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April Meeting Minutes - 2013

4 years 11 months ago #6521 by admin
April 11, 2013 6:30pm
In attendance:
Bob, Shaun, Chad, Steve T, Dirk, Diana, Joanne, Doug, Pierre, Steve O, Val, Mateo, Ian G, Ian
  • Old Business
    • Rally Recap - Another great Rally in the books. See April Council Meeting Minutes for details[/*:m][/list:u][/*:m]
    • Membership report
      • Currently 90 members[/*:m]
      • new packets are on the edge of being over the 65 cent stamp threshold with all the goodies inside[/*:m]
      • renewal envelopes are super cool customized - great work Chad[/*:m][/list:u]
      • Trail Coordinator Report
        • Trail coord is planning the years trips - Trail Coordinator trail season runs March '13 through March '14[/*:m]
        • OHV Sunday April 14th to courier Hikers[/*:m]
        • Chad is running Sedona Sunday the 21st[/*:m]
        • Shaun needs to reschedule his Ajax run[/*:m]
        • Steve O would like to get a camping weekend scheduled[/*:m]
        • Diana wants to run table mesa run before she moves[/*:m][/list:u]

        • Web Site Stats - large uptick in March, mainly due to the Rally
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        • New Business
          • Overland Expo - we're scheduled to have a campsite, but we need to be there thursday morning first thing to post our flag - Dirk, Craig, or Chuck may be our spot reservist[/*:m]
          • AZLRO on Twitter - Follow @AZLRO. Use hashtag #AZLRO to tweet when you've got club-related news like trail runs, club information, etc[/*:m]
          • Council elections - Mid-May is when we want applicants, elections to run June 15th through June 30th. Email newsletter & web site article to be posted with details in early May.[/*:m]
          • 2014 Rally Open Discussion
            • 2014 is our "floating location" year - Rally location rotation schedule: 1. Phoenix area; 2. Northern AZ; 3. Tucson; 4. Floating location. Discussion about / Full Rally / Semi-Rally / Informal Rally / no Rally:[/*:m]
            • Full Rally
              • Pros
                • Great momentum from last three years[/*:m]
                • Made most money ever from both raffle and sponsor cash[/*:m]
                • Close to same number of attendees as last year, even though 1/2 came in as late registrants (most late registrants ever)[/*:m][/list:u][/*:m]
                • Cons
                  • General interest for full rally, but no one in attendance offering up enough volunteer time to make it a reality, at least at this time[/*:m]
                  • Current sponsors / vendors are getting a little burnt out[/*:m]
                  • Current volunteers are getting a little burnt out, as it's been a lot of the same core group for the last 3 years[/*:m]
                  • Current TLs are also getting a little tired[/*:m][/list:u][/*:m][/list:u][/*:m]
                  • "Informal" Rally idea:
                    Club volunteers do much less planning, no official HQ/hotel etc, maybe a big barbecue but no major planning, sponsor hunting, raffle, etc, unless those vendors who want to participate do so knowing it's a scaled back version
                    • Possibly in Havasu area[/*:m]
                    • February/March timeline - avoid spring break[/*:m]
                    • "Big event" would be saturday night parking lot - nice large reservable area[/*:m]
                    • Would this be a step backward as our TLs would have no local knowledge, and our TLs & their trail knowledge are a large part of our Rally experience?[/*:m]
                    • Would have to rely on local knowledge - and they may have very different ideas of trail ratings from our group[/*:m]
                    • Doug would be willing to take charge of 'informal' event[/*:m][/list:u][/*:m]
                    • Possible Rally locations
                      • Monument Valley / Northern AZ / Southern UT[/*:m]
                      • Road Rally? Combine on/off road with time trials, route finding, etc. - sounds great but huge logistics. Might be a great club event outside of Rally[/*:m]
                      • Parker/Havasu area[/*:m]
                      • Western AZ[/*:m][/list:u][/*:m]
                      • Ian G points out more trails & trail experience = better Rally experience[/*:m]
                      • Pierre & Bob to work up brief membership survey to gauge location and volunteer interest[/*:m][/list:u][/*:m]
                      • Web Site Redesign
                        • Planned migration from Joomla to Wordpress[/*:m]
                        • Goals
                          • NUMBER ONE PRIORITY: 1 user/pass for all areas of web site[/*:m]
                          • Membership management
                            • Membership software that lets you log in to renew after you've expired (unlike our current version)[/*:m]
                            • Better member-only content management[/*:m]
                            • Alternative payment methods?[/*:m]
                            • Better spambot/hacker registration prevention[/*:m]
                            • Improve differentiation between actual paid club membership registration vs simple website registration[/*:m]
                            • Mailchimp integration for member email lists[/*:m][/list:u][/*:m]
                            • Event Management & Registration
                              • improved event integration with membership for member-only events[/*:m]
                              • Member only access to event information (addresses, gps file downloads, etc)[/*:m]
                              • Customizable venue information so we can add our own data (like difficulty, etc)[/*:m]
                              • Mailchimp integration for email lists to even registrants[/*:m][/list:u][/*:m]
                              • Photo Gallery
                                • Must fully incorporate complete EXIF data[/*:m]
                                • Video uploading required[/*:m][/list:u][/*:m]
                                • Forum
                                  • Better member-only content within the forum subjects/topics[/*:m]
                                  • Should be able to migrate old posts, even if it means losing attached images and old usernames may no longer match after migration[/*:m][/list:u][/*:m]
                                  • Advertising capabilities - we need to be able to add banner ads/ads of some kind for our sponsors & vendors[/*:m][/list:u][/*:m]
                                  • Social media two-way integration (twitter, facebook, etc)[/*:m]
                                  • Update look and feel - mainly based off of Project 360, where we feature a huge image on homepage that changes regularly.[/*:m]
                                  • New homepage will feature 1 to x number of rotating photos & club news / big sponsors[/*:m]
                                  • Feature Requests
                                    • any member could submit a photograph for the homepage slideshow[/*:m]
                                    • webmaster needs help finding a GREAT photogallery add-on/plugin for WordPress[/*:m]
                                    • ical/google calendar integration[/*:m]
                                    • forum - expanded notification settings (ie: notify for every post, notify only once until you visit, etc)[/*:m][/list:u] [/*:m][/list:u][/*:m][/list:u][/*:m][/list:u]

