Author Topic: STAR 2014 Survey Results  (Read 10699 times)

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Offline hhemstreet

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STAR 2014 Survey Results
« on: July 14, 2014, 07:06:08 PM »
 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

Offline Brick

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Re: STAR 2014 Survey Results
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2014, 09:04:38 PM »
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!

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Re: STAR 2014 Survey Results
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2014, 07:39:11 AM »
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-

Offline normkern

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Re: STAR 2014 Survey Results
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2014, 07:53:59 AM »
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.

Offline DirtFlier

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Re: STAR 2014 Survey Results
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2014, 10:45:47 AM »
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.   ;)   


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Re: STAR 2014 Survey Results
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2014, 11:07:45 AM »
Big thanks to Beth, Harry and all the volunteers who made this event happen! I know volunteers
often sacrifice some riding time to work the event. The MSTA has so few members near the Black
Hills it must have been tough to find volunteers.

As I was telling Brick in the hotel, I thought the 2014 Rapid City STAR was almost as fun as the
2007 Ashville STAR. Ashville was the most fun of the four STARs I have attended.

Offline lifeisgood

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Re: STAR 2014 Survey Results
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2014, 03:36:12 PM »
A huge thank you to Harry and Beth, not only for all the registration efforts before and during STAR, but also for the survey afterwards and your genuine concern and efforts to make the STAR events even better.

I would like to shed some light on a couple of things that might answers some of the questions/concerns that were shared in the survey.  Regarding vendors:  I also would love to have many more vendors at STAR.  Several things impacted some of our regular vendors in 2014.  Probably the biggest "issue" was that since STAR was earlier in June than normal (otherwise the hotel prices would have been twice as much!), many vendors were headed to Americade in Lake George, NY.  Even those who wanted to attend both, logistically could not.  Add to that -- we are a small event for many of the vendors.  So it just does not make financial sense for those who are relatively east to travel the distance to Rapid City. Several vendors had said they would love to attend, but just could not justify it this year.  And, for STAR 2014 and beyond -- unfortunately Tommy and Alissa Kincaid have retired from Held and while I did my utmost to get Schuberth to send someone  anyway -- I was told there simply were no Held products in the US!!!  The arrival date for their new inventory was July so Held products from the supplier should be available soon, if not already.  And, add to that the good news that No-Mar is expanding into international markets, but the bad news for us this year was they had to spend their time focusing on their new commitments.  Sue has promised to be there next year. YIPPEE!!!
And a huge thank you, once again, to those vendors who did take their time and spend their money to be a valued part of STAR in Rapid City.

Another category on which I can shed some light -- Guest Speaker.  After our first choice speaker was not available for 2014, the discussion and ensuing decision was to "honor" the request from those who had been asking to eliminate the guest speaker at the banquet.  While it is easy for several people to express an opinion, it is difficult to know how widespread that opinion may be without testing the waters.  So the decision was made not to pursue another speaker for 2014, but to see whether the majority of the members would actually be happier without one or whether the majority would prefer to have guest speakers in the future.  The EC listens to your input.

One simple comment on the mistakes on the maps --.  As everyone is aware, we had no local presence within our membership in SD.  Many steps were taken to have accurate information, but without someone locally riding the roads -- the information was not without errors.  To those who recognize that an awful lot goes into planning a STAR, saying that is really vague.  To help put one part of it in perspective, the routes for Lexington, for example, were 100% a result of Dennis Villarose and Jim Park taking their own time and money to make, not one, but two separate trips to Lexington to make sure all details were addressed with hotel staff as well as riding the local roads to ensure accuracy.  Also Pat Mogavero pre-rode the routes and played a major role in correcting and editing them to make certain the roads met the criteria, were in good shape, and the turn by turn directions were correct.  This may be a lesson learned that it is not a good idea (???) to hold a STAR in area where no members can actually pre-ride the routes.  That being said, we should be good for STAR 2015 with Bill and Gayla O'Brien as well as Bill and Becky Wing being totally on top of those great roads in Arkansas.

