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National Boards => Road Enthusiasts Meetings => Topic started by: A.J. Bertin on May 06, 2019, 09:15:19 PM

Title: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: A.J. Bertin on May 06, 2019, 09:15:19 PM
Regardless of whether or not you attended the first-ever "city meet" in Providence, please vote in my poll. This poll will be open for three weeks.

Also, please share your feedback here, if you haven't already done so, about what you liked or didn't like about the Providence meet. I am open to all feedback. Feel free to chime in even if you didn't attend.

One thing that's a learning opportunity for me in the future is that I need to confirm with restaurants, when I'm making a reservation, whether they are able to separate checks for the patrons sitting at the same table. I was flustered and annoyed that the restaurant where we reconvened for dinner in Providence (technically Warwick RI) was not able to do this for our group. So many restaurants these days are able to split up the check. I didn't consider the possibility that some won't do that.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: kphoger on May 06, 2019, 09:24:50 PM
What's a "city meet" and how is it different from a regular meet?  If I don't know what it is, then I can't have an opinion.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: webny99 on May 06, 2019, 09:27:00 PM
The Providence meet thread just below this one on the main meets page gives some context: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=23413.0
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: A.J. Bertin on May 06, 2019, 09:35:42 PM
And here's the original thread in which my idea was first proposed last year:

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=23159.0
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: kphoger on May 06, 2019, 09:36:53 PM
So a meet with no tour, no itinerary?  I would not personally be interested in that sort of thing.  However, I've only attended one meet, and it was in my hometown.  In fact, meeting for lunch is something I didn't do at it!
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: kphoger on May 06, 2019, 09:38:02 PM
(No option exists for my situation, as I never considered attending.  But I gave my opinion because you said "whether or not you attended".)
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: A.J. Bertin on May 06, 2019, 09:41:17 PM
(No option exists for my situation, as I never considered attending.  But I gave my opinion because you said "whether or not you attended".)

Thank you for sharing your opinion. The concept is not for everyone, but I had enough support to try it once.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: Rothman on May 06, 2019, 10:01:52 PM
I would have attended if I could have.  There was a meet I attended where the tour got unorganized -- people weren't waiting for the group to get to the stops together (and watching out for everyone isn't a roadgeek's forte -- we're probably all on the spectrum somewhere).  That wasn't that great, but we did all manage to gather again at the end.

To the few meets I've been to, it has been more about the lunch or hanging out than the tour itself.  The idea of a looser or near total lack of itinerary seems better to me.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: Alps on May 06, 2019, 11:49:17 PM
What I shared in person was that while I like the ability to set my own itinerary and spend as little time at stops as I like, I would prefer to spend the time with people I don't get to see often. I suggested that maybe the next meet could have one or two recommended itineraries but leave it open to people to create their own adventures if desired. At least that might get a few people grouped.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: Duke87 on May 07, 2019, 01:10:23 AM
We need a "Yes - I was not interested in the Providence meet, but would be interested in the same concept if it were replicated in a location I have not already thoroughly explored"
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: A.J. Bertin on May 07, 2019, 06:45:25 AM
We need a "Yes - I was not interested in the Providence meet, but would be interested in the same concept if it were replicated in a location I have not already thoroughly explored"

Good point!
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: hbelkins on May 07, 2019, 12:19:30 PM
There are probably more options that could be added than space available in the forum software. I know that personally, my situation was not a poll option.

I didn't have an interest in going to Providence for several reasons. And truth be told, as the event drew closer, several tangible reasons that would have precluded my attendance popped up.

The concept seems to work for a number of people. Should the next one be in NE North Carolina, as has been laid out as an option, I'd probably consider a trip if it worked out financially, meshed with my schedule, etc. That's closer than Providence, I prefer that area of the country for traveling, etc.

The concept does seem to have its fans, so I say "go for it."
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: 74/171FAN on May 07, 2019, 04:02:33 PM
One thing that's a learning opportunity for me in the future is that I need to confirm with restaurants, when I'm making a reservation, whether they are able to separate checks for the patrons sitting at the same table. I was flustered and annoyed that the restaurant where we reconvened for dinner in Providence (technically Warwick RI) was not able to do this for our group. So many restaurants these days are able to split up the check. I didn't consider the possibility that some won't do that.

This happened at the diner we ate at for lunch at the Goethals Bridge Minimeet in July 2017.  I was very glad that I had quite a bit of cash on me that day considering also that some of us went to the Mets game later in the day.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: Takumi on May 07, 2019, 04:18:04 PM
I’ll probably attend the Elizabeth City one. As often as I go to the Outer Banks, I’ve only been through Elizabeth City once, and I still have yet to clinch NC 136 after all these years.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: okroads on May 07, 2019, 04:22:08 PM
I enjoyed the meet and it was an interesting concept. It gave me the opportunity to decide what I wanted to see and gave me the flexibility to not make a decision until the night before. The weather was also a factor in determining what to do but thankfully, the rain was mostly in the morning. For the record, my other ideas for the "city meet time" included driving around Boston (which I ended up doing Sunday morning), clinching some Rhode Island routes, and going out to Cape Cod and see parts of that area I did not see in 2009 when I drove US 6 out to Provincetown.

