Concours Owners Group (COG) Forum

Ride Time => Rallies, Rides, and Events => Topic started by: connie_rider on June 18, 2017, 03:42:26 pm

Title: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on June 18, 2017, 03:42:26 pm
Ok, I opened my big mouth and said I'd work to find ways to better include First Timers at the COG Nationals.
So, here is the place to discuss idea's...

I'll start with the most important thing;  First Timers are very welcome at all COG event's..
      The problem is (being new) they don't know others and often are not included as "all" would prefer.

With that in mind, let me know your thoughts.

Ride safe, Ted
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ron203 on June 18, 2017, 04:11:32 pm
When they register, have the registrar send you an email, then send the first timer an email  of welcome and introduce them to their AD/AAD and/or someone to touch base with at Nationals. I'll volunteer to be a point of contact for the SE.

Get their emails together and do an interest survey using Survey Monkey (free & easy www.surveymonkey.com (http://www.surveymonkey.com)) and ask for a few volunteers to organize a "ride to see" or "Ride to Do" something on Monday or Tuesday, so they meet folks earlier in the week instead of later. Let anyone come to this so you get some "not first timers" who might not know anyone except on the forum. (BTDT - three years in a row. Not all of us are extroverts, some of us are not.) Follow up after the rally and see how it went.

There was a First Time attendee meeting at one of the nationals I went to. Do that on Monday morning about 9:30 because Sunday might be too early,  but don't call it that. Call it a Rally Orientation Social and let anyone come, but the secret sauce is that it is aimed at the first timers, so ask the contact volunteers  and the ED be there, too. I heard long ago, "feed them and they will come" so have biscuits or something cheap. Get it  sponsored by a vendor or a local restaurant to save money.

Next idea? If you were a first timer this year, what would have worked for you?

Ron

Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: fred-houston on June 18, 2017, 04:46:37 pm
I just want to add that the 2018 Rally Team has been discussing this very issue for the last year.  We have some new ideas that we think will help in reaching out to the first time rally attendees, new members, and lone riders.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Robby1953 on June 18, 2017, 05:49:16 pm
It's not just a first time rally problem, it's an inclusiveness problem. The popular answer in this group is that you must insert yourself into the group and ask to join the ride, that's not the norm in most social situations but anytime someone brings it up on this forum they are encouraged to believe that it is their issue to resolve and conform to what is actually very uncomfortable for them. After all why should anyone go out of their way to include others, when they've already got a "comfortable"group. Let them come ask us is not very inviting.
There's my 2 cents, if I'm alone in this then so be it, but at least I expressed my self.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Bob H on June 18, 2017, 06:01:10 pm
Robby1953,  100% agree.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jeff Kerkow on June 18, 2017, 06:18:18 pm
If we are going to make it more enjoyable for First Timers we need to know what their expectations are.

I was a first timer long ago somehow I thought it was fine as I kept coming back and I met people I had never met before.

SOOOOO what are your expectations.

BTW I totally disagree with the inclusive observation but that is not this thread.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ron203 on June 18, 2017, 06:27:21 pm
Exactly right, so that's why we need both a "system" and a personal, conscious effort made by members to reach new(er) people. I'm still meeting new people and really appreciate it when people I do not know, come up to me and ask who I  am, where I'm from, what I ride, and so forth.

We do a thing once a year at our work place when we all get together as an icebreaker that's like a "personal scavenger hunt" that makes it both acceptable and required to approach people in the group we don't know. We have a list of things that are known about the attendees (someone needs to gather that in advance-Ted....), both new and old and ask about stuff like "Is your bike red?", "I'm looking for someone who's a reverend, what do you do?, etc.  Give a NICE prize for most points. Do it at the Orientation social, for instance, early in the week.

Yes, this is a little corny, but it gives people an excuse to break out of their personal space if they don't do it naturally. Key will be the event is planned and some existing members commit to participating.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Rev Ryder on June 18, 2017, 06:42:45 pm
It's not just a first time rally problem, it's an inclusiveness problem. The popular answer in this group is that you must insert yourself into the group and ask to join the ride, that's not the norm in most social situations but anytime someone brings it up on this forum they are encouraged to believe that it is their issue to resolve and conform to what is actually very uncomfortable for them. After all why should anyone go out of their way to include others, when they've already got a "comfortable"group. Let them come ask us is not very inviting.
There's my 2 cents, if I'm alone in this then so be it, but at least I expressed my self.

Robby1953,  100% agree.

This is something that we are hoping to try and figure out how to make work best in the future.  Some rallies have actually done this rather well and others less so.  We'd like "all of us" to do better at it on every level and will be trying to implement some ideas for 2018 and beyond.  It's been tried before and with some success... It's also be tried before with limited success.  To many scenarios to make it all work well every time, but we hope we can find some good measures to take. 

One of my fav's from a rally passed, is the schedule of events being texted to registered participants a little before the appointed time.  It's a time consuming job, but when it happens, it's very helpful to newbs and experienced rally-ers combined.  I'm NOT in charge of this rally so cannot say for sure what is going to happen.  But I have "listened in" on a little conversation and know that the hosts are aware of and hope to step some of this up a bit. 
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jim_Sherman_ID on June 18, 2017, 06:52:08 pm
One of the best methods I have found is organizing a ride. The ride isn't just for newcomers, but for anyone. Many newcomers don't know the area so they join in a group ride and meet others. I've made lifelong friends from rides. Stopping for lunch and breaks lets them get to know the other people. Advertise those rides so everyone knows where and when to meet. There should be different rides each day,(long, short, scenic, etc.) so everyone can find one that interests them.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Rev Ryder on June 18, 2017, 06:57:34 pm
One of the best methods I have found is organizing a ride. The ride isn't just for newcomers, but for anyone. Many newcomers don't know the area so they join in a group ride and meet others. I've made lifelong friends from rides. Stopping for lunch and breaks lets them get to know the other people. Advertise those rides so everyone knows where and when to meet. There should be different rides each day,(long, short, scenic, etc.) so everyone can find one that interests them.
I do know this is on the rally folks radar.   :great:
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ron203 on June 18, 2017, 07:05:09 pm
It's not just a first time rally problem, it's an inclusiveness problem. The popular answer in this group is that you must insert yourself into the group and ask to join the ride, that's not the norm in most social situations but anytime someone brings it up on this forum they are encouraged to believe that it is their issue to resolve and conform to what is actually very uncomfortable for them. After all why should anyone go out of their way to include others, when they've already got a "comfortable"group. Let them come ask us is not very inviting.
There's my 2 cents, if I'm alone in this then so be it, but at least I expressed my self.

Robby1953,  100% agree.

This is something that we are hoping to try and figure out how to make work best in the future.  Some rallies have actually done this rather well and others less so.  We'd like "all of us" to do better at it on every level and will be trying to implement some ideas for 2018 and beyond.  It's been tried before and with some success... It's also be tried before with limited success.  To many scenarios to make it all work well every time, but we hope we can find some good measures to take. 

One of my fav's from a rally passed, is the schedule of events being texted to registered participants a little before the appointed time.  It's a time consuming job, but when it happens, it's very helpful to newbs and experienced rally-ers combined.  I'm NOT in charge of this rally so cannot say for sure what is going to happen.  But I have "listened in" on a little conversation and know that the hosts are aware of and hope to step some of this up a bit.

That's a good idea. There's a texting service that's available called SMS (Short Message Service I think?) that you pay for based on the number of numbers broadcast to and it's a "per message" cost so it's totally controllable. Explaination here:  https://www.lifewire.com/definition-of-sms-text-messaging-578676 (https://www.lifewire.com/definition-of-sms-text-messaging-578676)  I think there are many different providers. It would have been helpful for instance when Kurt Brown and I were offsite getting some supplies and the location of the Sandwich Social changed. We only accidentally ran into Gary Mazzoli who gave us the word.  I've seen it done very well, but if it's done too close to event time, system delays can result in the message coming too late for the participants to adjust. Had that happen at a conference I attended and I wound up in the wrong spot at the right time.

It's an "opt in" meaning that the recipients agree to give you their cell phone #. The messages generally can be pre-programmed and even scheduled so it can be done in advance and not in real time. But real time is available too because event details and locations change.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ConcoursKZ on June 18, 2017, 07:54:32 pm
Just put up a route and the time it will be leaving. And say all Riders welcome. Groups will form in quantities of 6. Once 6 Riders are found that group will leave. And another will form until all Riders have left. Or make Wednesday scramble ride day where everyone puts their name in a hat. Draw six names and the group leaves. Continue to draw names until all groups have formed and left.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ConcoursKZ on June 18, 2017, 07:58:20 pm
The scramble ride might work real good. It would only take place one day and it would not inconvenience those who like to ride with they're normal groups. Two new members or an outsider the Cog group can appear to be territorial.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Rev Ryder on June 18, 2017, 07:59:40 pm
Just put up a route and the time it will be leaving. And say all Riders welcome. Groups will form in quantities of 6. Once 6 Riders are found that group will leave. And another will form until all Riders have left. Or make Wednesday scramble ride day where everyone puts their name in a hat. Draw six names and the group leaves. Continue to draw names until all groups have formed and left.
I kinda like that, Tim.  Reminds me of the "Date for 8" meal sharing thing we did at church a few years back... only with motor sickles.  :great:
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: kevingore on June 18, 2017, 08:36:05 pm
The thing that scares me being a newbie in this group is only knowing people by their forum name having not meant any of you in person its a little hard to intrduce myself becase for me I fill out of place when I come some where new and the look you get when your a newbie its like who the heck are you . So speaking as a neewbie anything that would make me or the other neewbies would greatly be apperciated :) :)
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Robby1953 on June 18, 2017, 09:12:28 pm
Just put up a route and the time it will be leaving. And say all Riders welcome. Groups will form in quantities of 6. Once 6 Riders are found that group will leave. And another will form until all Riders have left. Or make Wednesday scramble ride day where everyone puts their name in a hat. Draw six names and the group leaves. Continue to draw names until all groups have formed and left.

