aren't inclined to do at any given point.  You want a led ride?  It'll be available.  You want your own small group?  You can do that and sometimes if a group is particularly fast, that may be their safest way.  You want to ride alone and stop every five minutes for photo ops... cool.  Remember to share the pix here.  It's that whole "ride your own ride" thing.  I can't stress enough that the freedom we enjoy shouldn't be cast aside unless we want to cast it aside to help or share with someone else... which is, of course, always the hope.  But the reality is that none of us want to be with everyone else 24-7.  That's all I meant.  And we need to give each other the room to do their own thing when they feel the need.  I think club oriented folks are usually up for camaraderie as you allude to.   :beerchug:
Fortis non Ferox
 Shafties Can't Wheelie

Offline kevingore

  • Officer
  • Scooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 255
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: 12469
  • Membership Level: Tech Editor
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2017, 03:17:15 am »
I've been letting ya'll discuss and monitoring the posts.
Can't answer all the idea's, but here is what I picked up.
    * All want to somehow be included in rides/etc..
    * Want the door to swing both ways. (Not just new guys asking to be included)
           (Old Guys need to express interest in new folks riding along).
    * We need to develop a way to encourage participation from both sides of the door.
          Group/Led rides, ride drawings, New rider meet-up location, ways for folks to meet.
    * We need a way to get the word out better.
    *  More that I didn't type. 

I'll start with, most of what you posted,,,,  has been tried.
  It made things better, but didn't accomplish what we wanted.
      We need to do better in Kerrville!

We have a big Hurdle. COG has not allowed Group Rides because of our insurance.
 So,,, we did not do group rides.
         {Being Inventive} Some of us posted info that we were leaving to go XXX at a certain time.
            "and" If anyone just happened to be going to the same place, they were welcome to join us...

We can do that again, and maybe, {just maybe},,, we can find a way around the insurance problem.

NOTE: I don't have any authority to decide anything..
        So, I can't promise anything, but I can try to arrange some things. 
            I think; I can arrange a First Timer / Orientation meeting on Monday of the Rally.
                        I can arrange a sign up Board.
                            {Individual groups could post where they intend to ride on a given day, and allow folks to join in}
                        I can arrange a daily meeting point where folks can get to know others.
                            {For instance; Parking lot, my bike, at 6:00 PM) {or Rev's room, & he's buying)   <sneaky grin>
                        COG can give First Timers a Red Tag on their Name Plate again.
                        I can post signs encouraging Old timers to include the new Folks in their plans..

Keep the discussion going..
Reply to my thought's.
Need your thoughts!

Ride safe, Ted

 Here is a thought I also belong to the CMA (Christian Motorcycle association) for those that didn't know the abbreviation and when we have our state rally and we go on a group ride everybody has to sigh a disclaimer saying that in case of an accident that they wont hold the cma liable dont remember exactly how it is worded but maybe you do something like that I will see If I can find a copy and send to the right person 

Offline Fais

  • It's amazing what one can accomplish if it doesn't matter who gets the credit.
  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2689
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2017, 07:00:31 am »
Kevin - that makes sense. Won't fly here.

How about the forum moderators step up and take responsibilty for letting a few folks run off many. Socially adjust folks don't last 12 posts and will never attemd a COG function. Start at the root and nourish the club with quality people. This club was all the world needed until a few folks couldn't take it anymore.

I held an RTE on the Blue Ridge once. Months of discussion. A FB page decided to eat lunch there too. In one week they orgaomzed a larger RTE at the same place. We thought we had friends! They were all EX-COG, active and happy C14 riders/owners.Looked like quality rally attendess to me :??:

Just sayin - we have some bad apples and hard working people don't want to put up with it. Our ratio of social people is off.





