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TDIFest 2008 Discussion about TDIFest 2008 that was held in Mason, OH on the Labour Day weekend (August 29th - August 31st, 2008) .

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Old September 1st, 2008, 21:32   #1
Wisconsinwagen
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Default My view of the fest

Well I just got home, it's late, and I've got a lot of thoughts running through my head that I feel I better get typed before I forget them. First off, this was my second TDI Fest. It was closer to home, which was nice. Overall, I think the organizers did a pretty good job. The speakers were great, movie night was good, though I wish it could have lasted longer, and there was certainly no shortage of vendors or things to look at. However, it wasn't all great.

First, hearing about a member's VAG-COM cable being swiped was rather unnerving. I had assumed everyone who comes to these fests is an adult and doesn't resort to petty theft when the opportunity arises. I just hoped the cable was returned no harm, no foul. Second, I have to admit I was kind of dissappointed with the variety of events and activities. There should have been more going on Saturday than a 5 hour road rally and movie night. Keeping in mind that most people drive a few hundred miles to get to these events, I really don't think they want to drive around for an additional 5 hours. Lastly, and my dominating memory of the Fest was the hotel, which was awful. From getting a room, which was way harder than it should have been, to the accomodations of the room (i.e calling a bed that folds up into the wall a queen size bed and charging the rate for a room with a proper bed), to the fact that the room air was so damp you could feel it in the bed sheets, or my toilet that broke during the reckless activity of flushing it.

In the defense of the organizers, I have been told that this year's fest was thrown together with little time due to the original organizer(s) backing out late in the game, so I'm sure they did the best they could. Overall, I still think it was good fun, and it was good to see everyone and learn some new things. Looking forward to '09, maybe some where out west? Somewhere like Seattle?
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 07:12   #2
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Just to address the road rally and hotel.

The road rally wasn't a 5 hour drive, it was about 45 -50 mins there, and a air show when you got there. We tried to push the event without giving away the destination, in retrospect we should have just told people they would have been a cool airshow with food and balloon rides there. Seeing the limited participation for the road rally its obvious we didn't do a good job there.

As for the hotel, we picked them nearly a year ago, we were shown multiple rooms in multiple areas of the hotel and they are known for hosting conferences and other events. We just didn't see ahead of time the room descriptions we heard during and now after the fest. I wish I could have anticipated some of the problems with the hotel.

Not sure about the rumor about the original organizers, it was always the group you saw this weekend. Feel free to post additional
criticisms or contact any planners (or Fred) directly about any other concerns so we can help address for future fests.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 07:41   #3
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FYI.......
I have attended 8 of 9 Fest's.........Saturday has always basically what you saw this weekend! Usually one major event, road rally's, drag racing,
Dyno's (Wisc) and the organizers tried to give folks the time to explore the area........
I don't believe the Hotel is the Organizers fault..........I believe they know about there problems! (Hotel) but tell and show the people what they need to see in order to get them there!
I believe that the health department ought to be informed about this place! And I sincerely hope there are refunds forthcoming from this
"Place"............

By the way........Every area has the oportunity to bid for a Fest site.......
The westerners have be whining about it for years........No one has every stepped up to the plate!! If they did they would find and realize just how hard it is to pull off.........Just ask any previous organizer........Most are never heard from again!!!
By the way Rumour has it Washington DC and Somewhere in Colorado have been mentioned for next year!!

I had a Great Time!! And I wasn't even in a TDI!!
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 07:54   #4
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Thanks for the additional info tom, I had fun as well, but I agree with some of the points (in retrospect). We could have been more forward with expectations during the fest for the newcomers, this being my first fest as well, its hard to wrap your head around the typical layout and expectations. I've been busy making notes about what could have gone better and how to improve for future planners (maybe me again one day, I haven't ruled it out yet!) and every comment is appreciated and will only make future fests better.
Rest assured we had very straightforward conversations with the hotel general manager monday and the problems will be handled between the hotel and the individuals, unfortunately the planners have no influence over those types of situations.

I hope to attend a future fest and enjoy the breakfast, sessions, and everything else and not stuck in a bright yellow tshirt behind a desk this time

Any future planners would welcome any suggestions for ideas on events, I have a few, but ideas from all over are necessary to help fuel the thinking fire.

Thanks to everyone that attended, I was able to meet a lot of new faces and associate old names with people for the first time in most cases. I was also able to get my remote window rollup/down done (thanks MoGolf!) as well as the injection pump pin push in thingy done during the downtime Sat as well as I think somewhere around 20 other people who had it done.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 09:05   #5
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Saturday's events: Speaker's breakfast starting at 8:00am, Tech Sessions - both inside and outside going 'til 12-1 pm, vendors to browse all day and THEN the 45 min road rally ending at the local airstrip (which by the way was VERY cool!)

What more do you want on one day?

How about time to rest up after our long drives, time to catch up with old friends and time to make new ones at the hotel and beyond?

If you have a legitimate suggestion, please post it. We are always looking for new and exciting events to add to our repertoire.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 10:27   #6
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Plus there was the movie night.

Suggestion, however - decide where events are going to be held early on (at least 24 hours ahead of time,) and announce this clearly.

The movie night (which was also Saturday) and diesel/VW trivia (Sunday morning) were both affected by people not knowing where it was. (Executive IV, for the record.)
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 12:07   #7
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The hotel moved some of our rooms after we printed our agenda's out, we did our best to post signs and have people outside and the registration desk to give directions. As a second note to that, and for future planning, working with the hotel to centralize the rooms would be a major bonus, we were in 4 areas with a lot of ground for people to cover adding to the confusion.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 13:40   #8
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This was also my first TDIFest. Even though there have been several Fests within a few hours drive of my home, I chose an 800 mile & 12 hour drive to be my first. I thought it was very good. The organizers posted agendas/schedules in several places, as well as giving everyone a copy in his/her goody bag. I enjoyed meeting many of the people who I've conversed with on this site over the years. It was nice to put some faces to the names. I stayed at an off-site motel (Days Inn, $65/night, adequate, nothing fancy) so I can't comment on the host hotel. The bar/restaurant was good, despite the surly wait-staff.

I always find it odd when someone expects an event like this to provide non-stop entertainment. I think the idea of TDIFests is to not make them too overly "gearheady" events. It's inevitable that people will be talking torque, oil analises, and injectors, but there were many times when I spoke to people about entirely different subjects. My girlfriend probably would have been bored to death had she come along, but there were also many other options/events in the immediate area.

Some other options for attendees:

We were right across the street from a huge amusement park...to which the hotel had discount tickets and a shuttle service.

We were also within 1 hour of three major mid-western cities...Cincinatti, Dayton, and Columbus. The Reds were playing a 3 game series over the weekend. There's a big air museum in Dayton. I don't know too much about tourism in the Columbus area, but there must be some. There were movie theaters, restaurants, shopping areas....what else is needed? I got a little bored Saturday afternoon so I took a short drive and found a really good Mexican restaurant for dinner.

I'm looking forward to finding out where next year's Fest will be. A google search of the area will yield lots of info for whatever location is chosen.

Last edited by MayorDJQ; September 2nd, 2008 at 13:42.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 13:59   #9
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Personally, I liked the amount of events - it gave plenty of time to socialize with other people that I hadn't met before.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 14:14   #10
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I think some were looking for a brewery type tour/food like philly offered. At leaset that's what I HEARD.

I had a great time.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 15:26   #11
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I would suggest splitting up the major final event - Banquet, awards, auction - to encourage more group/social events.

While I was really, really, really happy to see my New England TDI family members, I am always happy to meet more people and events that would encourage that would be helpful. Why not hold the auction - a non ticketed event perhaps - on Saturday night over drinks or dessert or something. Then hold the Banquet/Awards on Sunday night. Keep the raffel on Sunday, so if you got outbid on Saturday night you still have a chance at more things (or the duplicate items) on Sunday.

In terms of the auciton, while I am not necessairly a fan of suddenly being roped or scarved into being a model for the items, we were amusing....
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 15:48   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haiku TDI
In terms of the auciton, while I am not necessairly a fan of suddenly being roped or scarved into being a model for the items, we were amusing....
I don't recall needing any coercion for this amusing display.......

IMHO, the auction being part of the banquet encourages banquet participation.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 16:03   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomo366
FYI.......
I have attended 8 of 9 Fest's.........Saturday has always basically what you saw this weekend! Usually one major event, road rally's, drag racing,
Dyno's (Wisc) and the organizers tried to give folks the time to explore the area........
I don't believe the Hotel is the Organizers fault..........I believe they know about there problems! (Hotel) but tell and show the people what they need to see in order to get them there!
I believe that the health department ought to be informed about this place! And I sincerely hope there are refunds forthcoming from this
"Place"............

By the way........Every area has the oportunity to bid for a Fest site.......
The westerners have be whining about it for years........No one has every stepped up to the plate!! If they did they would find and realize just how hard it is to pull off.........Just ask any previous organizer........Most are never heard from again!!!
By the way Rumour has it Washington DC and Somewhere in Colorado have been mentioned for next year!!

I had a Great Time!! And I wasn't even in a TDI!!
I've tried twice now to get a coalition put together for a Colorado site . I had 3 people say they would sign up . Again if there is any interest in trying to do this next year in the Denver / Rocky mountain area lets talk .
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 16:14   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotarykid
I've tried twice now to get a coalition put together for a Colorado site . I had 3 people say they would sign up . Again if there is any interest in trying to do this next year in the Denver / Rocky mountain area lets talk .
I would be up for CO. The 'rents have a place in summit co. I would love to go out there with the TDI
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 17:04   #15
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I know it's been mentioned in the past, maybe the club has gotten large enough to warrant two fests...one east of the Mississippi and one west.
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