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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Richmond~abroad
    Posts
    1,010

    Planning Events for 2011

    OK...so that everyone realizes this:

    Planning for the 150th Anniversarry events, is already well underway (both in the Campaigner Side and I'm sure in the Mainstream side as well).

    While we're certain to have some true EBUFU oppurtunities during the anniversary cycle...a number of our members will more than likely support some of the "Mega" eventu, Therefore the focus of this thread topic is centered mainly around the "Larger" events (since this is where we currently have very little input)...(take the 145th G-burg last year...our membership on this forum seemed to split 50/50 with some doing the GAC event, and others doing the Andersburg event)...are we to have the same scenario play out again...or can we come together with one voice intime for the next "Big" anniversary with what we expect...how we plan to support...and what help as a community we can do to make it a success???

    Being that this is the 150ths, and a number of members here are sure to be looking to attend the "next big event"...where is our voice in this community...because unless we have some sort of Solidarity, our roles will be defined for us...and we'll be forced to "play on someone elses terms" if we choose to attend some of the events already in the works...

    Any thoughts on this...can we have a serious, no B.S. talk about how "we" in this end of the community plan to be apart of the LARGER 150th celebrations/reenactments??

    Of course...a healthy discussion on EBUFU type Anniversary Eventum is also hightly encouraged!!!

    Yours in Solidarity Brothers/Sisters,

    Paul B.
    Last edited by Stonewall_Greyfox; 03-19-2009 at 04:19 PM. Reason: grammar
    Paul B. Boulden Jr.


    RAH VA MIL '04
    (Loblolly Mess)
    23rd VA Vol. Regt.
    Waggoner's Company of the Virginia Regiment

    Company of Military Historians
    Museum of the Confederacy
    Historic Sandusky

    Inscription Capt. Archibold Willet headstone:

    "A span is all that we can boast, An inch or two of time, Man is but vanity and dust, In all his flower and prime."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Augusta, Georgia
    Posts
    3,873

    Re: Planning Events for 2011

    Let's talk about "our side of the fence" for a sec:

    I think there are some missed opportunities for us to define ourselves and what we "do" to the world outside of our funny little "play dress up" hobby. If we can start making folks aware of "us", we can have a hand in how we are defined.

    Take Piney Woods*, for example:
    There was a truly unique event, meticulously planned and executed very well. Guys going outside of the general public's expected norm of a "battle for show" for an assembled audience. Attendees came from all over the US and from around Europe to attend.

    A press release could have been prepared touting the event and getting some publicity out. Guys making the treck from a long way away (west coast, IN, IL, WI, whatever) could have notified local papers.

    What would be the goal of all this?
    Well, I don't think any of us would have wanted a camera crew following us around. However, a story in a local paper here or there, or even a story in a larger venue might help raise awareness of the coming of the 150th's and let us define ourselves on our own terms (rather than as THC or some goofy reality show would portray us).

    Just a thought.

    Wick



    * Piney Woods was an awesome event. It was planned very, very well and I had a great time. I bring it up, not to make accusations of some deficiency or oversight on the part of the organizers, but rather as an example of a unique event that might be interesting to folks with a nominal interest in the ACW. No offense here, it is just serving as an example!
    John Wickett
    Carpetbagger
    Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    314

    Re: Planning Events for 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by LibertyHallVols View Post
    Let's talk about "our side of the fence" for a sec:

    I think there are some missed opportunities for us to define ourselves and what we "do" to the world outside of our funny little "play dress up" hobby. If we can start making folks aware of "us", we can have a hand in how we are defined.

    Take Piney Woods*, for example:
    There was a truly unique event, meticulously planned and executed very well. Guys going outside of the general public's expected norm of a "battle for show" for an assembled audience. Attendees came from all over the US and from around Europe to attend.

    A press release could have been prepared touting the event and getting some publicity out. Guys making the treck from a long way away (west coast, IN, IL, WI, whatever) could have notified local papers.