1976 BMW R90S (Luna) - 2000 KLR650 (Dirt McGirt) - 2005 SV1000 (Sue) - 2006 Vespa PX150 (Vino Negro) - 2014 C14 (Betty) - 2017 Z125Pro (MiniZ)
Whether you think you can or can't - you're right!
Instagram @ fais_the_photographer

Offline Ranger Jim

  • Iron Butt
  • *****
  • Posts: 3195
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 6720
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2017, 01:09:06 pm »
I have to agree with Sport Rider. At Helen the only thing we didn't do to "include" first timers was to assign each newbie an experienced member who was to never let their newbie go anywhere alone.

The best way for a new rally attendee to feel included is for them to get involved with other (local) members BEFORE the National. Go to the National with some folks they already know. Every region has stuff going on, go to some. If they aren't going to do that then put on their big boy/girl underwear and walk up to people and introduce themselves. If they're not willing to put themselves out there there's not much we can do to make them feel "included."
JIM CULP
OtP Jr. Slave Laborer (Safety)

No one is a TOTAL failure; they can always be used as a bad example.

Offline Sport Rider

  • Two wheel addict!
  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 6639
  • 100,000 or Bust!
    • BikePics Site
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 8603
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2017, 02:23:33 pm »
I disagree with the big boy pants part Jim.  everyone has said that for years and it never changes anything.  we still alienate the new people with lack of inclusion.  we HAVE to do better.  that old school stuff just doesn't fly any more.  we have to take ownership and do something about it.  every other group I have ever been part of does larger rides together.  we always just make excuses.  I think we are being too legalistic.  we need to find a way to make group rides happen.  it doesn't have to be big trains of bikes.  but we need to be organized.

if our AMA insurance doesn't cover the liability, then it's time to find a new carrier.  I just joined the USCA.  they do it.  they don't use AMA for insurance either.  We've been stuck with this AMA bull crap for way too long.  they do nothing for our group except cost us money.  if someone likes the AMA and wants to join it, good for them.  but we should not be so closely intertwined in it.  we are COG....not AMA.
North Carolina AAD
COG, VROC, VBA, IBA, USCA and other TLAs
05 C10, 94 C10, 06 Nomad, 15 CB
https://www.bikepics.com/members/ncdave/

Offline Fais

  • It's amazing what one can accomplish if it doesn't matter who gets the credit.
  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2689
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2017, 02:38:47 pm »
I've been insuring races and marketing events - like RedBull extreme and SCCA racing - since I was 19.

It is really not a big deal. 

Getting new people to come is hard when I can't get $1 to print brochures. When they do come it seems to take away time from the cliques to clique. I was told not to make flyers for RWTW although we expect a small turnout to his year. Me = confused. Getting to know a newbie at a smaller event would make the national that much sweeter for everyone. I think if folks were honest they would admit to not wanting new members or attendees interfering wih their agenda. If rhey would admit it - COG could die gracefully. I'm done working on this. Glad it doesn't say 'marketing officer' on the left anymore. Nobody was at all motivared to grow this club. So, Ted, Jim and Dave and so few more I could name them - you're fighting an uphill battle.

I might have to get on facebook .....


1976 BMW R90S (Luna) - 2000 KLR650 (Dirt McGirt) - 2005 SV1000 (Sue) - 2006 Vespa PX150 (Vino Negro) - 2014 C14 (Betty) - 2017 Z125Pro (MiniZ)
Whether you think you can or can't - you're right!
Instagram @ fais_the_photographer

Offline Dwfree

  • Big Wheels
  • Posts: 9
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2017, 02:52:28 pm »
I find it interesting, and telling, that someone pointed out the "elephant in the room", riding style & skill, and it is being ignored:

It seems to me one of the unmentioned factors in asking to join a group of riders or asking an unknown to join a group is riding style and skill level. I don't want to join the track riders nor do I want to join the picture taking sightseers. What mechanism is suggested to determine a compatible group?

