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How do you prefer your geocaching events?

+9 votes
304 views

I'm a big fan of geocaching events, both when it comes to visiting them and arranging them. I'd like to know what others find to be most important for a good event. 

  • Meeting other geocachers is a staple of events, obviously. Is that the main drawing point for you? If so, do you prefer to talk to your old caching friends or the new cachers that you haven't met before?
  • Is it important that there are new geocaches published in association with an event, or is that even a bad thing?
  • Many events involve food in some way: lunch events, coffee gettogethers, dinner gatherings, picknicks, etc. Is this a good thing or just a complication for those who want to eat at home and just meet people?
  • Some events are created to let people try something new (rock climbing, ice skating, juggling, etc). Is this a draw or a drag?
  • Is it important to place the event at a beautiful site (perhaps far into the woods) or is it more important that the site is easy to get to and accessible for all (public transport, paved paths, etc)?
  • Does the size of the event affect if you want to attend or not? Is less more, or bigger better?
  • What would make you definitely go to a particular event? What you make you definitely not go to a particular event?

These are just some ideas to get you going on what makes a good event for you. I'm interested in any comments, whether they are directly related to these questions or to something completely different.

asked Oct 18, 2016 in Miscellaneous by pinkunicorn (Moderator) (75,480 points)
edited Nov 1, 2016 by pinkunicorn (Moderator)
I'm an event junkie, pretty much if its within 50 miles and I'm available to go, I do, especially if there is a souvenir involved.
That being said, I have great respect for a very-planned event. By far, the best event I have ever been to, geocaching or otherwise, was Going Caching, an annual mega event in Georgia. If you ever have a chance to go, its always amazing!

23 Answers

+2 votes
Well, for me, i just have been to 3 events so far, 2 of them were mega's.. :-)

I like it when there are some caches around. I carefully choose, which events i go to.

I don't like it when there are too many ppl in one room, that's why i prefer the mega-events i think. i don't care about the food or shops.

I usually meet the ppl i met while i was caching, to get to know them a bit better.

But as i said, i just went to three events so far.. :-)

But i want to attend at least two mega events next year..
answered Oct 18, 2016 by NoobNader (13,020 points)
+2 votes
There is no certain type of event that is perfect for us.  We have lots of variety nearby here and we like that.  Some of our favorites have been ones that explore new areas or locations we would not have found otherwise.  Being near a tourist destination as well, we get to meet caches from all over the world. Overly structured events have been our least favorite. For us we prefer no new caches published with the event.  Too many people trying to grab the first-ish to find.  A few weeks before give people enough time to grab it early if they want.
answered Oct 19, 2016 by TrendyMagic (950 points)
+4 votes

I’m personally a big fan of uncomplicated events. I am the starter of a series of events near a good ice cream dealer (with the occasional other location during winter), and have arranged a five-event series of lunchbreak canteen events, and the occasional off event, but the simple meet at a location with good old wooden benches (with a dry location with a roof on top available less than a hundred metres away for rainy days), where people can just chat, and often do, and have an excuse to get some food or drink when they want.

I am not really a people person, surprisingly when I organise so many events, but I do like a chat with people I know, and I also try to talk to new guests and especially introduce newbies (we have a fun mystery cache final close to the ice salon), but not too many at once. But that’s just me.

New geocaches? In our area? Hah, no room for ’em. But seriously, no, I think it lame, unless the event is there for an organised cache hunt… which it oughtn’t be, and, IIRC, is also against the guidelines.

I’ve attended events at a restaurant, and either you come just for the food (with the event just being a bit on the side) or it’s really going to be a shitty event for you. It also hinders mingling and wandering around.

Events just to try new things… sure, these do have their place. Around here, they’re usually overbooked a couple of minutes after their publish though. (Sometimes I luck out, when the owner is nice enough to also publish on OC, which lacks the extra time GC.COM’s review process needs.) It’s usually not trivial to figure out quickly whether the time and place works out for me, but every once in a while, it’s cool.