    What would be the goal of all this?
    Well, I don't think any of us would have wanted a camera crew following us around. However, a story in a local paper here or there, or even a story in a larger venue might help raise awareness of the coming of the 150th's and let us define ourselves on our own terms (rather than as THC or some goofy reality show would portray us).

    Just a thought.

    Wick

    * Piney Woods was an awesome event. It was planned very, very well and I had a great time. I bring it up, not to make accusations of some deficiency or oversight on the part of the organizers, but rather as an example of a unique event that might be interesting to folks with a nominal interest in the ACW. No offense here, it is just serving as an example!
    You raise some excellent points John!

    This hobby is dwindling fast, especially among younger participants ages 16-35. If current trends keep up I don't see much of a hobby left in 10 years. What happens when guys age 50 now turn 60, are they still going to be around? There goes a huge chunk of reenactors if they do retire. Part of the problem is the way in which Civil War reenacting is marketed, the marketing model hasn't changed in the last 30 years. There's show battles, camp tours, silly and good living history, a ball, etc. That may have been fun 20 years ago and brought in droves of people to our community, but it just isn't all that appealing to many young people today. Lets face it Civil War Reenacting isn't the only form of reenacting around anymore, WW2 especially draws in large numbers of young people who are interested in history, but also machine guns, tanks, planes and faster paced combat. WW2 groups have great websites and post fantastic videos of their events on youtube to appeal to the younger generation. Here's a good example:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSgdWiY1CFk

    Do you see anything like that promoting authentic Civil War reenacting? I don't. No wonder WW2 is a younger faster hobby. Problem is we Civil War hardcores are increasingly retreating to the woods with our exclusive invitation only events, forgetting the fact that it was Civil War reenacting's availability to the public that made it grow so large in the first place. At the same time WW2 reenacting involves few public events, so how do they attract the young people? Well they're great at marketing to the younger generation online. When I ask young WW2 reenactors who've never done Civil War what they think of our hobby they think its a joke, because all they've ever seen of Civil War reenacting is lame show battles in the media or online, like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE9OYZpW-RU

    If you were a young person today after watching those videos which hobby would you choose? When I tell these young WW2 reenactors about the events going on in the authentic side of Civil War reenacting, such as ITPWs, they're astounded and impressed, but they had no clue events like this happen. That's our fault for not getting the word out. One problem I see is the banning of cameras at these events. I understand people want to cut down on constant photographing that ruins people's first person moments, but how are you going to market your event in the future and grow participation? It's a good thing that some people just ignore these rules and bring cameras anyway, and it generally works out that the images they take end up being used for marketing after all. So I guess cameras aren't such a bad thing?

    There's a mentality of "these events are put on by us and for us." Well that's fine if our numbers continue to hold out forever, but they're not going to. Novices who attend these events to actually learn about campaigning in the field are often mocked and poked fun of for being so stupid in the AARs. Well how do you expect them to learn? I saw guys who received their first real baptism in field life at ITPW, I think they came away humbled and smarter as a result. They shouldn't be mocked for their mistakes. We need to have a welcoming, positive, helpful attitude towards these fellows if our end of Civil War reenacting is ever going to survive.

    We need to get our acts together so we can make a success of the 150th events. Let's look at creative and ingenious ways of getting the word out for these events so we can pass our love of history to the next generation instead of taking it with us.
    Ian McWherter

    "With documentation you are wearing History, without it, it's just another costume."-David W. Rickman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Augusta, Georgia
    Posts
    3,873

    Re: Planning Events for 2011

    Ian,

    The idea of publicizing events like IPW kinda dawned on my while spacing out on the way to the event on one of those looong flat stretches in southern Illinois. Then I overheard you talking about similar concepts during the long wait for dawn in the wee hours of Friday morning. Its nice to know that others are thinking the same thing!

    There are a lot of great things happening on this end of the hobby that are outside the typical reenacting box...
    • Re-occ of Sumter
    • Rich Mountain
    • Doug Dobb's 6th Corps March
    • BGR/ IPW
    • Just about any NPS
    event

    Each of these events have great talking points about how well-planned events by dedicated living historians add to the body of knowledge about the war. We do events like IPW and gain new insights about the life of the common soldier, then share that learning with the general public at LH events around the country.

