On October 8th, 2017 4hmricks posted the 3,000th will attend for GeoWoodstock 2018. This event is the first in the United States to hit this critical milestone. It is the threshold for Groundspeak to consider the event for Giga Event Status.
Many geocachers thought this achievement impossible in the U.S.
The most will attend any other event in the U.S. has achieved was the final Geocaching Block Party in 2015. With 2,213 will attend logs, attendance hit 2,561. No other Mega Event in Noth America comes close to this. Until Now.
GWS 2018 Awarded the Giga Icon.
Today at 11:00 am central standard time Groundspeak announced the award of the Giga icon. For the first time, North American geocachers get to attend a Giga Event on their continent.
AFK Geocaching and the Clermont County Convention and Visitors Beaurau are hosting the event. OKIC Geocaching Group is serving as a steering committee. Several Prominent geocachers around the world helped push this event to Giga status.
I spoke with Jesse Tuttle ( KingAFK ) of AFK Geocaching about their accomplishment. He credited the efforts of the ambassador team with the success of the effort.
“We ran this the way successful network marketers run their business,” Jesse said. “We created documents to help people share the word about the event. We tracked all the numbers and data.”
The Geowoodstock Ambassadors
At first, Jesse called this volunteer information army missionaries. Amber Tuttle suggested that they were more like Ambassadors, and that name stuck. The GeoWoodstock Ambassador program was born.
This team of over 100 enthusiastic geocachers wore tee-shirts to other Mega Events. They handed out GWS 2018 business cards by the tens of thousands. They gave away more than 5,000 GWS 2018 trackable mini coins in the first three months. They posted, relentlessly, on social media. The talked to other geocachers about GWS2018 constantly. The called or texted Geocaching Podcast shows. They posted videos on YouTube. They announced every milestone and triumph to the world.
And always, they talked about what a great event this was, and encouraged every geocacher they met to attend it.
Key Leaders Drove The Outreach Success
Jesse mentioned a dozen people who were instrumental in the success of this program. Two names came up again and again.
AFK knew what they needed to do, but they did not have the time to do the job well alone. Cliff Smith ( City Slicker ) got involved early in the process. He created many of the tools the ambassadors would use in their outreach efforts. He organized data on ambassador team members and their needs and opportunities. This information proved critical for distribution of resources. Team members received what they needed, where it would do the most good.
Scott Miller ( gsmX2 ), known in many circles as a goto GSAK expert, lent his skills to the team. He developed tools to track the wealth of data generated by the campaign. His efforts were critical in securing sponsorships and creating business interest. He also made following the ambassador’s successes possible.
I asked Scott how he felt about being a key player in the making of America’s first Giga.
” For me, it has been an honor to be on such a dedicated International team of Ambassadors. We worked together to meet the common goal of getting the required number of will attend logs. Now we have accomplished that goal and qualified for the first Giga Event in North America. I look forward to spreading the word about the awesome activities the Core Group has planned. We have plans for geocachers and non-caching family members who support us as we pursue our hobby. It is no longer about the numbers; it is about the fun.”
Doing the Impossible
Having hosted a Mega Event, I have first-hand experience with how much work goes into the fun. It’s a tireless task. This team has made it look easy, but it is anything but that. It took proper planning and excellent execution to pull this off.
The GWS2018 Ambassadors have shown us that the impossible isn’t always as far out of reach as we think it is.