March 13th 2017

When I established the forums in 2005 it was to offer a more richer web experience and greater functionality than the platform where we started this social adventure in 2003, Yahoo Groups. The forums were once a busy hive of activity and provided locals and visitors with a wealth of information just like the Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group on Facebook today.

It was a time where we didn't have the many social media platforms we have today, and it was a different time in terms of mobility and technology. There was no instant access to information, no Google Maps and a very limited base map on your GPSr. Mobile connectivity for me was a 9600bps Infrared connection from a Nokia to a laptop and in later times to a PDA using WAP.

As we moved into the social media era so did our forums users. Geocaching Ireland moved there too, and we have a thriving community on the Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group on Facebook. As a result, forum activity isn't what it used to be and I have taken the decision to disable new registrations to the forums and to make the forums read only so any information there can still be accessed.

The discussion hasn't ended, it has just moved. Join us on the Facebook Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group .

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2014 Ireland Mega

Talk about events

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2014 Ireland Mega

Post by TeamHousty » Tue May 04, 2010 4:10 pm

I think the MEGA event Ireland 2014 might not be to far of stretch

Lawrence Scatterson: How many do we need for that and is it only caching names that count?

Donny Moore: you need 500 registered cachers prior to the event. GC has given the scotland mega the icon already due tot he success of the Harrogate one last year

Graham Moore: I'd need a hand with a Mega I think.........

Donny Moore: It appears to be almost a full time job to organise a mega. having to sell spots to vendors and find sponsors and so on and so forhth

Lawrence Scatterson:I think we could do that as we would have visitors coming across as well. Wonder if we could get a field from a farmer to hold it in.

Lawrence Scatterson: You would need to set up a team and get as many involved as possible. I would help out but I think being in charge would be too much for me.

Lawrence Scatterson: Graham you up for leading this one?

Donny Moore: You need to assign a committee if you are serious about it probably best to communicate with the English and Scotish committees

Karen Loughrey: I will help out too!! :)

Robin Gray: There has been some talk about this on the Geocaching Ireland Forum - this would be a lot of work. I have been involved in running some big sailing events and the costs involved will require a proper business plan and a sponsor or three to make it viable. As Donny says it is a committee job and a committed committee at that. If this is a serious thought we would need to talk to the UK people particularly ASAP.

Donny Moore: there was also rumour that GC where going to try and charge for giving the mega icon to events in the future. I don't think they will but it goes to show what they think of megas

Lawrence Scatterson: There are some groups that we could contact, I'm sure invest NI, The Belfast hills, NI tourist board, the council ect would like to get involved. I could ask my employer if they would like to support us.

Robin Gray: Just had a quick chat with a guy on the North Down Borough Council - they do have money in their budget to sponsor events run in theBorough that generate Bed-Nights. There are some t&Cs attached to this but it might be possible to get some NDBC (or whereever) grant money. Applications have to be in for the endo of the calendar year fro the following year.

Robin Gray: @Lawrence - Any requests for money from any business have to be properly prepared and presented so I recommend no casual asks. Invest NI would not be interested - it might be worth talking to SportNI - I will be at a meeting there next week about another matter - I could raise this. However they have no idea we exist at present!

Robin Gray: Maybe we should move this conversation on to someone's wall

Malcolm Houston: before anyone gets too carried away with this. it is a BIG commitment and whoever wants to help really needs to commit to the project. i would suggest that this conv should be moved to the forums rather than facebook

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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by wildfowler » Tue May 04, 2010 4:47 pm

All the above comments have been deleted off my facebook photo! Any further discussion should be raised here!

I was joking about needing a hand! I'd need more than that! Starting with my sanity needing tested! I'll certainly help but I don't think I'd have the time to dedicate to taking the reins on this one! Maybe someone with more experience in running events? :-k
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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by TeamHousty » Tue May 04, 2010 5:54 pm

Sorry to dampen spirits :( but it's not just a big commitment it's a huge one and not just in 2014 but between now and 2014.

I think at its head needs to be someone with that commitment and drive to take it forward. There would certainly be plenty of support from the caching community but without a driving force the support is meaningless.

The whole approach needs to be structured and co-ordinated from the start (now) rather than people going off and asking random organisations/companies without a clear plan.

just my opinion

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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by wildfowler » Tue May 04, 2010 6:15 pm

I agree with Malcolm! I honestly don't think we'd get the 500 required either! Unfortunately that's probably the mostly likely outcome!

