Thread Archive > STAR 2014

STAR 2014 Survey Results

(1/2) > >>

 Survey Results:‑Survey‑Stats.pdf

 Comments: Commentary 2014.pdf

This is the fourth year we have used electronic surveys to measure STAR satisfaction and elicit comments from STAR attendees. When I started doing these surveys, I took it very personally and found myself disturbed at each and every negative comment. I have since changed my attitude. I now look at these comments as valuable feed back, provided by members who are giving their honest opinions and truly have an interest in making STAR better. 

STAR - as the rest of the MSTA - is operated 100% by volunteers. Hundreds of volunteer hours go into making STAR what it is. The MSTA is always looking for more people to help - especially with STAR. The fact that STAR operates as well as it does is a testament to the many, many members who put in all of those hours. 

I usually distribute the results without comment, however this year I would like to add my two cents worth.

STAR 2014 Overall:
A great result (84%), in line with Johnson City and Avon. Lexington (97%) was the highest in the four year period.
Location in Rapid City:
Another great result - tying for best result in four years with Avon (89%). I think a lot of attendees were surprised at how excellent the Black Hills area was for riding. Also, Rapid City - the town - was a delight to most of us.
Pre STAR promotion:
Pretty average, no year stands out for this category. I am not sure we should continue to aks for this opinion. The best pre STAR promotion requires an enthusiastic local presence and Rapid City had little of that. Tim Macy was the sole >expert= on the area and he lives in Oregon.
Pre Registration and Registration:
This process has been identical for the last four years and is another item that probably should be dropped from the measurement process. It was copied over from years past because registration was handled by different players each year and results could vary greatly. This years pre registration process saw a 12% drop in satisfaction - not sure why, since it has been the same for past 8 years. Our on site registration score also dropped - could be that we were hard to find and we were not open 24/7, which is a growing request.

Welcome Reception:
  This component of STAR is a constant struggle to balance information distribution and snack provision. The highest score in the last four years (91%) was at Avon, where there was not only enough food to make a meal, but free beer. The lowest score was Johnson City (31%), which we all remember as something of a mess. Seems to me that we should either not offer food or provide enough food that folks can make a meal of it. The plea in Rapid City was that people contain themselves re the volume of snacks, but that did not happen. The early people in line stacked their plates with enough food to make a meal (for themselves and their families), while the later folks got nothing. An option may be to raise the price of STAR to provide adequate food for a meal for everyone. Another option is to skip food altogether at the welcome reception unless it can consist of a full meal - think Avon and Taos in 2010.
Members Meeting:
The high/ very high score for this year was a meager 44%, however I think the Members Meeting should include the Average score (add 55%) as perfectly acceptable. The only improvement would be to limit officer (EC) presentations to smaller time slots to make the meeting a bit shorter. Much of the information presented might work better in STAReview where all members can view it.
Lunch Ride:
A pretty excellent score (79%), better than Johnson City and Avon, but 8% under the superb lunch provided at Lexington. One would guess that we were adverse to riding long distances after viewing some of the comments re lunch. The worst lunch score in the last four years was Avon (58%) - which not only required a long ride, but had some service difficulties and a general lack of food quality. If there is anything to learn from Lunch and welcome reception scores it is that our members love food - both quantity and quality.
Everybody wants their own printed maps, and they damn well better be good! This is an interesting (and continuing) lesson, since most members have sophisticated GPS units on their bikes. The highest map score in the past four years was Avon (93%), which interestingly did NOT provide ANY maps. All routes were presented on beautifully done presentation boards in the hotel lobby (thanks Dick and Kathy Parker). Each route was easy to see, pictures of what you would see on each route were attached to each board and a verbal description of each route, along with points of interest and food stops accompanied each route. My take on maps is to just have them printed and put them in every welcome packet. Again, funding for this (relatively expensive) option should be just be added to the STAR registration fee.There seemed to be much confusion this year on GPS files and printed maps. Not sure why, or the source, but brother Jerry and I got lost on the way to lunch - following one of the lunch routes. There were instructions (on the printed map/route sheet) that led us to non-existent streets.  It was not a big deal, we just abandoned the route and told our GPS=s to get us to lunch in shortest route possible. There seem to be issues with GPS routes/files every year. Maybe we should forego GPS file downloads and just stick with paper maps?
Closing Banquet:
In many respects, the closing banquet is hostage to the hotel banquet manager/ provider - in other words a crap shoot. There are few banquets that have really good food. If you can work up to an >average= meal, you have done well.
Looking at results from the last four years there was only one clear winner and that was Lexington (an astounding 90%). Rapid City was not the lowest (that was the madhouse at Johnson City), but at 67% probably is close to the mean.
You will see many comments from members regarding the banquet, which always attracts the most commentary - usually negative.
I am not sure there is much that can be done about the food and service at the banquet - probably not. The time spent on presentations at the banquet however, can be  controlled by the EC and should probably be looked at/ reviewed to make the time efficient and enjoyable.
Seminars are always a mixed bag with scores varying from a low of 69% at Johnson City, to 87% in Lexington. I can=t offer any opinion on them other than appreciation for the individuals who volunteer to make a presentation.
Services of the Holiday Inn:
Reasonably good score of 83%, better that Johnson city but not up to Avon and the astounding score of 95% in Lexington.
There are always comments, again usually complaints, regarding our hotels. There are hotels that go far above and beyond (Avon and Lexington) normal service and also have excellent facilities for motorcycle groups. The best properties have lots of nooks and crannies to chat / kick tires. Both Avon and Lexington had these cozy >get together= areas.Finding a hotel large enough to serve our membership and hold a banquet are always a challenge. Personally, I have been trying to find a property in Durango for a potential STAR. The best property (that could support our size - and there is only one) has only a small banquet area and pretty outrageous prices. Our June dates are right in the middle of tourist season. I have only kudos for the members who pre qualify and negotiate for our STAR hotels, it=s a big job and seldom appreciated.

