NW Volunteer Dilemma?
Page 1 of 8 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 78

Thread: NW Volunteer Dilemma?

  1. #1
    the devil plays my advocate 12xalt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    744

    Default NW Volunteer Dilemma?

    With Oregon Trail right around the corner, and with what seemed to be a large lack of volunteers at Olympus, I'm concerned.


    Day 1, we were 6 people short on our stage, luckily we were able to recruit spectators who were looking for an alternate to watching the cancelled Crane Creek. Day 2, same thing, people who were scheduled to help just didn't show up, leaving Brooklyn hurting, especially with so many spectators. (I've never been so happy to work FF/Start instead of road marshal, wow that was a lot of people). Also, thank you to Forespring for finding a new and unscheduled spectator area for those who had been sent out due to lack of parking space at the other locations. Instead of a dozen cars filled with very unhappy people, I think lifelong rally fans were created.

    Not only am I worried about not having enough volunteers at events, I'm worried about those we do have being burnt out and deciding to just spectate next time. When there aren't enough people, the ones who have previous experience with equipment and controls are used for those spaces and those without are used to block roads. Great, right? Yes, and no. Without extra people, we aren't ever able to train new people to work ATC/Start/FF/Stop, leaving those who do know how doing those positions at every single event they sign up for and on both days.


    Do I know how to fix this? No, I don't. I know that when I talk about rallies on other sites, or to friends or coworkers I always bring up volunteering before bringing up spectating. I think the Crane Creek spectators who we convinced to work at the last minute will end up being volunteers again in the future, they had a wonderful time.

    Maybe I shouldn't have brought it up, and if this being here upsets anyone then I'm sorry, it's not meant to offend.
    ballast for #205 & #505 or you if you'll let me

  2. Remove Advertisements
    SpecialStage.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 12xalt View Post
    Do I know how to fix this? No, I don't.
    What do you think needs to be done to start down the path of fixing this perceived issue?
    Jason

  4. #3
    the devil plays my advocate 12xalt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    744

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason_Grahn View Post
    What do you think needs to be done to start down the path of fixing this perceived issue?
    No clue, hence why I started the thread, hoping for some input from others. What about you, what do you think needs to be done? What are some ideas that I can do to talk more people into working rather than just watching. And I have no idea if Oregon Trail will have the same problem or not.

    I know that last year some friends of mine signed up to work Oregon Trail on Friday night and were sent out to spectate because there were "too many" volunteers on their stage. Personally I think it'd have been better to have assigned them to work a control station so they'd be experienced with it the next time they were able to work. Since then they haven't offered to work again, although I'm going to ask them to do so again this year, I hope they will.

    I'm pretty sure we were short on one or both of the days I worked Oregon Trail last year as well. Seemed there were tons of people on Friday, but many didn't show up on the weekend days.

    So, I suppose it's sort of a two part thing. How do we get enough to sign up, then how do we get them to actually show up.
    ballast for #205 & #505 or you if you'll let me

  5. Remove Advertisements
    SpecialStage.com
    Advertisements
     

  6. #4
    200 square left
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    White Center, Seattle, WA
    Posts
    248

    Default

    Jason,

    "Perceived issue"? There is most definitely a problem! I don't think that anyone could have predicted the hoards that showed up, but we didn't have enough workers for a normal event. I was riding around with Forspring and what I saw was ugly!

    When I first tried to volunteer for this event I had no luck on the internet. The websites had not been updated. I sent e-mails and got no replies. It took some real persistence on my part to work this rally.

    The communication between organizers and with workers wasn't very good.

    Merrilee,

    I think that lack of money was part of the problem combined with burn out from Doo Wops.

    One thing that I really noticed was how our core organizers are getting older! I learned a lot from John over the weekend. I would like to get more involved with organizing but I am not sure if there is an opportunity.

    How about putting on a one day seminar for rally workers? Teach them the basics, pass out some shwag, run a practice stage and give people rides? The Island rally club used to do this. I attended there school last year. I think that if people get a taste of working a rally in a class they will for sure come for the real thing. Making potential workers feel like they are "an important part of something" is key.

    It was fun talking with you at the start of Brooklyn 2. I mentioned to Forspring that you were a future of rally organizer.

    Robert.

  7. #5

    Default

    get help on craigslist casual encounters?




    sounds like communication is lacking. so that would be step 1.

    i'm out of ideas.

  8. #6
    I am not here anymore AlanPerry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Puget Sound region
    Posts
    2,798

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rallymech View Post
    One thing that I really noticed was how our core organizers are getting older! I learned a lot from John over the weekend. I would like to get more involved with organizing but I am not sure if there is an opportunity.
    Opportunity is where you make it. If you really want to get involved with organizing WA events, all you need to do is regularly show up at the meetings in Olympia.

    alan

  9. #7

    Default

    The issue with not enough workers is also affecting road racing.

    I'm sure this suggestion has come up before, but why not start paying workers (maybe $50/day) and feed them? Raise entry fees a bit to cover the cost of these workers. Maybe advertise for workers in areas local to the rallies so these new workers don't need to travel far or pay for hotels. Make it worth their while to spend their entire weekend - and maybe more - out in the woods somewhere. Hopefully, these same folks will continue to work that rally each year.

    Just my two cents as someone who has volunteered in the past and will continue to do so as time, work, and road racing allows.

