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Old 09-10-2005, 06:26 AM   #1
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WBCCI rally planning guide

To help others who want to plan an official WBCCI rally and to de-mystify the process, I'm starting this thread to hold information and tips for planning and running a WBCCI rally. Here is an initial checklist to get the thread started:

1) Choose a date
Rally planning usually happens a year or so in advance. So, in 2005, units will have solidified their list of 2006 rally events by the end of October, 2005. You should discuss your dates in advance with the 1st VP of your unit -- he/she is responsible for unit rally planning for the next year. The reason you need to discuss your plans with the 1st VP is to make sure the date is open and no one else is planning a rally for that time. In Region One, our units strive to hold rallies on prescribed weekends to allow our members the opportunity to visit other Unit rallies throughout the Region. The New England Unit hosts rallies from April through October usually on the fourth weekend of the month.

2) Choose a theme
This is optional but I can tell you from experience it is alot of fun! Everyone attending a themed rally usually gets very involved in many ways -- the way they dress, the activities that occur during the rally, in decorating their trailers and even the food that is prepared. Your only limit here is your imagination!

3) Choose the type of rally you want to hold
Here are some definitions of the types of rallies the WBCCI has:

Rally: Planned and conducted by the Unit for the benefit and enjoyment of the Unit members and guests, financed by Rally Fees. A rally usually has planned activities and meals. The NE Unit also hosts luncheons and holiday parties during the winter months, both in New England and in Florida.

Multi-Unit Rally: Same as a "Rally", except planned and sponsored by one or more Units. Financed by Rally Fees.

Rendezvous: Planned and conducted by the Unit for the benefit and enjoyment of the Unit members and guests, financed by Rally Fees. Typically, a weekend camping event, more casual that a Rally, without any planned activities or meals.

Buddy Rally: Same as any of the other types of rallies except members can invite a friend who owns a non-Airstream type of trailer. We are allowed to host up to two buddy rallies each year.

4) Find a location
It could be at a campground with separate sites for everyone or in a safari field where everyone parks together. Many campgrounds feature safari fields with water and electric hook-ups. Many campgrounds will also give you a discounted price if you meet their minimum of number of units attending.
Here are a couple of good ways to find a campground:
a) Talk with other members who have held rallies
b) Look through a Woodall's or other campground guidebook
c) Google search for campgrounds in the area you are interested in

5) Send your rally details to your 1st VP
The 1st VP needs the information by the end of October because he/she needs to send the list to International for inclusion in the Member Directory. The information needed is: rally name or type of rally, host name, telephone number, date, and location.

6) Rally fees
Decide whether or not you want to have planned activities and/or meals. This will determine whether or not you need to charge any additional rally fees over and above the camping fees. Typically, the campground fees are simply pass-through costs. If you want to plan meals you can tack on an additional fee (sometimes called the "kitty fee") to cover rally expenses such as meals and dessert (Airstreamers are known for their love of ice cream). If you want to plan any optional activities (i.e., boat trip, bus tour, museum, etc.), you can also list those fees as options.

7) Prepare a flyer
The flyer is made and distributed at least 3 months in advance of your event. It should contain all the details about your event such as contact information, theme information (if any), schedule (if any), arrival/check-out times, camping amenities (water, type of electric, dump station availability), directions, pricing, and sign-up coupon along with sign-up deadlines (if any).

I hope this is a good start for anyone who wants to venture into the fun and rewarding world of running a WBCCI event.

WBCCI Region One

Attitude is the only difference between ordeal and adventure
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Old 09-10-2005, 08:13 AM   #2
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Don't forget publicity. You need to let WBCCI know so your rally is included in the Blue Beret. You need to keep a good calendar in your Unit newsletter to remind people. You should also get an entry in your local newspaper's calendar of activities so other Airstreamers can find out about your unit and its activities.

A web site that will answer any question anyone might have about the rally and how to participate is also a good idea. If you can arrange registrations this way, even better.

