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Old 07-01-2015, 03:58 PM   #1
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WBCCI International Rally History

So I was messing around with some statistics today and needed some raw data. I thought it might be fun to use attendance figures from past rallies.

Below is a link to a map of past locations and attendance for anyone interested.

https://www.google.com/fusiontables/...vhgvUXCVS-bTW1

1958 Bull Shoals, AR 300
1959 Wisconsin Dells, WI 515
1960 Colorado Springs, CO 868
1961 Hershey, PA 960
1962 Auburn, WA 1717
1963 Bemidji, MN 1882
1964 Princeton, NJ 1969
1965 Laramie, WY 2592
1966 Cadillac, MI 2828
1967 Santa Rosa, CA 2156
1968 Grand Island, NE 2211
1969 Laramie, WY 2175
1970 Hershey, PA 3402
1971 Salem, OR 2869
1972 Louisville, KY 3652
1973 Bozeman, MT 3909
1974 Notre Dame, IN 3943
1975 Brandon, Manatoba 4209
1976 Louisville, KY 4493
1977 Bozeman, MT 3949
1978 Ames, IA 3993
1979 Las Cruces, NM 2138
1980 Notre Dame, IN 3346
1981 Ames, IA 2020
1982 Bozeman, MT 3423
1983 Duluth, MN 3753
1984 Notre Dame, IN 3396
1985 Lake Placid, NY 3965
1986 Boise, ID 3644
1987 Rapid City, SD 2813
1988 Huntsville, AL 2741
1989 Bozeman, MT 3461
1990 Notre Dame, IN 3350
1991 Duluth, MN 2481
1992 Dayton, OH 2721
1993 Bismarck, ND 2531
1994 Brandon, Manitoba, Canada 2263
1995 Amherst, MA 2594
1996 Rapid City, SD 2150
1997 Huntsville, AL 1509
1998 Boise, ID 1902
1999 Dayton, OH 1989
2000 Bismarck, ND 1310
2001 Sioux Falls, SD 1143
2002 Rapid City, SD 936
2003 Burlington, VT 1669
2004 Lansing, MI 1197
2005 Springfield, MO 1154
2006 Salem, OR 1049
2007 Perry, GA 1017
2008 Bozeman, MT 871
2009 Madison, WI 903
2010 Gillette, WY 709
2011 Du Quoin, IL 539
2012 Sedalia, MO 459
2013 Hurron, SD 386
2014 Gillette, WY 346
2015 Farmington, NM 396
2016 Lewisburg, WV
2017 Escanaba, MI
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:35 PM   #2
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I'd be interested to see what attendance was each year— as a percentage of total membership. If memory serves, total membership as of June 2015 is 6,123, so 396 is almost 6˝% of the total membership. In 1977, membership was over 25,000, and attendance at the 1977 International was 3949, or over 15% of the membership.

I for one don't mind the smaller attendance. Since McGee Park in Farmington has a maximum capacity of about 450 units, if attendance was higher then anybody past that number would be dry camping, and that would be brutal in this heat. If people wanted to dry camp at a rally in the desert heat, they'd go to Burning Man, not the WBCCI International! In terms of logistics, it's a lot easier to put on a smaller International than a larger one, if only because the pool of available venues is so much larger.

These days, approximately 50% of the attendees are IBT members or Unit delegates/alternates and so are there to conduct club business during at least part of the rally. A significant percentage of the rest are volunteers who work during the rally. The number of people who are JUST there to have fun is relatively small— which is understandable to me because you can have fun camping anywhere, and don't need the International rally for that.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:26 PM   #3
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One of the big downsides of the smaller rally is the lack of vendors. This in turn results in fewer tech seminars because the vendors who would put them on are not here.
WE used to have Reese, Fantastic Vent, Shurflo and numerous others. I thought I saw the Dexter service truck, but they don't have a booth inside. Even the Airstream factory and WBCCI store are poorly represented with a handful of parts and a few T shirts. Also no Camping World display which has subbed for the Airstream store in the past.
If it were not for the upcoming Flea market and our friends in the VAC we would probably have left already.
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:57 PM   #4
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I sure would have loved to have been a part of one of those 4,000 unit rallys!