I think this is a great idea, similar to what I suggested to Ted, a known location and time where solo riders can group for rides, if established groups don't mind new blood they could check to see if any solos are looking to ride and invite them to join, would take the scare factor out of not knowing many and contribute to being inclusive.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jeff Kerkow on June 18, 2017, 09:42:45 pm
I like the idea of drawing names out of a hat but maybe add the sixth name out is ride leader.  I have been in this situation many times and no one will lead. When you show up for this and put your name in a hat you have to understand that you maybe the group leader so come prepared. This also means everyone arriving should be capable of riding the route if things go awry.  I go to many, many COG events and when it comes time to lead no one will do it.  I think it is asking a lot of Rally Hosts to supply ride leaders for all these folks.



Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ConcoursKZ on June 18, 2017, 09:53:16 pm
And the scramble ride could be made very easy. Maybe a trip to lunch and back. Maybe two hundred miles or so . Something along those lines. It would allow other riders to establish relationships with Riders from other areas. God forbid six Riders sit down and plan a ride together for a couple hours.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ConcoursKZ on June 18, 2017, 09:57:34 pm
You can make a ride from Kerrville Texas to McKinney Falls. Also find a place to stop for lunch. That would be approximately three and a half to 5 hours.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on June 18, 2017, 10:52:02 pm
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,,, COG did not do group rides.
         {Being Inventive} Some of us posted info that we were leaving to go XXX at a certain time.  >:D
            "and" If anyone just happened to be going to the same place, they were welcome to join us...

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

NOTE: I'm not part of the rally Team, and I don't have any authority to decide anything..
        So, I can't promise anything, but I'm willing to try to arrange some things. 
            It might be possible; to arrange a First Timer / Orientation meeting on Monday of the Rally.
                        to arrange a sign up Board.
                            {Individual groups could post where they intend to ride on a given day, and allow folks to join in}
                        to 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>
                        I assume, COG can give First Timers a Red Tag on their Name Plate again.
                         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
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Robby1953 on June 18, 2017, 10:57:02 pm
I like the idea of drawing names out of a hat but maybe add the sixth name out is ride leader.  I have been in this situation many times and no one will lead. When you show up for this and put your name in a hat you have to understand that you maybe the group leader so come prepared. This also means everyone arriving should be capable of riding the route if things go awry.  I go to many, many COG events and when it comes time to lead no one will do it.  I think it is asking a lot of Rally Hosts to supply ride leaders for all these folks.
You're right LSGiant but leading on strange roads can be dangerous, shouldn't the lead be someone familiar with the area?
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Rev Ryder on June 18, 2017, 11:11:52 pm
We have a big Hurdle. COG has not allowed Group Rides because of our insurance.

It's a new day, Ted. 
This does not seem to be an insurance issue.  Unless someone can show me otherwise, I see no particular cause for concern regarding our insurance through AMA.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Rev Ryder on June 18, 2017, 11:17:07 pm
I like the idea of drawing names out of a hat but maybe add the sixth name out is ride leader.  I have been in this situation many times and no one will lead. When you show up for this and put your name in a hat you have to understand that you maybe the group leader so come prepared. This also means everyone arriving should be capable of riding the route if things go awry.  I go to many, many COG events and when it comes time to lead no one will do it.  I think it is asking a lot of Rally Hosts to supply ride leaders for all these folks.
You're right LSGiant but leading on strange roads can be dangerous, shouldn't the lead be someone familiar with the area?
A safe leader will be riding any road safely the same as if not on a led ride.  If you can navigate a road safely, you should be able to lead a ride safely.  It's not a race.  It's riding down a road the same as you and your small groups (or privately) have been doing since you started riding.  Instructions at the outset as to being able to be a part of a group and not crowd or otherwise follow too closely are all a part of regular riding etiquette.  It's when these things are NOT observed that things can go awry.  Safe distance, reasonable speeds, paying attention.  Just like going to the grocery store, but with better scenery and curves (well, for most of us it'll be better.  Some folks have it all out their front door).
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Robby1953 on June 18, 2017, 11:24:29 pm
I like the idea of drawing names out of a hat but maybe add the sixth name out is ride leader.  I have been in this situation many times and no one will lead. When you show up for this and put your name in a hat you have to understand that you maybe the group leader so come prepared. This also means everyone arriving should be capable of riding the route if things go awry.  I go to many, many COG events and when it comes time to lead no one will do it.  I think it is asking a lot of Rally Hosts to supply ride leaders for all these folks.
You're right LSGiant but leading on strange roads can be dangerous, shouldn't the lead be someone familiar with the area?
A safe leader will be riding any road safely the same as if not on a led ride.  If you can navigate a road safely, you should be able to lead a ride safely.  It's not a race.  It's riding down a road the same as you and your small groups (or privately) have been doing since you started riding.  Instructions at the outset as to being able to be a part of a group and not crowd or otherwise follow too closely are all a part of regular riding etiquette.  It's when these things are NOT observed that things can go awry.  Safe distance, reasonable speeds, paying attention.  Just like going to the grocery store, but with better scenery and curves (well, for most of us it'll be better.  Some folks have it all out their front door).
:)
That's me, beautiful scenery, mountains, rivers, twisty roads all over the place we should have a rally here (NY/PA) just still too new in the area to have found riding partners working 10 and 12 hour days cuts into the fun time.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Camper Dave on June 18, 2017, 11:35:47 pm
We have a big Hurdle. COG has not allowed Group Rides because of our insurance.

It's a new day, Ted. 
This does not seem to be an insurance issue.

Hmmmmm.... You never drank the Kool Aid, did ya?
The Elite ummm Royals ummm COG Management has been preaching the NO Group Ride Mantra since I can remember.
Whatever insurance we got has prevented/discourage a lot of things normal adults are known to do...
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: gPink 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?
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Harry Martin 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.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jeff Kerkow 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.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: GKreamer 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!
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Robby1953 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.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Robby1953 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:
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider 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:
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Rev Ryder 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:
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider 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.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Rev Ryder 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:
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: kevingore 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 
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Fais 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.





Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim 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."
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider 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.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Fais 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 .....


Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Dwfree 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.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ZG 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:

(http://i1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb336/jaywilcox/DSC_0004_zpsoam7n2gj.jpg) (http://s1200.photobucket.com/user/jaywilcox/media/DSC_0004_zpsoam7n2gj.jpg.html)
 
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider 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
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider 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.   >:(
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jim Snyder 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.   
   
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jeff Kerkow 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
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: WANDRNG 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)
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider 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?
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider 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.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider 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
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Camper Dave on June 19, 2017, 09:03:47 pm
Hey, I know some of these clique-y people... and personally, I don't like there riding style... so I wouldn't want to ride with them anyways.
It might not be such a good idea to open these cliques up.
They ride together, they are use to each other.
Throw in a new rider and you could end up with someone who might try too hard to keep up or to impress others of their mad skillz... Or is surprised that these cliques ride like idiots...
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on June 19, 2017, 09:25:16 pm
Much as I hate to say this,,,, Camper Dave has a "very" valid point.
   {Don't tell him I sed that}
    Some of the Cliques are intentional.
         {as they know the speed they plan to ride, and the people they know are safe to ride with at that speed}

LSGiant also has a good point.
    Lets move the discussion to other idea's to help First Rally Attendee's enjoy the National more.
      {Don't tell him I sed that either}

Here's an idea; I {Experienced National Attendee with a #10 on my Blue Ribbon} would be more than happy to ride with the New Guy {First National Attendee with a Red Ribbon} if he were to offer to buy lunch.
    {I particularly like my idea}.. <sneaky grin>

Other {more serious} idea's??

Ride safe, Ted
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: WANDRNG on June 19, 2017, 09:55:37 pm
If people want to stay in their cliques (riding or social) let them. (and no shame should be put on them)

If people want to be loners and solos (riding or social) let them. (and no shame should be put on them)

For those that are open to meeting and riding with new people, help them.

Everyone should enjoy the National on their own terms.

