This was my first rally. Up until now, I thought rallies were more ala the H-D gatherings as I have many friends and clients with H-D's. Well, guess what? I was surprised!
I thought the rally was awesome, and I would like to share a few thoughts.
First off, I got to meet many of people behind the forum user names. This is worth its weight in gold as these riders have helped me in different ways selecting gear or answering questions. Unfortunately, I wanted to but did not meet both the elusive Jon Diaz and nautical Rob Nye.
Secondly, I visited with members who have the mods on their bikes that I am thinking about for mine. You get the "down and dirty" very quickly.
Third, the Accident Scene Management Course had loads of knowledge that was easily transferable into managable ideas. The presenter was outstanding.
Fourth, I picked up a few pointers in the ERC. And I was humbled a few times, too.
Fifth, the seminars were fabulous. And packed (Hough, Riders Workshop, etc.) More on this later.
Sixth, I really enjoyed volunteering. I worked both in registration directing people to the appropriate entrance and the re-charging/cyber area. We kibitzed and schmoozed as I welcomed them to WI and the Rally. I think the rally had much more meaning for me because I volunteered as I got to know some of the people behind the scenes.
Lastly, I congratulate every volunteer, chair, Sue and Brian for setting a high bar for future rallies.
I have a few suggestions to make the next rally even better.
1.) If the meeting rooms and tents had rafters, there would have been attendees hanging from them. With 40 seminars (not including ERC's or Accident Scene Mgt.) in three days with 7800+ or - people, the rally chairs have created a mini-commuter college. Some how, some way during the preregistration process, an attendee should indicate what topics are of prime interest to that person. That knowledge may help the rally organizers better plan the room usage.
Also, it is both rude and distracting to the presenter when the doors are open and noise from the hallways over-rides the presentation.
2.) The charging/cyber area. First, it needs a sign that says; "Bring YOUR OWN charger. Do not ask if you can use another person's charger. "
Secondly, the laptops for general use do neither constitute a video arcade nor convenient day care for members' children. People needed to communicate with home, offices, and friends.
If a child wants to play on line video games, then consider having a separate area for that purpose and a parent or responsible adult must be present. Better yet, have them bring their own laptop.
I spoke to Vince about this and he can fill the chairs in.
One final thought: If I find an temperature and humidity controlled RV with a whirlpool, steam room, sauna, endless pool, aroma therapy and massage rooms, and entertainment center (like what Scott the webmaster and Hodag had ), then I may just do Gillette.
Seriously, I think an RV is the way to go if one is not a tent "camper".