Local events for local cachers yes, trying to get people to travel across the water to another country in big numbers? Not very likely!
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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by Zoe andDaddy » Tue May 04, 2010 8:43 pm

I think Graham is right at this time there is not enough cachers in this area and we could only get maybe 5% from elsewhere. But we should not give up, I do think this is one to plan for in the future. We just need to get more local cachers.
What about an event 'Introduce a friend to caching'

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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by Donmoore » Tue May 04, 2010 10:00 pm

I agree with a lot of whats been said what I dont agree with is the amount of people. I think you'll find as there appears to be a gentlemans agreement in place with regards the British Isles having 1 per year that they do so expecting the support from the other countries.

The biggest problem is going to be the organisation. I dont know everyone who caches in Ireland but you would need people who do know the workers of event planning. I honestly think if there is a feeling for having it in 2014 then you really do need to put the feelers out with the other committees.

Its all very well me sitting over here where I know that there are lots of caching organisations and lots of dedicated people to run the megas and a whole range of other things like workshops and a monthly events.

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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by jme1979 » Wed May 05, 2010 5:54 am

Okay, this isn't going to be popular....

The way people talk about mega events makes it sound like a 'business', rather than a bit of fun (which is why most people started caching in the first place). Is it really such a great thing to have hundreds of people in one place at one time -you certainly aren't going to meet them all, forget doing any caches in the area for the couple of days it is running as they will all be overrun with people - I could understand if this was being done as a charity fundraising activity, but the idea of all this stress for an icon does raise questions about the sanity of it!

Sunday, for me, was a perfect size of event - enough people about for it to be sociable, not too big that it required a formal event organising committee and/or a permit (would have loved to have been at Sligo as well, but was feeling 'under the weather' on Saturday morning :cry: ) The nice thing I've always heard about these more local small scale events is how much the organisers have enjoyed them (and not just the attendees). I would hate to see that 'spirit' of things being killed through competitiveness over an event that is possibly just too big for the numbers of people who cache here.

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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by dino » Wed May 05, 2010 7:39 am

I also hate to pour cold water on an idea but I really don't think you understand the scale of what you are proposing. I really, really think you should contact someone on each of the committees that organised the two previous Megas at Harrogate and WSM and also the guys currently organising the Scottish one and let them tell you how much money and work was required to organise and pay for the event. I think you'll be quite shocked! The figures I heard were in '000s rather than '00s :shock: and there's a very good reason why these things are organised by a committee rather than one or two people. Maybe if you go to the event in Perth this year you might get an idea of the scale of one of these events and also get a chance to talk to the organisers.

The second issue will be getting people to attend. The Bally Cache Rally last summer was the largest event I have ever seen in Ireland with about 100 attendees. Even the birthday events with the new and special icon only managed to gather a similar amount between the two of them. For a Mega you need a minimum of 500. I've been following all three previous events (and there is now talk of a 4th in Wales next year) being discussed on the Groundspeak Forum and the amount of moaning about travelling to these events is unbelievable. I seriously think you will struggle to convince people to travel to Ireland from the UK for an event. The way they talk about Ireland you would think it was in Africa and not a short plane flight away! In order to make an Irish event viable you will depend on the UK contingent travelling.

Sorry guys but I don't think we're ready for a Mega yet, not even in 4 years :(
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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by wildfowler » Wed May 05, 2010 10:36 am

Well said Juliana & Niall!

I think we're better off sticking with what we can achieve at the minute! Smallish local events that are well attended and enjoyed by all those that go!

It's one thing to dream but another totally to achieve!
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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by parkmoy » Wed May 05, 2010 12:06 pm

Is it really such a great thing to have hundreds of people in one place at one time -you certainly aren't going to meet them all, forget doing any caches in the area for the couple of days it is running as they will all be overrun with people
I've been to them all in the UK and actually it's fun and an excuse to cache in a new area. Different to a local event of course but still good craic. Plenty of caches over there so not as crowded as you might think once you get a couple of miles from the event.
Sorry guys but I don't think we're ready for a Mega yet, not even in 4 years
I agree totally with what Niall says. I've talked to some of the people involved and I advise anyone considering organizing an Ireland mega to do the same. You will have your eyes opened with regard to finances. The only realistic way it might be possible would be with massive sponsorship and I'm talking nominal ferry/air fares here. Even then I think we would struggle to get the numbers but it might just be possible. However, I think that kind of sponsorship only happens in lala land, unless of course we can get Michael O'Leary to take up geocaching :D Even then he'd probably charge extra for taking a GPS :roll:

Let's try to keep organizing good quality local events and, who knows, one day we might have the numbers.
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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by Donmoore » Wed May 05, 2010 2:49 pm

Oh I should have mentioned that the figure I heard from someone though I even find this hard to believe is that GC where going to charge $10,000 for them in the states. I think if that figure is true it goes to show you how much money is involved in megas over here.