T shirts:
The polyester T shirts were very well received, however we should always state on the registration form the construction of the shirts. Those who prefer cotton (or polyester) can opt out of the T shirt order with their registration.
There were some complaints on the T shirts - mainly, putting the design on the front rather the back, and the color white. In general, I like T shirts that are subdued in color. I probably have 300 T shirts and tend to favor the ones that help me blend in rather than stand out - just my 2 cents.
We put an image of the T shirts on the Lexington registration - that was excellent since everyone knew exactly what they were getting.

There was one major issue in the comments that I think deserves considerable attention. That is the apparent lack of welcome and inclusion of ALL new members and first time STAR attendees. I think it is very important that STAR be the premier event for the MSTA every year. All attendees should come away with a good feeling about the organization and its members. STAR is the only annual event where all members can gather and socialize. Many folks (us included) look forward every year to renewing old friendships and enjoying 4 days of excellent camaraderie.
I think we can do something about that problem.

Harry and Beth Hemstreet, STAR 2014 Registrars

Harry and Beth Thank You from the bottom of my heart! I know how much work you guys put in for our enjoyment of STAR! From my experience I know that without you STAR would be a real bummer! Thanks again!


I agree with Brick. Thanks to Harry and Beth for all that you do and the well thought out comments that you posted.
That said, I found a lot of interesting comments about STAR. Many I agree with and are good comments that should be incorporated into future events.
I guess the only comment that I'm qualified to answer is the group photo.
The comment was more time should have been given to people showing up late for the shot.
This is sort of a "danged if you do, danged if you don't" scenario.
Last year in Lexington, I actually took the group shot a few minutes ahead of the scheduled time.
No, I was in no rush but Mother Nature had her own ideas. If you recall the sky opened up about 10 minutes after the shot! My choice was to take the shot early or perhaps get no photo at all. I opted for the sure thing and I know this made some folks VERY unhappy!
Going back a few years to the Johnson City STAR, the group photo was delayed about 20 minutes. Members were not pleased with the delay and some even left before the photo was taken. Comments that year was to take the photo at the scheduled time.
This year I asked that the event schedule state that the group photo would be taken at "6:00PM SHARP!"
I started the shoot at 6:00 and the last shot was taken 8 minutes after that. I was told later that there were people hurrying to get into the shot. I simply did not see them. Sorry.

I'm open to suggestions but I think it will still require members to be responsible for showing up at a set time. -JEP-

Re people being late to the photo shoot: You snooze, you lose. Period. A few people don't get to waste the time of many.

It was a great STAR as they all are.  Few members have a clear understanding of how much work it is to pull one of these off - and it starts a year before the event and runs right until Wednesday night.  Everyone who works on it deserves credit! 


ps.  Jim - don't fuss over the folks who missed the group photo.   ;)   


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version