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Last Post 02 May 2008 05:24 PM by  brgmcs
Suggestions for next event
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The Nebulizer
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28 Apr 2008 05:09 PM

Bobzilla wrote:
See. . .now everyone feels better because they got to pick on me. . .great. Can we get back to topic now?

It's amazing how well this works. What would we do without you, Porkzilla?[:P]

OK, back on topic...

I think we mostly need to hear more from the Tech and Reg guys about what the problems were and what could be done to help out more or rework things to make them go quicker. Is it simply that there were too many people showing up at the end or even after close time? Or was there a 1 time problem that held things up with reg? Do we need 2 tech lines? Maybe an info desk, pre-reg check, etc to block questions from reaching the reg window so they can get their job done in piece?

jww
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28 Apr 2008 05:16 PM

Thanks Jason.. and yup.. no hard feelings.

Except saying that Bob kisses like a swine is way way much doncha think? ;)

DRAG
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28 Apr 2008 05:25 PM
jww wrote:

I personally would like to get home at a decent hour as Sunday is now the only day I can spend time with my girlfriend. ..as much as folks would be happy to get an extra run even at 7pm... the rest of us that do show up early would like to go home and have dinner and enjoy the last little bit of the weekend.

EDITED:

Please take no offense to a suggestion. If things like this weren't brought up then how would things ever improve?? Not everyone can volunteer...some people are there just to race. Without them, there wouldn't be much of an event.

I am not sure what your time with your girlfriend has to do with Auto X events on Sunday to the rest of us? That is a personal scheduling conflict and should not have any impact on the rest of us racing. There are 120 other people that would have stayed a little later in order to get more than 2 minutes worth of driving. In order to get one more run, each of us would have had to work an extra 20 minutes during our work session. Staying late sucks...I agree, but if we can clean up the start of the event things will fall into place. I don't envy you guys volunteering...you all work your tails off and it is greatly appreciated by all.

Go down to the next Walesboro event and watch the driver's meeting. It is 5-10 minutes long and nothing is skipped over. New drivers are instructed at the end of the meeting. It saves gobs of time. Sorry to get everyone's panties in a bunch. I was just trying to bring up some suggestions for improvement so we can all have more fun and get home at a decent hour.

jww
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28 Apr 2008 05:30 PM
psst.. I was in registration this event.. see my first post. :)

Yup.. I think we need a few things. Velma and Brian were working the table trying to insure there were no questions and things were all squared away prior to getting to the window, but I think with the sudden surge of folks, they were missed. Cards were not filled out, questions on class and other newbie questions. Maybe we need to make the table just for waivers and armbands and have the cards as a line in the bus or an extra table?

Or we could have Sean do some doughnuts in the lot during registration and scare some folks off!! ...just kidding. ;)
DRAG
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28 Apr 2008 05:39 PM

I understand it was chaos. If you guys see me standing around with my thumb up my butt....ask for help. I would love to lend a hand. Better yet when I get there I'll come see you guys.

The new weekend membership cards also slow things down a bit.

Locked
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28 Apr 2008 05:50 PM

I just looked over the event flyer..

8:00 - 9:30 registration
10:00 drivers meeting
10:15 event start

Even with a 5 min drivers meeting there is no realistic way 42 people could get to there car and back to grid in 10 min. The same can be said for another 42 people to the bus for work assignments and out to the corners. That time alone will take up the scheduled 15 min allowed for the drivers meeting.

I'm in favor of closing tech at 9:00, 'cause you know there is a strong potential to have a few things happen. Inefficiency in reg/tech, flood of people 10 min before the close, Jason [:P] among others being last minute/late.

Close tech/reg at 9:00 knowing the realistic close is more like 9:15-9:30. Schedule the drivers meeting at 9:30 knowing it will really start closer to 9:45. That gives you 30 min to have the drivers meeting (short and sweet, with novice at the end), cars to grid and work assignment given

125 people is a lot of cars and even more people to manage. It's simply going to take longer.

jww
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28 Apr 2008 07:30 PM
DRAG wrote:

I am not sure what your time with your girlfriend has to do with Auto X events on Sunday to the rest of us? That is a personal scheduling conflict and should not have any impact on the rest of us racing.

LOL !! Very true.. it has nothing to do with anything! It was just my personal feelings. Sorry for any confusion, but it wasn't my decision to limit the number of runs. ...It was a very tough decision and glad I didn't have to make it. Turns out I could really have used another run since I DNF'd twice and then decided to creep around on the 3rd one to try and get at least one clean one.

I am not sure how Indy Parks and Recreation (the folks we rent the lot from) would feel about us being there past 6pm. That might have been another concern on why we limited it.. .. the drivers meeting might have been a bit long, but that was Will's first and I for one was happy to see him calmer and happier after the way the morning was going.