Sell your rally. Stories, pictures, or featured topics that fit the theme can be used to help generate enthusiasm for your Unit and its events which will lead to a more vigorous membership. Your Unit scrapbook can be a resource in this effort.

for some other ideas, see
or the participating section page

Don't forget that WBCCI has a separate website for caravans that may have some ideas, too. The online manual is a must read.

Good stuff! Rallies are at the core of any successful Unit.

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Old 09-12-2005, 04:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Leipper
You should also get an entry in your local newspaper's calendar of activities so other Airstreamers can find out about your unit and its activities.
I never thought of this...what a good idea. When you say "other Airstreamers", are you referring to people who own Airstreams but don't belong to the WBCCI?
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Old 09-13-2005, 12:06 AM   #4
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Other Airstreamers - in our neck of the woods, these are Airstream owners who often don't realize WBCCI exists or that there is a group of enthusiasts in their neighborhood. Sometimes they belong to a more distant Unit for various reasons and see something our Unit is doing they find interesting. Sometimes they are wanna' be Airstreamers, too. In this area we also have a lot of population growth which means Airstreamers moving into the area as well.

The growth and vitality of a WBCCI Unit depends upon new members as well as new experiences. New experiences means finding new rally sites and doing different kinds of rallies. New people means getting the word out so that they can be invited, and feel invited, to join the fun.

So 'other airstreamers' really means, I guess, anyone eligible for membership who, for one reason or another, isn't yet a part of the active group and isn't planning to attend our rally or doesn't know about our rally.
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Old 09-13-2005, 08:30 AM   #5
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Boy, I sure am happy to see these guidelines! I've been wanting to get a caravan+rally off the ground in the southwest, and these will be very helpful!
Thank you!
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Old 09-13-2005, 09:11 AM   #6
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In our unit we like to have the rally info three months ahead of the cutoff date for registration, for publication in the newsletter. Be sure to be as complete as possible to really "sell" the rally to your members. All the who what when where why and how's, as they say. Our members like to see a rally itinerary as well, info about meals so they know if there's a potluck to prepare for, info about what day and when other activities will be.

We also are making a point of saying that people are welcome to attend for just the weekend if they cannot make it for the whole rally. Because our unit is full of retirees, they have no problem holding rallys Wed through Sunday, but many working forlks can only make it Fri even through Sunday at best. So we try to plan activities so they can participate as well and feel welcome (which they are).

So, we get all this at the newsletter and run the rally description at least once, then reminders the next two months with any updated info the organizer provides. That way people have several chances to sign up, and are reminded of it multiple times.

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Old 09-13-2005, 10:22 AM   #7
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Most all need a CHEERLEADER to promote your exciting event to encourage others to attend. Spread the word around, and you'll have more rigs sign up than you can handle.

And.........when all the rigs arrive, make everyone feel special!
T & Gail
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Old 09-13-2005, 03:04 PM   #8
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Great idea to start this thread. I hope I can helpthose attending rallies to make things go more smoothly for their hosts and for themselves. Our goal is always to have a good time for all.

Tips for those attending a rally:

Reserve your spot as early as possible by sending in the coupon and your check. This will help the rally host plan and shop for food and other goodies.

Be congnizant of any sign-up deadlines. Sometimes there is limited parking or perhaps the campground has restrictions that mandate early sign-up. If you wait too long, in some cases, the rally could fill up.

Cancellation refunds are usually pro-rated depending on when the cancellation occurs. If it is close to the rally date and the food, etc. has already been purchased, you probably won't get a refund on your kitty fee. Refunds on camping fees are dependent on how much money is leftover after campinground fees. Also, if it is a holiday weekend there may be restrictions with the campground about cancelling.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-15-2005, 11:35 AM   #9
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Volunteer to help!!!

If you are a rally attendee, perhaps you can offer to help out during the rally. It's a great way to get to know your fellow members and to learn about what it takes to run a rally.

As a past rally host, I can tell you that I appreciate and accept any offers to volunteer to help out. Volunteerism comes in many forms such as helping put up or take down the tent, serving food, starting the morning coffee percolators, clean up after a meal, etc.

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