I think as a club we should just be finding ways to assist newbies, especially those that are a bit more timid socially,  in meeting the "experienced" national attendees that are open to it.

In the end, no matter what the club does, it's still mostly up to the newbie to participate. If he's invited by someone to a specific ride, to eat ice-cream, to go to a museum, to sit at the supposed cool kids table - they still have to say yes, and actually do it.
As a club we just need to make sure "first" attendees get invites, in a personal way (not just listed on the schedule), then it's up to the newbie.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on June 19, 2017, 10:19:22 pm
Ok, ok,,, Much as I hate to say this,,,, Wandrng also has a "very" valid point.
   {Don't tell him I sed that}

In this case; He sed the same thing I sed, but he used a lot less words....  :-[

Ride safe, Ted
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Camper Dave on June 19, 2017, 10:39:43 pm
Much as I hate to say this,,,, Camper Dave has a "very" valid point.
Hellz ya, I had to quote this!!

My very first rally, I planned out a route I was going to take. I described the route I was going to take to a friend and he asked if he could ride with me. Sure, I'll meet you at the rally hotel (I was camping). I show up the next day and there was over a dozen people waiting for me. My friend said he may have mentioned the ride to a few other people. I described the route to the folks gathered and a few said they would take their own ride. But I left that parking lot with a whole bunch of people behind me.

My point....

Hi, my name is Camper Dave and I've lead a GROUP RIDE!

I think if the club was to end the No Group ride mantra, some of the issues would go away.
If there were known Group Rides at the National Rally, that would break the ice for a lot of people.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 19, 2017, 10:52:11 pm
The Mentor concept was used at the Vermont national and it (IMO) worked pretty well. Have the ADs contact all their members for volunteers with someone (Ted?) serving as the coordinator.

On Monday, as a part of the opening social, separate the attendees by region and introduce the AD, AADs.

At the banquet, separate the attendees by region. Seat them in a group. Have a callout about the number of nationals attended and especially recognize the newcomers.

ALWAYS remember the old adage about leading a horse to water. At some point, the responsiblity falls on the newcomer whether they like it or not.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Robby1953 on June 19, 2017, 11:06:56 pm
"At some point, the responsiblity falls on the newcomer whether they like it or not."
Well, there's your problem! And again I say, it's not just first time attendees!
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jeff Kerkow on June 20, 2017, 12:49:03 am
I am not so keen on the Mentor program.  I think the goal should be to meet numerous people.  Some attendees are not going to be compatible with others and one mentor does not represent all the diversity of COG. Also as has been mentioned before its not just newbies who may want to expand their group of contacts.  I will bet I was at some of the same rallies as Ted until I really got to know him better at I believe it was Cortez. I also met some folks at this rally who were not new comers but the were newcomers to me. We had some of the same interests and I will try to reconnect with them at the next rally. These first contacts were made in the lobby while I was hanging around the map table.

What I am saying is our Tuesday Socials and Ice Cream Social do not do a lot to encourage any of us to break out of our normal group of friends myself included.

Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jorge on June 20, 2017, 01:43:56 am
It's natural for groups to get together... we can call then cloques and so on, but it's really nice to see folks you haven't seen for  a long time, maybe since the last National. Having said that, I thin it's also very important to not be exclusive.

Sport Rider's comments were all good.

1- I agree with the "Mentor" approach.
Have a checkbox in the registration one can check if willing to be a mentor. Match the mentor with the 1st timer from the same region, state if possible. The mentor simply is a first point of contact for the 1st time attendee. The mentor can help him/her meet new people, and being from the same region, meet people they are likely to see again. I for one would be willing to do this.

2- Set up sign-up sheets for rides (this has been done in the past). When the time comes, the groups is split up into reasonably sized groups (6 seems like a good number). If only a couple are left, then make two smaller groups, or let the group get more than 6 so no one is alone. Maybe request volunteers to lead one ride that week. I would also be willing to do this.

When we went to our 1st National (Johnson City) we already knew several COGgers, so it was easier, but not everyone has this benefit.

I think there are a number of things we can do to improve how we welcome 1st time attendees. Let's get them implemented.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Fais on June 20, 2017, 08:52:55 am
It's free to repeat myself.

Get folks to come to smaller events, then nationals. This way they know someone and bonds have been made. If you work for a company and go to the yearly retreat you at least know the folks from your home office/store, whatever.

We must promote the rallies. We don't. We didn't promote the national nor do we promote the regionals. How are we getting first timers? There should be more. Adverts for smaller rallies - and a bjg push for the national rallies will bring in more new members and the problem will start to go away as a larger percentage of attendees will be like our cliques were before they met. There may be too few newbies at the national level.

Let's get folks to a rally BEFORE they get on the forum. There's one who will certainly run them off if they post anything before memorizing fhe FSM and every post in the history of COG. We need to redtrict any forum abuser who has been to the principal's office over and over from replying to new people's posts. Let's create a COG newbies want to be part of.

 
 :beerchug:


Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider on June 20, 2017, 12:49:41 pm
The Mentor concept was used at the Vermont national and it (IMO) worked pretty well. Have the ADs contact all their members for volunteers with someone (Ted?) serving as the coordinator.

On Monday, as a part of the opening social, separate the attendees by region and introduce the AD, AADs.

At the banquet, separate the attendees by region. Seat them in a group. Have a callout about the number of nationals attended and especially recognize the newcomers.

ALWAYS remember the old adage about leading a horse to water. At some point, the responsiblity falls on the newcomer whether they like it or not.

I do recall those regional meetings in JC on Monday.  if we could push it farther to have the leader from that region specifically take on the first timers plugging in, that would be the best case.  the ADs and AADs by and large did not attend my first-timers meeting in Helen.  that's where I wanted to plug the first timers into their specific leadership team.  so that doesn't seem to be the answer unless leadership steps up to do their job.

What if we assign each AD (or a designate from their region) to the first timers team.  that person needs to be someone that is definitely going to attend the rally.  the coordinator from the region still has ownership for the logistics of registriation and meeting/greeting first timers much as my team did in Helen.  After that, the regional lead takes on the role of plugging them in.  helped by the coordinator in setting up meetings like the Monday night one and perhaps others.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ConcoursKZ on June 20, 2017, 01:04:29 pm
We will need to consolidate these ideas and revisit these one month before the National.

Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider on June 20, 2017, 01:09:32 pm
We will need to consolidate these ideas and revisit these one month before the National.

Tim...was there someone assigned for coordinating first timers in Missouri?  I'd like to hear what was done there.  it can be PM.  not looking to call anyone out, just hear the good and bad of how it went.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ConcoursKZ on June 20, 2017, 01:14:46 pm
Why don't we have a ride posted on the forum for 7 riders. It would describe and show the route. Distance, locations, ride style, start time, lunch location etc... It would be posted by the leader and would have three spots for first timers and three for veterans. Plus the leader making 7. Once this ride it full another leader could step up and promote another ride. Or several threads with rides could be posted and when they are full they could be labeled as such. I am betting if this was done you would dramatically increase the people on the fence of attending a National Event. A first timer might even have the ability to sign up for a couple rides with different groups. And the veterans would only be away from their core groups for one ride. It would also give veterans the ability to reach out to other areas and riders. If we were really smart we could post a couples only ride for our two up riders. And maybe have a stop along the route that might interest them. Thus making the National more attractive for our Wives and Partners.

The National can be more than all of us sitting around at the Ice Cream Social in our little groups listening to are arteries hardening. Talking about the way it used to be.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider on June 20, 2017, 02:02:55 pm
one of the things I've always thought about the national rallies is that it's a chance to meet people from other regions.  that makes all of us first timers in some respect.  I wonder if some type of ride or social/mixer approach would work for that, getting people away from their local friends they see all the time to expand their circle of friends.

I know one of the great things about COG and the nationals is making friends with people from other areas of the country.  that doesn't mean anyone would want to meet Ted from Texas, but there are SOME good people down there.   :)
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 20, 2017, 03:23:56 pm
Curiosity forces me to ask, do we KNOW if our past efforts have been effective (or not)?  Are we making these suggestions based on "old" data and assumptions? Has anyone queried past new attendees and asked them two simple questions: (1) What were your expectations? (2) What could have been done to make your experience better. Keep the questions open-ended. Only a genuinely interested individual will take the time to send a response.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Robby1953 on June 20, 2017, 03:41:47 pm
Curiosity forces me to ask, do we KNOW if our past efforts have been effective (or not)?  Are we making these suggestions based on "old" data and assumptions? Has anyone queried past new attendees and asked them two simple questions: (1) What were your expectations? (2) What could have been done to make your experience better. Keep the questions open-ended. Only a genuinely interested individual will take the time to send a response.
Along these lines, how many were first time attendees at this last rally? What's the percentage?
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: kv5e on June 20, 2017, 03:49:05 pm
Curiosity forces me to ask, do we KNOW if our past efforts have been effective (or not)?  Are we making these suggestions based on "old" data and assumptions? Has anyone queried past new attendees and asked them two simple questions: (1) What were your expectations? (2) What could have been done to make your experience better. Keep the questions open-ended. Only a genuinely interested individual will take the time to send a response.