In case there is any doubt whatsoever, I can assure you that the EC listens to all members comments and opinions and tries to incorporate members ideas into future STAR events.  So ... to those who shared their opinions in the survey, thanks for your honesty and input.  Some things can be improved and that is exciting.
Dianne Park
MSTA PR Director

Offline stevegrab

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Re: STAR 2014 Survey Results
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2014, 04:51:06 PM »
I sadly did not respond to the survey, somehow I missed the first email sent (possibly went to junk/spam) and the reminder that came was during my drive back and then a busy week returning to work.

I would like to make one comment now as it relates to an observation by Harry regarding the welcome reception. After attending about 10 STARs in the past 15 years I have come to expect that you just aren't going to have any substantial food at the welcome reception. If there happens to be some great, if not I'll go get dinner. (This year we had eaten a late lunch around 4:30 and didn't even bother to try and get food. Other than Avon and maybe 1-2 other times my usual experience is if you are not in the first wave in line, you get scraps. Sorry to say but this can go for other things with food, seems that for many if there is food out they take as much as they can, expecting there is always going to be more.

So my opinion is either get rid of food altogether or just let it be as is. We should not increase the fee, and possibly end up with similar results.

One last thing on the welcome reception is the ability to hear the people speaking, was very hard this year with such an open area and lots of chatter coming from many areas (though I admit I was rather far away).
Steve Grabowski
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Offline Bermuda Ron

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Re: STAR 2014 Survey Results
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2014, 08:45:24 PM »

Hello All,
I was saddened by the many new members who were brave enough to say that they did not feel welcome.  MSTA is a group about riding, so I suggest that riding be the solution to that problem. 

Any summer camp counselor will tell you that the best way to get folks to feel at ease with each other is to throw them into an activity – count off 1,2, etc.; names beginning A - C to this side etc., riders from Ohio, Kentucky, and  Indiana meet hear at this time etc. etc.

It is really a matter of entering an expanded list of registration details into a spreadsheet and sorting that sheet in a variety of ways:  age, bike, State, Region, years riding, membership years, preferred distance, preferred pace (challenging, sporty, moderate, flower sniffing) preferred leaving time (7,8,9,10am) – WHATEVER!  Once you sort the data by each category, it will become obvious what the demand will be for putting together ride groups based on the rider’s criteria.
The most important part of this type of approach is leadership on the pavement, and we already have those in our State Chairs and Executive Committee members, and in many great riding legends and leaders in our club! 
So, for example, we want to set up a ride for the 350 mile Loop-de-Loop Bone-Crusher Route, and the spreadsheet shows us we have a bunch of Sporty, Ducatisti, wanting to leave at the crack of dawn, then the Chairperson for the State of Franklin (FR) reaches out to those folks via a lobby notice board, and our web-site, and/or (hopefully in the future) - the MSTA smart-phone App!  Give everyone (including ALL newbies) numerous opportunities to be welcomed to a different squad of riders every day, and your chances of satisfying your riders increases with every ride. 

All of these great volunteer leaders should be versed in making their rides memorable.  Make sure to introduce everyone all around, and give a good overview and maps of the route, the conditions, leader and tail gunner, hand signals etc.  Make every effort at the start to let these riders get comfortable with each other and allow them to find their position in the group.  And give your group some “makin’ memories” opportunities – don’t whiz past each scenic pull-off; take some pictures to share; become the group videographer for some camera passes; bring some hard candy or a treat, plan an interesting lunch stop, or even find some “funky” gas stops!  And don’t be afraid to double back – if those sweepers were great, go back and run it again!  If you’ve ever wanted to be an Edelweiss Tours type leader for a day, you’ll know this drill.
STAR rallies are not Iron Butt rallies, but should be a time of shared experiences and camaraderie.   So why even go to a “rally” if you’re just going to “rally” with the same bunch of guys who rode out with you? 
We each need to find creative ways to reach out to all fellow and prospective members – particularly new members.

Ron Campbell, MSTA Member
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Riding out of Mills River, NC in the heart of Motorcycle Heaven!