..and please keep the suggestions coming. It was not you that got me upset at Jason.. He does that all by himself! :)

I wouldn't mind seeing the newbie meeting outside the main meeting... maybe before or after, or even during the novice course walk. I think the meeting went a bit long due to us wanting desperatly to have more workers for the races this weekend as well as really get folks to realize the opportunity. ..it is a ton of fun and think most folks are missing out on what all this club can offer. A few have come out to join us and they are hooked. ..at least I know I for one am going.. I will be the one with way too much camera equipment snapping everything that moves.. especially if Steve screws up.

take care and thanks for the suggestions

RonConrad
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28 Apr 2008 07:52 PM

We actually had 2 Tech lanes. Unfortunately, the way trailers were parked, left little room for the tech lanes, plus people were entering in reverse direction, so we could not keep the cars in 2 lines.

I think having the rates be $20 for pre-registered SCCA members, $25 for on-site SCCA member, as well as $35 pre-registered non-members, and $40 for on-site non-member registration. The region is a non-profit organization, you could put the extra $5 into a "buy new pylon fund", or general equipment fund.

Do we have SCCA membership forms on-site (in case they want to save money, and join the club)?

If we give perks for pre-registration like:

  • Fast check-in at Registration
  • $5 cheaper for pre-registration
  • Maybe add a worker preference field to the online registration so pre-registered drivers can get first dibs on key worker positions.

I'll bet more would pre-register.

turbohappy
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28 Apr 2008 08:00 PM
RonConrad wrote:

Do we have SCCA membership forms on-site (in case they want to save money, and join the club)?

No, but you get a $15 discount on a full membership if you provide your temporary membership number.

kar120c
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28 Apr 2008 08:14 PM

120+ people at a 16th St. event....that's a good problem to have! I think most of this has been said already, but I'll echo my $.02...

First, thanks for the kind words about the course. Hopefully it encouraged people to look 1-2 elements ahead.

Unfortunately the shape of the parking lot doesn't allow for a faster car release - we need to see the car on the return before we release. This really hasn't been a big problem in the past as 16th St. attendance (non-Aussie events) has been 75 over the last 4 seasons. Compared to a site with full visibilty where we launch cars every 25 seconds, 16th is always going to be more like 35-40 seconds. In this case with 125+ cars, that's another 2 hours of run time with 4 runs. That's not going to change much for 16th St.

So, if we want to accommodate 125 drivers at 16th st and 4 runs, we need to find ways to start earlier. The current and ex-event chairmen have instituted several ideas over the last few seasons that make the morning go faster. Annual tech, rookie table, pre-registration, tech card changes, etc. All of these really speed up the morning at every event. I think we just need to tweak a few things to get started earlier - no major overhauls.

1. Mandatory novice meeting before drivers meeting. Brings drivers meeting to <15 mins.

2. Hard close to registration at stated time. Last year we pulled the trigger on that one at Mt. Comfort and some people went home unhappy, but the event started on time. More preregistration will help, too.

3. Registration and computer set-up will get faster each event as we learn the new software.

All-in-all, I thought it was a fun event and I had a great time.

BTW, If you want to avoid some of the 16th st. issues, be sure to come to Grissom!! It's a huge venue without space problems. Try it, you'll like it!

Locked
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28 Apr 2008 08:25 PM

jww wrote:
...It was a very tough decision and glad I didn't have to make it. Turns out I could really have used another run since I DNF'd twice and then decided to creep around on the 3rd one to try and get at least one clean one.

I was in the same boat. I had 2 cones on each of my first 2 runs. Finding out I only had 1 more run when I did really messed with my head. I limped around my 3rd run making sure I was clean! I felt bad for the guys that had already gone 3.

RonConrad wrote:

We actually had 2 Tech lanes. Unfortunately, the way trailers were parked, left little room for the tech lanes, plus people were entering in reverse direction, so we could not keep the cars in 2 lines.

I think having the rates be $20 for pre-registered SCCA members, $25 for on-site SCCA member, as well as $35 pre-registered non-members, and $40 for on-site non-member registration. The region is a non-profit organization, you could put the extra $5 into a "buy new pylon fund", or general equipment fund.

Do we have SCCA membership forms on-site (in case they want to save money, and join the club)?

If we give perks for pre-registration like:

  • Fast check-in at Registration
  • $5 cheaper for pre-registration
  • Maybe add a worker preference field to the online registration so pre-registered drivers can get first dibs on key worker positions.

I'll bet more would pre-register.