00 G500

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4 years 11 months ago #6523 by ipgregory
Thx again Bob for the minutes.

To elaborate on my trail point, its not so much more trails as much as not allowing our experience and professionalism to slip on the trails we do run.

To my mind, the #1 purpose of a rally is to run trails as a group with others. The key here is others. We have people run with us at a rally we don't know and who don't know us or the trails in most cases. There is a very large amount of trust associated with that. Trust that we know the trails and are experienced, equipped and capable enough to handle situations we might encounter. I think overall we have done a good job here mostly.

My concern was at the suggestion that we hold the rally in a remote location where pre-runs would be difficult and trail knowledge would be lessened. The suggestion to use local 'guides' really concerned me. The idea of putting ourselves and our rally attendees in the hands of local strangers who's equipment, trail knowledge, experience and trail etiquette we don't know alarmed me.

I fully understand the fact that we want to maybe lessen our planning and organizational requirements for a bit to give people a breather or whatever, but we should not do so at the expense of the trail arrangements. Our trail leaders are a big part of why our rally is so well appreciated by the attendees and why we have so few incidents. If we lessen or remove that then I think we are setting ourselves up for problems.

Just my $0.02c


Ian Gregory - N1IPG

Current LR Stable: 97 D90 S/T #1008, 94 D90 S/W #1887 (Project), 98 D1 LSE
Memories of: 84 RRC Vogue 4dr, 93 RRC Vogue SE, 84 Ninety 2.5D S/W, 86 Ninety 2.5TD 2dr, 96 D1 SD.

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4 years 11 months ago #6526 by wwfoster
Hi all,
As a foreigner, but also a proud member of the club, I wanted to say that the rally this year was really excellent. Good job, all! And after reading this string I just wanted to comment that Ian makes some very good points, particularly around the trust issue. For me and mine, we found there to be issues with the National Rally trailer leaders during the last one we attended, and this has made us less interested in attending that event again. We wouldn't want to see that with the AZLRO. It's the people in this club that keeps us coming back again and again. Would we come to a rally with outsiders as guides... probably. Would we have the same feeling of a worry free trail experience and of being safe... not so much. Can this affect the experience... definitely.

Also, with respect to using others as guides in lesser known locations, I just want to make this comment... Liability wavers are useless if negligence can be proven. So if outsiders are used as trail leaders, and something unfortunate happens, then there is a higher potential for a negligence claim being proven. It's one thing to use someone like Bill Burke, who's experience and reputation are clearly documented, but using others who lack this "notoriety" leaves the club vulnerable, in my humble opinion.

But these are just the ramblings of a burned out, cynical old guy from the North, eh. So take them as you wish. We just love this club and the way it does things, and wouldn't want to lose that.

Keep up the great work everyone.

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4 years 11 months ago #6529 by
This remote location event would not be a "rally" at all, but simply a weekend where lots of Rover people and lots of Rover clubs would gather, informally, and run some trails together. We would also ask the Parker 4-Wheelers to lead us because they know the trails well. This event would not be labeled as an AZLRO event at all and thus not have the possibility of reflecting negatively on the club.

Very informal organized dinners, sponsors, etc. Simply let's meet at this parking lot at 9 AM and run trails.

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4 years 11 months ago #6530 by ipgregory
Is that a continuation on what was discussed at the meeting then Doug? What was discussed there as I heard it was the possibility of holding the next rally in Havasu (as its a floater on the schedule anyway) but in a cut down fashion with no formal night time 'events' and so on and using locals to 'guide' the trails. That type of set up is what my comments are based on.

No issue with what you are describing as an informal gathering of course as its more of a club outing and meet up with others so to speak and would be nothing to do with the rally. We shouldn't 'host' it I guess is the fine line if you will.

I understand the question as to whether we hold a rally next year or not is still on the table, my point is that if we do then we need to carefully consider our responsibilities on the trails portion. We host a rally (even a cut down one) to run trails, we should do the trails properly.

Ian Gregory - N1IPG

Current LR Stable: 97 D90 S/T #1008, 94 D90 S/W #1887 (Project), 98 D1 LSE
Memories of: 84 RRC Vogue 4dr, 93 RRC Vogue SE, 84 Ninety 2.5D S/W, 86 Ninety 2.5TD 2dr, 96 D1 SD.

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4 years 11 months ago #6531 by
The Havasu idea began when I suggested months ago that we skip the rally due to sponsor and volunteer burn-out. And my suggestion was to do it VERY informally but invite the other Rover communities as well. During the last club meeting that initial talk led to talk about making it a more formal event, but I would have to agree that Havasu would be logistically tough for that.

Some feel that we shouldn't skip the rally due to the momentum we have on our great event, which is a great point. But I think one of our "standard" locations would be better for that all around.

Another tough decision for our council I guess!

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4 years 11 months ago #6532 by ipgregory
Ok, that's makes a lot more sense. I like the Havasu idea as an informal gathering. Easier for CA and NV so maybe a good spot to try and get a gathering going.

I am in the don't-skip camp on the rally but I don't have an answer to the organizational and sponsor issues either. Local would be better as you say for logistics definitely. Yes, a tough call for the council there.

Are there any other areas we haven't tried or haven't done in a while for the rally we could do? Possibly a different Phoenix location or something since its not really the Phx rotation. Does that matter all that much? Do we change the rotation to 3 rather than 4 (ditch the floater) as that would make it Phx's turn again anyway? Gold Canyon wasn't a bad venue, could we do a cut down (no night events) rally there again since much of the logistics is known and maybe a little easier?

Ian Gregory - N1IPG

Current LR Stable: 97 D90 S/T #1008, 94 D90 S/W #1887 (Project), 98 D1 LSE
Memories of: 84 RRC Vogue 4dr, 93 RRC Vogue SE, 84 Ninety 2.5D S/W, 86 Ninety 2.5TD 2dr, 96 D1 SD.

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