This is a great probative question. from what i have observed over the years there are a few attendees (frequently 1st timers) who give the feedback on the forum about group riding and mixing with the others. That being said, it would be fruitful to  survey everyone who attended with a subsection for 1st timers.

I know that has been done in the past, but it would help COG get metrics year after year on our performance and which areas need improvement.

Surveymonkey or some other online tool should be leveraged after every National, with the results published after analysis.

Of course trying to get a meaningful sample return is always the challenge.

Additionally, the survey questions should be vetted to return honest and accurate metrics on the Rally and Rally management team.

The analysis of the data should be from a group independent from the Rally Team.

Again, i know this has been done at several rallies in the past.

My two bits of gray code,

Craig
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on June 20, 2017, 04:05:34 pm
Hi Jim/All; {as Craig Sed} Yes, we've asked for input, and yes we know our past efforts were not effective enough.
  * Primarily, we know this because; every year/after a National, we see the new Guys posting,,, I felt alone/left out..

Going back to the posts here: I see that the main topic has been Group Rides.
   Reply #2; Fred (2017 Rally Meister) posted the team is aware and working on idea's to make it more enjoyable to the new Folks.
   Reply #21 Rev (COG E.D,) posted that he thinks the insurance problem for Group Rides might be overcome.
So, I'll assume we will be seeing Group Rides in Kerrville, {and we will get more info on those as they plan}..    :bravo_2:

What I don't see is much discussion about New (and old) members attending gatherings/meetings/social events.
A COG National is far more than just rides. It's a social event where we can meet other Members and get to know one another.
   These gatherings are the key to involving the "New Folks".
     By "attending" the gatherings, and meeting folks,,, "everyone" will be more comfortable.

So, my next question is; how can we improve the gatherings to help the First Timers {and all} enjoy the National more?

Ride safe, Ted
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Fais on June 20, 2017, 04:20:41 pm
Wow guys. Lotsa big words.

How about:make it fun to be there - decorated up like something's happening, fun stuff like forget the prize  tickets; we oughtta spin a wheel every day from 4-6 cheering each other on to see who lands on the prize they want. All this with the vendors, photobooth, COG store and info tables/maps/rides/rte's. I'm surprised how each night on vacation we make new friends because we are lined up to do the same activity. Just a thought.

Here are more: tricycle races, pin the muffler on the ED, imitiate Ted's moustache contest 🤠

You guys who dont like this type of stuff can now sit  with your old buds and have your fun while the newbs play:-)

 :beerchug:
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sailor_chic on June 20, 2017, 04:33:34 pm
Wow guys. Lotsa big words.

How about:make it fun to be there - decorated up like something's happening, fun stuff like forget the prize  tickets; we oughtta spin a wheel every day from 4-6 cheering each other on to see who lands on the prize they want. All this with the vendors, photobooth, COG store and info tables/maps/rides/rte's. I'm surprised how each night on vacation we make new friends because we are lined up to do the same activity. Just a thought.

Here are more: tricycle races, pin the muffler on the ED, imitiate Ted's moustache contest 🤠

You guys who dont like this type of stuff can now sit  with your old buds and have your fun while the newbs play:-)

 :beerchug:
:great:    :beerchug:

Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: kv5e on June 20, 2017, 04:37:44 pm
Wow guys. Lotsa big words.

How about:make it fun to be there - decorated up like something's happening, fun stuff like forget the prize  tickets; we oughtta spin a wheel every day from 4-6 cheering each other on to see who lands on the prize they want. All this with the vendors, photobooth, COG store and info tables/maps/rides/rte's. I'm surprised how each night on vacation we make new friends because we are lined up to do the same activity. Just a thought.

Here are more: tricycle races, pin the muffler on the ED, imitiate Ted's moustache contest 🤠

You guys who dont like this type of stuff can now sit  with your old buds and have your fun while the newbs play:-)

 :beerchug:
:great:    :beerchug:

Thanks Fais and Nicole - First the Right Brain stuff that's fun!!!!! Then Left Brain after the Rally.

Ride free and have fun,

Craiig
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Robby1953 on June 20, 2017, 05:19:02 pm
Worth mentioning that at this years rally, it was difficult for me to identify the facility as a rally Central, there was no defined hub of activity where people meet. The registration room was mostly closed and locked even on scheduled times posted to be open, never saw a ride sheet, bikes scattered all over the place along with their riders, the only gathering I saw other than ice cream social and banquet was town hall meeting.
IMHO there needs to be a defined hub for people to circulate and chat, sit and watch riders come and go which leads to conversation and makes it easier to ask in to join this afternoon or tomorrow on the next ride.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 20, 2017, 06:37:06 pm
Don't use Survey Monkey or any web-based (formal) survey system!

Send a snail mail letter (they are spam filter proof) with the 2 questions I stated earlier. Ask them to respond via email to someone (Ted@iradummy.com). 80% will ignore it but the ones that respond will be ones that care.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jeff Kerkow on June 20, 2017, 07:22:33 pm
Curiosity forces me to ask, do we KNOW if our past efforts have been effective (or not)?  Are we making these suggestions based on "old" data and assumptions? Has anyone queried past new attendees and asked them two simple questions: (1) What were your expectations? (2) What could have been done to make your experience better. Keep the questions open-ended. Only a genuinely interested individual will take the time to send a response.

We are only addressing the squeaky wheels. We assume this is the feelings of all new attendees. I personally talked to two of the first time attendees just before the banquet and they said they had a good time and would come again. Are they the majority I don't know.  I am not saying we can't do better. Just that we are not working with facts.  The interesting item to note is it appears the National Rallies for their respective areas are as big or bigger than they were at least the last 7 years. I know this North Central Rally had more attendees then the one that I was rally master of in Wisconsin. I also have attended everywhere but Vermont and Helen starting in 2010 and if the banquet areas are any indication, we had more attendees at those rallies then were expected. If we are doing such a terrible job of treating new attendees nobody would be coming back and the rallies would be getting smaller.

Sorry I drift off topic back to what can we do better.

Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: kv5e on June 20, 2017, 07:28:06 pm
We hated to miss this rally, but the adjusters and contractors on our hail damage could only schedule that week. :'(

Pamela and I were looking so forward to LOTO. >:(

From everything I saw and heard, it was a top notch, well attended Rally!  We are just heartbroken to not make it due the house and vehicle damages.

Craig
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Robby1953 on June 20, 2017, 07:49:56 pm

"We are only addressing the squeaky wheels. We assume this is the feelings of all new attendees."

That's insulting!
For three years now I've mostly kept quiet, largely because any expression of disappointed was met with response that's it's all my fault, my responsibility to insert myself into your pre established groups. Seems to me that if this is a topic of discussion after every rally there's a real problem and not just squeaking wheels, but have it your way I'm done with it.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jim Snyder on June 20, 2017, 08:10:57 pm
The rally team and volunteers are very busy at these rallies. It takes an enormous amount of time to pull off what happens at the events. Many times these folks Don't get free time to do what they want because they are trying to keep things rolling along for everyone else. We Don't need sarcasm we need ideas. Yes hit the reset button and concentrate on what has worked and what can be done better. What is past is water under the bridge. Let's paddle upstream.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Classvino on June 20, 2017, 09:09:55 pm
Disclaimer : I have yet to attend a National rally, and the distance I live and work make it impossible for me to attend many of the local COG events, but I would like to attend more than I am currently able to....

Anyway, reading this thread, I got to thinking what I'd like to see at my first National...

First off, like many others, I'm not real good at introducing myself to "strangers".  If there's an event, or ride, or meet-up that catches my eye, I'd certainly sign-up to attend and hope for the best.  At the same time, I'm no shrinking violet either, but would be hesitant about joining an already established group of old friends and possibly being considered a third-wheel (if that's not a misnomer in a motorcycle club)

At any of the local COG meetups I've attended, the people were more than welcoming to another Concours rider, and I've gotten to know them a little bit, but at a larger gathering there are a lot more people, old friends, and folks that have been hanging out together for, in some cases, many years.  Now, don't get me wrong - given the choice, I'd prefer to hang out with old friends than people I'd never met before, but that's just because of the 'unknown' factor. Why would I give up a guaranteed good time with my buddies for who knows what with a stranger?

I hope that establishes that I'm not putting blame for first-timer issues on the "old-timers", and after all, of of the biggest draws to an event like the National is renewing and enjoying old friendships, but if there was some way to make them all mingle and, possible, ride together that removed the hesitancy to change a potentially uncomfortable mingling of the known and the strange (not pointing at anyone in particular  :13:) it might make it easier for a newbie to become an 'oldie" (and possibly a goodie)

I've read this post with interest, and see some great ideas :
- I think the mentor thing is a great idea, but problematic - compatibility might be an issue, but might be a big benefit - it could go either way. If there was some method of establishing 'pairs' that have common interests/hobbies the percentage of success would be favourable...
- I also think some of the ice-breaker activities mentioned might be good - but there has to be a buy-in by the more established attendees for it to work.
- The guys that talk about pushing local meets as a precursor to National meets have it right, I think.  It would certainly be easier on the new guys if they knew a few guys and had pre-existing acquaintance with them before attending, it would certainly be easier to ease into the larger group.