I walked the course at least 4 times, and each time looked for the registration line to die down. It never did. Finally at 9:20 I got in line! Next time I'm pre-registering for sure!

rboone
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28 Apr 2008 08:37 PM

Since I didn't have much to do in the preregistration line, I tried explaining how to preregister for future events to the folks waiting in the normal line. Several individuals stated they tried, but could not complete the task because they did not have SCCA member numbers. I don't know first hand that is just what I was told.

turbohappy
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28 Apr 2008 09:04 PM
rboone wrote:

Since I didn't have much to do in the preregistration line, I tried explaining how to preregister for future events to the folks waiting in the normal line. Several individuals stated they tried, but could not complete the task because they did not have SCCA member numbers. I don't know first hand that is just what I was told.

I heard that from a couple people as well. But then other non-members had no problems, not sure what to think.

GChambers
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28 Apr 2008 09:45 PM

IMO, this event was a disaster! There were a lot of people that traveled from other cities and states to our event and had a bad experience and I don't see most of them ever coming back. But, the blame can't be put onto anyone. Quite the contrary. If it wasn't for the people who have stepped up and volunteered their time to make these events better, we wouldn't be in the situation that we are in. The numbers are up, IMO, simply because these events are much more friendly and welcoming than they were 3 years ago when I started autocrossing. To those who organize these events, this should be an indication of how good of a job you are doing.

IMO, there are two solutions for the problem we have. The first is very simple but will certainly not be so popular but I feel it is the ONLY way to have future successful events at the 16th St. site. Entries should be limited to 100 participants. Not only can we not fit enough runs into the schedule but we just don't physically have room for all of the cars and tow vehicles. If the event is limited to 100 entrants, this should help to solve the parking issue that has not been mentioned yet. If online registrations are given priority and walk up registrations are only accepted up to the limit of 100, the registration delays will take care of themselves. I would be willing to bet that the event would be full and registration could easily be closed by 9am. This would allow for a 9:30 drivers meeting and a pre 10am start. 5 runs per group should be a no brainer. Almost every other region that I run with has some sort of cap on participation at a given event. I think it is time that we do as well. Doing so will reward those who do register online and those who show up early for the events.

Solution number two would certainly be more popular but is not so easy. WE NEED A NEW SITE! I just don't see us being able to even maintain our same level of participation unless we get a new place to play. There are several people that have put A LOT of effort into finding a new site but we have not yet had much success besides the Terre Haute Airport site. Every one of us needs to put forth an effort to find and secure a site that will allow us to grow our events. Keep a look out for any possible site that you think could support an event and bring it to the attention of the Solo board members. We really need to increase our efforts here.

rboone
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28 Apr 2008 09:56 PM

Would an option be to only accept registrations on line? Then not allow any changes on race day? Then everyone would only have to pay, sign the waiver, and go thru tech the morning of race day. The heats and work assignments could be prepared in advance and posted first thing.

I would not mind being available by phone to walk people through the online registration process if that would help.

turbohappy
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28 Apr 2008 11:09 PM
GChambers wrote:

Solution number two would certainly be more popular but is not so easy. WE NEED A NEW SITE! I just don't see us being able to even maintain our same level of participation unless we get a new place to play. There are several people that have put A LOT of effort into finding a new site but we have not yet had much success besides the Terre Haute Airport site. Every one of us needs to put forth an effort to find and secure a site that will allow us to grow our events. Keep a look out for any possible site that you think could support an event and bring it to the attention of the Solo board members. We really need to increase our efforts here.

Getting the Terre Haute site is a huge accomplishment that shouldn't be underestimated. A lot of people have put a lot of effort into securing a new site, unfortunately none of the sites in the city have panned out. If anyone has personal contacts at any sites you think might make sense, they would love to hear from you. [:)]

DRAG
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28 Apr 2008 11:23 PM

I totally agree with the 100 person cap at 16th street. If the car counts continue to grow it will just get worse. We don't want to lose that site too.

Weren't you guys looking at the Danville High School parking lot? Anything ever come of that? Nick and I live right next to the lot and I know several people on the school board if that helps.

The Nebulizer
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28 Apr 2008 11:37 PM

Certainly this topic should be addressed at the next Steering meeting (although really mostly just applies to 16th St. which we are done with for a while...), but to sum up some of the good suggestions for discussion:

  1. Increase on-site fees ($5) - to encourage pre-registration.
  2. Close Tech & Registration at 9:00.
  3. Strict closing time for Tech & Registration at 9:30.
  4. Limit registration number to 100 (mainly for 16th St. events)
  5. Streamline driver's meeting
  6. Increase help before registration window (class check, paperwork check, questions, etc. so registration has just 1 job to focus on)
  7. Move novice meeting to either before dirver's meeting or after meeting following run group announcement.

BTW could the driver's meeting begin while registration is still finishing up computer entry? (Maybe this already happens?)

Summary of events.....

