Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

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Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

Postby trilobyte » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:55 am

That April 30th deadline is fast approaching, people! If you hope to register your theme camp or your art project or MV support camp, you need to have that completed no later than April 30th at noon pacific time.

To do so, go here and enter your Burner Profile info (if you don't have an account yet, you'll need to create one.

If you're still struggling with getting things together and organizing yourselves, take a look through the info below (from placer HepKitten's presentation at last year's Theme Camp Forum).

Tips For A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire
presented by HepKitten

  • Who should fill it out? A key person! Not the sparklepony newbie who doesn't have any answers, your contact needs to be able to answer questions and make decisions and possibly determine who in the camp gets tickets. That person needs to be available by email/phone from the time the question is submitted until placement is announced. Not necessarily 24/7, but don't have your contact be the person going to africa for 3 months :-)
  • Pretend that you have no clue who your placer is, that they don't know anything about your camp, that you haven't been coming for ten years
  • Interaction - most important! Be specific, vague is bad. Use enthusiasm, show us your personality, don't be dry.
  • Please consider the placers - don't use all caps, do use punctuation, make it as easy to read and understand as possible
  • Camp plans - make sure you mark what's the frontage on your map. Account for all your space, so you can contain your whole camp within the camp (no 'we'll just park the rest of the cars by the porta-potties). Make sure your plan has all your big things on it (domes, major structures, etc). Include containers, specify container info if it's a container through Burning Man.
  • RV Fortresses - please consider decorating the sides of outer-facing RV 'walls' (paint murals on sheets, etc). Plan your front yard/front facing public space, and plan your back yard/private space.
  • If your camp's name is changing, INCLUDE THAT INFO! If you need to send something to placement, use placement@burningman.com and the team will see it. MAKE SURE that you have your camp name in your subject line or at the start of your email.
  • Who should be on the early arrivals team? Only you can decide that, but please make sure it's essential people who are familiar with your camp's plans. Try not to send the sparklepony who doesn't have answers about any questions to meet with your placer.
  • Do the right thing.

Questions:
How does size affect placement/location? Where you're placed doesn't have any relation to how big you are. It does have something to do with how much you're doing. If you want that premium placement for a big camp, you need to be doing a lot.
When will you know when you'll be placed and how big you've got? Beginning of July
Can we request camps that we'd like to be near/adjacent? YES - put it in the special comments section, they'll do their best to accommodate. Big camps who need to be near specific camps should seriously consider forming a village. CLARIFY when it's a want (we like them) or a need (we share a generator).
Do you estimate what you're going to do, or only list what you know you can do? Definitely include what you know, and mention what you're working to try to accomplish. Make your best estimates now, if you have to update the info at a later date, email placement@burningman.com with your camp name and what's changing

Interaction Is Important! Camps need to do more, even the old school long-time camps.
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Re: Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

Postby CornMan » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:47 am

trilobyte wrote:
[*]RV Fortresses - please consider decorating the sides of outer-facing RV 'walls' (paint murals on sheets, etc). Plan your front yard/front facing public space, and plan your back yard/private space.



+1 And I'll add to please consider adding lights to these walls so your RV Fortress doesn't create dark voids on our city.
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Re: Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

Postby RockmasterJ » Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:08 pm

Thanks for the tips, Trilobyte. We were wondering if the application reviewers look at the camp's web site. We wanted to include some fancy graphics that would help illustrate our camp's interactive bits. We could describe it in text, but, you know, a picture is a worth a thousand words and all that.
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Re: Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

Postby trilobyte » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:31 pm

Use the form as directed and describe it in text. You can provide a URL in the additional comments/info bit towards the end, but do not expect that your web site will be reviewed as part of the decision-making process. And I can't imagine that the best site in the world will save you from a poorly completed questionnaire.
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Re: Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

Postby RockmasterJ » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:54 pm

Thank you!
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Re: Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

Postby tattoogoddess » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:00 am

So we have a breAk from may 1st to July 1st. Why so long to hear back? Does not help for those requesting time off from work if we need a few more days cause of EA. :?
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Re: Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

Postby EspressoDude » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:20 pm

get it submitted before today.....
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Re: Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

Postby tattoogoddess » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:04 pm

It's closed. 12 noon. Good luck to everyone :)
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Re: Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

Postby trilobyte » Wed May 01, 2013 8:59 am

Welcome to the same conundrum all theme camps go through every year, TG. Now you're pretty much deciding whether to bet on yourselves. Take a close look at the submitted questionnaire, if you think it's solid then request your time and book your travel. The worst case scenario would be that the camp doesn't get placed, and you arrive in Reno with a couple days to spare. While that'd be a bummer it's not a massive issue, there are often folks gathering at hotels in the runup and I'm sure you and your early team could make the most of the situation. If you're not so sure, then hold off until early July. If the main concern is taking time off work, I'd request the time off now, most employers would be okay with someone canceling a couple of the requested days a month or two out from the vacation time. It's more of a pain for people booking travel (planes, trains, etc). In most cases, a couple nights at a cheap room in Reno is less costly than changing a flight.

First-time camps can seem like more of a gamble because the process is new to you, but there's still a risk even for established camps (every year it seems the bar gets raised). With my camp it feels like we're rolling the dice every year since we've been doing completely different projects. Around half our campmates come in from other parts of the country (and last year we had several coming from Europe), people book their travel (in our case everyone comes through SF) and vehicles based on success with the understanding that if we don't get placement, we'll either hold back in SF or get out to Reno to wait for the gates.

The placement team's got something in the neighborhood of a thousand questionnaires to sort through. Some are from veterans of the process, many are not. Some filled everything out completely, some don't. Some communicate clearly, some don't, etc. In some cases calls and emails are made to get clarification or fill in blanks. And then comes the jigsaw puzzle of arranging everything within the city. It takes time.
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Re: Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

Postby tattoogoddess » Wed May 01, 2013 10:59 am

Makes sense.
So being a first time. Will we know before July if we sent our app in on the very first day? Or does everyone get an email at once?
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Re: Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

Postby Savannah » Wed May 01, 2013 11:35 am

I would conduct myself as if I wouldn't know the answer before July . . . so ask for as much time off as you can get away with, and tell your employer that you might not need all of it, but wish to do the responsible thing. (You can usually return some if you don't need all of it).

Submitting your questionnaire early isn't synonymous with being placed early, 'cause they can't start assembling the puzzle until they have everyone who made it before the deadline.

The benefit of submitting your questionnaire a little early is 1) relief and 2) being able to focus on other things. :)
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Re: Tips for A Successful Theme Camp Questionnaire

Postby trilobyte » Thu May 02, 2013 7:34 am

Don't expect to know before July. Once all determinations have been made, the placement team starts sending out notifications to the camps in their zones. That process can take a couple days - they also need to wrangle their own organizational neighborhood mailing lists and early arrival notes and they have day jobs/lives of their own.
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