Thoughts on the next DO

cboss3

Level 2 Member
This sounds like a great idea. While I like PPTs as something to reference later it does seem like the best information comes from question/answer sessions or speaking with other participants. Each section could have a few suggested talking points just to make sure people were able to get certain information out of it and it helps as conversation starters.
 

italdesign

Level 2 Member
It has the making of the best DO ever. Please DO it!

Like so many said, the best part is the small group social. It should be the kickoff for the event (which I think TravelCon is doing).

It is fascinating to hear other people's strategies and experiences, how they have adapted the game to work for them. That's how you get your perspective.
 

SJCRussell

Level 2 Member
I really enjoyed PHX and even though I didn't learn a lot from the presentations themselves I thoroughly enjoyed them. When you love this hobby and think about it 50 times a day like many of do just being among like minds is invigorating. Getting to know each other is a blast too. I'm glad you are thinking about a 3rd DO and your new ideas are refreshing.

Price wise I don't think you should aim to be lowest cost. This isn't a student run University club. Matt - you have strong convictions on charitable giving; charge a higher price and donate any surplus, and none of us will raise a peep about you profiteering (and some of us actually think you deserve to profit for all your hard work on creating and sustaining this community*)


*Hint hint, people, sign up as a Premium Supporter.
 

ZapperO

Level 2 Member
Love your thinking Matt! And definitely along the lines of what the two of us were chatting about in PHX.

While maybe not 100% optimized one idea would be to just make it super last minute....first come first serve to buy a ticket at say $50 or whatever but make the event say 2 weeks out so only people that are super dedicated/can find the time will come. You might also be able to find a venue that will do it for super cheap since no one is crazy enough to fill a vacant slot only 2 weeks out so they should give you firesale prices on the space and hopefully a deep discount on group rate for rooms. Being based in New England, I vote Puerto Rico :)
 

TravelDean

Say NO to road trips
I really enjoyed the social interaction at the PHXDO. Great plan, count me in for the next DO.
Thank you for taking time to set-up another!
WEST COAST!
 

Barb

Level 2 Member
I like the idea of getting out of confrence rooms, but I think that staying somewhere as a group adds a lot of value as it facilitates the breakfasts and dinners and wine hours where the best conversations happen.
A
I am in agreement with Haley. I think having a common "base" that is available at all hours is helpful for networking and informal conversation. Even though we all did not stay at the Firesky for the PHX Do , everyone congregated there, coming by to hang out late Friday or on Sunday just to see who was around. There was great casual conversation at the happy hour, at the bar in the wee hours, around the pool and around the firepit. Having a host hotel serves that purpose.

We could have the group unconference meetings elsewhere, but a host hotel would be a gathering point for the "off" hours.

Super psyched at the prospect of Saverocity DO 3.0. I don't care where it is, I'm there!
 

SJCRussell

Level 2 Member
I 3rd this sentiment.

I am in agreement with Haley. I think having a common "base" that is available at all hours is helpful for networking and informal conversation. Even though we all did not stay at the Firesky for the PHX Do , everyone congregated there, coming by to hang out late Friday or on Sunday just to see who was around. There was great casual conversation at the happy hour, at the bar in the wee hours, around the pool and around the firepit. Having a host hotel serves that purpose.

We could have the group unconference meetings elsewhere, but a host hotel would be a gathering point for the "off" hours.

Super psyched at the prospect of Saverocity DO 3.0. I don't care where it is, I'm there!
 

gilapoin21

Level 2 Member
Agreed! The real value are definitely in the small group discussions and relationships built.
The presentations are great but with such large diverse group, it will be impossible to make everyone happy.