While we were at the restaurant for lunch, A.J. had everybody around the room talk about what they planned to do that afternoon which was interesting to hear the different activities they had planned. It also allowed Sam Scholtens to come along with me so we could both clinch one of Massachusetts' island counties and I know a couple of other small groups formed as well.

My suggestion would be similar to Steve's above. Having a couple of possible itinerary ideas just in case would be helpful especially for those unfamiliar with the area. After seeing some other attendees' posts and pictures, there were some more things I wish I could have seen as I was unaware of them. But I am glad I had the opportunity to clinch one of Massachusetts' two island counties that I may not have otherwise had.

All in all, I enjoyed my time there and am interested in the future meets.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: A.J. Bertin on May 07, 2019, 06:28:44 PM
I enjoyed the meet and it was an interesting concept. It gave me the opportunity to decide what I wanted to see and gave me the flexibility to not make a decision until the night before.

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

My suggestion would be similar to Steve's above. Having a couple of possible itinerary ideas just in case would be helpful especially for those unfamiliar with the area. After seeing some other attendees' posts and pictures, there were some more things I wish I could have seen as I was unaware of them.

I just responded to a comment that H.B. shared in the thread specifically about the Providence meet. Basically, I would have a standard set of suggested itineraries for any city meet I host regardless of the location. The ideas are as follows: 1) drive the freeway/highway network around the city, 2) drive specific highways that look/sound interesting, 3) collect new counties, 4) explore the downtown, 5) see any unique infrastructure that the city might have (bridges, for example), 6) check out any interesting retail (for those of us who are retail geeks), 7) see any interesting geographical features such as high points that might be in the area, 8) any combination of the above activities, and/or 9) anything else that the folks planning to attend might learn about the city on their own or in discussion with other people who have more familiarity with it.

For me personally, I don't need specific reasons to go to different places. Some folks might not share that mindset, which I respect. The "city meet" concept was developed as the result of me wanting to explore random places far away from home and invite fellow road geeks to join me in discovering these places too if they are interested.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: okroads on May 08, 2019, 11:01:01 AM

My suggestion would be similar to Steve's above. Having a couple of possible itinerary ideas just in case would be helpful especially for those unfamiliar with the area. After seeing some other attendees' posts and pictures, there were some more things I wish I could have seen as I was unaware of them.

I just responded to a comment that H.B. shared in the thread specifically about the Providence meet. Basically, I would have a standard set of suggested itineraries for any city meet I host regardless of the location. The ideas are as follows: 1) drive the freeway/highway network around the city, 2) drive specific highways that look/sound interesting, 3) collect new counties, 4) explore the downtown, 5) see any unique infrastructure that the city might have (bridges, for example), 6) check out any interesting retail (for those of us who are retail geeks), 7) see any interesting geographical features such as high points that might be in the area, 8) any combination of the above activities, and/or 9) anything else that the folks planning to attend might learn about the city on their own or in discussion with other people who have more familiarity with it.

For me personally, I don't need specific reasons to go to different places. Some folks might not share that mindset, which I respect. The "city meet" concept was developed as the result of me wanting to explore random places far away from home and invite fellow road geeks to join me in discovering these places too if they are interested.

Those itinerary ideas fall in line with what we discussed during our breakfast in Memphis back in April. :) And hopefully the ideas I gave you helped shape what you saw during the meet. Hopefully you were able to collect Bristol County, RI while you were in the area.

I applaud your eagerness to roll with this "city meet" idea. It definitely allows for more flexibility and we don't have to worry as much about losing other vehicles along the way, which can happen if a guided meet tour gets too big.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: hbelkins on May 08, 2019, 02:53:13 PM
...we don't have to worry as much about losing other vehicles along the way, which can happen if a guided meet tour gets too big.

Which is why I like the idea of a printed itinerary for an organized tour. Vehicles getting lost was a frequent occurrence prior to those days, when stop lights might break up the caravan. And even with printed itineraries, sometimes people make wrong turns. At my Pikeville meet, at least one car missed the turn onto SR 609 at Breaks and ended up taking VA 80 and VA 83 to Grundy instead of SR 609 and US 460.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: A.J. Bertin on May 08, 2019, 06:46:31 PM
Those itinerary ideas fall in line with what we discussed during our breakfast in Memphis back in April. :) And hopefully the ideas I gave you helped shape what you saw during the meet.