As I understand (please clarify if I am misrepresenting), Tech got backed up from a late surge - presumably from racers that entered the line before about 9:30? and couldn't get everyone through until about 10:20, right? (Were any annual techs going on? Did this slow things down?) I believe registration closed at about 9:40. Then there were some problems with registration as mentioned by John above - did this card/computer issue take up until 10:30 or was there something else? BTW how did the Locost guys know the meeting was going to be late enough for a photo shoot? After the meeting, it seemed there was another delay? Was this just getting the crew out to their positions or was there another issue being dealt with we haven't mentioned?

Of course a lot of the time issue was the result of a perfect storm scenario... 16th St is small which leads to conjestion problems for Tech and even just parking, Springtime (and a nice day to boot)brings racers out, 1st event means more computer entries, 1st event means more teching, 1st event means more novices, 16th St. has large attendance, and 16th St doesn't allow much run overlap. Everything that can suck up time at an event (aside from weather) was present. Even if we do nothing, things will be a lot better at the next events as there will be significantly less of these factors conspiring to slow us down.

And, I am fine with any or all of these suggestions. I would be willing to do just about anything to get a few more runs in as I too was disappointed we only got 3 in (It was the right call though.). Keep in mind with 120 racers and little overlap possible, we would need to find at least an hour and a half to squeeze another run in.

Bobzilla
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29 Apr 2008 06:18 AM

We added 11 more annual techs at this event. With the questions asked, we'll be adding more at the next event, which will also be our last annual tech event. The annual adds maybe 2 minutes to the total time, getting paperwork filled out and such. Ron and Jim do a great job with tech, both know what's going on and Scott comes to relieve us to walk the course and helps as well.

I think our biggest challenge with this event was the trailers stacked too close to where we run tech, but then again, here else would we run tech? MAybe move tech over to grid? But then we add traffic problems. . . it all comes back to space. 16th st offers precious little of it unfortunately.

Eclipse2Lancer
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29 Apr 2008 08:57 AM

Guess I can weigh in since I am one of the people responsible for the program. Wanted to wait until a lot of responses were posted and digest what everyone was saying as well as discuss a bit with Mike/Phil/Steve. This was our 2nd event as program chairs (Mike and I).....we are still learning.

There seemed to be a perfect storm of small things to occur to slow us way down and cost us ALL a run. Cutting runs is the absolute last thing I want to do, but it had to be done to get out of there at a reasonable hour. It took about 5 minutes of discussion before we pulled the trigger on that. BTW, our permit to close down the decel lane in front of the stadium runs from 6am-6pm.

1) First bottleneck was at registration (new entries, weekend memberships, classing, NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE PRE-REGISTERING...new people should have no problem with pre-reg, too many people asking random questions to the people in the bus...all that slows registration down). $ Incentive for pre reg? I'm sure that will be a topic of discussion. I did turn away 3 people who showed up a little after 10 to try and get in.
Run/Work order needs to be done after everyone is entered so we have an accurate count. We knew that we would have 3 run groups, but needed everyone in the computer before they got divided up. Kudos to Brenda Conrad, Pauletta Dusterberg, Randy Boone, John Wilmoth (and anyone else I missed) for helping out most of the morning. Thanks to Brian Davis, Velma Boreen, Dave Dusterberg and anyone else helping with new people in the morning.
2) I don't see Tech as a bottleneck so much any more. Tech was done before registration was done entering participants.
3) Driver's meeting. Sorry if I rambled, but everything I said had to be heard (yes even the jokes....it relaxes me). However, we are going to separate the novice meeting to about 10-15 minutes before the main meeting so we don't "lose the crowd". This may help speed things up.
4) Run/Work order ended up being backwards. That will be fixed at next event. Also the first work assignments took longer because we tried something new. Went back to old school ways the 2nd and 3rd heat....it works the best for us. BTW -- 3 people did not report for work assignments and all their times and points do not count.
5) Site constraints. I think everything has been said about this. Like Phil said, 125 entries is a good problem to have (especially with gas prices, and a crappy economy). Sure as competitors we would like to have 6-10 runs to get the most out of the course, but that would mean only about 40 competitors at 16th Street....which would make us operate at a loss. Being a not-for-profit club, we can't afford too many events like that. Capping a site is the last thing I think we want to do....but I think it is going to be discussed at the next solo meeting (5/1) and the next BOD meeting (5/15).
I hear all this about needing to find another site. That is an obvious solution, but much much much easier said than done. I salute those helping the club finding sites. It is not easy at all!

Disaster? Really? Overall....I don't think it was that bad, but I am a glass half full type guy. There were few timing issues, no incidents that needed to be turned into insurance, no injuries (other than ego....Aaron Haskell! [:D]), no rain. Good news is....people are interested in our club.
We don't need to re-invent the wheel here, just a few minor tweaks and we will be fine. Thanks to everyone who helped out before / during / after the event.....your help is invaluable and appreciated by the club.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions, it really shows you care about the health of the club. See you at a meeting, club race, rally or solo event soon.

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