    There are still a lot of folks around the country that are interested in seeing sham battles. However, portrayals of the hobby in the media (South Park, Unfinished Civil War, and many movies) show us as a bunch of kooks that like to dress up and play "shoot 'em up", which turns off a lot of folks that might otherwise be interested in the hobby.

    Also, at the end of the day, I don't just want to recruit for the hobby, I want people to get interested in the war... so they appreciate it more...
    - so they can appreciate and value our shared heritage
    - so they will be motivated to pay attention to preserviation issues

    Good thoughts... sorry if this is off the original topic... I can always split this out.
    John Wickett
    Carpetbagger
    Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    302

    Re: Planning Events for 2011

    Not to get off topic, but......

    We didn't advertise IPW for a reason. If you notice all of the other top pier events on this and other fora you will take note of alot of hype and cheerleading. We didn't want anypart of that....no advertising (other than the event folder) was done by any of the organizers...no published lists of attendees to show who the kewl kids are...nothing of that nature.

    We had a target audience, we provided the info, it was up to them to decide whether or not to attend. It was their loss if they missed out of a good opportunity to do some actual campaigning, if for nothing else than to prove to themselves that they were able to do some light marching in the woods.

    IPW, BGR, and other events that we put on in the woods in LA are pretty much the same: we go out on extended marches in the woods, keep first person conversation, etc. This past January the Ground Hornets covered the ground that was covered on the first two days of IPW on a Saturday....

    If you are interested in attending something like what went on at IPW contact Fred Baker, he's our recruiting officer. Let him know that you want in on some of our events and he'll give you the info.
    Cody Mobley

    Texas Ground Hornets
    Texas State Troops

    [HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, October 28, 1863,

    Wanted.

    All ladies in Houston and surrounding counties who have cloth on hand, which they can spare, are requested to donate it to the ladies of Crockett for the purpose of making petticoats for the Minute Men of this county, who have "backed out" of the service. We think the petticoat more suitable for them in these times.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,786

    Re: Planning Events for 2011

    Cody:

    With all due respect, IPW did a lot of advertising. And before anyone gets fired up, let me explain...

    IPW had more posts and threads than any other event in AC history - mostly by the organizers or those closely associated with the event (Advertising). It had a web site and a separate discussion folder on the web site (Advertising). It was talked about on other forums as well - some by the organizers and some by others. Direct marketing is good. Word of mouth is better. (Marketing). E-mails were sent out to participants and commanders (Marketing). T-shirts were done (Marketing). I'm sure that phone calls were made between organizers and commanders and I know that commanders were calling people to see if they were going to the event. (Communication, Marketing, Networking, Word of Mouth - All good stuff).

    There has been a drum beat going by some for quite a while along the same lines as your post, and quite frankly, I don't understand why. IPW won't acknowledge itself as an event that was well-publicized and well-marketed? That is, (gasp) a good thing and by the way, complimentary and I wouldn't call it hype. I would call it wise advertising and marketing. Well-done.

    Most would acknowledge that the hobby is shrinking. Most would say that anything that costs disposable income these days is dwindling. It is debatable, but not very much so. I'd like to see every event in the folder here put forth as much energy as was done with IPW in attracting participants. I would like to see events be more creative than the traditional living histories. IPW is different, because it was a five-day event. That is different. But, just because 99% of the other events aren't of the five-day variety doesn't mean that they can't be just as creative in other ways.

    I have had this conversation with several people for the last several years and quite honestly, what I've seen are events with no specific impressions; a lack of information or marketing (egad, HYPE!), and a general lack of creativity. On top of that, there seems to be an aversion to events marketing themselves by some quarters. Are we trying to limit ourselves or is this happening by design (or accident)?

    As far as "Kewl Kids" lists, I don't see anything wrong with simply publishing the list of those who plan to attend. Yes, we are doing it for Bummers. Participants like it. It makes it easier for them to figure out which group to fall in with. It makes it easier for commanders and organizers to track. It provides public accountability for the numbers that an event says it has. Of course, there is nothing wrong with not publishing the list. It is a preference for organizers, but I won't denegrade those who wish to do it differently. Each to his (or her) own, I guess.