Yes... they did. :)

Hopefully you were able to collect Bristol County, RI while you were in the area.

I did! It was part of the route we took back to East Providence from Newport.

I applaud your eagerness to roll with this "city meet" idea. It definitely allows for more flexibility and we don't have to worry as much about losing other vehicles along the way, which can happen if a guided meet tour gets too big.

Thanks for the compliment! I appreciate that. Flexibility was definitely one of the big factors I was thinking of when I came up with the "city meet" concept.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: deathtopumpkins on May 08, 2019, 06:54:28 PM
I enjoyed it, mainly because it featured both lunch and dinner, so I got to spend plenty of time catching up with people I don't get to see very often.

I'm intimately familiar with Providence and thus used the meet as an opportunity to clinch some roads that I was still missing in RI and CT, and didn't have to worry about being bored touring stuff I see regularly. I would be a lot more interested in an actual tour in a city I'm not familiar with though - at least a suggested itinerary, for those of us who don't already know what there is to see.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: Rothman on May 08, 2019, 07:02:42 PM
The idea of a list of suggested things to check out is excellent.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: Dougtone on May 08, 2019, 08:41:20 PM
I enjoyed being part of the Providence city meet, even though most of what I explored was around Newport and New Bedford. It was nice to "choose my own adventure", and I think the concept enabled some folks to see a few things that they may have not checked out in a traditional meet format.

One thought I would have for the next time is to encourage attendees to post what they are interested in seeing a couple of days before the meet. You may wind up with a bit more collaboration that way.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: A.J. Bertin on May 08, 2019, 09:47:44 PM
I enjoyed being part of the Providence city meet, even though most of what I explored was around Newport and New Bedford. It was nice to "choose my own adventure", and I think the concept enabled some folks to see a few things that they may have not checked out in a traditional meet format.

That was something else I had considered. Some of the ideas I had, especially the one about checking out downtown, definitely fall outside of the traditional meet format. Checking out any interesting retail would be another example, but I don't think anyone in Providence really did that... except when Sam Scholtens and I visited the Warwick Mall on Friday night.

One thought I would have for the next time is to encourage attendees to post what they are interested in seeing a couple of days before the meet. You may wind up with a bit more collaboration that way.

Great idea, Doug. I'll have to remember that for next time. Thanks!
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: Dougtone on May 08, 2019, 10:35:20 PM
Checking out an interesting historic site may have also been down my alley. I recall reading that one or two of the attendees checked out part of the Cliff Walk in Newport, which goes along some of the historic mansions in Newport.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: okroads on May 09, 2019, 09:42:30 AM
...we don't have to worry as much about losing other vehicles along the way, which can happen if a guided meet tour gets too big.

Which is why I like the idea of a printed itinerary for an organized tour. Vehicles getting lost was a frequent occurrence prior to those days, when stop lights might break up the caravan. And even with printed itineraries, sometimes people make wrong turns. At my Pikeville meet, at least one car missed the turn onto SR 609 at Breaks and ended up taking VA 80 and VA 83 to Grundy instead of SR 609 and US 460.

Several meets I've attended have had these printed itineraries, which I appreciate. Those definitely help attendees not get lost in case the caravan gets split up due to traffic, stoplights, etc.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: baugh17 on May 09, 2019, 09:43:42 PM
I wasn't sure how well the concept would play itself out going into this, but it turned out that it wasn't bad in the end (Think of it as a full version of what happens when you have time to spare before returning to the lunch location).  I wouldn't make this the default format for meets going forward.  But it might be a good one to use if there not a lot of things to explore in a given area or a larger number of things over a larger area, which will allow for opportunities for attendees to fulfill other interests.  One recommendation that I would make for these types of meets going forward is if there are one or two things in the area to highlight them in some medium, whether it be a handout at the meet or included on a meet page, whether it's in this forum or on Facebook or wherever.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: A.J. Bertin on May 10, 2019, 07:04:59 AM
I wasn't sure how well the concept would play itself out going into this, but it turned out that it wasn't bad in the end (Think of it as a full version of what happens when you have time to spare before returning to the lunch location).  I wouldn't make this the default format for meets going forward.  But it might be a good one to use if there not a lot of things to explore in a given area or a larger number of things over a larger area, which will allow for opportunities for attendees to fulfill other interests.  One recommendation that I would make for these types of meets going forward is if there are one or two things in the area to highlight them in some medium, whether it be a handout at the meet or included on a meet page, whether it's in this forum or on Facebook or wherever.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it. I don't think that anyone would want to make this the default format for meets going forward because those of us who attend road meets tend to like the organized tours in general. If other folks want to use my idea and tailor it to what they'd like to see (or not change it), I have no problem with that. But yeah... I doubt too many people besides me would want to host meets in this format.