If we're going zone based, I don't see why you can't invite more people. Whether it's 125 people 0r 250, at the end of the day most people will break into small groups anyway. So I say invite everyone. That might help avoid fistfight between James from BNA and bayguy ;)

Also agreed with Barb and Haley on the host hotel. Invite or not, I'm there :)

The DO Crasher
 

DarrellDoesDallas

Level 2 Member
I definitely think the next DO should be in Iowa City:No BIG city with fun things to for hundreds of miles; tons of snow; and this week one of the High's for the day is supposed to be -15 degrees with the windchill. Iowa City, the sunshine city.

No but seriously sounds like a great idea, I always wish I had time to go I've always wanted to meet a lot of this crowd and the FT favs of ADK, MM, etc.
 

johnny cash

Level 2 Member
Agreed! The real value are definitely in the small group discussions and relationships built.
The presentations are great but with such large diverse group, it will be impossible to make everyone happy.

If we're going zone based, I don't see why you can't invite more people. Whether it's 125 people 0r 250, at the end of the day most people will break into small groups anyway. So I say invite everyone. That might help avoid fistfight between James from BNA and bayguy ;)

Also agreed with Barb and Haley on the host hotel. Invite or not, I'm there :)

The DO Crasher
I definitely think the next DO should be in Iowa City:No BIG city with fun things to for hundreds of miles; tons of snow; and this week one of the High's for the day is supposed to be -15 degrees with the windchill. Iowa City, the sunshine city.

No but seriously sounds like a great idea, I always wish I had time to go I've always wanted to meet a lot of this crowd and the FT favs of ADK, MM, etc.
Yes and we can pay our respects to Atira, RIP
 

johnny cash

Level 2 Member
Agreed! The real value are definitely in the small group discussions and relationships built.
The presentations are great but with such large diverse group, it will be impossible to make everyone happy.

If we're going zone based, I don't see why you can't invite more people. Whether it's 125 people 0r 250, at the end of the day most people will break into small groups anyway. So I say invite everyone. That might help avoid fistfight between James from BNA and bayguy ;)

Also agreed with Barb and Haley on the host hotel. Invite or not, I'm there :)

The DO Crasher
Ah, but the invitation stipulates that you can't reveal destination to anyone who wasn't invited ;).
 

houstonmama

Level 2 Member
I would love to attend a DO! My vote is for Austin :p.

As far as tickets, I would lean towards lottery. I guess the negative would be if not enough people with experience won tickets?...hmmmm...maybe a mix like Matt suggested.

I also think a "home" resort would be nice even if we didn't have meetings there. We could meet others we might not have a chance to at the other gatherings.
 

Kim @Savy.Traveler

Level 2 Member
I attended CLT and felt that the format was great and there was a lot of value with minimal costs. (I was unable to attend PHX because of prescheduled travel, so I am not able to comment on the strengths and weaknesses there.) I agree with the others placing emphasis on the socializing aspect and love the idea of a brewery. Having a central place to hangout/stay would be nice as well if there is an able to keep the costs in check. Perhaps there will be lessons-learned from the TravelCon at the end of the month as well? Most will probably want to stay in hotels with points, but a unique environment such as something like the Bear Mountain Inn, which is in your neck of the woods, would be cool. I would prefer a warmer climate, but some hotels are desperate for business in the winter and may offer a good package with a unique atmosphere. For example, Thayer hotel on the West Point campus markets itself heavily to group training/leadership events. (Local examples provided in case you want to check them out.)
 

bayguy

Level 2 Member
Agreed! The real value are definitely in the small group discussions and relationships built.
The presentations are great but with such large diverse group, it will be impossible to make everyone happy.

If we're going zone based, I don't see why you can't invite more people. Whether it's 125 people 0r 250, at the end of the day most people will break into small groups anyway. So I say invite everyone. That might help avoid fistfight between James from BNA and bayguy ;)

Also agreed with Barb and Haley on the host hotel. Invite or not, I'm there :)

The DO Crasher
Thanks Bill, I support regional DO or give a fair chance to people who didn't have a chance to attend.
 

Jason

Level 2 Member
I missed out on the last DO by mere hours in securing a ticket. But I'm eagerly awaiting the next one. I've learned alot online and alot from Matt personally. But I've never met anyone else in person who partakes in this hobby.