As for the location — I think having both is nice and important, though I tend towards the nice site unless the weather is bad. Some people publish events with high T ratings and insist that everyone climbs to the logbook which is… questionable at best. I’ll attend one such event (“you need an ECA to get to 4m”) on the 30ᵗʰ and… well, the guidelines say attendance is enough to log (although I’m not a friend of the people who say that driving by and honking is enough, even though, strictly by the guidelines, it likely is; events should *not* be park and grab), and I *will* log it. I’ll try the physical challenge, granted, but I’m not a climber, don’t have overly expensive ECA, and hope someone helps me (and especially lets me back down later), but if not…

I have been at several Mega events and even one Giga event, I particularily liked the (expensive) boat trip at Projekt Eck in Koblenz, but I don’t like Mega events much, even those not too commercialised: they have a bracket programme where you can book fun couses/tours/workshops…iff you know you’ll be there at some exact time of day, like, several months in advance, which I usually don’t, and they’re so big I don’t know what to do with myself during that time, and they have… *shudder* humans. The new caches placed for them (even the lab caches) are fun, but you often get them handed to you (quite literally… and then you better hope you get told where exactly to put it back, if you end up being the last in the queue).

In Mainz (Giga Gutenberg) I liked the Maze much more, but the Giga had good food and especially drinks (though one of the cocktails already ran off by the time I had enough solids in my stomach to try it). The downside was extreme environmental damage by cachers not accepting a DNF and literally destroying a tree by de-bark-ing it looking for… well, who the hell hides a nano at a tree, but still? Some other, more remote, hides like a letterbox also got damaged, I was lucky enough to still find it but it got disabled, then archived, a few days later due to event collateral damage.

So, no, I’m not a friend of big events (also consider what I said about the restaurant events above… plus, with 120, or even just 50, attendees, the restaurant owners can be overwhelmed… or plain bad and unfriendly).

I would definitely not go to an event that invites smoking people, and I almost threw the towel recently when cachers did not even have the common courtesy at removing themselves more than 2 metres from the group (which included children, too!) when they could not even keep their fingers off their stinking cigarettes for TWENTY-FIVE minutes (out of the fourty-five allotted for the outdoors part of the event), and THEN got angry at me for STILL POLITELY requesting they not smoke, or at least go far away with that crap.

I think I wouldn’t go to an event at a huge location like the Munich Giga, I was honestly afraid (and did not attend) because huge amounts of people can involve security theatre (which I find a nightmare) and those things security theatre pretends to try to prevent.

A good event, in my eyes, lives from the people there (try to not stick to your own group, try to not exclude any single person, but don’t be too forceful either), and a bit from the location, but in the end they’re meant to be communicative and incite fun; anything else, anything organised, is just by the side, or it’s not (primarily) a geocaching event.

A good event is also published on as many geocaching listing platforms as possible (GC.COM and your local instance of the Opencaching Network at the very least, possibly Terracaching and gpsgames.org, possibly some regional plaform like Geocaching Australia; Navicache is dead, they don’t even publish new listings any more, so don’t try). It’s not PM-only either. It’s meant to reach those with 13000 finds as well as those with 13… or one… or none.

answered Oct 19, 2016 by mirabilos (2,480 points)
+6 votes
I prefer smaller events with some interesting agenda - teaching something (for example GC6M9W5 - my first scuba dive, the best event so far!), visiting some otherwise inaccessible places (inside of a power plant...), encouraging you to do something (climbing a mountain, swimming at night...) or doing something useful (CITO events). I also like small relaxed events - board gaming, beer drinking, campfires, barbecues - meeting fellow geocachers (old friends or not) while doing something pleasant.

But I am not a big fan of large events with too many people and I really really hate events without any interesting agenda that are made just to get a point for the statistics (meet on the street, say hello, exchange travelbugs and sigitems and go home).
answered Oct 20, 2016 by Kub4 (810 points)
+5 votes
I also think that meeting other cacher is the main reason for attending an event. It's interesting to see which person hides behind the nicknames you often read in the logbooks... Moreover it is a good occasion to exchange some hints for difficult mysteries...

Since there are not that many events in our region, we attend nearly every event within a radius of 10 or 15 km. And we also hosted some events yet.