My purpose of bringing it up is to be something to aim towards perhaps 2014 is to close but I think at some point it would be great to have one on the Island.

Of course its a different dynamic to a local event but I dont think anyone who has been to one has not enjoyed themselves with the different things on offer. I see them more a geocachers fair.... actually on that point you could possibly look at the country game fairs that are around to see how they work. they are a rip off to get intoand then for the most part they charge for everything once your in. goes to show either how much money they are making or how much money it costs to run.

Anyway its just something to keep in mind more than possibly organise because clearly from the readers of this topic so far there is no one out there who would relish the task asked. perhaps we could ask gc for a special icon for an Irish Mega?
perhaps a little man lying back on his sun lounger with a brolly up sheltering from the rain.

Does anyone have an idea of exactly how many active cachers there are now in Ireland?

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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by johnrm » Wed May 05, 2010 5:52 pm

Donmoore wrote:perhaps we could ask gc for a special icon for an Irish Mega?
perhaps a little man lying back on his sun lounger with a brolly up sheltering from the rain.
You're a funny man Donny! But you've got a good idea there. There's nothing to say that we can't host a spoof Mega, the only thing is it will be short is the icon.
Donmoore wrote:Does anyone have an idea of exactly how many active cachers there are now in Ireland?
GC.com did a survey recently which was looking for lots of info, some of which was 'How many cachers travel under the one username' etc. Maybe Niall has access to some of these stats.

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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by Donmoore » Wed May 05, 2010 6:14 pm

johnrm wrote:
Donmoore wrote:perhaps we could ask gc for a special icon for an Irish Mega?
perhaps a little man lying back on his sun lounger with a brolly up sheltering from the rain.
You're a funny man Donny! But you've got a good idea there. There's nothing to say that we can't host a spoof Mega, the only thing is it will be short is the icon.
Donmoore wrote:Does anyone have an idea of exactly how many active cachers there are now in Ireland?
GC.com did a survey recently which was looking for lots of info, some of which was 'How many cachers travel under the one username' etc. Maybe Niall has access to some of these stats.

If you look at that Canadian Mega thats being touted on the forum here you'll get a little bit of an idea of how huge it is to have a mega I think its not just mega in numbers but mega in nature.

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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by dino » Wed May 05, 2010 8:27 pm

johnrm wrote:
Donmoore wrote:Does anyone have an idea of exactly how many active cachers there are now in Ireland?
GC.com did a survey recently which was looking for lots of info, some of which was 'How many cachers travel under the one username' etc. Maybe Niall has access to some of these stats.
Unfortunately not. We were talking about this very thing at the weekend meal but it's near impossible to guess :-k
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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by donnacha » Wed May 05, 2010 8:33 pm

dino wrote:In order to make an Irish event viable you will depend on the UK contingent travelling.
I don't know if anyone remembers the UK\Ireland events that were organised a few years ago. Hardly anyone from the UK bothered to travel, while our lot made an effort. I think that would be the case for a mega too.
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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by Bootle » Tue May 11, 2010 8:31 pm

donnacha wrote:
dino wrote:In order to make an Irish event viable you will depend on the UK contingent travelling.
I don't know if anyone remembers the UK\Ireland events that were organised a few years ago. Hardly anyone from the UK bothered to travel, while our lot made an effort. I think that would be the case for a mega too.
I remember the one in Dublin. I reserved a section of a pub for the expected attendees from the UK. I should have just reserved a table :cry:
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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by beefy4605 » Wed May 12, 2010 7:40 pm

Bootle wrote:
donnacha wrote:
dino wrote:In order to make an Irish event viable you will depend on the UK contingent travelling.
I don't know if anyone remembers the UK\Ireland events that were organised a few years ago. Hardly anyone from the UK bothered to travel, while our lot made an effort. I think that would be the case for a mega too.
I remember the one in Dublin. I reserved a section of a pub for the expected attendees from the UK. I should have just reserved a table :cry:
And that is your big problem . Unless you can depend on 500 Irish cachers to attend an Irish Mega your really on a wing and a prayer if you have to depend on others travelling to Ireland to make up the numbers.
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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by donnacha » Thu May 13, 2010 7:16 am

And I don't know if there's 500 of us actually "active".
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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by mrmac250 » Thu May 13, 2010 12:54 pm

I wonder just how many active geocachers do we have?

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Re: 2014 Ireland Mega

Post by donnacha » Thu May 13, 2010 3:13 pm

mrmac250 wrote:I wonder just how many active geocachers do we have?
That's the big question alright. Hard to judge, as there's lots of cachers out there that don't do the FB or forum thing. I think if someone wanted to go ahead with this you would need some form of stats from GS. I doubt they would hand over that info, but you never know.
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