My primary concern with the WBCCI these days in the extreme efforts being put forth for one rally. I believe it is time for the leadership to put the international aside and concentrate on expanding and developing new benefits for the club.

Perhaps have regions bid on hosting the International, then have the IBT develop the absolutely finest caravans possible?
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:29 PM   #5
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Dan, thanks a million for putting the data together in such a viewable fashion.

Looks like the numbers are falling off in a significant downward trend!
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:57 PM   #6
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I'm betting Lewisburg draws 800-1200. Hold the rally where the people are, have an entertaining, younger program, and numbers will be higher.
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:43 AM   #7
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I think the international is a business meeting first, all else is secondary?
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:58 AM   #8
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I think the international is a business meeting first, all else is secondary?
Maybe not originally, but these days that's certainly true. In order to remain as a legitimate NPO, the WBCCI is required to have two business meetings each year, namely the Mid-Winter IBT in January, and the International Rally in June/July.

But the simple fact is, a business meeting is not fun for most people, and it's difficult to get the required attendees together unless you wrap a rally around the meeting.

The Mid-Winter IBT is much smaller and much shorter, but delegates and/or alternates from each Unit are not required to attend, only the International officers and twelve Region presidents who make up the IBT. Chairmen of the various committees are encouraged to attend so they can give their reports in person, but it's not essential; they can submit written reports that are instead read by the Recording Secretary.

The International has a much larger required attendance, both the IBT and committee chairmen as for the Mid-Winter, plus the delegates and/or alternates from at least enough Units to constitute a voting quorum. The IBT members are certainly motivated enough to attend else they wouldn't have run for office, but Unit delegates are not necessarily so motivated; they have to be enticed into attending— as evidenced by the number of Units that were not represented by a delegate or alternate this year. We still had a quorum, but approximately 20% of the entire WBCCI membership was unrepresented at this year's Delegates Meeting.

It would be nice if the rank-and-file WBCCI membership saw the International Rally as a venue to have fun, but the reality is that the rally is in some ways a bribe to the delegates/alternates to get them to come do their civic duty to the club at the meeting (a bribe that the attendees have to pay to get, but still…). In my opinion, that's why the rally is about ten days long and legally-mandated business is only conducted for three of those days.

It may seem as though the sole purpose of the WBCCI presidents and vice presidents is to plan the International Rally, and that's certainly a time-consuming part of their job. But the real purpose of the officers is to ensure that WBCCI crosses its legal "T"s and dots its legal "I"s twice a year.

I'll never run for a Region office, let alone an International office because I had my fill of bureaucracy working for the Federal Government for 33˝ years. And I have a deep-seated mistrust of people who actually want to rise to the top of any bureaucracy, even WBCCI's bureaucracy. But even I have to admit that the club couldn't exist without them.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:40 AM   #9
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Farmington last count was 409 trailers. I would agree with a few of the comments here, in the past the leadership forgot the International Rally was about having fun, and they turned it into more about the business meetings. But I think we all agree that is changing, this year only 3 days of shorter meeting. And Joe provide a entire 'free' day this year, so you could explore the area and not miss any events. And the club hasn't changed the Rally to reflect the fact that it's no longer 4000 but 400, but again it's getting better.

Historically if you crunch the numbers, you will find 10-15% of the members attend the International Rally, so as number get lower so does the Rally attendance. I did the number a few years ago, but have no idea where that data went.

The BIG change everyone is forgetting about is we are no longer forced to have the Rally over July 4th, which is going to open up more locations for the Rally.

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Old 07-02-2015, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
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. I thought I saw the Dexter service truck, but they don't have a booth inside. .
Correction. That was NOT the Dexter axle truck
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Old 07-02-2015, 03:41 PM   #11
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The BIG change everyone is forgetting about is we are no longer forced to have the Rally over July 4th, which is going to open up more locations for the Rally.
The first year that the rally doesn't include July 4th will be 2017, for the International in Escanaba, Michigan.

