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My view of the fest

Wisconsinwagen

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2006
Location
Cottage Grove, WI
TDI
2003 Jetta Sedan
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? :D
 

CoJoNEs

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2003
Location
Cincinnati
TDI
2002 Golf; 2015 Golf
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.
 

tomo366

TDI Lifer, Member #131
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Location
Kensington, Maryland USA
TDI
2015 Jetta SEL TDI
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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CoJoNEs

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2003
Location
Cincinnati
TDI
2002 Golf; 2015 Golf
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.
 

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
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.
 

bhtooefr

TDIClub Enthusiast, ToofTek Inventor
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Location
Newark, OH
TDI
None
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.)
 

CoJoNEs

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2003
Location
Cincinnati
TDI
2002 Golf; 2015 Golf
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.
 

MayorDJQ

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Location
Williamstown, Mass
TDI
'10 Golf 2dr 6m, sold.
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.
 
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bhtooefr

TDIClub Enthusiast, ToofTek Inventor
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Location
Newark, OH
TDI
None
Personally, I liked the amount of events - it gave plenty of time to socialize with other people that I hadn't met before.
 

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 some were looking for a brewery type tour/food like philly offered. At leaset that's what I HEARD.

I had a great time.
 

Haiku TDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Location
Singapore, Singapore
TDI
1998 Jetta TDI
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....
 

paramedick

TDIClub Enthusiast, Vendor
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Location
Versailles, Kentucky
TDI
2015 Audi Q5 TDI, 2000 New Beetle
Haiku TDI said:
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.......;) :D

IMHO, the auction being part of the banquet encourages banquet participation.
 
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rotarykid

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Location
Piedmont of N.C. & the plains of Colorado
TDI
1997 Passat TDI White,99.5 Blue Jetta TDI
tomo366 said:
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 .
 

Leo819

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2003
Location
Limerick, Pa
TDI
TDIless 4 now
rotarykid said:
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
 

MayorDJQ

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Location
Williamstown, Mass
TDI
'10 Golf 2dr 6m, sold.
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.
 

Hintertux

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2001
Location
Fort Walton Beach, FL
TDI
2013 Beetle TDI DSG Candy White
MayorDJQ said:
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.
That's a good Idea maybe also mix it up and have one summer one winter/fall/spring. That way those up north could come and enjoy some beaches in the winter fall or spring
 

tomo366

TDI Lifer, Member #131
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Location
Kensington, Maryland USA
TDI
2015 Jetta SEL TDI
Wrong........
It is hard enough to pulloff one!!!
Ask any of the organizers if you can find one today.........They are Burned out!!

MayorDJQ said:
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.
 

The Ripster

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 4, 1999
Location
UP of Michigan
TDI
None at this time
I agree, keep the annual at one, local GTG's can cover the rest, otherwise
each will suffer from those who wait to attend a local one. One annual is the best, because you need all that show up to cover expenses.
 

Phoenix42

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2001
Location
Littleton, MA
TDI
'08 Mazda3 Hatch
Haiku TDI said:
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....
Phew! Probably a good thing I didn't get to go :eek:
 

MayorDJQ

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Location
Williamstown, Mass
TDI
'10 Golf 2dr 6m, sold.
tomo366 said:
Wrong........
It is hard enough to pulloff one!!!
Ask any of the organizers if you can find one today.........They are Burned out!!
I understand, but it's not like the same group of people would host both.
 

canast

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2002
Location
North Metro, Minnesota
TDI
Jetta GLS, 2002, Bright Green. Retired - 2003 Red Beetle GLS, deer got it.
2nd fest for me. What a difference from the other one('05 Lake Mills), which I enjoyed also. We were on 2nd floor in section D and were one of the fortunate ones, I think, no room issues. I didn't think fest was too spread out. It was all at one place. Lake Mills was spread out over several venues, miles apart. I did miss the late night chat sessions in the lobby. Torn on the subject of more things to do at Fest. In that, if my time is taken up by more activites, when would I get to explore the area. As it was we skipped the Show & Shine to do something else. Looking forward to seeing where next year might take us.
 

jasonTDI

TDI GURU Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Apr 26, 2001
Location
Oregon, WI
TDI
12' RAM 2500 QC,LB. 2019 Cherokee 2.0T
tomo366 said:
LOL.......It has been discussed many times before.
It won't happen
As they said, it's a huge logistics thing and the cost would be prohibitive as well. Plus you'd want fred to come to both. I think he's got other things to do with his vacation time like the rest of us....