In my 45 years of riding on the street, another rider's style & skill, or the style/skill for a given day or ride (sometimes track day types want a leisurely ride), has by far had the most to do with how much that ride was or was not enjoyed. Most of the apprehension on both sides, the newbie & the established, pertains to riding style and skill. It's not as if anyone's wondering if the unknown person is a criminal (well, except for their driving record maybe?). A newbie (to the club) may have excellent skills, and the established may not be that great of a rider. Make up 3-5 categories of style/skill, and focus on that because each category has different expectations from the ride/event, and they tend to have more common interests to talk about. Have people "sign up" to each category, and a separate thread(s) on the forum for each.

Offline ZG

  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 7935
  • AREA: Northwest Area
  • COG#: 9735
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2017, 03:03:49 pm »
When I went to my first Nat I didn't know anyone there... I just did what I like to do and naturally found others doing the same that had similar interests, we've been the best of friends ever since and now when I go to the Nat's they are who I hang with, good times, these will be lifelong friends.  :great: :great:

Smaller groupings (clicks) is normal, there's nothing wrong with that. As you can see from this night pic from my first Nat, top left corner is the FL gang (Doctor, Al, Mike, etc), in the center is us, everyone else is trying to sleep or weep about nothing to do or folks to hang with I guess... 
:??:

IMO, what you put into a Nat is what you get back out of it, if meeting new folks is your thing great, if hanging with old friends is your thing great, either way its great, but for some folks it just ain't their thing, and that's just the way the world works, find your spot and enjoy!

 :campfire:


 
BAD A$$ isn't cheap, and cheap isn't BAD A$$...

Offline connie_rider

  • OtP {assistant} Slave Labor
  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 7100
  • Help us make "OtP" possible! "AGAIN"
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 4154
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2017, 03:09:14 pm »
Ok, Let's agree that we've tried to include the First timers, and our past efforts haven't worked as we would prefer...
So, we need to improve.   E'nuff sed.
Now,,, How can we do that???

At many Nationals/etc the Rally Teams have tried to better include first timers.
          This includes this years Rally Team.
Those guys worked hard to include the First Timers, and I think they did a heck of a job. saluuuuute!!!!... :great:

ie; My idea for starting this discussion was to "discuss idea's" on how to "help First Timers enjoy the National more".

NOTE: We are not promising nor planning anything at this time..
                We're discussing idea's...
                      "So", keep the idea's coming.....

What can we do to "help First Timers enjoy the National more".

Ride safe, Ted
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 06:52:46 pm by connie_rider »
14 Connie (Traveler II)
03 Connie (Buddy)

To contribute to "OtP", (Chg. Card or paypal)  Click Here
(For Paypal) send to treasurer@cog-online.org

Offline Sport Rider

  • Two wheel addict!
  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 6639
  • 100,000 or Bust!
    • BikePics Site
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 8603
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2017, 06:30:59 pm »
as I did not attend in Missouri, what was done on that one?  I'm familiar with what was and wasn't done at the most recent previous 3.

I'm not trying to bash you Ted.  I know how important this is to you too, but we've had this same discussion every year after the national since I joined.

I think we need to organize rides each day and identify groups of skill levels so that people don't get in over their head.  we need to have people specifically identified to organize each group.  these can be easily combined with my first-timers idea about RTE venues.  Riding is what brings us all together, and that is the bond that builds friendships.  our ADs and AADs need to be specifically tasked with making these things happen.  they are not elected or nominated so they can be with their cliques of friends.  if a regular old member wants to only do that, that's on them (and they should be ashamed for not wanting to meet others and expand their circle of friends), but our leaders can't be allowed to do this.  it's not good for the club and they took these positions to make the club better and to support it.  Again though, our leadership teams need to solve this false insurance problem and support what needs to be done.

Does it sound like I am bashing the club and calling people out?  I am.  someone needs to make waves and give a wake up call to our club's leadership.  too many are taking the easy road, not doing or planning much of anything...whether at a national or their regional events.  if you're not going to "lead" anything, step down and let someone else do it.  for those that ARE active at all levels, cudos to you and I'm not targetting you.  but if these comments offend you, i suggest you take a few calm minutes and look inwardly as to why they offend you.

