Pre-Event Update #2 – Event Basics

Yes, another update (26 days to go!)!

Ok, in our previous newsletter, we addressed some basic operations and things that we would have in place to help make the event more operationally safe.  In this newsletter, we are going to talk about a few of the things we are doing to help you get the most out of the event once you are in and set up.

We have a website, located at www.gdmarally.com, but none of us are particularly good webmasters – so if anyone is looking for a volunteer opportunity….. 🙂  We have recently redone the navigation to make finding event information easier…

A major thing for us to manage is the schedule of events.  There are very often changes, and these are very difficult to manage at scale.  So how DO you keep everyone informed of the schedule, as well as get rapid information out to 700+ people who really just want to have a good time?  Well, we have a few things we are doing to make this as easy as possible.

First, we are moving to a largely paperless process, where we publish the schedule of events online instead of printing out hundreds (literally) of 6 page printouts that may change at a minute’s notice (6 pages times 300 tickets = 1800 pages that might be useless 10 mins later!).  “How do I remember how to get to the schedule?” you might be asking?  Well on the back of everyone’s name badge is a QR code that you scan with your smart device’s camera, and it will automatically open the latest version of the schedule in your mobile browser!  This will allow folks to more easily have access to the latest and greatest event schedule, regardless of where you might be in the park!

“Nice – but how am I going to know about changes to the schedule, without wandering around praying there will be something when I get there?”.  Glad you asked.  One thing we found very frustrating was the inability to get a message out to everyone when one needed to go out.  In the past, we have used a text message provider that was free, but now charges $0.04 per message per device (so $0.04 x 300 devices = $12 PER MESSAGE).  Yeah, well, that’s a bit steep, so we are working on our own solution that will be owned and managed by us – so you know that your privacy will be respected.  We will have 2 different types of messages – one is opt-in, and is for general announcements.  This is generally no more than one a day, and is limited to important messages (no ads, etc.) focused around you getting more out of the event.  The other is opt-out, and is for emergencies only.  Examples of this would be severe weather, medical emergencies requiring immediate assistance, things of this nature.  We will have more information on this service as we get closer to the event.

“Ah, but it is a big place, and you have tents that are not on the park’s map!  How are you going to address that, smart guy?” We got your back on this one as well!  We will have an online map that shows you where the event specific locations are, as well as signs placed around the park in the event you are directionally challenged.  To access the map, it will be a link on the Schedule (which by now you should know how to access) so you can open it on your device, or save it, print it, whatever.  Now, this is the first year we are at this facility, so we may have to find the right places to put the signs, but we will figure it out and do what we can to make the process easier.

“OK, got me on that one.  It is a big place, what happens if I don’t get a golf cart?”.  Bethpage will be running a tram throughout the park during certain hours (to be determined) to help you get around.  We can’t promise there is enough room on the trams for everyone, but we are doing what we can to get everything lined up as much as possible to keep you comfortable.  We also have several limo golf carts that will help us help those who may need it.

Hopefully, this has helped you get a better feel for how you will be able to get around, and how to stay up to date with new and exciting events.  We will have another update message for you to help you navigate seminars, vendors, and activities.

Stay healthy, safe travels, and we look forward to seeing everyone soon!

Your WagonMasters