Whether it opens up more venues or not, the date change should at least result in a lower rally fee, because we won't have to pay special event rates to reserve an entire venue for a holiday weekend.
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Old 07-02-2015, 04:50 PM   #12
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As I sit here in space 4-60, I have to agree with many of the points raised here. It's our first International, and it's most likely our last. There's just not enough here to attract or hold our interest. The vendor area is pathetic! I will say that the dealer from ABQ had a nice display, and it was worth their while - they sold a trailer at the show that was the most expensive AS trailer we've seen. A 30ft Classic, with all the goodies, MSRP $134K!!

We decided to come to this rally from Oregon because of where it's being held, in the center of ancient Native culture. We've been to Mesa Verde, Four Corners, Chaco Canyon, Salmon Ruins, Aztec Ruins, and have done the Million Dollar Highway and Telluride. We had time to see all those places because we just weren't interested in hanging around the rally.

We're retired, we're not youngsters for sure, but the comment about the rally being "geriatric" is pretty true. Some of this stuff may have been germane in the 50's, but now? Not so much.

Some examples (no offense meant if you like some of these), taken from the schedule:

Choir practice
Band practice
Genealogy
Line Dancing
Quilting
Flag Practice
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Pet Show (my wife liked it, not me)
Morning Devotions
Scrapbooking
Arts & Crafts
Yearbook Show
And lastly, Hat Decorating for the Ladies' Tea, followed by the Ladies' Tea later in the day. Please bring your own cup & saucer. (My wife is a tea drinker, and she guffawed at this one)

And then there are the Opening Ceremony, the parade on the Fourth, and the Closing Ceremony.

The good stuff was mostly social hours, wine & cheese parties, wine tasting, and the Vintage group's evening movies in the tent - most of which we missed because it's So Damn Hot. At or over 100 every day. We certainly can't blame WBCCI for the hotter than average week, but the average is 90! Not a great idea, imho, to hold an event in the desert this time of year. (I know, Burning Man, but we're not goin' to that either)

We've thoroughly enjoyed the people we've met in the Oregon Unit (almost none of them are here) and will probably continue to attend their events because they're so sociable. But another International? Probably not.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:15 PM   #13
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Did they offer a three day stay for something like $150 like they did last year at Gillette?
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:23 AM   #14
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Gnorts post (#12) pretty much sums up my feelings also, particularly the list of events that hold no interest to us. Obviously they must appeal to some one.
My first International was 1973 in Bozeman so I am far from a first timer. After attending many we started boycotting the rally when we lost the option of 3 amp electric starting in 2010 and the cost increased $200.

After skipping 5 we returned this year because the cost was somewhat lower and we wanted to tour this part of the country.
I feel the rally was well run and as glitch free as anything of it's size could be expected to be. Communications was much improved ,thanks to the efforts of the ECC .
The vendor situation as mentioned was pathetic, at least as it relates to RV related stuff. The shuttle service was not good but then we usually walk so no big deal. The VAC folks did a great job as usual.
There were some new seminars that were good. In our case many of the old ones are good but we have already been there , done that.
Overall we are not finding enough of interest to us to justify regular attendance.
One bright spot was winning the main prize at the WBCCI Amateur Radio Club Dinner last night

We will not be at Lewisburg next year even though it is an easy one day drive for us.
The price has gone up by $25.00 and the rally has been shortened by one day so it is again above our cost criteria.

In the interest of full disclosure, we spend up to 2 weeks a year in West Virginia at a Caving Reunion and have for the last 40 years so we have pretty well done what is available there. If you are into outdoor things and have not spent time in WV the rally could well be a good thing to do.

We will likely attend the Escanaba rally where it appears the costs will be lower and the possiblility of a boondocking area exists. We also have not seen that part of the country.
Anyway, that is the view from 2-56
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