Lottery system is good, but so is a set date and time and website. Get on and get one if you can!
 

MickiSue

Level 2 Member
Supporter
Never having attended a DO, some thoughts, in no particular order:

Not sure what the criteria for invites should look like, but giving preference to previous attendees seems unfair. There are a lot of posters, and few slots at any DO.

Love the roundtable format. Some of the best information is gathered in small groups. I assume that, because the DO will be multi-day, that there will be ability to attend more than a couple of groups?

Even without a host hotel for the sessions, a host hotel for the rooms is a good idea. Booking blocks of rooms results in lower rates for those without hotel points, (or points with a different hotel) and for those with them, it's nice to know that you can stay in the spot the rest of the group is staying, but for free.

MSP in the spring (say, May, NOT April) is just lovely. And we have a humungous number of really excellent microbreweries and micro distilleries.
 

James from BNA

VR Jacket Guy
Never having attended a DO, some thoughts, in no particular order:

Not sure what the criteria for invites should look like, but giving preference to previous attendees seems unfair. There are a lot of posters, and few slots at any DO.
Allow me to elaborate since I originally suggested a presale opportunity for alumni of previous DO's. Several years ago I bought Lady Antebellum tickets for a show at the Ryman here in town. Ironically, just yesterday, I received a ticketmaster presale opportunity for an upcoming Lady A show Sept 11. I appreciated the opportunity to be a repeat ticketmaster customer before the tickets go on sale to the general public.

Upon further reflection, this situation is much different than selling tickets to an 18,000 seat concert. If 125 seats were offered in an "DO alumni-only" presale, they almost certainly would sell out before the general sale. Perhaps ticketmaster sets aside say 10% of inventory for presale to insure that everyone is given a shot at tickets.

I'm not opposed to bayguy or MickiSue or anyone else who hasn't been previously attending. I'm relatively new to the game as well and I was way out of my league in CLT and PHX.

I won't whine, moan, grouse, grumble, complain, or mulligrub if I am left out. Matt puts on a great party and whoever gets to go will be glad they went.

P.S. If you want in on the Sept 11 Nashville Lady A concert here is the password-
Presale starts Thursday, February 5th at 10am and ends that night at 10pm.
Password: GOLDEN
Ticket prices:$64.75/$49.75/$34.15
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
Sometimes the rate for a block is the best rate and sometimes it isn't. For the CLT DO I stayed at the host hotel but booked it myself at a lower rate. Indeed, don't assume that if you have points you can do it that way. Most hotels only have a limited number of rooms that are available at that rate. Generally though, I think having a hotel where most stay is a good thing. It facilitates going together to things and not being stuck walking alone at night which is a concern for some.
 

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
Love the roundtable format. Some of the best information is gathered in small groups. I assume that, because the DO will be multi-day, that there will be ability to attend more than a couple of groups?
I wasn't thinking multiday, nor so rigid in terms of groups - I want constant flowing between them. You sit for your 30-45 mins on the topic that interests you, then we break, vote for the next X topics to be discussed:

Zone 1 Prepaids - what to look for (ACH in/out) velocity limits etc
Zone 2 Fuel Dumping/Hidden Cities
Zone 3 Reselling
Zone 4 Gift Cards

ETC... you then pick your zone, and if you are bored, wander to the next Zone. If a Zone is popular we can run it through the next round, and perhaps have a moderator change, kinda like having a yeast starter for the bread or beer makers out there.

You aren't stuck to your Zone, you go where you like, ideally with some give and take, go to some zones where you have knowledge and can add value, go to some zones as a complete beginner.

More of a giant 'mixer'

Booking blocks of rooms results in lower rates for those without hotel points, (or points with a different hotel) and for those with them,
This isn't as easy as it sounds. Hotels like an 'attrition' policy on the rooms (IE non refundable) when blocked. If we can secure a courtesy block this is avoidable, but the discount is smaller. It's possible... but not guaranteed as it requires negotiation with a hotel and each will have their own rules.
 