I'll finish with this - when (not if) I can attend a National, I wouldn't be blaming the returning attendees for my not being involved as much as I liked.  That's my responsibility. BUT - if there were events/activities that encouraged the mixing of old and new, it might make it easier for the new guys to "break in" to the larger group.  AS LONG as the newbie availed him/herself to those opportunities - it's still really up to the new guy!

Work / Family / Distance situations prevent my attendance this year, but I'll make an effort to attend sometime in the future.

My $.02
Jamie


Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jim Snyder on June 20, 2017, 10:19:56 pm
Disclaimer : I have yet to attend a National rally, and the distance I live and work make it impossible for me to attend many of the local COG events, but I would like to attend more than I am currently able to....

Anyway, reading this thread, I got to thinking what I'd like to see at my first National...

First off, like many others, I'm not real good at introducing myself to "strangers".  If there's an event, or ride, or meet-up that catches my eye, I'd certainly sign-up to attend and hope for the best.  At the same time, I'm no shrinking violet either, but would be hesitant about joining an already established group of old friends and possibly being considered a third-wheel (if that's not a misnomer in a motorcycle club)

At any of the local COG meetups I've attended, the people were more than welcoming to another Concours rider, and I've gotten to know them a little bit, but at a larger gathering there are a lot more people, old friends, and folks that have been hanging out together for, in some cases, many years.  Now, don't get me wrong - given the choice, I'd prefer to hang out with old friends than people I'd never met before, but that's just because of the 'unknown' factor. Why would I give up a guaranteed good time with my buddies for who knows what with a stranger?

I hope that establishes that I'm not putting blame for first-timer issues on the "old-timers", and after all, of of the biggest draws to an event like the National is renewing and enjoying old friendships, but if there was some way to make them all mingle and, possible, ride together that removed the hesitancy to change a potentially uncomfortable mingling of the known and the strange (not pointing at anyone in particular  :13:) it might make it easier for a newbie to become an 'oldie" (and possibly a goodie)

I've read this post with interest, and see some great ideas :
- I think the mentor thing is a great idea, but problematic - compatibility might be an issue, but might be a big benefit - it could go either way. If there was some method of establishing 'pairs' that have common interests/hobbies the percentage of success would be favourable...
- I also think some of the ice-breaker activities mentioned might be good - but there has to be a buy-in by the more established attendees for it to work.
- The guys that talk about pushing local meets as a precursor to National meets have it right, I think.  It would certainly be easier on the new guys if they knew a few guys and had pre-existing acquaintance with them before attending, it would certainly be easier to ease into the larger group.

I'll finish with this - when (not if) I can attend a National, I wouldn't be blaming the returning attendees for my not being involved as much as I liked.  That's my responsibility. BUT - if there were events/activities that encouraged the mixing of old and new, it might make it easier for the new guys to "break in" to the larger group.  AS LONG as the newbie availed him/herself to those opportunities - it's still really up to the new guy!

Work / Family / Distance situations prevent my attendance this year, but I'll make an effort to attend sometime in the future.

My $.02
Jamie

Very good points Jamie. Thanks
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 20, 2017, 10:49:46 pm
Thanks Jamie. I hope to meet you at a rally sometime.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider on June 21, 2017, 12:28:59 am
Curiosity forces me to ask, do we KNOW if our past efforts have been effective (or not)?  Are we making these suggestions based on "old" data and assumptions? Has anyone queried past new attendees and asked them two simple questions: (1) What were your expectations? (2) What could have been done to make your experience better. Keep the questions open-ended. Only a genuinely interested individual will take the time to send a response.
Along these lines, how many were first time attendees at this last rally? What's the percentage?

we had in the neighborhood of 10% first timers at the 2016 national.  around 40 out of 400.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ConcoursKZ on June 21, 2017, 10:33:47 am
New attendees could write there name on a card. During the National experienced members could grab 1 or more cards out of the box and call them to set up a meet and greet, lunch and maybe a ride. All the new attendee needs to do is fill out a card and wait for a call. If we are only talking about 40 first time members this should be an easy fix.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider on June 21, 2017, 12:12:20 pm
I wonder if it's possible to try to create a culture of a "first timers meet/greet".  First Timers may not like being recognized.  I believe I have heard that in the past relative to the flag on the namecard, but to make it a big deal for members to come out to meet those that are at a National for the first time.  kind of a welcome party.  not so much of a hazing type of approach, but more like a celebration about bringing in new people to the national experience.  After all, the National is a unique experience even within COG.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 21, 2017, 03:09:27 pm
At the first rally where we tried to identify the first timers by putting a red ribbon on their name tag, a few removed the ribbon because they "didn't want to be singled out."

IMO, the best action is to assign a (volunteer) mentor, preferably from the same region, who will get with the FNG (First National Guy) at the opening social, introduce him to several other folks, explain the rally works and invite him to accompany a group on a ride. In a perfect world, this mentor would have made contact with the FNG well in advance and established some level of rapport. After the initial ride the mentor and FNG can continue to hang out together or not as each decides.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on June 21, 2017, 03:20:06 pm
Back when the Ribbon wasn't wanted,,, the First Timers were sometimes called Rookies or FNG's. {F_____ New Guys}
NOTE: That was not the name's that COG used, (As Jim Pointed out, it was First National Guy) but it popped up somewhere, and stuck.
Both {Rookie and FNG) are clearly a negative sounding name, so, I understand why they wouldn't want the Ribbon.

Over the Years we've tried to find a name that is more acceptable..
   This year they used "First National", and "Member"
That's why I'm suggesting we use "First National Attendee" and "Experienced National Attendee".
   If you have another suggestion: Post it on this discussion..

By the way, this discussion is called "Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more".
 I used that Title as my main concern is including the First Timers..
  Some have pointed out that we 're forgetting folks that haven't found a group to "ride and socialize" with.
      That is a good point. We need to include more than just First Timers in the planning.
           
To those that feel that they are in that group, please include yourselves in activities aimed at the First National Attendee's.
      And, join in this discussion with suggestions..   

Ride safe, Ted
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 21, 2017, 04:07:32 pm
If someone has been to multiple nationals (2 or more) and hasn't found anyone to ride with I'm not sure there's anything that can be done to help. I know that sounds harsh but ... .
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ConcoursKZ on June 21, 2017, 04:12:36 pm
If someone has been to multiple nationals (2 or more) and hasn't found anyone to ride with I'm not sure there's anything that can be done to help. I know that sounds harsh but ... .

How many members went to one National and never went to another? I am sure that information is available. And why didn't they return?
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 21, 2017, 05:29:05 pm
Most motorcyclists aren't going to randomly invite someone to accompany them on a ride. Now if someone inquires,"Hey, where you riding tomorrow?" there's a good possibility of an invitation.

Recognize too that most tend to prefer smaller groups (2-5 riders). If they're already at their maximum comfort number, don't expect an invitation.

Another point is that many ( like me, for example) have gotten pretty selective about who I ride with (well, there was that time I was forced to ride with Ted - shudder). Why would they be expected to ride with someone outside their comfort zone?
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ConcoursKZ on June 21, 2017, 05:54:41 pm
Most motorcyclists aren't going to randomly invite someone to accompany them on a ride. Now if someone inquires,"Hey, where you riding tomorrow?" there's a good possibility of an invitation.

Recognize too that most tend to prefer smaller groups (2-5 riders). If they're already at their maximum comfort number, don't expect an invitation.

Another point is that many ( like me, for example) have gotten pretty selective about who I ride with (well, there was that time I was forced to ride with Ted - shudder). Why would they be expected to ride with someone outside their comfort zone?

The highlighted parts of your statement are really the problem with the COG group as a whole. We really need to step out of our comfort zone and accept New Riders and New Members, it might inconvenience us a little. Nobody is asking Members and Veterans of this forum to dedicate their entire trip to New Riders. Just one day, one ride, one meet and greet. This might also allow some of the existing members who are riding by themselves at these events to Branch out and meet some new people. Isn't that the point?
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 21, 2017, 06:52:36 pm
Those highlighted comments are NOT limited to COG but are pretty universal among experienced motorcyclists. There are some exceptions but my experience with GWRRA,HSTA (now MSTA), and BMWMOA has found it to be fairly common.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: smithr1 on June 21, 2017, 06:55:41 pm
So I have read the thread, been to a bunch of nationals and I have planned and executed a national rally myself.  Here is my 2c.

Every year is different.  Partly because that is the way it may need to be.  If every event followed the same exact set of rules it might just get boring for us that have been to a few and ads no local flavor to the rally.  Given that, as a new rally lead I was given some guidelines and was able to ask questions of past rallies.  After input, the planners have to place themselves in your shoes and try to provide what about 300 DIFFERENT people want and expect.  No easy task.  No one has ever got it perfect.

