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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good Ol Boys Club?

I just a bought a brand new Smartcar BoConcept edition last week and found out there was a gathering in Amana, IA for this weekend. Super excited about my new car, I thought it may be cool to check out the scene, see some other cars, and chat with some other owners...

...While I must say that most of the people were friendly, nice, and courteous, and I met some really great people at the rally, like really great! My experience at the rally was less than pleasing because of the hosts treatment...

...When I arrived at the meeting spot day 1, I was treated poorly by the hosts due to the fact I did not "pre register" for the rally. This was a bit shocking to me. It was the tone and the way things were said that really got to me. I was abruptly told I am not able to receive a gift bag(when there were plenty), or a sticker (again plenty to go around), but was asked to give $20 for a dinner that I was not planning to attend...Ok so no gift bag, big deal, but again it was very off putting the way I was dismissed without even asking..

Was it was because I'm the new guy? Or was it because my car isin't cool enough? Do they not like me because I am a bit younger? 2 minutes into my first experience this is what I am wondering...

...On Saturday we all went for cool cruise around the Amana compounds, Stopped at the park and I tried to chat with your so called leader, in my profession I lead public events and I was going talk shop, but was again dismissed. A raffle was held, but I was told (quite rudely again) that I couldn't participate for the same reasons of not pre-registering...This time I did ask, maybe that was my mistake? Again it was the overall tone, or lack of respect that causes me to wonder, stir, and eventually write this useless post which should prove how strongly I feel just by its existence.

...If I need Smart merch or gifts from the amana area I can go get that stuff...it would've been great to feel like a welcome participant, or even treated with respect...that you can't buy....
...It felt a bit like a good ol boys club, and since I was new, I was not privy to the same treatment as everyone else...

...As a professional, I am a consultant and public events coordinator, so maybe I am a bit biased here as I expect high quality events. There is a level of respect and courtesy that should be given to everyone, with an emphasis on newcomers to bring life into any group situation. All I'm sure of is that I won't be attending any SmartCar gatherings led by these guys any time soon. It would have been very easy to make me feel welcome, but the host chose to act like an utter ******* instead. And that's just too bad. Utterly Disapointing. Its funny how one or two people can make you feel unwelcome even amidst 98 other new friends.

Total bummer, man.
Good luck to the rest of you guys.
 

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Hi smartjohnny, welcome to SCOA and congratulations on the new BoConcept. I saw the one at smart center Madison last Tuesday. Nice looking ride.

As the "host" of this event, I want to apologize for the "treatment" you received from me.

I was the one and only organizer of this event. I didn't ask for help from anyone. I organized this all by myself. I paid for everything except for the dinner on Friday and the picnic food. No registration fee. No cost to you or anyone else.

I am not able to receive a gift bag(when there were plenty), or a sticker (again plenty to go around), but was asked to give $20 for a dinner that I was not planning to attend
Your statements I quoted above are not true.

I purchased exactly 50 gift bags for the 50 cars that registered by midnight Thursday. There were no extras. That is why you didn't get a bag. I am sorry I didn't explain that to you.

dgruis donated exactly 50 stickers for the 50 cars that registered by midnight Thursday. There were no extras. That is why you didn't get a sticker. I am sorry I didn't explain that to you.

You were asked if you going to eat dinner and if so, you would pay $20. I collected the money from everyone and paid the bill so 86 people didn't have to wait in line to pay individually. You chose not to join us. You were not asked to pay for something you didn't want.

You attended the picnic at a shelter that "your so called leader" paid for and listened to a band "your so called leader" paid for. "Your so called leader" stayed up until 1:30am Friday making 92 name badges for those persons that registered by midnight Thursday. Each name badge "your so called leader" paid for had a number on the back for the prize drawing. "Your so called leader" went to several shops in Amana earlier this week and asked them to donate items. "Your so called leader" donated a $25 gift card and a rubber floor mat set. It was not a raffle where you must buy a chance to win. It was a prize giveaway and "your so called leader" made the rules. If you want to give away free stuff, you should be able to make the rules. That is why you could not participate in the "raffle."

I failed to meet your expectations of a "high quality" event and I am sorry you felt a "lack of respect." This is not a "good ol boys club" and we are not "snobs." I am sorry you felt "dismissed" when you tried to talk to me and I am sorry I made you "feel unwelcome." You are always welcome to any SCOA event.
 

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Smartjohnny, their are a lot of nice folks that attend the smart events. There aren't any smart snobs. It's really too bad that a few more goody bags, and event stickers weren't available. We were giving away them, at a National smart event we hosted. You never know about walk in's, when your plan something. I could see a issue if you were receiving a t-shirt.

Try again, and preregister next time.
 