James from BNA

VR Jacket Guy
[QUOTE="
Thanks - the price was reasonable in the sense that all the money went into the event, so it hopefully should have felt like 'value'. PHX lost money.
[/QUOTE]

Matt, I hate the fact that you came out of pocket to cover the PHX DO. I had an idea for a fundraiser for DO Part 3.

Many of us have lounge passes, free night certs, upgrades, drink coupons, BOGO's, etc laying around in kitchen junk drawers or sitting in accounts that we may or may not ever use. I know I probably let several items expire in the last year. What if everyone brought all of these items to the DO and we did a silent or electronic auction over the course of the weekend? All proceeds go to funding the DO, and any excess goes to the charity of your choice? We could set up a DO redbird or Paypal account and everyone could pay electronically to that e-mail address.

I could donate-
1 free IGH night
20,000 Avios
2 Alaska Lounge passes
Guided 1 day stream smallmouth fishing trip in Nashville

Other considerations-
1. Is this legal?
2. Any tax implications?
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
More of a giant 'mixer'

This isn't as easy as it sounds. Hotels like an 'attrition' policy on the rooms (IE non refundable) when blocked. If we can secure a courtesy block this is avoidable, but the discount is smaller. It's possible... but not guaranteed as it requires negotiation with a hotel and each will have their own rules.
I just finished procuring a block a rooms for a group and it is a ton of work. I went the "courtesy block" route, but as Matt mentions, the discount is nominal. They threw in some fitness passes for us at a facility nearby. Our top priority was being in one place and it is not as easy as you might think to get a hotel to commit a large number of rooms.

I like the "giant mixer" concept a lot. I think it is wonderful, BTW.
 

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
[QUOTE="
Thanks - the price was reasonable in the sense that all the money went into the event, so it hopefully should have felt like 'value'. PHX lost money.
Matt, I hate the fact that you came out of pocket to cover the PHX DO. I had an idea for a fundraiser for DO Part 3.

Many of us have lounge passes, free night certs, upgrades, drink coupons, BOGO's, etc laying around in kitchen junk drawers or sitting in accounts that we may or may not ever use. I know I probably let several items expire in the last year. What if everyone brought all of these items to the DO and we did a silent or electronic auction over the course of the weekend? All proceeds go to funding the DO, and any excess goes to the charity of your choice? We could set up a DO redbird or Paypal account and everyone could pay electronically to that e-mail address.

I could donate-
1 free IGH night
20,000 Avios
2 Alaska Lounge passes
Guided 1 day stream smallmouth fishing trip in Nashville

Other considerations-
1. Is this legal?
2. Any tax implications?[/QUOTE]
[/QUOTE]

That's a cool idea - thanks. In terms of tax implications if you donated to the "DO" which in turn donated excess to charity you'd not be able to claim a deduction as the DO and Saverocity isn't a charity, but Saverocity/I could claim a deduction if structured correctly.

Not sure that we'll run with it, but very kind of you to think of it.[/QUOTE]
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
I had an idea for a fundraiser for DO Part 3.

Many of us have lounge passes, free night certs, upgrades, drink coupons, BOGO's, etc laying around in kitchen junk drawers or sitting in accounts that we may or may not ever use. I know I probably let several items expire in the last year. What if everyone brought all of these items to the DO and we did a silent or electronic auction over the course of the weekend? All proceeds go to funding the DO, and any excess goes to the charity of your choice? We could set up a DO redbird or Paypal account and everyone could pay electronically to that e-mail address.

I could donate-
1 free IGH night
20,000 Avios
2 Alaska Lounge passes
Guided 1 day stream smallmouth fishing trip in Nashville

Other considerations-
1. Is this legal?
2. Any tax implications?

They do this at the Chicago Seminars every year.
 
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