Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Series - The event

Some people enjoy planning events.  For some, it's a chore.  Almost everyone loves attending them.  What you plan will make all the difference.

Okay, so a little bit of this post will be based on an event I held only two days ago, but with some encouragement from the kind words I've received about it, I felt that it wouldn't hurt to talk about creativity in event planning.  We could focus on events in general, and maybe in the future we will.  For now, lets look at some ideas for planning a Halloween event.

Hold your event at night.  This makes it a bit harder for the kids, but it makes the atmosphere ten times better for caching.  Speaking of caching...

Haunted caches.  If you can find a location with room to plant some caches, try to do haunted caches.  You can use the rat and skull caches from the previous two posts, or come up with something else.  Fake graves, ghosts in the trees, fake snakes and spider caches will provide those little EEKS escaping from geocacher's mouths.  If the area you are holding the event has some wooded trails, definitely plan on using them.  Put some Halloween related swag inside for good measure.

And speaking of wooded trails, if you're up for the task, try to build a night cache for the event.  Make it a haunted night cache to boot.  Night caches are fun in groups, even more fun in the atmosphere of Halloween.

It is Halloween so plan on people wanting to dress up.  Plan for this by holding a costume contest.  This will encourage some people to put more effort into their costumes and you'll see some interesting ones.  You may end up showing up at the event only to have a silent, heavy breathing, mad doctor staring you down as you try to guess whose inside.  And don't forget the kids.  Make it more fair and have a kids category and an adults category (don't forget prizes for both).

Mentioning kids reminded me something about caches.  If you are planning caches, it couldn't hurt to plan some kiddie caches.  Direct from the mind of redsoxfan65, who helped me with my event, plant some temporary caches for kids.  Fill them with Halloween swag that the kids can take so it feels like trick or treating.  Then, nearby, place a permanent "logger" cache.  When the kids find all of the temporary caches, the logger cache is the place where they can claim their find.

Try to plan for treat bags.  Everyone loves treats on Halloween, and the inner geocaching kid in all of your attendees will enjoy this extra step.  Plan on having more than what you expect to show up.  Chances are you will still run out.

Door prizes.  As with any event, try to have door prizes.  Especially if you hold a costume contest.  The chance to win prizes will get even more people dressed up.

If you can find something else to work into your plans, awesome.  For my event, we held the event at a park that had an observatory.  We worked with them to reserve it for the night and a member of their club came out and gave people views of Jupiter and the Moon through a HUGE telescope after the clouds rolled away.  It ended up being cool finish to the event.

All of this may seem like a lot of work, so ask for volunteers to help.  Put some effort into planning a fun haunted event and you'll have a lot of happy cachers in the end.

If you have other ideas to incorporate into a Halloween event, post some comments so others can plan for next year.

I have one last Halloween post planned and the plans can definitely be used outside of Halloween too - logbook design.  Bet you didn't think about that when planning your caches.  I sure didn't until recently.  All the artistic geocachers out there will love this one.


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