  10. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rallymech View Post
    "Perceived issue"?
    In my line of work, until it is clearly defined and specified, it's perceptual. I agree that there is an issue, but some degree of root-cause analysis would be beneficial.
    Jason

  11. #9
    the devil plays my advocate 12xalt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    744

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rallymech View Post
    Jason,

    "Perceived issue"? There is most definitely a problem! I don't think that anyone could have predicted the hoards that showed up, but we didn't have enough workers for a normal event. I was riding around with Forspring and what I saw was ugly!

    When I first tried to volunteer for this event I had no luck on the internet. The websites had not been updated. I sent e-mails and got no replies. It took some real persistence on my part to work this rally.

    The communication between organizers and with workers wasn't very good.

    Merrilee,

    I think that lack of money was part of the problem combined with burn out from Doo Wops.

    One thing that I really noticed was how our core organizers are getting older! I learned a lot from John over the weekend. I would like to get more involved with organizing but I am not sure if there is an opportunity.

    How about putting on a one day seminar for rally workers? Teach them the basics, pass out some shwag, run a practice stage and give people rides? The Island rally club used to do this. I attended there school last year. I think that if people get a taste of working a rally in a class they will for sure come for the real thing. Making potential workers feel like they are "an important part of something" is key.

    It was fun talking with you at the start of Brooklyn 2. I mentioned to Forspring that you were a future of rally organizer.

    Robert.
    I don't think I have the proper motivation, skills or smarts to be an organizer. I'm good at being a good little worker. However, thank you for the compliment. And, thanks for the help and guidence at start, I needed it, I didn't realize how long it'd been since I've worked start.

    As for the idea of training, I think it's a great idea, and I believe that ORG had a day where they had all sorts of training, for workers, organizers, teams, etc. I wasn't able to go, so I'm not sure what the turn out was like. I did promote the day on other sites, but not sure if any of the people who were interested showed up. If there had been a promise of rides in rally cars after, I bet people would have been there. In fact, I think that would be a wonderful way to get workers.

    Quote Originally Posted by niknak View Post
    get help on craigslist casual encounters?




    sounds like communication is lacking. so that would be step 1.

    i'm out of ideas.
    hahahahahaha, that's just wrong, funny, but wrong
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeColangelo View Post
    The issue with not enough workers is also affecting road racing.

    I'm sure this suggestion has come up before, but why not start paying workers (maybe $50/day) and feed them? Raise entry fees a bit to cover the cost of these workers. Maybe advertise for workers in areas local to the rallies so these new workers don't need to travel far or pay for hotels. Make it worth their while to spend their entire weekend - and maybe more - out in the woods somewhere. Hopefully, these same folks will continue to work that rally each year.

    Just my two cents as someone who has volunteered in the past and will continue to do so as time, work, and road racing allows.

    I don't think we need to get paid. However, once people have signed up, getting them grouped together and in touch with each other so we can share rooms/rides would be wonderful. Maybe secure a vacation rental house out for each crew and we'll split the costs, if you can get enough people in there it'd be much more affordable than a hotel for just 2-3 people.

    The thing is, we need more, but having too many more would end up costing too much. I really don't want to see the entry fees go up, higher entry fees means fewer people can enter and I want to see more teams, not less.
    ballast for #205 & #505 or you if you'll let me

  12. #10
    5 right opens Rally EVO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, WA, USA.
    Posts
    859

    Default

    WORKER SPRINTS... We need to use these more to get these volunteers and opportunity to get up close, gritty toothed and bruised in a Rally Car or two. Not just once a year at the Damitio's but down here in the PDX area as well.

    As with anything else, it's all about the Marketing. Find the right ways and places to reach out to these people and then give them the appropriate status, access or benefits to make them proud to be part of it all or better yet, worried about loosing their access to such an incredible opportunity.

    Paul and I, for example, pump the Volunteer Opportunity at EVERY SINGLE rally school we put on. Push, in fact, to get them to come out and volunteers.

    Rally Cross should be the epicenter of volunteer gathering. Let's tie in a volunteer pricing tier into the program. Maybe even give them a special decal or something that designates them as an "official" something or other of ORG or PRG Stage Crew Staff.

    Little things like that goes a long way.

    On the flip side, as long time organizers, we need to be careful to thank the new volunteers and not treat them like slave labor or ignorant pee-ons. Many of the newer workers truly DON'T know what's going on because they just don't have the experience. Give 'em a break and keep them forever.

    Finally, realize that volunteering is EXPENSIVE. Gas, Food and Lodging can be a months Rent in some cases so let's be aware and GRATEFUL for the sacrifices these guys are making. It was routine for me to drop over a GRAND in my total costs in Running Sweep for Oregon Trail every year... AS A SWEEP!!! That's a late entry fee!!!

    ORG and PRG need a full time marketing person (and they can share the costs) to gather workers AND sponsors if this sport is going to thrive in this economy and beyond. I was amazed that the entire weekend I was handing out lit for the upcoming OT that 95% of the Subaru Owners and EVO Owners I ran through the cruise and dyno day had NEVER HEARD of Rally in the PNW and had NO IDEA that they could come and watch, let alone be a part of it through volunteering.

    There was a large contingency of spectators in Olympus this past weekend that came as a group from that Dyno/Cruise day. In fact, many of them volunteered and crewed.

    We need MORE of this kind of outreach. They ARE out there, they just need to be aware, invited and mentored.

    Because remember too, volunteers become organizers and competitors, so this issue has implications far beyond getting the next few events staffed. It's also about the full on future of the sport.

    Scott

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •