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2005 Fest feedback

251

TDI Owner/Operator
Joined
May 11, 2002
Location
NW IN
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SEL
As one who has attended four Fests in a row I'd like to provide some feedback on the 2005 edition:

Liked the Holiday Inn Express for that cool breakfast bar and lower rates compared to the Hilton/Sheraton type hotel that has been used in the past.

Show N' Shine should've been on Sunday - clean up cars in morning, show/judging in afternoon. Seemed to be a very low turnout this year for TDI's entered in the show. No excuse for that as there were some nice A3's, B4's and PD Jetta in attendance but only one of each in the show for whatever reason.

Nice to have that pig roast Saturday night. In past years attendees were on their own for dinner on Saturday and most of us split up then into small groups.

Dinner banquet - dinner then award presentation followed by auction (5pm thru 10pm or so) as done at previous Fests would've been a better format. Realize organizers may have been limited to hours supper club personnel were willing to be open though. Also, allow one hour of NO events prior to start of dinner/banquet to allow people time to clean up and dress for the evening.

Donated items - use raffle format for the lower cost items and higher value items should be in auction format.

Small town setting was nice - believe this may have been first Fest with actual shop facilities avalible as part of event. Hopefully that can be done in future again.

Seminars should've been in a separate room to allow those present to hear presenter instead of sharing room with vendors hawking goods. Perhaps interest in seminars was undercalculated or that was best arrangement that could be worked out at time.

My impression was that Saturday had most every activity included to serve as a "one day GTG/Fest" for those unable to spend the weekend with us attendees. Think it would've been better to shift a few of Saturday's activities to Sunday.

Am aware as each Fest seems to have more people attending than the one held in the prior year keeping everything organized and attendees satisfied is a hard act. Also we have had no repeat Fests far as location and organizers go to benefit better from previously gained experience.

Last but not least - the WI crew did a great job with this Fest especially with their tinkering with the Fest formula that has been established from previous years. Overall it worked out well and from what I saw everyone was happy which is the important thing!
 

jasonTDI

TDI GURU Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Apr 26, 2001
Location
Oregon, WI
TDI
12' RAM 2500 QC,LB. 2019 Cherokee 2.0T
I think the auction idea is fine but for those TDI drivers of limited means it excludes them from getting a chance at stuff they really want. But they have a chance to win in a raffle.
 

Hamsterdiesel

TDIClub Enthusiast , Veteran Member & HO5G CoFound
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Location
NH
TDI
1999 Golf IV, Black and now 2015 Reflex Silver Passat SE
Keep in mind that the Fest is the major source for funds to run TDiclub.com and that is the major reason FOR the Fest.

Remember there are no membership fees or dues on TDiclub.com - the website is funded by the Fest and monetary donations made by PayPal. (How many of us use that link on the home page to send in donations?)

Vendors donate high ticket items in order to raise money for the club. The traditional auction is also a great social event - not just for those with deep pockets. But -those 'deep pockets' help keep this site up and running!

I agree - the auction (and the tradition) should remain. And the raffle should be the raffle - with equality and justice for all!

The Fest isn't about 'getting stuff', it's about keeping Tdiclub.com on the web!
 

compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
1999.5 Jetta GLX TDI
The fest isn't about getting stuff... this from the person who got their name drawn oh I don't even know how many times


Just kidding of corse
I think that having both would be a good idea. There were quite a few tickets in the box for the Rally Car ride!

-J
 

Hamsterdiesel

TDIClub Enthusiast , Veteran Member & HO5G CoFound
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Location
NH
TDI
1999 Golf IV, Black and now 2015 Reflex Silver Passat SE
LoL!


I knew I'd get called on that...


But I didn't win squat last year ... except the A4 Golf Show n Shine!


What can I say? I had to make my/our donation to Fred's somehow. This year it was in the form of raffle tickets. LOTS of raffle tickets...
 

eschady

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2002
Location
Milton, WI
TDI
2003 Jetta GL Black w/gray int.
I agree, the car show probably should have been moved to Sunday. Obviously to late for this year, but it gives the next crew something to think about. We wanted to keep Sunday fairly free so people could sight-see or just socialize. I really didn't expect 50+ people to show up at Topel's again on Sunday morning.

For those who have said that the Fest is a Social event, and non-working event, I'd respond that "It used to be that way". I really think you will probably see this change more and more. I heard lots of positive comments about have the garage facility. I think most TDI'ers are fairly mechanical, and would much rather play with the car than just look at it or talk about it.

As for the dinner banquet time, you hit it right on the head. We were limited as to when we could hold the event. This is one major disadvantage of having the Fest on Labor Day Weekend. Perhaps it is different out on the coasts, but Labor Day Weekend around here pretty much shuts everything down. Another disadvantage of doing it Labor Day weekend, is that most hotels aren't willing to work with you because it is a busy travel period. I understand why it is labor day for the extra travel day, but I think it probably affects the ability to organize some events (we couldn't get a race track) as well as affects attendance.

As for the Auction vs Raffle... if you checks Jeff's post, I think it is fairly clear so far that the Raffle wins out. The raffle allows everyone to participate and help give to the club, rather than all the money coming from a couple of pockets. I think in the future, the raffle would probably do very well now that people have an idea what to expect. I understand auctioning off the big items. One reason we didn't do the Auction was that we only had 83 people signed up for the banquet (versus 185 on Saturday for a raffle).

By the way, the Fest fee did NOT include the meal at the banquet. We had 83 people paid for the banquet, but quite a few more than that showed up and ATE. So the Fest account will be short about $400 because of the people who ate but didn't pay. I didn't even think that people would show that didn't pay, and we probably should have had a check-in list or something to verify people had paid.

Seminars... about a week before the Fest Marc Franke emailed and asked if he even really needed to show up to do the biodiesel presentations! We had NO CLUE it would be this big. I was hoping it would draw in members, but never guessed that many. In retrospect, we would definitely find separate facilities. For future Fest planners, I would definitely count on having a large biodiesel portion to the Fest. It was a very big draw, and helped introduce non-tdi'ers to our club.

I heard lots of positive comments about the small town Fest. I think people really appreciated getting out of a big city, and somewhere that they felt more comfortable. They didn't have to worry about getting lost, where to park, etc. Future Fest planners, another major benefit of having the Fest in a small town is simple. In a small town the Fest is a HUGE deal. People are very willing to work with you. In a big city, you are just another group, and nobody really cares.
 

Hamsterdiesel

TDIClub Enthusiast , Veteran Member & HO5G CoFound
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Location
NH
TDI
1999 Golf IV, Black and now 2015 Reflex Silver Passat SE
I'm not going to argue about anything - I don't want to put a dark cloud over what was a great time. There were good points about this Fest, too. I personally had a good time at the raffle...


The Fest does not need to be re-invented each year. Each locality should put its own local flavor into it, loosely following the format of the previous Fests.

This year's 'local flavor' was the local garage. That's probably why so many people returned there on Sun. Glad that so many people took advantage of the facilities.

I'm not the only one who thinks wrenching is best left to local GTG's where folks don't risk being stranded (or being left out). Most of the folks I saw in the garage on Sun were relatively local, anyway.

I personally enjoy working on my car but calling the Fest a family oriented event that promotes wrenching just seems illogical at best.

I don't want future organizers to think that if they don't have a garage/work area that they won't have a good Fest. If I recall, Boston's fest parking lot had just been repaved and we were warned NOT to have any work going on out there.

...

But... I'd like to hear what other folks who have been to at least 3-4 Fests have to say.
 

bluenb1

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2003
Location
Wisconsin, USA
TDI
New Beetle, 98, Blue
I'm going to keep this as short as possible.


If you think you can do a better job...get your submissions in to Fred by October. Good Luck.

We did a LOT of thinking about the auction vs. raffle. I'll tell you this and I think the numbers will prove it. But the raffle brought in a LOT more money than you think and realize. Don't cut it down just yet.

Another reason is we decided we HAD to give the winners of these items a chance to get them installed on Sunday. How many would have complained if they won a prize on Sunday evening and didn't have the extra day to get it installed? If you won that chiptuning service from Rocketchip, wouldn't you have been upset if you didn't have the chance to get it done while he and you were RIGHT THERE! Same thing goes for the skid plates, heaters, ride in rally car...I could go on.

Not everyone was going to the banquet dinner. Some folks left Saturday evening as they had a couple days drive or because they felt they couldn't afford the banquet dinner. Let's face it, there's more to it than the $60 fee. Hotels, fuel, food, raffle tickets, vacation time spent and what ever else you want to think of. It adds up fast. I can see where folks would have been upset if they were forced to go to the banquet to have a chance to win anything only to be outbid by someone with unlimited funds because their income bracket is higher. Let's face it...the closer you get to the coasts, the higher the income bracket. Also, the further to the south, the lower the bracket "typically". (New Orleans average income was something like $13K/year.

Bottom line is you can't please EVERYONE. We tried to please the majority and to make this event different than all the rest. I think we sucseeded didn't we?

I refuse to do something just because that's the way it's been done in the past. If that's the case, we'd all be driving around in model-t's. I believe in order to succeed in ANYTHING, you have to take a chance.

So where is the cut off between "higher valued items" and "lower cost" items? We may all have different numbers there? What IS a "higher valued item"? Isn't that kind of like calling someone "normal"? Also, this may have created some problems with the vendors? Some could only afford to donate smaller items or multiples of items which is what they DID donate. I don't want to make anyone feel inferior based on what they donated. ALL of the items are important contributions. That's a good way to lose a donation next year. I appreciated every single item that was donated. In theory, the higher "valued" item is ones perception. I'm sure we all would have perceeved things differently. The number of tickets in one of the bins should have a direct reflection on that. I think it did.

How can you cut down a method (raffle) when you don't know the numbers yet? Also, it was a firt try at it. For a first run, I feel it was fairly successfull. Originally I wanted to have all the items on display. But then how do you display everything and securly? A lot of these items came in on the LAST week. Some on FRIDAY while I was setting up (cool ramps) and oil among other items. SO...this was always in FLEX right up till the time of each event.

Banquet: We had to be out of there by 7:00. 3:00 is when the social hour began. I don't recall anything else being planned that day except for the rally. I believe that should have given folks enough time to clean up before the event. If not...the time of the banquet was no surprise. It was posted here and in the handout given at the registration table. Schedules should have been planned around it if you were planning on coming. Even if we planned "NO EVENTS" (which I don't recall any being planned except for rally which started at what....10:00 a.m.) folks STILL would have worked right up till the banquet time. That's the nature of the beast. You know what though...it was OK that folks were allowed to show up with a little soot or grease under their nails. It was fine that folks showed up in shorts and a t-shirt. It wasn't supposed to be a fashion show with everyone dressed to the 9's. Again, I didn't want someone to feel "left out" because they didn't bring a tux or a sequin dress. I don't look down my nose at anyone. Heck, I had to check out of my room on Sunday morning...I did the front brakes on my car...managed to print up a bunch of certificates and then had to change from the orange shirt in the hotel public bathroom and attempt to wash off the brake dust under my nails in the sink.

Seminar in seperate room...ahhhh...the crystal ball. I wish we would have had one. You're right though...it should be taken into consideration next go round. I put out something like 30 chairs...we thought that would be enough. It wasn't. There were always 5-10 folks having to stand. We worked with what we had available. We were going to have it back at the hotel but decided to keep folks in one area. I don't think it would have been wise to make everyone drive back to Ft. to see the seminar.

Yes, the majority of the events were held on Saturday. We wanted it to be that way. Again, because not everyone could attend more than one day. So again, we wanted to have a big impact on the town and give folks the best chance to see and do what they could.

I will say this...we were in contact with the past fest organizers from day one once were were announced as the host site. We were in direct communication and asked what went well and what didn't. SO, what you think went well and what didn't may have in fact been a nightmare to pull off or may have actually been a flop? There's even a section here at Fred's for fest organizers (past and present) that is not seen by everyone else. Here we could communicte what worked and what didn't and how they handled perticular situations.

Not picking on anyone in perticular here and please don't take my response as being directed directly at you.
Were there some things I'd do differently next time...sure.
Was the event a success...I'd say yes. Did everyone have a good time...I'd again say yes. We had a plan from day one that we wanted folks to try and keep together as a group. This was to build the club moral and to build friendships. I think we succeeded

I can't believe that folks would have shown up to a banquet dinner and not have paid. But believe it or not, some did. Yes, some had the guts to think the banquet dinner was free. NOT! I hope those that did this think about this site next time they use it and benefit from it. As Ed states, the meals came to $400 more than what was take in for them. So keep that in mind when the final $$ figures are posted.

Well, I said I was going to keep this as short as possible. Guess the bottom line is don't knock it until you try it. I think for the most part, it all went pretty darn good. Jeff
 

251

TDI Owner/Operator
Joined
May 11, 2002
Location
NW IN
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SEL
I did not mean to criticize the way this Fest was handled. I only offered my impressions on how it was compared to the three other Fests I've attended. And in my post I also said the most important thing was that everyone had a good time which still is the case from what I've seen in follow-up posts in this thread and others related to the Fest. And to be clear on this - I take none of what has been said personally - we are all hashing out the different sides here and hopefully a future Fest can benefit from the opinions/facts presented here by myself and others.

OK - I see your point on raffle versus auction plus when to hold same. How about raffle items of an "installation nature" (chip tuning, skidplate, etc.) on Saturday to allow for Sunday installation and auction items (like T-shirts, cups and the like) bid on at Sunday banquet? That would take care of both sides of this in future.

I am also aware it's all too easy for me to say "oh, this should've been done and that....." as only one who has organized a Fest can truly speak on how it is to undertake such an event. Perhaps down the road I'll consider it but since I only have myself and one other local TDI'er in my area that isn't enough of a core group. There must be others in the area as my local dealer does sell all TDI's quickly and I see the odd one on the road. Just don't see them here at Fred's unless they all lurk without posting?

Last but not least - I am honestly surprised some people attended the banquet without paying as the majority of us are good law abiding folks.
I went to the banquet as I did pay for it when I registered. Ed and other organizers - if you had to make up the $400 out of your own pockets please LMK and I'll donate something to make part of it up. Not fair you did all the work and had to cover some freeloaders too at the very end. Reminds me of a too-similiar situation at a GTG I attended in May this year - not quite the same situation but end result was someone had to cover the larger unplanned expense.
 

eschady

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2002
Location
Milton, WI
TDI
2003 Jetta GL Black w/gray int.
Coolwht - the $400 diffence comes out of the Fest account. So neither Jeff nor I were personally afffected. It's just unfair to all of those who DID pay. I don't think people purposely did it, I think they probably thought it was included with the registration.

Like you said, we are not personally attacking any ideas, and for the most part I can see both sides of each issue. Hopefully future planners can take something away from it all and use it to plan an even better fest.

Like you said, the Fest is no minor undertaking. And I agree that the Fest should have some constants from year to year, but without trying something new, we'd never make it better. We tried to be creative this year without messing with the whole Fest format. One disadvantage we had, is that none of the 4 planners had ever been to a Fest. We were working purely on what previous planners would feed us. When the next crew is picked, I'll do everything I can to help them plan a successful event.
 

pastvast

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Location
Toledo area, Ohio
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
Here's my $0.02...

We came specifically because there were going to be demos on how to do work on the car. Not because we thought we needed any done, but because we wanted to learn more about the car we'd been driving for 2 years and didn't have anything else planned for the long weekend. We did next to no initial planning with hotel reservations made less than a week in advance. No we didn't know about the existence of regional GTGs.

I liked that the Fest was held on a long weekend. We don't have much in the way of vacation time, so we never would've come if we had to take more than a day off. We're not that fanatical... yet.

I liked that everything was so close together.

I LOVED garage time, though I did have a vested interest, as we developed engine problems along the way. Regardless... I learned a lot about the insides of a TDI, that I wouldn't have otherwise. I thought it was great seeing folks help each other work on their cars.

I bet the vendors loved the garage presence. They seemed to be doing pretty brisk business.

I thought the picnic was great.

I think the folks who got us registered failed to mention there was a Sunday banquet. But it was late, they probably had a long day- we certainly did, and we were busy describing the engine trouble we had along the way. I do hope that some folks who went without paying feel pangs of guilt and send in a donation. Maybe having a ticket for the banquet (and someone collecting it), similar to the picnic, would have been in order. You could've accepted money at the door for those who initially weren't planning on going but changed their mind.

BTW... I saw lots of shiny interiors and exteriors. You guys don't use your cars nearly enough!! Dog hair on the seats, nose prints on the back windows, and plant material in the trunk area from hauling around garden supplies only gives a car character!! Or so I like to tell myself. Oh... how about a course in removing strange smells from your upholstery???

Good luck to the folks in '06 getting weather as perfect as it was in '05!!!

-Stephanie

P.S. The Olbrich Garden in Madison is awesome!!
 

jasonTDI

TDI GURU Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Apr 26, 2001
Location
Oregon, WI
TDI
12' RAM 2500 QC,LB. 2019 Cherokee 2.0T
Stephanie,

Thanks for visiting the garden. Voted this year as one of the best in the nation. Spoken from an employee of the facility! Glad you could make it amd it was a pleasure to try and figure the wrongs on your car along with a few others.

The fest was great! Would have liked to see more stuff...but that's a mechanics price. Running B100 right now ! Thanks guys!
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
none, 2014 Chevy Volt, 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
BTW... I saw lots of shiny interiors and exteriors. You guys don't use your cars nearly enough!!
You simply didn't look closely enough. High usage and high gloss are not mutually exclusive. There were more than a few 200k+ mile cars and at least two with 300k+ miles. One of the 300k+ mile cars was both the "People's Choice" and judge's "Best in Class" winner.
 

Hamsterdiesel

TDIClub Enthusiast , Veteran Member & HO5G CoFound
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Location
NH
TDI
1999 Golf IV, Black and now 2015 Reflex Silver Passat SE
We did a LOT of thinking about the auction vs. raffle.
Don't cut it down just yet.
Not raffle-bashing, just why not both, is all I'm saying...it's tradition.

It's also been a tradition to dress a little for the banquet. I'm not 'looking down my nose' at anyone, either. (If you noticed, I also still had grease under my nails!) I've been told that the banquet gives us a chance to stand up, dust ourselves off and prove to our better halves (that have put up with us all weekend!) that we can be civil and not dieselheads all the time...
Again, it speaks of tradition. (It's tradition too for some to ...um, overdress.
)

It is very disappointing to hear that folks showed up for the banquet without paying for it. I do hope/believe that you are right in that it was a mistake and they were confused about the registration and what it covered.


Bottom line is you can't please EVERYONE. We tried to please the majority and to make this event different than all the rest. I think we sucseeded didn't we?
I realise that it's difficult to please a large group and you guys did manage to pull off a good time. No one's saying they had a bad time there. The pig roast was a nice touch - that was different and a good idea. I just think that there's a difference between being different and knocking tradition. There's got to be a balance of the old and the new.

Not picking on anyone in perticular here and please don't take my response as being directed directly at you.
YES - absolutely! This is a discussion about opinions that may be helpful in guiding the future planners.
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
none, 2014 Chevy Volt, 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
I chose to not return to the hotel for my dinner clothes as the time was too close to the scheduled start. Had I planed more diligently, I could have brought the clothes with me to the dinner site. I did feel a bit dis-respectful in my jeans and T, but not so much so that I made the trip back to Ft. Atkinson.
 

TDIinRI

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Location
NOT in RI
TDI
2003 GOLF silver
Overall, I had an awesome time at this Fest!! It is obvious that the Wisconsin Fest organisers put in a lot of thought and hard work to make this the great even that it was!

The only other fest that I have gone to was the 2004 Fest in Boston, as it was near to me. I'd like to compare some of what I liked and didn't like about this fest, in relation to the one in Boston.

When reading my comments, please realise that we all understand that you cannot please everyone. Any criticism I dole out is meant to be constructive to aid in making future TDI Fests even better.

Location: I liked Lake Mills. Though it was a cute town. Was a very comfortable place to have the fest. However, with people needing to convice other family members and significant others that this is a good vacation idea, non-TDI diversions are a good thing. I think this location shined in this regard also due to the proximity to Madison and the WI Dells.

Hotel: When I first found out that the hotel was 10 minutes from the site of the fest, I though the organisers were nuts. Turned out not to be an issue at all!! Remember, I come from a place that is fairly congested and that drive would be considered long! As far as the hotel facilities, I thought that they were great. Free wireless internet, a half-way decent breakfast, pool and hot tub (which I sure did enjoy)......All that at a good rate and an accomodating staff. The one plus to having the Fest in an area less populated is that you get more bang for your buck hotel wise! Afterall, that is the major expense for out of towners.

I didn't mind that many of the events were packed into Saturday leaving more free time for sightseeing Sunday. A bunch of us went sight seeing and had a great time. However, there should be other options, such as the TSD rally for people who want to keep it more TDI orientated.

The show and shine I think can work either on Saturday and Sunday. Holding it later in the afternoon was a plus to the out of towners who wanted the morning to get their cars looking just right! However, in Boston, all cars were lined up by class. It seemed better organized that way. Other than that, fun stuff.

While I did not use the facilities of Topel’s garage, it seems like a lot of people did. Not a bad thing, but not why I personally came to the Fest. I prefer wrenching closer to home. Sometime things go wrong or take a while to complete leading into the next day…….(PeterV and HamsterDiesel can attest to that). However, for others it works and I think was a nice addition for many.

At this fest and the last fest, there was so much to do that I didn’t get to everything. I think this is deliberate so that different folks can find their niche, allowing them to pick and choose.

Since Saturday was so action packed, I think that providing the option of a lunch and an included dinner was a great idea. This worked out for me.

As far as auction v. raffle, I liked the idea of a raffle. It evens the playing field and gives everyone a chance. If the “well-heeled” really want something, they can buy a ton of tickets and put in into the box of their choice. However, even a member with one ticket has a shot. However, the auction in Boston was a lot of fun, too. I guess either way works. I thought the raffle gave me more of a shot. Also, I don’t know if I would have bid on anything in an auction style format……

The Banquet: While I realize that time constraints were probably a factor due to the holiday weekend, it was just too early. A 5-6 start time is better IMO. I am shocked that people who didn’t pay ate. I think a post should be made reminding people that this was an extra cost. Kindly ask that if any who showed up and did not pay simply to paypal $20 to the site. Judging most in this group, I doubt that that many people knowingly tried to get out of paying for this event.

Saved my biggest criticism for last: The Awards. While PeterV went out of his way to make last years award plaques over the top, I think something more than a standard awards certificate done up on a printer in a less than spectacular frame is warranted. Us show-n-shine people go through a lot of work preparing our cars. When I got that 2nd place award in Boston, I really thought it was an honour and something special. Unfortunately, this years award is not the type of something I am as proud to display. The truth, not holding back: Wicked cheesy, IMO.

However, overall, an awesome event. I really feel this event is about connecting with TDIers on a social level; making new friends and fortifying old friendships. That is what it is about for me. I haven’t met a finer group of people anywhere!
 

Route 66

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 17, 1997
Location
Minnesota
TDI
2005 VW
Comments are always a good thing and as many said at this years fest, each city has its own flair.
 

eschady

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2002
Location
Milton, WI
TDI
2003 Jetta GL Black w/gray int.
But... I'd like to hear what other folks who have been to at least 3-4 Fests have to say.
I've thought about this for awhile. I don't know how many have attended 4+ Fests, but I think the number is fairly small. It is also a pretty tight group that have attended together from what I understand. This group who has attended most of the Fests obviously likes the format of previous Fests (hence why they continue to come year after year). But perhaps others find the format boring or slow, and hence why more people haven't attended year after year. Maybe new ideas and events will encourage more people to attended another Fest.

I understand what you are saying, and I appreciate the feedback from everyone, but I really think some of the things that others have criticized went over really well, like the shop time. Obviously there were quite a few people who DID want to work on their cars, as the shop was packed all day Saturday and again on Sunday. Another thing that the Eastern'ers might take for granted are the vendors. I know some of those vendors attend big GTG's out on the East coast fairly frequently. But for us here in the Midwest, this was our one time shot at actually getting to meet them. And so to have shop time available, so Jim from dieselgeek could come over and help install a skidplate was absolutely huge for us. Some might not think anything of it because they know Jim will be at the local GTG's, but that isn't the case here. We don't have any local vendors. I don't even think we have a regional rep for Upsolute anymore.

I hope future Fest planners really think about some of this stuff. You can't plan a Fest to please a few people, you need to go after the bulk of people. And if that means having shop time, go for it. If it means messing with previous Fest formats, go for it! Don't let a couple of people dictate how the Fest should be. Make it creative and original. Don't let the couple of negative opinions bring you down. There will be lots more who appreciate all your hardwork. And until someone has planned a Fest, I honestly wouldn't even listen to their criticsm as they have NO CLUE how much work it is.
 

tomo366

TDI Lifer, Member #131
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Location
Kensington, Maryland USA
TDI
2015 Jetta SEL TDI
OK you ask for it so here it comes......5 of the 6 Fest here.Have won 3 best of shows with my Passat's and 1 2nd Place the other year Toronto didn't show the car (Dealing with Cooalant Migration)
Regional GTG's are for working on cars.If I wanted to work on my car I would go to a regional GTG. That said I have no intention of driving 800+ miles to tear my car apart and chance not having a way to get home.I did this once.....
Luckily I had someone to ride home with and had to fly back 10 days later to drive 600+ miles home in a snowstorm.
The Fest is for People time, getting to know people comparing cars.
Actually the Fest is also pretty much a regional event also. You yourself stated that 75% on the attendee's were from the Midwest probably less that 3hours from home.
You are wrong about the Vendors and the East Coast, Jim Diesel Geek does not come to the east Coast for GTG's
He did come to Grand Rapids.
I wasn't happy with the way the Show and Shine was handled! The Show and Show is an Integral part of the Fest .....It should have been held on Sunday as it was there were a lot of very nice Cars that weren't represented in the Show and shine.....
Ed you say you appreciate the Feedback..... But later on you say this.....
I honestly wouldn't even listen to their criticsm as they have NO CLUE how much work it is. A couple of people are not trying to dictate anything they are trying to offer constructive comments which you just stated you wouldn't listen to because they don't have a CLUE!
You are wrong. I do know what's involved as My Best Friend in the world planned one and I felt his pain for a year!!
That Group went through much the the same thing as you all did.
All of this said I did have a good time. I enjoyed the Small towns I love the Midwest! I enjoyed looking at all the cars there were some fabulous cars in attendance
 

eschady

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2002
Location
Milton, WI
TDI
2003 Jetta GL Black w/gray int.
I don't care if YOU don't want to work on your car at the Fest. Others OBVIOUSLY did! I see your point, but it was a HUGE success, no matter what you or others say. We didn't FORCE everyone to hang out in the shop. They CHOSE to do so. If the Show-n-shine was such a big deal, and the garage time wasn't, then why was the shop packed, and the show-n-shine lightly attended???

If you wanted to talk with other members, you could have done so at any time, at any location. There were PLENTY of events lined up (more so than previous Fests from my understaning). You didn't have to attend any event you didn't want to.

I'm sorry some didn't care for the show-n-shine. I couldn't FORCE people into attending. Those who wanted to attend did. My wife asked everyone who checked in if they wanted to participate, and she said less than 1 in 10 were interested. Perhaps the show-n-shine USED to be the big draw, but it obviously wasn't this year. Once again, maybe it is time for the Fest to change a little... perhaps it should focus on events that the people WANT to do, not on events some THINK should be done.

Perhaps my example of Dieselgeek was a bad choice. Maybe I should have used Danix or Rocketchip as a better example:

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=1070739&page=0&fpart=2&vc=1
Danix is attending the Dyno days.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=1062266&an=0&page=0#1062266
Jeff attended the PreFest GTG in MD.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=1075792&an=0&page=0#1075792
Jeff attended the NC GTG.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=1045453&page=0&fpart=all&vc=1
Danix attended the NH GTG.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showflat.php?C...0&fpart=all
Jeff attended the DE GTG.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=1033636&an=0&page=0#1033636
Waterfest: Jeff, Dan, Chuck.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showflat.php?C...0&fpart=all
Jeff attended the Berryville GTG.

My point was that we don't have these opportunities like some may take for granted to meet with the vendors.
 

251

TDI Owner/Operator
Joined
May 11, 2002
Location
NW IN
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SEL
I don't care if YOU don't want to work on your car at the Fest. Others OBVIOUSLY did! I see your point, but it was a HUGE success, no matter what you or others say. We didn't FORCE everyone to hang out in the shop. They CHOSE to do so. If the Show-n-shine was such a big deal, and the garage time wasn't, then why was the shop packed, and the show-n-shine lightly attended???
Perhaps Show N' Shine had to compete against all the shop time, vendors and seminars. At previous Fests it was just Show N' Shine plus some vendors at same time. Other events on same day were either before or after Show N' Shine at the other Fests. Plus it was down the street location-wise and people got sidetracked with other things. You almost ahd too much going on as some of the people I talked to said they would've done this seminar or something else but with all that was going on they got sidetracked and were bummed they missed out on something they wanted to do as things were crammed in a bit. The schedule did load up Saturday rather heavily making it almost an one day GTG.

Your examples of what GTG's the vendors attend was skewed towards the eastern ones which isn't fair. Jeff (Rocketchip) was at a Memorial Day Michigan GTG and did one in Ohio also - last time I checked these were considered midwestern states. Jeff will be doing another GTG soon in Ohio as well. Can always drive a few hours to MI/OH - it's not like they are on the eastern seaboard 700+ miles away.

A Fest is about the owners getting together to raise money for Fred's and less so about working on the cars as originally envisoned. My car wasn't there as I had just finished 2.5 days working on it and just wanted to relax for a few days. If I had wanted to work I would've brought it and (hopefully) finished up my uncompleted project to it but that's another story not relevant to this thread.
 

eschady

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2002
Location
Milton, WI
TDI
2003 Jetta GL Black w/gray int.
So the Show-n-shine had to compete against a lot of other activities, and because of this it had low turnout. Okay, so in theory was might that suggest? Perhaps people would rather do other things than the show-n-shine? Guys, we can go round and round on this. But the fact of the matter is the show-n-shine was only as big as the Fest participants made it, as was the repair garage. Don't bash the "working" aspect because it reduced the car show turnout. People made a choice.

Ok, one vendor occasionally gets within 8 hours from here. They still aren't around for the local GTG's on a consistent basis. That is my point. This is probably the first and only time that many of the local attendees will get to meet these vendors. It isn't very likely we'll bump into them at a GTG. I really think this is something the eastern'ers might take forgranted. I'd love if I had the opportunity to run into Jeff a couple times a year. I would have been chipped a long, long time ago! Also, the vendors I talked to really liked having the garage, as this probably helped their business. And keeping the vendors happy is pretty important, because without their generous donations, the raffle/auction would be gone (another major revenue generator for the club).

A Fest is about the owners getting together to raise money for Fred's and less so about working on the cars as originally envisoned.
You are right, the Fest is about raising money for Freds. As for not working on cars as originally envisioned, I don't know who's vision this was. If having a garage facility helps attract people to the Fest, then why not do it? After all, the point is to raise money for the Fest! So therefore, the more people attending, the more money raised. And if people want to work on thier cars, why not let them?

It has been said that people probably wouldn't want to work on their cars 100's of miles from home. It has also been stated that most (75%+) are fairly local. So therefore, the 25% from far away might not want to work on their cars, but the 75% that are local might want to work on their cars. So who should Fest planners try to please, the 25% or the 75%?

I do understand how it could be risky to work on your car so far from home. But I also realize that this might be the ideal time for some people to work on their car. There were lots of vendors with parts around in case something went wrong. There were ton's of knowledgeable people if something went wrong. There was a facility probably more adequate to work on cars than what most people have access to. To me, this sounds like the perfect place and time to work on cars. It is probably much less risky with all the parts, tools, vendors, and knowledge around.
 

pastvast

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Location
Toledo area, Ohio
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
Hey guys.... stop, breath deeply, and count to ten (or maybe twenty). It's very easy to misinterpret tone and intent, and maybe somethings are being taken the wrong way.

It seems that the biggest "issue" (for lack of better word) being expressed by people is that Saturday seemed "over-booked" compared to Sunday. There was A LOT going on (kudos to organizers for having so many things to do). This led to people making some tough choices that perhaps they wouldn't have had to make if things were scheduled less tightly.