Fais recognized the problems and gave up trying to change frigid minds.  I guess I'm just stupid and haven't realized that point yet.   >:(
North Carolina AAD
COG, VROC, VBA, IBA, USCA and other TLAs
05 C10, 94 C10, 06 Nomad, 15 CB
https://www.bikepics.com/members/ncdave/

Online Jim Snyder

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1181
  • The Connie Rocks !!!
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 7055
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2017, 06:51:58 pm »
Ok my 2 cents. We posted rides on a ride board at Johnson City with times when they were leaving. That worked so lets do that again with the addition to post ride level as suggested 1 thru 5 degree of difficulty. Having a first timers meeting on Monday morning was also a good idea. Lets continue that. The clique thing has always puzzled me. Not sure why there is such a divide between the C-10 and the C-14 guys (there I said it, the other elephant in the room). We are all in the same organization. When I led rides at Johnson City most of the guys were C-14 riders following a me a C-10 guy, and we were having a blast. Thats the way its supposed to be.
We have tried really hard to change the narrative when it comes to first timers. Have we always got it right, No. But we will continue to work on it because we have to. I was a first timer when I went to the rally in 2009 at Fontana. I felt like the MayTag repairman that week. I almost dropped out of the club after that. But instead I swore I would never let that happen to someone else. So lets put our heads together and make it happen.   
   
"Some days you're the windshield, and some days you're the bug" Get used to it cause thats life !!!

Offline LSGiant

  • Officer
  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1177
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 7524
  • Membership Level: Area Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #45 on: June 19, 2017, 07:15:34 pm »
Back to the ideas we have beat rides to death.
What about the Social activities. A newbie meeting only connects newbies they know nothing of the club.  Someone mentioned a way for an established member to meet newbies. Maybe a big prize for whomever collects information from as many newbies as possible.  Have tickets in the newbies badge they can give out if contacted by an existing member
This year is for Peter, Live every day
In the Valley of the Jolly Green Giant,
COG 7524 IBA 46513 GLMC 214
16 KTM 690R, 11 Concours 14, 07 Ninja 650 R

Online WANDRNG

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 608
  • SouthWest AAD
    • Wandering Back Roads
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: 12077
  • Membership Level: Administrator
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #46 on: June 19, 2017, 07:49:27 pm »
Mentor system.

"Established " members volunteer (and are then assigned) to drag around a newbie for a portion of the National (1 day, 2 days, whole time?). Oldie takes newbie to social events, on rides, to meetings, mentors/teaches them about COG stuff (calendars, forums, general rules, topics, bike tech etc.)

In the course of this "following" they will learn the ropes, meet all the oldies friends, meet all the newbies following other oldies. Get a firm grasp on COG, meet a reasonable number of people (part of a newbies problem is the overwhelming number of people) and basically get immersed in the "culture".  Their oldie is their calling card into the group.

Oldies get to meet someone new, the satisfaction of of helping out a newbie, and still get to do all the things with old friends as normal, just with a "younger brother" hanging on.

Just a thought.

(maybe a short 5 question survey for the newbie to help find the right mentor - morning or night person, ride fast or slow, rider experience, etc.)

I haven't been to a National yet, but I've had long time members do this for me at other multi-day and day events. It very quickly  gives the newbie a sense of belonging.  (as long as you don't draw an arsehole oldie  ;D)

Life is too short to live the same day twice.
2015 Concours 14 -- 2007 Kawasaki KLR650 -- 2003 Honda Magna 750 -- 2 V65 Magnas
Wandering Back Roads: RRs -- Wandering the Northwest -- Heading East Out West

Offline Sport Rider

  • Two wheel addict!
  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 6639
  • 100,000 or Bust!
    • BikePics Site
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 8603
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2017, 07:53:55 pm »
A couple years ago we moved away from identifying first timers so that they did not feel so exposed.  I personally liked having the first-timer ribbon on the bottom of the nametags, but others did not.  even a different colored dot on the nametags seemed to ruffle feathers.  I was in the same camp that Jim was for my first one.  even the ride thing that Jim mentioned about JC didn't work for me.  not only was I a first timer, but I had my own ideas of what rides I wanted to do becasue of being familiar with the area.  I put my name on the board for ride destinations and no one signed up to go with me.

