Sunday, December 4, 2016

GNI Board Offers Thoughts on the 2016 Gathering Survey

By GNI Board

It came in at 72 pages, but the compilation of Member Feedback following the 2016 Gathering made for some fun reading. When added to the hour-plus of comments at the Gathering Feedback Session, the Board has some great ideas on how to improve your event.

The greater challenge than reading all of them is to learn to read the intent behind the suggestions. There might be a "best food ever" right next to a "worst food ever." This tells us that our direction may be good but that the execution sometimes fails. Mentioning a specific dish helps us (am I the ONLY one who loves the Tuna Casserole? Must be the Minnesota boy in me.) We talked about having a pig roast again but it is still prohibitively expensive. And, we would like to be more ecologically sound with plate ware but some things are out of our control.

"So, cut out X or Y" to pay for a pig roast, you might say (and some do.)  But as we approach and build a new and better Marketing plan, we have to find what draws new members to the event. Evening entertainment, for example, is just one of those draws. But know that we keep that to a small percentage of the total Gathering budget.

Some have wondered why the first days of the Gathering now offer so many activities. This also fits with our desire to draw men in for an inexpensive weekend, and then once they see how amazing everything is, they stay more days or sign up next year for a week or more.

Since we have only one event per year (at this point, at least,) it sometimes takes us a couple of seasons to "get it right."  For waste and cost reasons, we've switched to cans of beer, but it still takes a bit of trial and error to figure out exactly what you like to drink. We've increased the percentage of diet soda every year (and it's STILL not high enough!) Feedback shows us that many guys still don't know about the many water coolers across Camp.

So, this is all to say that your GNI Board of Directors reads every single one of your comments and discusses a great many many of the ideas. We positively thrive on feedback throughout the year. Also know that we read it both in the context of other members' thoughts and how your idea might fit in with current plans. Let us know! You know the address!