I wasn't able to attend this weekend's tour reunion and Test Drive a Tour Guide event. Does anyone who was there have any comments to make about the event, things you learned, etc?
We don't attend in person since we live on the East Coast and don't want to worry about the weather. We watch the live stream almost all day of the sales pitches for different tours organized by country. That is always enjoyable and this year was the same.
I attended the Reunion in person last year and had a wonderful time!
This year I watched about 6 hours of the live streaming presentations. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I have had laryngitis for about 12 days now so this was a perfect activity for me on Saturday since I was still under "voice rest".
Hoping to go again in 2021.
It was our 8th tour reunion. It's always a great time to renew friendships and test drive a tour guide. Since we are planning our second trip to Sicily (self guided) we chose to go to the Sicily class presented by the fabulous Sarah Murdoch. We always learn something new. Sarah also commented that she discovers new areas or information to use for future journey's. She was joined by two wonderful Sicily guides who added their perspective on this magical area. It seemed that the Edmonds Center of the Arts was full to capacity. We spoke to a couple who were sitting in front of us who remarked they had been to a number of classes. They were amazed at how many out of town people participated this year. As usual Edmonds was hopping over the weekend. We are grateful to live 15 minutes away. Sorry you could not make it this time.
Well, Eric, I didn't go either (too much of a pain to get over Snoqualmie this time of year) but with the announcement about the inaugural tour of Poland and the subsequent filling of same by mid-morning, looks like that is where everyone is headed, lol!!
I attended for the third year in a row and had a great time as usual and connected with prior guides and tour mates. There were more people there than I had seen in the past. I did discover that you need to register for presentations earlier than in the past because some classes were full, and I mean full. I was planning on attending the Eastern Europe presentation (I am taking that tour in May) at the Edmond’s movie theatre and they had two lines – one for those who had registered and one for those who had not (walkups). There were fifty to a hundred walkups and none of us were able to get in. It was a popular presentation! There were however, other presentations that were “full” but I was still able to get in as a walkup.
Seems like you need to sign up for tours sooner too, to get the optimum dates you want.
Starting last year, I really started to notice how the venues were getting "oversubscribed". Anything at the Edmonds Theater that says "full" really will be. The North Sound building also fills up fast. ECA will generally have space though you may have to climb over people to get to the available middle seats.
I love this event, but like many places in Europe, it's becoming almost too popular. Edmonds needs one more venue to branch out into, but I have no idea where that would be. I would hate to see the event move out of downtown Edmonds, but I couid envision that happening some day.
I've been to two of these events, one a few years ago and one just now. Busy would be the way that I describe it. Lots of people, and events marked as full really were. The Edmonds Center for the Arts is a fine space once inside, but the entry areas are much smaller than one would like if you're waiting to get into a session and trying to stay out of the rain. I suspect it works fine as a theater, which doesn't have events back to back. Does get a bit crowded in the transitions for this event.
The other venues were fine. Good acoustics and microphone use meant I could hear everyone very clearly, and I appreciate that a great deal. The sessions were good - much the same format for each (here's the cool stuff about region X, here's our tours, here's some interesting tidbits and talk from our guides), which is fine, but at the earlier event I went to there was more sessions offered for things like travel skills, and I kind of missed hearing that this year.
The streaming worked reasonably well too (I watched some of the later events from my hotel). A few glitches here and there, but overall, high quality.
Nobody goes to the alumni event anymore. It’s too crowded.
But I did take in Rick’s yearly history of his business talk. It was interesting and entertaining. Little did I realize how many things factor into running a quality tour operation.