I don't think anyone thought garage time was a horrible idea and shouldn't be done in the future. However, I think some folks are concerned about the garage time for a couple of reasons... will providing another Topel's for '06 be a realistic expectation? what happens if someone gets in way over their head in the shop... will someone other than the car owner be unwittingly made to feel guilty? It also seems that folks are fearful of the Natl Fest morphing into what they consider a regional GTG.

Raffle vs. auction is another source of disagreement. Dunno if it's possible to post how much $ was raised via raffle compared to auction after some sort of adjustment for $value of items being raffled/auctioned. If the two methods are about equal, then you're dealing with a style issue instead of a "which one helps support the site best" issue.

For future Fests, why not print out some sort of survey to gauge why people come, what they enjoyed the most, what they disliked the most, and so forth? That way you'd get opinions from more than 10% of the folks who attended. It would be useful for the organizers of both Fests.

-Stephanie
 

leicaman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2004
Location
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
TDI
2015 Golf TDI SE, 2005 TDI GLS, RIP
Yes the Show and Shine was lightly attended. I know. My car was entered and there were mighty few cars actually entered. The guy who was in charge seemed real happy, I said I'd enter. There were some cars in the adjacent lot that were cleaner and nicer than even my admitted very near to new 2005 passat. I probably would have done better if I had washed my beastie and rewaxed the hood yet one more time, but oh well. It had the look of bugs and you folks who have black know the pratfalls you have in getting that show car shine. It now looks perfect after using one of the waxes upon recommendation of by a tdi'r. What I did was get my car setup and I went over to the garage to see what was going on. I think the garage situation was very interesting. And yes Tomo's car was indeed the best Passat there, with all his lovely mods. I am not a mod nut. Only thing I will probalby do is a provent this fall. Time will tell of course.
 

251

TDI Owner/Operator
Joined
May 11, 2002
Location
NW IN
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SEL
For future Fests, why not print out some sort of survey to gauge why people come, what they enjoyed the most, what they disliked the most, and so forth? That way you'd get opinions from more than 10% of the folks who attended. It would be useful for the organizers of both Fests.

-Stephanie
Be a waste of time as those of us who care are posting/reading ths thread me thinks. Unfortunely the vast majority don't commit until the last minute it seems. That makes organizing a Fest very tough - this one was almost cancelled two weeks prior due to low number of registrations at that time. I do understand people have things to do but I would think a good number would know about a month beforehand if they intend to come or not depending upon vacation time, kids, travel expenses, whatever other criteria they go by. All the suggestions/ideas discussed here are valid but every year it seems the Fest just barely makes it until the last minute influx of folks suddenly deciding to join in. Not a good situation for the long term if it keeps up.....


And before someone asks, I registered in early November 2004 for this Fest! Yes, much earlier than most but at least the organizers knew I was coming and didn't make them guess until the last minute.
 

VW Derf

Administrator
Joined
Jul 3, 1996
Location
Richmond, BC, Canada
TDI
2010 Blue Graphite Pearl Golf Variant
Hey guys,

Thanks for the comments. I think the fest was great and I would like to thank the organizers for their hard and dedicated work. It was a great fest.

I do appreciate the candid comments and I think we can use these in a constructive way for next year. New things were tried this year. Some worked better than others, but we can build from this and make things even better. Local issues do play a big part in what happens at each fest, so not every fest can be the same (and that’s a good thing as there is always something different). We can use these items for the future and make an even better event next year.

As for people considering organizing TDIFest 2006, there are a lot of resources from past organizing groups to pull from so not everything is started from scratch and most organizers enjoy having done the event.
 

251

TDI Owner/Operator
Joined
May 11, 2002
Location
NW IN
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SEL
After some more thought I think each Fest in general has worked out well despite the little changes that people like/dislike from year to year. The real issue in my opinion seems to be the 'apparent' lack of attendees registering until the last few days which makes securing enough name badges, banquet seating and anything else requiring a head count in advance a challenge.

Would Fest organizers have an easier time putting this event togehter if it was known 50 or more people were definitely attending a few months before it takes place? Is there a way to try to obtain registration in advance such as a free (or reduced cost) event t-shirt (or maybe an exclusive color shirt?) to all who register up to say two months before the Fest is to take place? In other words offer a carrot - may be worth trying this idea out to see if it makes any difference in confirmed registration ahead of time.

I'd like to see the Fests continue with more assurance we will have enough members coming to avoid the "should we cancel" question. This shouldn't be the case if we had 150+ people at this year's Fest yet two weeks earlier only about 35 people were signed up and Ed was wondering if it should be cancelled. How did the other Fests compare for early registrations? Were those also looking iffy until the last couple of weeks too or did enough members sign up earlier?
 
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