Of course it is nice, if there is something special with a event, but that's not necessary. Most events we attended so far were related to eating and/or drinking.
answered Oct 21, 2016 by tadaima (10,520 points)
+1 vote
In 2016 one of my many goals in caching was to host an average of one event per month.  My purpose was to go to different locations, find a wide variety of eating establishments, and meet local area cachers to share with about caching.  It didn't matter whether it was four people attending or seventy-five people attending, each event was fun, laid back, and easy going.  All restaurants that I held an event at were cool with people coming who weren't planning on eating there.  They weren't required to buy any beverages either.  As a buffer, I had planned on a sizeable tip just to make sure that the waiters and waitresses were happy that we had come to their restaurant.  It didn't matter whether there was a large event happening nearby or whether any new caches had posted in the area, this was just a great excuse for fellow cachers to get together, share, and have fun.  Thank you for sharing your interests.
answered Oct 22, 2016 by Go-pher-It (960 points)
+3 votes

I'm from Czech Republic. For us it is a lot of events, but I like the intimate, where a smaller number of people. I was at the Mega Event, but for me very large number of people. I liked the small events where they know the people and their nicknames, just change the experience ...
I'm more of a loner, I do not meet the mass action. We are all different :-)

Translated by Google Translate

answered Oct 25, 2016 by mirek454 (510 points)
+1 vote

Quoting mirabilos:

New geocaches? In our area? Hah, no room for ’em. But seriously, no, I think it lame, unless the event is there for an organised cache hunt… which it oughtn’t be, and, IIRC, is also against the guidelines.

An event comes to town and guaranteed all the country roads near it will be covered with power trail style caches, if they aren't already saturated. And the park will be saturated with caches for the event. And those caches will be planted by people who don't live in the area. Then those PT caches will be replaced by throwdowns, or eventually archived because the owner(s) didn't intend to actually maintain them.

I use to go to events when they were small. It's overwhelming when they are large.

I also like to help keep the hobby viable (I'm frustrated by all of the abandoned junk out there) so I'll post a lot of DNFs, NMs and NAs. I don't think I'd be very popular at events, I expect a lot of whispering behind my back.

It seems to me that many of the numbers cachers go to events these days, and team up to post more power trail style caches or team up to group cache to increase their numbers quicker.

What I'd like to see at events is an emphasis on responsibility and guidelines, especially when it comes to cache maintenance and the appearance of damaging or defacing trees, fences, etc. (Especially things screwed/drilled in to trees or posts).

answered Oct 26, 2016 by L0ne.R (500 points)
edited Oct 30, 2016 by L0ne.R
+3 votes
We really like meeting other cachers, and being able to ‘put faces to caching names’ or so to speak, especially with local cachers, is rewarding. We have lived in the same village for over 35 years but it is only since going to (and organising) local caching events that we have met up with some new like-minded folk, and we have actually made some new good friends. We always used to ‘cache alone’ but we often make up Teams with others now. We have organised 5 events ourselves, and each one has had new faces along with the ‘regulars’. This is exciting,  especially when our local reviewers sometimes turn up as well. Speaking of reviewers, we really like the saying on the TB one of our reviewers gave us - it says "The best finds are other geocachers" - a great thing to do at small events.

It isn’t important to us to have new caches at events, but out of the 5  events we have organised, we have put out a new cache with two of them.​

We see having food at an event as generally a good thing, especially when an event is on a weekday evening when local cachers may come straight from work and being able to have some food at the event is a bonus. Some of our events are at the local pub where food is served, but we have been to events where it was a pot luck meal and everyone brought something.

We wouldn’t necessarily want to try something new unless it particularly interested us, but events which are themed can be fun. We have been to events which were specifically aimed at Earthcache finders/hiders, or CITOs with a specific task in mind (e.g. painting and fitting a phone box to make a village book-swap library)

​We much prefer event sites to be accessible. Having said that, a beautiful site would be a bonus. We went to an event recently on the French Mediterranean coast where every person we met was new to us and from various different countries. This was a great event, but small and friendly and completely out in the open.

​We have not been to a Mega yet, but we do like small events where you can speak to most people. Accessibility and location would help us choose to go to an event - i.e. we might not want to spend ages getting to somewhere and have no caching time left! We do like local events, but will travel further afield if we have a whole day to spend setting up a caching trip in that location, or if we are in a completely different area or country and there is an event on, we like planning a trip around the event.

​We would not consider any event if it was both too far away from home and on a weekday evening.
answered Oct 27, 2016 by GCZ Team (5,760 points)
edited Oct 28, 2016 by GCZ Team
+1 vote

thank you for this, I find it interesting. I'm from France
I attended a 1 mega and more even, I like it all evens:
little knowing most geocachers ; 

large or there are circuit output that can do collectively ; 

Mega contagion for usability ! 

