Help Wanted for Secret Pals 5
Given the tremendous amount of participation, I think it should be assumed that hosting these events have grown into a 'more than one person' job.
Alice, who is hosting SP5, has asked if I can send out the call for anyone who can offer technical support for then next event.
You can reach her at brokedown_tiger at yahoo.com for more details about what she'll need exactly.
I guess this would be a good opportunity to share what I've learned about hosting these events - for future hosts
1. As just stated, it has grown into a 2+ person job. We had 365 and if I hadn't had the help I received I would have been pretty screwed. If you are planning to do this solo, I'd put a cap on participation at 250. Sending out the email alone is a huge undertaking.
2. There might be some thought of doing other SP's broken down to 'Domestic' SP'S (for instance U.S., North America or Europe) for those participants who which to stay on the same continent and then an 'International' SP for knitters who would prefer exchanging world wide. (Also, maybe Spanish and French language SP's). The event is large enough now to probably accommodate this and would ease a lot of the organizational hurdles for the hosts.
3. NEVER use an excite account as the main email address. I found it wonky (undelivered mail) and pretty much useless for sorting emails. I'd suggest either yahoo or gmail.
4. Place more specific deadlines or parcels. I'd suggest that if a participant wanted to just send one big package, that they do that within the first month. This way you know who is still participating.
5. Given the international participation of this event, give the heads up on the cost and time delay of sending overseas. While a lot of people like to exchange internationally, they may not be aware of how much more the shipping costs.
6. I would revise the list of rules and regulations that were used in this event. I did a lot of cut and pasting from previous events and I realize now that perhaps some of the rules of engagement were vague. Everyone has different expectations, and it might be better if everything is explicatly spelled out.
7. Explain how the SP event works right up front, specifically, who remains anonymous to whom. I kind of assumed that everyone was familiar with the structure of these events so we have a few accidental reveals. So that is something I'd explain right up front.
So that's it for my thoughts. If anyone has any constructive thoughts, send them to me at secretpals4 at exite.com and I'll try to compile another list.