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sorry you got that opinion, we are far from that. There is not enough space here to go into details about your post. I would like to sit down with you and hear details and have a discussion. Perhaps knowing some of the history of the early years of this event would help
 

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...As a professional, I am a consultant and public events coordinator, so maybe I am a bit biased here as I expect high quality events.
johnny, as a new owner welcome to SCoA!

Sorry that your first smart event apparently didn't meet your expectations. Sometimes hard to meet your "high quality" expectations when smart events are small with an emphasis on location, cool smarts and GREAT friends.

Most smart events are driven by volunteers with no real sponsor support. They spend countless hours and often their own money to prepare for a pre-registered (with deadlines) head count.

In this case the "host" organized and except for the picnic/dinner, should be thanked for covering ALL costs for 50 participants!

As a "professional consultant/event coordinator" you should recognize a FREE event with no M-B, smart or local smart Center sponsorship?

"Good ol boys club" really?

Before you throw the whole community under the smart understand that the "graying" smart owners don't care that you may be "a bit younger."

All are welcome, if there are two smarts in the parking lot, a party is about to break out. :)
 

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People can be such funny animals. We're stuck with these effing human minds that hopelessly try to interpret everything, and sometimes fail miserably!

Welcome to the club, Johnny. How about a fresh start? Don't let your first post be your last, especially with a smart as cool as the BoConcept.

To those who give their personal time and money to foster our smart culture and cause, many thanks always!
 

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Really? I thought you were having fun! I loved your BoConcept, definitely unexpected and extremely rare!

I went through several RV "breakdowns", a fried R/C car (circuit board caught fire), lost an important rechargeable battery, blew a fuse (and the LED that killed it), and fried a $70 gaming controller (by fire as well)...yet I still had a blast.

In fact, I'm still here in Amana as I type!

These events are almost all 100% supported by a volunteer organizer. Some random human who went out of their way to plan a weekend of fun for 50 cars and almost 100 people.

Granted, sure he could've obtained some extra goodie bags, but then again Amana isn't exactly what I'd call a bustling metropolis (even Cedar Rapids is quiet) and the registration was intended to help the host manage costs.

Usually when you don't register for things, you don't get the perks of registering. This is true with most things in life.

I'm most likely the youngest bloke in this group, yet I'm treated like I'm part of everyone's family.

Sad your first rally was a bust, these things are truly a blast!

We even had two cars from the great north!
 

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Does not sound like he realized that the 'host' was a one man show. Got_MPG was the organizer, host, and everything else guy. Maybe he was a bit busy. as a professional coordinator, consultant, I would think you would know this. maybe you could lend you knowledge to make things better instead of negative comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I appreciate all of your input and you are all of course welcome to your own opinions...

The bottom line is that I was treated with disregard and disrespect.

Again, professional or volunteer is isn't difficult to treat someone, especially a new face, with welcome intent.

I would expect someone twice my age to have gained this wisdom long before me.

I was severely disappointed and embarrassed. But its ok, I think I'll be just fine. lol.

I liked everyone a lot, and I hold no grudges.

I'm over it, I wanted to take the time out of my day to say something (last thing I wanted to do was throw someone under the bus) because a wake up call now may help avoid a similar situation in the future. Because I feel so strongly that event leadership, especially in newly formed groups, is critical. This hits home for me, and has actually caused me to review some ways that I myself can be a better host at my own events, so thank you.
 

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Interesting first posts and as always there are two sides to every story.

Not sure what purpose was served by a (less than professional) two part public flogging of the event, host and the older participants?

Did you see anyone from M-B or smartUSA? These are home grown events and as such will likely never meet your lofty expectations.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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... isn't difficult to treat someone, especially a new face, with welcome intent....
Be aware that many of us (most?) were "new faces" to our organizer. And to many of the participants as well. I always say about these rallys that we are meeting old friends and new. I meet new people at each and every rally.

Sorry your experience was less than stellar but perhaps a private message to the very gracious organizer would have been more in order don't you think?

klesmiley
 

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probably best to ease you way into the community... rather than gaining entrance with a bat...

Sounds like what we have here is a failure to communicate; still, having understood the situation i.e. someone showing up for an event that was unprepared to receive him, and two, maybe the host freaking out because he couldn't easily accommodate him it just didn't work out very well.

Next time preregister, and maybe lower your expectations for a one-man [amateur] show. You got two choices here -- take the higher road and show you are big enough to just let it go! You'll get more friends in the end.
 

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I believe he found out about the event just before it was scheduled to start and did not have the time to pre-register. There were a few cars that showed up at the last minute. From the people I talked to at the event, he was fine to talk to and they loved his car. That is why his post was such a surprise. I did not talk to him or even get to see his car (which would have been a treat as it was exceptionally nice I was told) Hopefully he can make it to other events with an "Open Your Mind" (reference to smart advertising) attitude.
 
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