It is worth noting again that almost every suggestion here has been tried before.  What is lacking is any feedback about what worked and what didn't for future planners to use.

Also there will always be those that are not willing to put themselves out there then feel left out.  It has to be stressed that if you want to enjoy yourself you have to make that happen yourself.  It is not the rally staffs job to personally entertain you and make you say hi to others.  I learned that at my first cog rally.  I had to make it what I wanted.

My suggestions, some repeats from others.

New attendees should be vetted at registration and sent an email telling them what to expect, where to find help and how best to enjoy the rally. 
(Note at the town hall this lack of info came up for new COG members also.  I think this would work for them also.  Just something in writing from COG showing we care and how things work around here.)

There has to be a designated gathering place that is widely used.  I wanted to go meet more people at this years but where were they? 
(I begged for the venue in 2012 to let us put a fire pit in the parking lot for us to gather around at night and get that camp feel.  They never really answered why not.  I found out the day the rally started that the original convention center had burned down and they didn't want fire, no way.  Good thing most everyone gravitated to one parking lot.)

Have a few types of rides that are lead for those that want it.  I don't want that but I know others do.  I think I tried to have at least one lead ride a day lead by someone that knew the area.  Not that many sign up but the ones that do usually really appreciate it.

Have AREA GTGs at the national also.  I mean make it easy for members from the same area to meet, party and get to know all/new members from your area.  I think ADs should be sure this is done every year even if they can not attend.

Make it easier to tell a members real name and online names.  Maybe print the users avatar on the badges next to the screen name.  (BTW I begged Fred to put names on both sides of the badges or the schedule on the back but he refused in 2012. :P  I am not sure how Brien talked him into it this year.  I just wish the lanyards were shorter so I don't have to stare at someone crotch to remember their name:)

Mentor idea can work.  The mentor could be just someone that is assigned to answer any questions from the attendee.  He would not have to be a best buddy.  Just make it clear someone is there that cares, can help and how to contact them.

If you see someone sitting alone ask them if that is what they want to be doing.

Sorry but if your web site has a New Attendees section make sure it does not look like this.  Never filled out.  Not trying to be mean I know how hard this is.  Just sayin. 
http://concours.org/national/2017-national-rally/2017-national-rally-first-timer-information (http://concours.org/national/2017-national-rally/2017-national-rally-first-timer-information)
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jeff Kerkow on June 21, 2017, 07:00:15 pm
As was mentioned before I have and will continue to lead rides but a lot of the time 5 turns into 10. Even as big as an ----- a as I am sure some people think I am I have not told anyone they can't come but it makes me think about not volunteering. If that happens to me I am sure others never volunteer again.

This is not a problem with COG it is just reality. Most motorcycle riders don't want to be ride leaders. I rode down with 7 other riders guess who lead the whole way.  These are my friends and all good riders perfectly capable of leading and if I would have refused to lead someone would have done it but it is not their preference.  I also belong to other motorcycle clubs and it is the same way there.

Sounds like the next national has Jim S. and others to lead rides so this hurdle should be covered.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 21, 2017, 07:07:05 pm
Many of us do make the effort to seek out new attendees, thank them for coming, ask if they have any questions or need anything. I, typically, don't invite them on a ride unless they ask me where I'm riding. If they demonstrate an interest in where I'm planning and we have space for them, I may invite them to join us. I feel my role is to provide information/assistance/guidance on how to best enjoy the rally. I'm not there to hold their hands or be their area guide.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider on June 21, 2017, 07:37:11 pm
I make it a point to invite them.  how better to make a friend?  if I have to adjust my riding style down, that's fine with me.  it's not like I'm going to die because I didn't ride really fast that day.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jim Snyder on June 21, 2017, 08:45:32 pm
Quote from: LSGiant

Sounds like the next national has Jim S. and others to lead rides so this hurdle should be covered.
[/quote

Thanks LS, when I led rides in Johnson City everyone had a blast. Of course they were all to the Snake but nobody seemed to mind.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Camper Dave on June 21, 2017, 09:39:00 pm
The more I think about this......

I think the club is doing a lot of the right things. First-time/newbie/ice-breaker meeting(s) are good, it's a place to meet and greet. (Of course it would be Mandatory for anyone with the salutation of  REV to attend, along with anyone named Jim  ;D ) Give those who want to meet new people a place to do it.

After that, I've always thought that groups rides are needed. Make things easier, make them a group ride to a destination (something to see or someplace to eat). Destinations are good because if the group that shows up is too big to manage, you can more easily break it up. The 5 or 6 person per group rule is nice but sometimes it doesn't work, be prepared to handle whatever the day throws at you.

You can't really hang this on the long time members. If they want to take time out of their vacation, good for them. But to expect them or require them, not cool. No sense making a rally better for someone at the cost of making it less enjoyable for others.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 21, 2017, 11:55:59 pm
I agree. We are doing a lot of the right things. It goes back to the leading a horse to water thing.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Just Cliff on June 22, 2017, 12:42:30 am

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."

If someone has been to multiple nationals (2 or more) and hasn't found anyone to ride with I'm not sure there's anything that can be done to help. I know that sounds harsh but ... .

I agree. We are doing a lot of the right things. It goes back to the leading a horse to water thing.

I pretty much agree with everything Jim said. COG has done there part by bringing a few hundred like minded folks together in one central location.

I was new to COG when I attended my first National in 2012. I'm not the most outgoing & talkative person around, some even say a little standoffish. Nothing meant by it, just my trait. I still didn't expect to have my hand held either. I got to wear the red ribbon, ride alone in an area local to me. Didn't let it bother me, started attending some regional events & got to know some folks. Have been to every National since & have made some very good life long friends.

I've seen some of the well known long time members get bombarded by acquaintances & friends when they pull into a National. So I don't think they intentionally ignore 1st. timers, there just very distracted.

Just my thoughts!

Cliff   :beerchug: 
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Swampcat on June 22, 2017, 12:55:20 am
Cliff, while it's on my mind, I wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed riding with you Thursday. I meant to catch you at the banquet and let you know. Hope to do it again sometime.

Local involvement is essential, but getting involved is key at whatever level. Coming into my second National as Concourier editor meant that I  knew a lot more people across the organization and outside of my area. I rode by myself Tuesday and Wednesday; both were by choice. Jorge and Irene invited me to join with them Wednesday, but I wanted to do the challenge ride. Ran into them in Jefferson City anyway. :)  At the Lodge, there was always someone to talk to.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on June 22, 2017, 01:23:50 am
OK, I need some idea's..
Let's assume we can do Group Rides for the First Timers.

We want to hold the number or Riders in 1 group to 6 {mebbe 8}
We have 40 possible First Timers/New members/Solo Riders at the national.
      20 of them want to ride with the First Timer group..
Let's say that 20 Experienced National Folks want to go too..
That brings us to 40 potential Rider's...

As LSGiant pointed out, Folks don't like to lead....

So, how can we manage the possible 5 - 8 person groups?
    ie; "If we need to form more groups, {but no (Experienced National Attendee) volunteers to lead},,
                 how do we get someone to lead the other groups"?    

          "Thought's"??
C'mon, there has to be an answer......   :-[

Ride safe, Ted
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 22, 2017, 01:42:22 am
8 riders is too many. 7 (including the lead) is enough. More impedes other traffic.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jeff Kerkow on June 22, 2017, 01:48:31 am
How about I take em out about 10 miles and say I got an emergency call and have to head back. I will hand them off to the next volunteer. I will tell them i will met them at the lunch spot.

When I get back a I will just grab another group. Should be able to get them all out of there in an hour :)
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Camper Dave on June 22, 2017, 10:06:17 am
Man, you guys really want to over think this.. Are you documenting this, putting it in the official COG constitution? (that will take at least 2 years, better form that committee soon)....

KISS Baby,,, Keep It Simple Silly (I'd never call you Stupid)...

Destination ride:

We are going to Billy's BBQ Pit for lunch. Here's the route: Take a right out of the parking lot onto Rt 123 and follow for 10 miles. Take a left onto rt 345 and follow for 30 miles. Merge onto I-99 North, follow for 20 miles to exit 55 Smith St, take a left and Billy's in 2.5 miles on the right. After lunch, you can take I-99 back to blah blah blah, take the same route back or explore on your own.

I've been on a few rides with over a dozen people (and a lot more turns than I mentioned above) and the leader was able to keep the group together (Shout-out to Kevin, COG #145), I've also unexpectedly lead rides of a dozen. Like I said, the 5 or 6 rider rule is nice but sometimes doesn't work. If you can't lead a group larger than 5, your not leading... Your playing follow the leader or catch me if you can.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Victor Salisbury on June 22, 2017, 11:23:42 am
Most motorcyclists aren't going to randomly invite someone to accompany them on a ride. Now if someone inquires,"Hey, where you riding tomorrow?" there's a good possibility of an invitation.

Recognize too that most tend to prefer smaller groups (2-5 riders). If they're already at their maximum comfort number, don't expect an invitation.

