Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
July 25, 2014, 09:06:28 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an E-Mag Subscription: You will not have to go out in the rain, sleet, hail, or snow to retrieve it.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: 1 [2]  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Bob's Take on Choo-Choo Rally  (Read 2880 times)
robertglines1
steam nut
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3969





Ignore
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2011, 04:39:21 AM »

Didn't  mean to scare you. If you consider 3 nite camp @ 30=90  and the meals  for 2   breakfast  16  lunch 20   dinner 40  and icecream 6  = 76$====166 dollars plus entertainment.  I thought it was priced to low to start with at $145.  I know it was intended as good will gesture. I do appreciate that gift from Mike and the BusConversion community.   Again this was for 2 people food and camping for Friday arival and Monday departure and no charge for on site seminars or entertainment.       Yes the Prevo gatherings are out of MY price range and are designed to keep ME out . You noticed I own two old home done prevost and how I spell Prevost. A bus is a bus to me.     $200 would not have been scary and let Mike break even.    Bob
Logged

Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
Sean
Geek.
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2536


'85 Neoplan Spaceliner "Odyssey"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2011, 06:22:25 AM »

... Included water &electric With dump station. for 3 nites. 


Actually, no, it did not.  The rally fee was just that -- a rally fee.  Camping was an additional $6 per night dry and $20 per night for hookups.  Therefore,

... If you consider 3 nite camp @ 30=90  ...


is not really a pertinent part of the cost comparison.  FWIW.

Still a good deal -- $20 for hookups is at the lower end of the scale, and $125 for a two day rally with six meals, seminars, and entertainment is about average.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Logged

Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
rv_safetyman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2199


Jim Shepherd


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2011, 06:48:33 AM »

Timing of the rally was mentioned.  As noted, the weather is the luck of the draw.  The evenings of the rally were pretty darn chilly, but the daytime temperatures were great and there was no rain. 

We went back to Choo-Choo after the rally -- in case the workshops were still on the schedule.  The weather turned rather cold and rainy.  We did some sightseeing on Wed. and about froze to death. Smiley

The weather would not be all that much of a factor if the events were held inside.  That was the plan and arrangements were in place, but had to be changed when the reservation numbers did not meet expectations.
 Wink) enjoy the hardwood colors.

Jim
Logged

Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
technomadia
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 579


Zephyr - 1961 GM PD-4106-446


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2011, 07:34:18 AM »

We attended both the rally, and some of the pre-rally workshops. 

We felt the rally fee was a good deal - although we did not partake of the entertainment (was not our focus, as we preferred continuing the bus bonding back at camp).  And it's always hit or miss for me with food anyway with a limited diet - so I ended up cooking all my own meals in addition to paying for meals included with the rally fee. Not a complaint tho, as I expect that when attending events with included meals.

As far as the rally goes, we had a great time.  We learned tons more about buses, got lots of great ideas, met many amazing people, made new friends, came across hard to find parts for our bus, attended great seminars, gave a couple seminars of our own and had fun meeting up again with folks we had met during our bus hunt. 

And that was our purpose in attending. So.. success! 

There will always be things that could have been improved with any event, but unless invited by the organizer to share for the purposes of future planning - I don't feel it's our place to share our suggestions unsolicited. 

The pre-rally workshops we attended (Preventative Maintenance & Safe Driving) had good content, and definitely by competent expert level instructors. However, we did leave feeling a bit underwhelmed considering the expectations of what we'd get out of them and the price paid.  The two we attended started considerably late and ended considerably early (nearly halving the time paid for), and the instructors didn't seem to have enough prepared in terms of material and content. This combined with low attendance - didn't leave nearly as much Q&A time as I think was padded into the time allotment. We did come away with an increased knowledge set, just not as much as we had hoped for.

We feel blessed that attending the workshops led us to Choo Choo Express, who have been working with us on bringing our bus up on 15 years of neglected maintenance from before we owned her (we're still over the pit having air suspension bags replaced - as I type this).  We absolutely love the folks at Choo Choo, they have treated us like family since arriving.

Overall, we're not upset over the total price paid for the rally & workshops ($419 for us) - as we consider it supporting a great organization, and hope that all of our fees helped offset the loss some.


Many thanks to Jim & Pat for all the the work they did onsite that did not go unnoticed, and Jim interjecting in the workshops definitely helped improve our experience.  And many thanks and kudos to Mike for his efforts in organizing this whole shindig.  It's an incredibly tough job to organize an event of this scale (I know, I've done it many times myself) for even a team - let alone a single individual. And I for one think he did a remarkable job, especially with having to deal with scaling the event back when all the expected registrations didn't come in.

 - Cherie





Logged

Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
Full-time 'Technomads' since 2006 (technology enabled nomads)
luvrbus
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12069




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2011, 07:40:45 AM »

Mike's rally fee's were in line I believe that is about what the EI Club cost when in a RV park,

The one we did in Breaux Bridge La I let the people do their own reservations and pay for it that way they could just pay for the just the days they stayed all we did was reserve a block of spaces and there was no rally fee.

We did not have catered meals Wayne,Nelson and I bought the food and we had 2 meals a day with Nelson and Wayne doing the cooking all the attendees donated to the meals and it wasn't ask for but worked out good heck I even made 5 bucks lol

Plenty of ways to do a rally but when you cater meals and plan festivities it takes a lot of planning and doesn't seem to work out very good

Only seminars or workshops we had were free Paul (Dreamscape) did 2 one on installing spring brakes and the other was for posting photos to forums we did give extra desert lol    

Our entertainment was provided by the Craw-fish Festival on the fair grounds you could pay 5 bucks to go listen to the great Cajun music and the fair or not it was their choice so there was no bitching as there was so much to do in Breaux Bridge for everyone  


good luck
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 10:15:02 AM by luvrbus » Logged

Live each day like it was your last,one day it will be
blank
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1929




Ignore
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2011, 07:41:41 AM »

  You didnt scare me. I dont think anyone organising a big event with food and paid entertainment should be obliged to do it on their dime. And if some are into really big whopper deals with big name stars maybe $1000 isnt unrealistic. But im guessing a lot of us would rather save a few bucks eating hot dogs to the sound of a budget Biker band rather than Filet Mignon at a candle lit table with Dolly Pardon singing to you. Not that I wouldnt mind Dolly singing to me, or that I dont like Filet Mignon, just that for $1000 I would rather stay home and cook my own meat and listen to her on the radio.

  $200 doesnt sound unrealistic at all for what youve described, and its certainly within most peoples budget. Heck, we blew over $100 on admission for the four of us to see Cape Canaveral where they tried to sell us $8 Three Musketeer bars, and it wasnt really worth it. Sounds like your deal was way more fun and entertaining, though the cold probably was a turn off. Maybe think of doing it earlier in the year when you can be assured the weather is warmer.  
Logged
JackConrad
Orange Blossom Special II
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4446


73' MC-8 8V71/HT740 Southwest Florida


WWW
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2011, 09:43:30 AM »

   I dont know where things will be next year, but if its at all possible id like to get her out and run her sometime soon, at least come spring. Really should run out to NC and see my Aunt and Uncle.

Gene Lewis host a Bus Gathering each May near Fayetteville, NC. We have been the last 2 years. It is real nice rally held at a very bus friendly KOA.  Jack
Logged

Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
Arcadia, Florida, When we are home
http://s682.photobucket.com/albums/vv186/OBS-JC/
AndyG
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 78




Ignore
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2011, 11:18:03 AM »

You folks need to post some pictures of the rally for those of us who could not attend!
Logged
wildbob24
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 520





Ignore
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2011, 11:31:47 AM »

Andy,

There are some photos here:

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=21907.0

Bob
Logged

P8M4905A-1308, 8V71 w/V730
Custom Coach Conversion
Duluth, GA
Songman
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 123


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2011, 03:51:18 PM »

Like some of the others mentioned already, I'm not much of a social person...

Yeah right! I'll talk to anyone and love meeting new people. And when it comes to bus nuts, you rarely ever meet anyone that won't welcome you aboard and be glad to talk about their bus. I've been to rallies all over the country now and I love every minute of it. Each person finds at a rally what they want to find. And each person's experience will partially be related to what they put into it. When I go to a rally, I walk around taking pictures and trying to talk to people at each bus there. For me, I really don't have that much interest in seminars. Anything I need to know, I can usually find it online... or I'll just ask Clifford!  Wink

It is my humble opinion that our Eagle/GM rally is among the best I have been to. The format is very informal and we have the music, food, socializing, and entertainment all right there in the middle of the buses. It is the perfect situation. The reason for the long distance between the buses and the food/entertainment at the Choo Choo rally was not because of Mike's planning. It was a last minute change that had to be made because of all the people who stiffed Mike on coming after they said they would. Not an ideal situation but it couldn't be helped.

We've talked about him putting it on again next year and that it should maybe be more like the Quartzsite rally where everything is all right there in the parking lot and very informal. Not so much entertainment, not so many scheduled events... just bus folk getting together for a good time. However, part of the reason we are into buses is so we can see this beautiful country of ours. Nothing wrong with people planning trips to do local sight-seeing. What's the point of traveling without that?

Overall, I think the rally was a success. I was a bit embarassed that I had people coming from as far away as Nashville, Memphis, Central Alabama, and one singer all the way from Tulsa, and hardly anyone came to the shows. But those of us who were on the stage had a good time anyway and just had some fun with it.. I hope if Mike goes to all the trouble to do it again next year that people will come and see what it is all about. I think all of us who were there will agree that it was a great time.

BTW - It was nice to meet you, Bob... And everyone else that I met for the first time. Hope to see ya'll at a rally in the future!
Logged

Ericbsc
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 489


73 05


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2011, 08:00:18 PM »

The price is not a big one when you are able to enjoy the company of old friends, make new ones,look at a wide array of coaches and listen to some very talented young entertainers. I think Mike and team put on a fine first rally and hopefully the next one will be even better! BCM IS OUR BEST ANENUE FOR COMMUNICATING. We should support it and our hobby. The only dissapointment for me was that Mike had over 100 commit and half showed. Don't mean to step on toes as I know things happen, but these guys put a lot into it. And for that I SALUTE!!! Grin Grin
Logged
Gary LaBombard
"Rustless Money Pit"
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 944


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2011, 07:57:08 AM »

We were not able to attend this rally and for that I feel bad as I would loved to been there to meet Mike, Dale and those that put this rally on.  Believe me I know what it is like to try to arrange something like that and there is so many darn disappointments that pop up, mostly like no shows that you were depending upon.  The cost of traveling for those that arranged the rally was quite large I am sure, good guys like Eric Brown nearly killed himself getting his coach ready to go to Choo Choo.  In fact I believe he was still making adjustments right up till the day he left and had his fingers crossed the entire trip.  Why was this so important to him, he wanted to meet those he talks to on these boards every day and he promised to put on a seminar and come hell or high water was going to be there for that commitment.  These are the kinds of guys that put these rallies on and you can depend they will do a fine job getting something for everyone.

My personal desire to attend was to meet everyone very quickly, then go listen to the music that those of you know me know I love to do myself at my amateur level. I know Dale reached down into his friends list to get the entertainment possible that all would love to listen to.  I do know from experience also that not everyone wants to listen to music??  I have no idea why, or they won't go to the venue to listen which is respectful to those that drove many many miles to appear only to have a empty house.  When we have rallies I get to perform at most of them and I have had an audience of 1 or 2 even but still perform like I have a full house as I love it.  Most entertainers will as it gets in your blood as I am sure Dale misses performing all the time like he used to as well.  I get to play with a good busnut friend, Glen Rice at Palmetto Cove when he comes and that is the height of my excitement and I get so darn excited with his professional back up music I have to keep checking my crotch to see if I peed in my pants.  Only kidding, but I sweat under the arms with excitement.  I am sure musicians will play and get that feeling with or without an audience but when a lot of money is paid for the entertainment it is so respectful for everyone at a rally to just go listen for a time.  I really feel bad that all this work to arrange was not fully appreciated like was expected.  Those that did attend my hat is off to you and I know your attendance was appreciated by Mike & Dale in particular.

I would suggest that from now on instead of professional entertainment that cost a lot that you search your data base for those that may attend a rally that is musically entertainment inclined and if they are going to attend your rally for sure ask them to perform as I have at those that wanted me to play.  I know last year we held the Southeast Busnuts, April in the Carolina's rally at Palmetto Cove in Cleveland, SC and I asked one of our newest busnuts at that time to perform for us there as I found out he makes his living performing his personal tribute to "ELVIS".  What a great show that was and everyone that attended still remarks about that show.  He had back up of all the lights you can imagine from another busnut, Cory and man even Elvis had to be proud of that performance.  But now I have found out that Marc is professional musician and can perform his own music as well in his own style and man what a killer he is.  He is one of our own guys, his name is Mark Woodward, AKA (Jumpsuitman).   This is the kind of entertainment to get if you can, and having him attend the rallies or anyone else that performs would be much cheaper I would imagine than a full band that travels 100's or more miles to get there.  As a small note, Mark is so good to me that I am trying to convince him to perform for (America's Got Talent) next season.  Anyhow I am rambling on here but I just wish I could of been one of those lucky attendees at Mike & Dale's BCM rally and as Eric has stated, I too salute you guys for all that you did.

I am sure that the seminars were top notch as well with known seminar experts like Jim Shepard & Eric Brown and those others I am drawing a blank on right now that put on the seminars.  I hope the lack of attendance for this first rally will not dampen the spirit of having one again next year.  BCM & Eaglesinternational websites are absolutely the best busnut communicating devise we can depend upon for information and support.  

I know how long this was, I have posted very little in the past year nearly so I made up for it today, so please forgive me for the normal Garylee length of post.   Thanks again Mike, Dale and those others I am unaware of for putting on the 1st BCM rally for those lucky enough to attend.

Garylee
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 12:58:54 PM by Gary LaBombard » Logged

Gary
Songman
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 123


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2011, 08:43:35 AM »

Gary, it would have been great to meet you at the rally, and it will happen one of these days. The only thing I want to add to what has been said is that even though they are not here to see it, I have to say another public thanks to my musician friends who came down to play. This was truly a talented bunch and they came down for very little pay, and in some cases none, as a favor to me and to help Mike out. These are folks who play for the love of music. Most everyone told me that they enjoyed the music, even if they did it from where the buses were parked. We did talk about opening up the stage to bus nuts to come and play together, but it didn't happen. Since the impromptu jam sessions break out at every rally, we always try to offer something from outside of our ranks for folks to enjoy. Luckily, my background in music gives us a large pool to choose from. I mentioned to several of our Eagle folks that I already had a couple of offers to play at Quartzsite in January. I got another call the other day from Marty Haggard offering his services to us since he will be off from his gig in Branson... If anyone is up that way between now and mid-December make sure and go check out his show 'A Tribute To My Dad - Merle Haggard'. And start making plans for Quartzsite!
Logged

Oonrahnjay
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1343





Ignore
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2011, 10:25:54 AM »

      My bus is still a few weeks away from being "tin tent" stage (i.e. where it's mechanically ready for a road trip and reasonably comfortable to live in even if all the interior system work and finishing out isn't completed) and I was pretty sure that it wouldn't be so I wasn't one of those people who indicated that they were coming but didn't show up.  I've never been to a bus rally (except for dropping in for a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon at Gene Lewis's NC spring rally near Fayetteville NC a couple of years ago) so I wouldn't know exactly what to expect.  I also find it a little difficult to "dive in" to a crowd of people that I don't know but with a little personal interaction with individuals, I'd probably be fine.  And I don't have much direct bus background (although I worked in the car business at a manufacturer's technical level for over 30 years) so I would love to see other peoples' buses and talk to owners about what works and what doesn't and learn from what they've done.
      The subject of "entertainment" can be a difficult one.  Some people just don't like any "show-type" entertainment; others have strong likes and dislikes (I know some people who will play bluegrass all night but wouldn't walk across the street to hear a national headliner play country music -- and vice versa; other people will go to a wide variety of things to be part of the experience, learn new things, and enjoy the company).  It's just one of those things that is a personal like/dislike for most people.  Selecting an entertainment show that would really appeal to most people at a gathering would seem just about impossible.
      I'm looking forward to attending some rally events in the future.  I would have liked to have come to this one (I considered must coming over in my car and getting a motel room but besides the bus work, I've been involved in a big house project that I'm just finishing up, and Chattanooga is not right in my back yard) but it just wasn't practical this year.  I'm at the stage where tech tips and info (on things like electrical systems, water/plumbing systems, etc.) are particularly helpful and I would have particularly loved to have taken advantage of the talks and seminar -- but you can't do everything.
      I really like how people who own and convert buses gather together (in person at rallies, with impromptu personal visits, and by technology).  I hope that the difficulties of this rally don't make organizers reluctant to make events happen in the future.  And I hope that these difficulties don't it harder for us all to pull together, share, and help each other.
Logged

Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
Gary LaBombard
"Rustless Money Pit"
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 944


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2011, 12:51:04 PM »

Dale,
I kind of figured that your musician friends who I do appreciate showing up for your rally did this gig as a favor out of respect to you as you are known nation wide, hell, world wide I am sure.  I would sure wish I could of seen them perform as I stated earlier and met them in person and yes thanked them for their performances.  I would give anything to see Marty Haggard's show dedicated to his Dad Merle.  It was Merle's music that got me into music  at the age of 51 years old and I am still truly one of his biggest fans.  Merle signed my taylor guitar for me in 2006 that you could not put a price tag on to get from me while I live.  I sure wish I had your background Dale and know all these great entertainers.   Ok, now back to the rally.

I am sure the next rally will be looked at and perhaps planned a little differently but as I have been told, "Do it your Way" and don't be influenced by any one else.  My wife and I were advised of this last year by Jack Conrad and his great wife Paula and they arranged 11 large bus rallies.  We did just that last year for our rally and it was quite successful for 1st timers with the help of many volunteers.  

I would of like to had some of that great food at your rall too as meals together is just bliss, maybe a few spirits next to the S&S and mingle with those I sure look up to.  

Your right Dale, we will get together one day, this is on my bucket list when ever I get my Eagle on the road probably for the only time I will have left to run it by the time I get done.  I would of surely peed my pants playing with you professional bands, another bucket list entry.
Thanks again Dale & Mike
Garylee
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 01:06:07 PM by Gary LaBombard » Logged

Gary
Pages: 1 [2]  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!