    Any venture that doesn't market itself in some way and attract new people will die eventually. If that is the goal, then fine, we will have a self-fulfilling prophecy and our future events will consist of four of us in someone's backyard doing manual of arms. Piney Woods did a lot of good. I didn't attend, but I was glad to see that it went well and that the AAR's have been overwhelmingly positive. By the way, for those who come to the AC to read about the events we do... that's marketing - by example, and like the rest of it... is a good thing.

    AC Manager
    Founding Member, Mess No. 1
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    302

    Re: Planning Events for 2011

    Eric,
    I counted 15 posts (ranging from when the event was to be held, the fact that registration was open, what the impressions are, etc.) in the 5 pages of posts about the event that were from organizers of the event before the event's date. Anyone who attended the event, are 'closely associated with the event', so any posts by them pertaining to the event are just that...posts that pertain to the event, not posts by the organizers to draw interest other than providing the pertinent info on the event.

    As for the T-shirts, that task was taken on by Dan Hadley by his own doing to raise money for preservation. He did it for BGR and took it upon himself to do it for IPW. We didn't ask him to do it, but since he is closely associated with the event by being an attendee I guess you've got me there. Hell, if in the summer of 2006 after a 36 hr drive to an afternoon event in West Virginia shirts were being offered I may have purchased one. If for nothing else than to remind me of the money lost on that venture....a person's word should never be broken. Though in that case it probably should have.

    Shirts were there, but were recycled from years previous.

    As for the lists, different strokes for different folks.

    This post more than likely drifted off topic and thus you can delete it if need be...

    If you wish to discuss this further, Eric, please send me an email or PM so that the entirety of the thread isn't hijacked.
    Cody Mobley

    Texas Ground Hornets
    Texas State Troops

    [HOUSTON] TRI-WEEKLY TELEGRAPH, October 28, 1863,

    Wanted.

    All ladies in Houston and surrounding counties who have cloth on hand, which they can spare, are requested to donate it to the ladies of Crockett for the purpose of making petticoats for the Minute Men of this county, who have "backed out" of the service. We think the petticoat more suitable for them in these times.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,786

    Re: Planning Events for 2011

    Cody:

    Honestly, you are missing the point of my post - the point I have been trying to make to many for years - whatever the post count, however it was done - if IPW was successful, it helps other events behind it be successful.

    Success for anyone who puts on an event creates the potential for more success for others - even if a friendly competition breaks out. That is what the free market is all about.

    I'll PM my phone number to you.

    AC Manager
    Founding Member, Mess No. 1
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Augusta, Georgia
    Posts
    3,873

    Re: Planning Events for 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by ohpkirk View Post
    We didn't advertise IPW for a reason.
    Cody,
    I wasn't suggesting that IPW should have advertised. I was simply using it as an example of an event that is different from the common public perception of what a reenactment is. Being different, such events *could* be used to provide an venue for this end of the hobby to portray itself to the public for the various and sundry purposes I listed.

    IPW was a great event as it was (though I wish it could have lasted the full time). I'm not accusing anyone of anything. It was just an example I picked because, well... almost a week later, I'm still thinking about it.

    I'd rather be back in Nakdish with my pards than sitting at a desk all week long.
    John Wickett
    Carpetbagger
    Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    567

    Re: Planning Events for 2011

    ET actually makes sense! I told the Georgia fellows I hope that Bummers goes well. I hope everyone stupid enought to put together an event, any event, any type, does well. Not much sense in arguing about who's event is best or who does it better. Let the market decide. Some people like chili with beans. Some like it without beans. Let the buyer decide. Let the consumer make the choice. Advertise, market, hype, what ever you call it is how we get folks away from their keyboards and into the field. However it is done is good. It is all good.
    Tom Yearby
    Texas Ground Hornets

    "I'd rather shoot a man than a snake." Robert Stumbling Bear

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