Another point is that many ( like me, for example) have gotten pretty selective about who I ride with (well, there was that time I was forced to ride with Ted - shudder). Why would they be expected to ride with someone outside their comfort zone?

Orrrrrr, if the experienced National/COGger/attendee/whatever label you want to brand them with invites a new person on a ride, they might like that?   
You say most motorcyclists aren't going to randomly invite someone to accompany them on a ride. Yet, you hold the expectation of a new attendee (with all the thoughts/emotions/intimidation/terror they are experiencing internally, seeing the clique of riders already established hootin' it up) to randomly butt in and ask 'where ya all ridin' tomorrow?'  Can't have it both ways, that new guy aint going to do it.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ConcoursKZ on June 22, 2017, 11:40:04 am
If you do not know the secret handshake or password go away.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Jim Snyder on June 22, 2017, 12:56:31 pm
Group rides are not rocket science. The trick is to have everyone on the same page. By that I mean knowing some basic guidelines. When I lead rides I spend alot of time in my mirrors making sure everyone is still with us. I count the riders before we leave and constantly monitor them along the way. Letting everyone get caught up before taking the next turn off etc. Nothing is more irritating to me than being left behind by the leader trying to break the sound barrier. Stopping for restroom breaks even if I don't need to is also a good thing. I think a lot of times we over think these things.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Camper Dave on June 22, 2017, 02:30:37 pm
Group rides are not rocket science.
Bingo!! We have a winner!
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on June 22, 2017, 03:28:43 pm
In post #100 I asked "how do we manage the rides".
Ya'll seemed to interpret that as "how do we lead the ride".
            Wasn't my intent...

I meant to ask, "If we need to form more groups, {but no (Experienced National Attendee) volunteers to lead},,
                 how do we get someone to lead the other groups"?

So far, LSGiant/Jeff has the best answer... {sneaky, but the best}  :great:

Ride safe, Ted
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on June 22, 2017, 03:47:53 pm
By the way, when I lead a group with unknown riders. I keep it simple, but I do talk with everyone..
  I have a quick pre-ride brief..
     Route (and possibly route sheets) are discussed.
     Assurance that the lead will stop at all places where we will be turning from the road we are on.
     Ride your own ride emphasized..
     Following distance discussed. {ie; Do not ride in the guy's back pocket, but don't lollygag a mile back}.
     What to do if the pace is too fast for you.
     Question period.

PS: In Europe, the rule was; each rider is responsible for the rider behind him.
      So, everyone is required to keep an eye on the guy behind them.
         If he disappears, they are supposed to stop and wait on him.
      ** If they loose their follower, they buy the beer that night.

     Seems like a simple way to keep track of others.
        If someone has a problem, the entire group would eventually stop/stay in place, and the lead would go back to look.

Ride safe, Ted

PS: My pet peeve is the sightseer/lollygagger..
         Rides a mile back, slows and maintains that mile back, when you slow to check on him..  arghhhhhhhhh
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: ZG on June 22, 2017, 04:32:49 pm
Man, you guys really want to over think this..

+1... Crazy how many posts on this thread over the past couple days.  :o

I understand that it's important to welcome newbies with open arms, but come on guys this isn't like the first day of a new school for a kid, we are all grown adults and motorcyclist, I bet that many of the "newbies" to a "COG Nat" are not newbies to bikes or bike rallies in general, there are so many non-COG rallies/events/rides to choose from these days and they are all pretty easy to find with a simple google search.

One thing to consider IMO (I'm sure I'll have darts thrown at me for this comment), if you make newbies the #1 priority at Nat's keep in mind that by doing so you are overlooking and potentially not catering to the not-new folks that are and have been paying members. IMO retention is more important and should be easier than getting newbies to come/join, if you lose your current members it could be harder to get them back then it is trying to get new members to come/join. There's also a chance that word of mouth (or posts on other bike forums) from members that choose not to go anymore (or not renew their COG membership) gets out and that can be even worse than not getting new members, many folks (including myself) are active in other clubs/bikes/rallies/etc, if those folks mention to others that they "use" to go to the COG Nats but no longer because of blah blah blah that word does spread in a negative way. I pay my dues and go to rallies to hang with my friends and ride and do whatever else I want to do, I don't pay dues or go to rallies to cater to new folks, I'm not mean or rude to them, I welcome them, but they are not why I go or pay my dues.

Carry on.  :campfire:  :truce:
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on June 22, 2017, 04:43:30 pm
Hi ZG. 
The intent is not to make First Timers number 1 priority.
But you have a good point, this is about "First Timers and Others" enjoying the National more..
My intent is to discuss ways to better include the First Timers, {and others} that are having the feeling of being left out.

NOTE: Several Nationals ago, I brought this up and many told me, your wrong. This isn't a problem.
          But, this comes up after every National.

So, I opted to start this discussion to hash out idea's.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Nothing is being promised. No plans are being made,,, just discussion..

Ride safe, Ted



Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: mattchewn on June 22, 2017, 05:06:07 pm
Ted,
I agree with ZG completely.
     These are not children that are needing to be coddled, if they are then maybe they need a daycare and not COG. I would simply make up a welcome sheet with some "cold, hard facts" and hand them out to newbies at registration or even beforehand through the forum if possible. Something along the lines of;  Welcome to the COG (insert rally name here), While we want everyone to have a fantastic time and meet lots of people and new friends, some of the responsibility is on YOUR shoulders to meet and talk to new folks. All Coggers, (except maybe MOB), will be more than welcoming to new people introducing themselves and meeting new friends. Take some initiative and I promise you it will pay off exponentially. Please feel free to ask for help, directions, recommendations, whatever from any COG'er here.  They also want you to enjoy yourself.
   It is not our responsibility to handhold and coddle the newbies, they are adults. They are ultimately responsible for their own happiness. We all have a responsibility to be openly welcoming and friendly, we seem to do that exceptionally well for the most part, (forum notwithstanding).
Matt
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider on June 22, 2017, 05:25:08 pm
Matt, Matt, Matt....you are NEVER right!   :nananana:

I disagree with you guys.   :)  what is important here is going above and beyond to bring people in.  I agree that it should NOT be done to the exception of existing members and their fun, but no one here has ever mentioned that as an approach.  Making newbs feel exceptionally welcome is the best way to keep them as long term members.   I think Jay is wrong about the cost of new vs existing.  In the business world, it's common knowledge that getting new customers is always more costly than keeping current ones.  Just remember that everyone isn't as forward and outgoing as you are.

No offense intended.   just constructive disagreement.   :great:
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on June 22, 2017, 06:06:46 pm
Hey, Matt was right at least once.            Thinkaboutit,,,,,,   :nananana:
   Once, he thought he was wrong about something,,, and he "was" right about that!   :)

ZG/Matt/Jim/others,,, do have a point.
   The First Timers/others are not children and the COG Rally isn't a daycare.
   Anything us old guys do to assure they are more comfortable, will NOT work..
     ie: Nothing "we do" will work, unless they make efforts themselves.

"But" everyone is not as outgoing as others. Some need a little help to blend into the group.
The idea of this discussion is to find ways that they can learn about the COG National, and more easily meet and get to know others.
Again, this is discussion. Nothing promised or planned.

I am for; name tags indicating that someone is a First Timer. {So others will recognize and greet them}
              name tags indicating that someone is an experienced National Member. {So others can seek them out to ask questions}
              group rides. {As First Timers, "and" many others would like to do this}
              First Timer/New member/Solo Riders/etc gatherings so that folks can meet, and learn COG's ways.
              encouraging "Old Timers" to reach out to the new guys..
              a location/person where people can go to ask questions

I am NOT for; mentors. {We can not assign individuals to every First Timer}
                     drawing names to see who you ride with. {People come to a National to ride with friends, and will}
                     excessive special treatment/handholding  {everyone is an adult}

Now, you know my thoughts.
     Ya'll keep discussing idea's, not arguing.
             I'm gonna set back and listen for a bit..     

Ride safe, Ted
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: mattchewn on June 22, 2017, 06:20:07 pm
Dave,
Did you read my post?  I definitely want to welcome all the newbies. I am just not up for handholding and cumbaya all day. Pimping out members to get new members is NOT the way to keep folks here happy and recommending this club to others. People will always see through that crap anyway.  There is a happy medium in there somewhere but we have yet to reach it I guess.