I think the next time I host a "city meet", I'm going to try to do a better job listing the itinerary suggestions on either the Facebook event, this forum, or both. I'm totally expecting that there might be some destinations I announce that there might not be a lot of appeal for... and that's all right. Now that I've got one under my belt, potential attendees kinda know what to expect.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: cjk374 on May 10, 2019, 10:59:59 PM
I am considering hosting a meet next year. I am not aware of "lots" of road-worthy things to see (which may change with a couple of scouting trips), so this city-meet concept seems like the way to go. I will keep reading posts made on this thread to see how every one liked it.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: mattpedersen on May 12, 2019, 03:59:00 AM
I was there. I liked the “freestyle” aspect, where people can partner for what their objectives are.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: brianreynolds on May 13, 2019, 10:19:45 PM
I was delighted when Providence was chosen for the initial location for the experiment.  It allowed me to do some genealogy research on my late-17th century family roots.  It also allowed me to visit Nantucket, my final county to visit in New England (or the NE quadrant of the US for that matter).  Neither of these goals would fit neatly into a traditional road-oriented meet.  My favorite part of every road meet is the social time with others whose interests are as oddly skewed as mine.  I missed the lunch (dammit!), but caught up with some folks later at dinner.  The large crowd was an unmistakable mark of the meet's success, but the long table made it tough to connect socially with everyone.  Next time, I will be sure to attend both meals.  Speaking of next time - and I have no doubt that there will be a next time - I've heard the Outer Banks of North Carolina mentioned.  Wouldn't that be great?  No pressure.  Just sayin'.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: froggie on May 14, 2019, 08:11:50 AM
^ Yes, it's a pity you couldn't make the lunch (and I couldn't make dinner).  Been a long while since we last met.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: A.J. Bertin on May 14, 2019, 01:19:51 PM
I was delighted when Providence was chosen for the initial location for the experiment.  It allowed me to do some genealogy research on my late-17th century family roots.  It also allowed me to visit Nantucket, my final county to visit in New England (or the NE quadrant of the US for that matter).  Neither of these goals would fit neatly into a traditional road-oriented meet.  My favorite part of every road meet is the social time with others whose interests are as oddly skewed as mine.  I missed the lunch (dammit!), but caught up with some folks later at dinner.  The large crowd was an unmistakable mark of the meet's success, but the long table made it tough to connect socially with everyone.  Next time, I will be sure to attend both meals. 

I'm so glad you were able to attend part of the Providence gathering, Brian. And I'm glad it gave you the opportunity to do some genealogy research. Yes... I was also delighted by the size of the group. Part of the reason, I think, the group was as big as it was had to do with the location. (Lots of roadgeeks happen to live in the eastern/northeastern U.S.)

Speaking of next time - and I have no doubt that there will be a next time - I've heard the Outer Banks of North Carolina mentioned.  Wouldn't that be great?  No pressure.  Just sayin'.

Yep... I've pretty much decided that I need to make this an annual event. After the poll in this thread closes, I'm going to start a new topic for the 2020 city meet and will ask people to vote between Omaha and the Outer Banks. Whichever of those two does not win for 2020 will be the automatic choice for 2021. Make sure you vote in the poll! :)
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: brianreynolds on May 17, 2019, 09:16:55 PM
^ Yes, it's a pity you couldn't make the lunch (and I couldn't make dinner).  Been a long while since we last met.
  Indeed it has.  I am confident that we will meet again.  Venue TBD.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: cl94 on May 19, 2019, 02:39:51 PM
Yep... I've pretty much decided that I need to make this an annual event. After the poll in this thread closes, I'm going to start a new topic for the 2020 city meet and will ask people to vote between Omaha and the Outer Banks. Whichever of those two does not win for 2020 will be the automatic choice for 2021. Make sure you vote in the poll! :)

This needs to be annual. I did as much socializing as in a typical meet, but I got to see so much more due to the free-form afternoon. Both of those are good choices for entirely different. I'd prefer Omaha just because it would allow me to cross off another state (possibly two if I popped up to ND), but I could fly to Charlotte and get to the Outer Banks as well.
Title: Re: Should the "city meet" concept be repeated?
Post by: A.J. Bertin on May 19, 2019, 11:06:06 PM
This needs to be annual. I did as much socializing as in a typical meet, but I got to see so much more due to the free-form afternoon. Both of those are good choices for entirely different. I'd prefer Omaha just because it would allow me to cross off another state (possibly two if I popped up to ND), but I could fly to Charlotte and get to the Outer Banks as well.

Thanks for your feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed the Providence city meet. The current poll will close on May 27. After that I'll create the next poll asking folks to vote between Omaha and Outer Banks. Make sure you cast your vote when the poll opens. :)