Regional GT's are the answer. They always have been.
 

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
There will only be one Fest per year. To suggest having more than one really shows that you have no idea what it takes to pull one off. It is not an exaggeration to say that we've been damn lucky over the past few years to have one Fest, let alone two. And don't bother trying to say that since there will be two events, they'll be smaller and not as much work because that logic doesn't fly, either.

On the other hand - I do appreciate your enthusiasm about the Fest!
 

MayorDJQ

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Location
Williamstown, Mass
TDI
'10 Golf 2dr 6m, sold.
Hamsterdiesel said:
There will only be one Fest per year. To suggest having more than one really shows that you have no idea what it takes to pull one off. It is not an exaggeration to say that we've been damn lucky over the past few years to have one Fest, let alone two. And don't bother trying to say that since there will be two events, they'll be smaller and not as much work because that logic doesn't fly, either.

On the other hand - I do appreciate your enthusiasm about the Fest!
I'm not suggesting that it's easy to put on a Fest. I've been involved with organizing antique car shows, Oktoberfests, a turkey shoot once, annual company picnics, community concert fests. Sure, they weren't national events, but they still get hundreds of participants. I know the amount of work that can go into planning a large event.

I never said there must be two Fests, only that if there's an interest, maybe it's worth exploring. They wouldn't even have to be both on Labor Day weekend. Maybe the west coast people would like something closer to them. Maybe not for '09 or '10, but maybe a group will surface for '11 and pull off a western US event, maybe not. Maybe there simply isn't enough interest or willing volunteers, as the locations of past Fests may indicate. After all, 8 of the prior 9 have been East Coast oriented.

I wouldn't expect the events to be smaller if there were two Fests. If anything, they'd probably be bigger since more people would be able to attend.
 

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
MayorDJQ said:
Maybe there simply isn't enough interest or willing volunteers, as the locations of past Fests may indicate. After all, 8 of the prior 9 have been East Coast oriented.
Bullseye!;)

That is precisely what we face, year to year.

Edit: I'm sorry if my previous post came off a bit strong. It's just that this type of thing is discussed after almost every Fest. It is a moot point without the volunteers - both leaders and grunt work volunteers.
 
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Hintertux

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2001
Location
Fort Walton Beach, FL
TDI
2013 Beetle TDI DSG Candy White
Who knows, maybe one day the event will be fully sponsored by big companies and thousands of Diesel folks would show. Then the TDIClub admins could sit back and sign autographs and be paid to be there or at least be brought in with no costs to them.

I saw the list of vendors and that was great but there wasn't any large sponsors like VW or BioWillie. Who else would likely sponsor a fest? Bring on Honda and their Diesels, out in 2010 I think? Find out when they will be unveiling it?
 

VeeDubTDI

Good Ol' Boy, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
I thought that the Fest was a huge success. There was no lack of entertainment for me. Saturday had plenty of events to keep my occupied. I opted out of a couple of them in lieu of socializing and hanging out.

As for the hotel, it seems to be showing its age. Unfortunately, many hotels suffer from the same issues as the King's Island Resort. One of those issues is oversized airconditioners for the rooms, which results in a very humid environment. A couple solutions to this are to crank it up to max, or to bring a small space heater to add to the cooling load, thus making it dehumidify more.

There were a couple of issues that several people faced at the hotel. I'm not sure if I should mention specifics, but I will say that I thought the management did everything they could to correct the situations. All-in-all, it could have been worse.

A note for future fest planners... when you check out the hotel, have them show you several rooms, even the ones in the far corners of the earth. Check out the climate control, condition of the furniture, compentence of the staff, etc. It's also helpful to drop in on them unexpectedly to see how they react.

As I've already mentioned, I'm heading up the DC 2009 committee. I'm paying very close attention to all of your suggestions and comments. :)
 

MayorDJQ

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Location
Williamstown, Mass
TDI
'10 Golf 2dr 6m, sold.
Hamsterdiesel said:
Bullseye!;)

That is precisely what we face, year to year.


OK, so then maybe in the future, there will be enough interest, volunteers, grunts, etc. for a western event to be possible.

Maybe I don't quite understand how the Fests work...does the same group of people organize and run each year's Fest? I thought that people from the CinciTDI hosted, organized, planned this year's. People from Montreal organized last year's, etc.
 
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