But my greatest memory was to have been an organized-even on vacation, far from home,and to have had the chance to meet all a really nice team across the country ... it is fabulous that this game can afford to live with the evens!

Translated by Google Translate

answered Oct 28, 2016 by Chup'a (6,440 points)
0 votes
I liked the one for International Geocaching Day I went to - and there was a large teachable rubber duck the host had brought!

I went to one today hosted by a Frenchman in the centre of London - that was nice, as he was over here for a few days!
answered Oct 29, 2016 by Moore4us (4,020 points)
0 votes

I love attending events and have been to 50 or so - good to see cachers regardless of whether I have met them before or not. 

New caches will always make me more likely to attend - I'm an FTF addict and I like it when hosts give printouts to attendees so they can log a joint FTF

I think it is good to have food - you don't have to eat it!

Some of my favourite events have been something a bit different such as a quiz night. That said, I also enjoy the more traditional ones.

answered Nov 7, 2016 by heartradio (220 points)
+1 vote
The nice thing about events is that they come in so many varieties there's something for everyone. Last night I went to two different events, one was a casual "get-together" at a restaurant and the other was a showing of the GIFF at a community hall.

The bad thing about an event at a restaurant is that depending on the table setup you can only converse with the people at your table and you usually sit with people you already know. That leaves new folks to fend for themselves and hopefully not feeling alienated. Still a great way to catch up with a few people, trade tales, and discuss puzzle caches that are just haunting your dreams...

The community hall event was better for meeting new people, although you had to do so before or after the film obviously.

My favorite events are picnic style events, our local caching group has a big Spring and Fall picnic along with a Winter event and Summer event. They give people a great opportunity to mingle, fun games, etc. There are usually some new caches published in the parks for the warmer weather events and it is a draw for folks. We're cachers after all.

I've attended four Mega events, it's neat seeing so many fellow cachers but depending on the event you either plan on sticking around for satellite events and games or strike out and cache all day. Seems like the opening night/registration and closing ceremony are the only parts of the Mega we're around for.

But as I said, there are so many types of events anyone can find a style that they enjoy.
answered Nov 8, 2016 by Mike Fitz (1,850 points)
+1 vote
Maybe I should write down my own opinions here as well:

I do enjoy talking to people I already know at events but since I visit almost an event per week I know I have plenty of opportunities to do that and try to talk to any newcomers (or tourists) appearing at events if I have the opportunity.

Now and then it can be fun with a cache-release event but then it's not much of an event since everyone is off somewhere hunting caches. An FTF hunt is fun, but it's not an event, so I prefer events to not release caches since that makes more room for socializing.

It seems that the opportunity to eat at an event somewhat decreases the amount of drive-by loggings, and that is a good thing, but it's also nice if the eating part is optional for those who don't feel like spending money on that particular restaurant or just have a very different schedule.

I enjoy trying new stuff at events but I don't see a need for most events to have something like that.

As for location, I'd say that it depends very much on what type of event it is. For a restaurant, the food and the features of the restaurant (atmosphere, good seating, lack of disturbances like loud music, etc) is more important than beautiful scenery. For a forest barbeque I'd be more inclined to look for a nice-looking place than one that is just by a road. For a quick meet-and-greet the people are the important thing, so I don't really mind the location as long as it's reasonably easy to get to.

Regardless of the size off the event, there is a limit to the number of people I can talk to over a given period of time so from that perspective it doesn't really matter whether an event has 30 or 1000 attendees. However, with a larger body of people on site, event organizers can also create a more diverse program. I wouldn't want every event I visit to be of mega-event size but they do offer things that small gettogethers can't manage. So far, the events I've visited have ranged from 6 to 5927 attendees, so there's a range of three orders of magnitude. ;)
answered Nov 15, 2016 by pinkunicorn (Moderator) (75,480 points)
0 votes
The most events get boring after few times. We started a programm with main topic for each event. We start in January 2017 with "Self-rescue" in trees.
Looking forward we plan a TB Race and a GSAK Workshop for Beginners and Advanced
answered Dec 8, 2016 by Sportsofa (2,150 points)
0 votes
An event is especially for me the opportunity to meet other geocachers and get to know each other.
answered Dec 9, 2016 by mimh_de_benetnash (910 points)
0 votes
We love events and try to go to all that we can make. There have been some great local ones recently. We hope to hold a couple when we are traveling this month.