Matt

Maybe you should PERSONALLY greet them all with some of that hooch!   :))
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: ConcoursKZ on June 22, 2017, 06:21:53 pm
All people are looking for is somebody to go on a ride with. I think we're making this way too difficult. I'm one of the most outgoing people you will ever meet and at the First National I went to it was a bit of a challenge. Some of you guys are a tough egg to crack. Your old ugly and intimidating. LMAO
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: mattchewn on June 22, 2017, 06:31:37 pm
All people are looking for is somebody to go on a ride with. I think we're making this way too difficult. I'm one of the most outgoing people you will ever meet and at the First National I went to it was a bit of a challenge. Some of you guys are a tough egg to crack. Your old ugly and intimidating. LMAO
This presents its' own set of problems though.  I personally do not want to be the guy leading the run that is constantly waiting for the slower folks to catch up. I have done it many times and will do it more in the future but it is definitely not my first choice. Resolving this means that both the newbie and the "old timers" need to be very clear about their riding styles and comfort levels. Many times this is severely exaggerated by one or more when trying to join a group ride.  I ALWAYS make it very clear that I ride at a rather (warp),speedy pace. I will wait at the turn offs  but if you aren't comfortable then please find a group with a pace more suitable to your particular style. Not being mean but clear and to the point. I know plenty of "fast riders" but that is only when the road is long and straight.  I don't try to insinuate they aren't good riders or demean them, but being clear and concise is a requirement though.
Matt
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: ConcoursKZ on June 22, 2017, 06:56:38 pm
I agree with you Matt. The pace of the ride should always be stated before Riders leave. Members of this group ride and a very spirited pace. I went to an event in Kentucky once with other members. And it was not uncommon for the Riders to get up to triple digits. Like I said in an earlier post the ride its speed etcetera could be posted ahead of time allowing others to sign up.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider on June 22, 2017, 07:26:09 pm
Dave,
Did you read my post?  I definitely want to welcome all the newbies. I am just not up for handholding and cumbaya all day. Pimping out members to get new members is NOT the way to keep folks here happy and recommending this club to others. People will always see through that crap anyway.  There is a happy medium in there somewhere but we have yet to reach it I guess.

Matt

Maybe you should PERSONALLY greet them all with some of that hooch!   :))

that must have been the problem with Helen.  I did personally greet them.  I forgot the bottle.   :-[ :-[ :-[
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: mattchewn on June 22, 2017, 07:43:41 pm
Dave,
Did you read my post?  I definitely want to welcome all the newbies. I am just not up for handholding and cumbaya all day. Pimping out members to get new members is NOT the way to keep folks here happy and recommending this club to others. People will always see through that crap anyway.  There is a happy medium in there somewhere but we have yet to reach it I guess.

Matt

Maybe you should PERSONALLY greet them all with some of that hooch!   :))

that must have been the problem with Helen.  I did personally greet them.  I forgot the bottle.   :-[ :-[ :-[
Dave,
Make more friends.......    With Hooch!    :))
Matt
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: Sport Rider on June 22, 2017, 07:53:13 pm
Dave,
Did you read my post?  I definitely want to welcome all the newbies. I am just not up for handholding and cumbaya all day. Pimping out members to get new members is NOT the way to keep folks here happy and recommending this club to others. People will always see through that crap anyway.  There is a happy medium in there somewhere but we have yet to reach it I guess.

Matt

Maybe you should PERSONALLY greet them all with some of that hooch!   :))

that must have been the problem with Helen.  I did personally greet them.  I forgot the bottle.   :-[ :-[ :-[
Dave,
Make more friends.......    With Hooch!    :))
Matt

Ted...you have this one down for Texas, right?   :beerchug:

Matt...will have more at RWTW....
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Just Cliff on June 23, 2017, 11:01:59 am
Cliff, while it's on my mind, I wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed riding with you Thursday. I meant to catch you at the banquet and let you know. Hope to do it again sometime.


Likewise Ed, very nice to meet & ride with you also.

Cliff   :beerchug:
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers enjoy the National more
Post by: Victor Salisbury on June 23, 2017, 11:57:15 am
OK, I need some idea's..
Let's assume we can do Group Rides for the First Timers.


I don't think 1st timers group rides are an answer/fix, but if you are going to discuss group riding, that needs to be a 'hole nother stand alone thread and that is going to just as bad invigorating as an oil/tire thread.

From my perspective (from running a few national and regional events and receiving feedback), the first timers not enjoying the show, their biggest concern is feeling ignored when they are off the bike at the venue. Work that part, then they interact with others, then the  "group" ride will happen (whether its a group of 2-3, or more).

But as Dave (I believe?) from the Helen rally had in place, you need a team of attendees who will go out and 'work' the crowd, seemed like a really good system.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 23, 2017, 01:43:40 pm
I agree with Vic. If we can make them feel welcome off the bike the on the bike stuff will follow.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on June 23, 2017, 02:41:26 pm
Jim, I'm staying out of the discussion, and letting it run it's course.
I broke the newbie discussion from the 2017 Rally discussion as it was getting nasty...
I do like the discussion though.

Everyone is missing my Group Ride "intent".
I sed;  (Reply #114} I'm for group rides. {As First Timers, "and" many others would like to do this}

I did not say First Timer only rides.

At the National {and when Rev returned my trailer}, he (and Fred) have said, there "may" be Group Rides next year.
I think that means, there will probably be 'GROUP" rides next year..

I think the First timers should be made aware of those group rides and participate. {to meet others that are there.}
Not, have a ride and let Old Timers come to meet the new guys.

I'm like you. It is up to them to meet folks.
All the club can do is lay the groundwork.

By the way; I have no say so in any of this. Not sure who is on the rally team.
    I'm hoping/waiting to learn more..

Ride safe, Ted
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: Ranger Jim on June 23, 2017, 07:19:38 pm
Ted, you can always VOLUNTEER to assist the rally team. You'd make the perfect First Rally Attendee Coordinator.😆
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: ron203 on June 23, 2017, 07:21:13 pm
I second that. Ted for FTRAC (First Time Rally Attendee Coordinator)  we can call him  "Head of FTRAC!
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: Swampcat on June 23, 2017, 07:23:09 pm
I second that. Ted for FTRAC (First Time Rally Attendee Coordinator)  we can call him  "Head of FTRAC!

How would you say that? "Foot Rack"??   :)) :)) :)) :rotflmao:
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: ron203 on June 23, 2017, 07:25:43 pm
Mr. Foot Rack?   :D
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: Jim Snyder on June 23, 2017, 09:52:10 pm
I second that. Ted for FTRAC (First Time Rally Attendee Coordinator)  we can call him  "Head of FTRAC!

He has been called worse  :rotflmao:
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: SteveJ. on July 05, 2017, 07:32:37 pm
Just a thought while breathing in Canadian mountain air as to the actual ride itself. It would seem that a large impediment to forming rides with people that you don't know whether first timers or not, is whether skills match up. I've also experienced the group growing before departure. How about trying to have a riding break about ten minutes in and then split the group by pace desired.

Later. On TDY at Yoho National Park for two more nights. Then on to Kelowna BC.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: Rasmith on July 06, 2017, 05:25:44 pm
Passionate thread without a doubt!

I think the diversity of ideas here is a key indicator of why this horse has been so difficult to corral.
While we're all "Like-Minded" when it comes to the Bike the Group revolves around, as individuals we couldn't be more different which makes this such a challenge.

 My personal take on this is that most events I've been, the coordinated group rides were planned prior to the event by folks who knew each other or have ridden together in the past.  If I didn't make arrangements prior with them I was either on my own or reached out to folks to see what their plans were. Sometimes I joined, sometimes I didn't if the agenda wasn't what I was interested in.

I agree it should not be the responsibility for others to play the Dating Game to get Newbies hooked up with other riders. There simply isn't time for it at the Rally with everything else going on. It happened to me and I felt like I was being forced upon the other group that had already laid out their plans and knew the style of the riders already in their group and appeared deflated that an unknown entity was being injected into their plans. So I bowed out and did my own thing BUT through my own networking, I hooked up with other riders and it seemed to spider web out from there. New friends, new opportunities to join up on rides.

Hindsight, if there was a venue PRIOR to the Rally to discuss the rides, who was going, what other's riding styles were, I think we could've avoided that uncomfortable moment of being the unknown entity.

Having a thread with signups for rides prior to the Rally would be great. It allows everyone to make plans for the week rather than playing it so much "seat of the pants" as it would if the signup was only at the time of the Rally.

Don't remember who suggested this but I really like the idea of having a 1st timers social. This should be the time for the AD and AADs to meet their respective members.

Aside what I just posted above, this really should be the length of effort the group puts into ensuring the 1st Timers have an opportunity to hook up for rides. The rest needs to be of their own efforts.
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: connie_rider on July 06, 2017, 07:17:35 pm
Most of the idea's are pretty good..
  err; Not so much the Foot Rack and my Buddies that developed it.... (I will get even for that)  :sign0151:

   Other than those troublemakers (above) ; Great discussion!!

Ride safe, Ted

PS: I tend to run my mouth and not listen, so (for once) I'm being quiet and letting ya discuss First Timer idea's.  :-X
Title: Re: Ways to help First Timers {and others} enjoy the National more
Post by: Charlie_Gary_AAD on July 06, 2017, 08:11:12 pm
I have an idea.  When someone registers for a rally, give them the option of having paper chits to give out.  First timers should get a different color.  Encourage people to find people they don't know, and once they are introduced they can exchange chits.  Make a rule like, "No chit exchange unless conversation happens for at least xx seconds/minutes/whatever time limit".  Give prizes for most chits turned in on banquet night, and a special prize for the most first timer chits.
  I'm sure this idea can be made better with more thought.