Having said all that, I like your idea if we could figure out how the connection can be made.  another thought....perhaps have mystery members that give out the tokens so that everyone including first timers can win something?
North Carolina AAD
COG, VROC, VBA, IBA, USCA and other TLAs
05 C10, 94 C10, 06 Nomad, 15 CB
https://www.bikepics.com/members/ncdave/

Offline Sport Rider

  • Two wheel addict!
  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 6639
  • 100,000 or Bust!
    • BikePics Site
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 8603
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2017, 08:00:29 pm »
I think though, the bigger question is how do we get people in the cliques to open up their cliques to new people?

another thought from Helen when i did it.  I was pretty busy all week working the registration/information side of things.  having another leader related to "social" injection might be good.  whether it's organizing RTE locations or evening social events.

Another thing.  in Helen the first-timers team was a sub-group of Hospitality.  I think it should be separate.  somehow we have to raise visibility.
North Carolina AAD
COG, VROC, VBA, IBA, USCA and other TLAs
05 C10, 94 C10, 06 Nomad, 15 CB
https://www.bikepics.com/members/ncdave/

Offline connie_rider

  • OtP {assistant} Slave Labor
  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 7100
  • Help us make "OtP" possible! "AGAIN"
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 4154
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2017, 08:57:49 pm »
Here are some thoughts;

Before the National; Attend other COG gatherings, or frequent the COG Forum/Facebook and get to know other Members.
                By doing this,, when you arrive,, you will already have a base of friends to ride/etc with.

I agree that we can't force First Timers to wear the red ribbon.
  We can soften the "Newbie" concern by changing the name to "First National Attendee's".
  We can offer Red Ribbons to the New, and {possibly also do Blue} (Maybe with "number" of Nationals Inked in) to the more experienced.

We can't force Old Timers to be Mentors.
  We can soften the "Old Timer" concern by changing the name to "Experienced National Attendee's".
  We can ask for "everyone's" help.

We can't dictate that everyone "must" participate in a ride drawing. (Folks came great distances to ride with their buddies).
  We can ask everyone to participate.

We can't specify "fast" rides. (If anyone were hurt, COG would definitely be open for liability).
  We can do rides and then (after folks meet) they can form slower or faster groups (as they prefer).
  We "Will" tell everyone to ride their own ride and they can let the Lead know if the pace is too slow or fast.
       Based on that input, the Lead can adjust the speed, or break into groups as needed.

We can; Arrange meetings, and meeting points.
             Encourage "First National Attendee's" to attend the meetings and get to know others.
             Encourage "Experienced National Attendee's" to attend the meetings and get to know others.
             Develop ways to make attendance and participation (with the New folks) more enjoyable to all.
             Develop ways to encourage greeting the  "First National Attendee's".
                 (ie: games or points??)

Before anything is done: We must ask the Rally team if all of this is acceptable.

I agree that we don't want to lay all the responsibility of meeting folks on the New Folks.
  But, we also don't want to lay the responsibility of seeking out the new,, solely on the Past Attendee's...
            Everyone must work together on this..

Lastly; The Rally Team has a limited number of Volunteers to make a "National" happen.
           We can't come up with idea's and expect them to shoulder all the work.
           If you want the idea's to happen,,, "Volunteer" to help make it happen!
                What you get out of COG, is directly related to how much you put into COG..

Ride safe, Ted
14 Connie (Traveler II)
03 Connie (Buddy)

To contribute to "OtP", (Chg. Card or paypal)  Click Here
(For Paypal) send to treasurer@cog-online.org