It's great to read what you all think too.
answered Jan 3 by NSCR (2,620 points)
0 votes

I dont mind going to events a it is a good opportunity to meet up with like minded people and chat about all things caching and whether the attendees are newbies or old stalwarts like ourselves I find the conversations just as enjoyable - However what I dont like about meets is the inevitable trail that has been laid out just around the corner for attendees to go off and find. For me this takes people away from the meet - I have in fact been to two meets where within half an hour of the start of the scheduled 2 1/2 hour event only a couple of people are left at the event location and everyone else has disappeared looking for tupperware (or more likely film canisters)  - For me I would say what is the point ? - just arrange for a mass gathering to grab the trail en masse and not have an event at all !!! wink

answered Apr 15 by Deepdiggingmole (1,490 points)
0 votes
I like events, both the smaller and the bigger ones. :)

Normally, I attend the regular's table in my area, which gives a nice opportunity to chat with other local (and sometimes non-local) cachers, having something to eat and have a nice evening.

Sometimes, I also attend the meet and greet ones, I organised two of them myself. I find it nice to get to know local cachers and get some tips for caches.

I would absolutely try out events which have other outdoor activity like climbing, etc.

If an event suits my timetable and is within reach - I try'll to be there. :)
answered Apr 15 by clappy (1,040 points)
+1 vote
We like to go on events for meeting other cachers, having fun and a good time. And we are indeed always dropping in, if possible and it fits in our shedule. But…

Actually we love events held for a reason or just because they are … well, let’s say some kind of stupid ;) E.g. like having an grill event at the beach  2a.m. at time shift hour or something like that. But also for showing special places, teaching reasons or whatever. Also Citos are nice as they are for a good reason.

„Normal“ events like meet and greets or something like that are nice to meet „foreign“ cachers you usually don’t meet in this area, but to drop in there it really has to fit in our shedule. Our spare time is a bit valuable as we don’t have much of it and if an event happens to be on our caching day but we don’t plan to be around - even if it is in our homezone - we won’t changes our plans just to attend .

The size of the event? Doesn’t matter. Small and more personal events have its charm but even though bigger events have their attraction.

New caches while an event happens? No reason at all. We are no FTF-hunters and for sure we don’t like caching/logging in „travel groups“. If there is a cache around we haven’t found yet and everbody is heading for it, we mostly better get back another – more quiet – day to log it.

The possibility of eating and drinking? Is always welcome. We don’t feel tob e forced to eat and drink just because the event is happening near/at/in a restaurant or somewhat, but we always like to be there and do so, if the locations attracts us. Mostly the event also lasts a bit longer if everybody feels like that and does so. That’s always nice.

And this is also a good point for us: Those 30min „hit and run“ events are much more likely ignored than events that have a character of „meet and have fun“ fort he evening or so.

We like to go on events for meeting other cachers, having fun and a good time. And we are indeed always dropping in, if possible and it fits in our shedule. But…

Actually we love events held for a reason or just because they are … well, let’s say som kind of stupid ;) E.g. like having an grill event at the beach  2a.m. at time shift hour or something like that. But also for showing special places, teaching reasons or whatever. Also Citos are nice as they are for a good reason.

„Normal“ events like meet and greets or something like that are nice to meet „foreign“ cachers you usually don’t meet in this area, but to drop in there it really has to fit in our shedule. Our spare time is a bit valuable as we don’t have much of it and if an event happens to be on our caching day but we don’t plan to be around even if it is in our homezone, we won’t changes our plans just to attend .

The size of the event? Doesn’t matter. Small and more personal events have ist charm but even though bigger events have their attraction.

New caches while an event happens? No reason at all. We are no FTF-hunters and for sure we don’t like caching/logging in „travel groups“. If there is a cache around the we didn’t find yet and everbody is heading for it, we mostly better get back another – more quiet – day to log it.

The possibility of eating and drinking? Is always welcome. We don’t feel tob e forced to eat and drink just because the event is happening near/at/in a restaurant or somewhat, but we always like to be there and do so, if the locations attracts us. Mostly the events also lasts a bit longer if everybody feels like that and does so. That’s always nice.

And this is also a good point for us: Those 30min „hit and run“ events are much more likely ignored than events that have a character of „meet and have fun“ fort he evening or so.
answered Apr 16 by Team Just-T (810 points)
edited Apr 16 by Team Just-T
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