Greyhounds Reach the Beach®
October 5-8, 2017 It's all about the greyhounds.©
Greyhounds Reach the Beach® Survey Results 2016
First let's start with the fact that we had a very successful Greyhounds Reach the Beach® event in 2016, despite the threat of storms created by the remnants of hurricane Matthew. Attendance was down slightly from 2015, in large part due to storm fears. Some hotels experienced a 20% cancellation rate. That considered, the event was well-attended.
We asked a series of questions to help us understand some things about the event and the answers were
revealing. The first thing we wanted to know was "Who is coming to GRtB?" Some folks suggest that the event
is for old friends who have been coming for years, but we see the event as a mix of some folks who have been
attending for many years and a larger and larger contingent of new attendees. Our results suggest that 18.5%
of our attendees were first timers. Nearly 20% of the people at Greyhounds Reach the Beach® in 2016 were
first timers! That statistic alone belies the common lore that the event is made up primarily of people who
have been coming for 20 years or so.
Our survey also revealed that an even larger contingent of attendees -- 24.2% -- are people who have just started attending Greyhounds Reach the Beach® within the last five years. taken together with the newbies, 43% -- or nearly half of our attendees started coming to Greyhounds Reach the Beach® in the past few years.
We want to recognize these new arrivals and make their experience as good as we can.
We also polled attendees on the reasonsthat they registered for the event. The biggest response was by those who said they registered to support greyhound adoption. This is very fulfilling to our volunteers, as our organization has donated over $14,000 to greyhound adoption groups based on our work at Greyhounds Reach the Beach®. Beacuse of our attendees, we are able to bring a lot of dogs from the race tracks to loving homes.
The second highest reason given for registering for the event is that people wanted to socialize with other greyhound folks. 42% of our respondents listed this a key reason for registering. Folks love to gather at the hotels, on the beach and in the vendor areas to hang out, see friends and meet new greyhound people.
Third ranked was interest in hearing the speakers at our event. Fourth, people wanted to have their Dewey Beach dog license covered by their registration fee, which we have been fortunate enough to arrange for both 2015 and 2016. The Town of Dewey Beach has been very gracious in allowing us to arrange a group event dog license for our event. This gives some peace of mind to all our attendees. To hear top speakers, get a dog license for all your hounds, and support greyhound adoption, all for $18 is pretty amazing.
Registration Another question we asked was whether the check-in process at the event was easy or difficult. All of us have probably experienced an event where we had to wait in linbe endlessly to get checked in. We are pleased to report that 87% of our respondents said that our check-in process was easy. That is most fulfilling. We also asked for comments from folks who had additional information or who did not feel the check-in was easy. Some comments included that the Sleep Inn was further away from the centers of Dewey Beach or Rehoboth, which we certainly realize. The event was discontinued in from Dewey Beach by The Greyhound Project in 2007, in part because the town had chnaged a great dela over the years and there were no places left to have a large gathering of vendors. We have worked assiduously to find the best and most convenient location to have vendors all in one place.
Other comments were that folks wanted more information about the event. We emailed a comprehensive booklet to all registrants about two weeks before the event. Nobody in the event world does this but we do it to make information available that people can print it and bring it with them to the event. Now, that said, some people wait and register on the day of the event, so we need to do a better job of creating some shorthand cards which give folks basic information about the schedule of the event. While we can point out that folks who register ahead of time get all the information they need, there will always be those who don't register ahead for whatever reason and we need to do a better job of getting information to them at the event.
More survey results to come!
Greyhounds Reach the Beach® is a name which is a registered trademark owned by The Grapehound Wine Tour, Inc. The trademark refers to the greyhound event begun in 1994 and held in Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for four days every Columbus Day weekend. The event is managed by The Grapehound Wine Tour, Inc., a Delaware registered, IRS approved 501(c)3 non-profit corporation established for the benefit of greyhounds and sighthounds.
All proceeds from The Grapehound Wine Tour® event in New York and Greyhounds Reach the Beach® event in Delaware go first to pay event costs and then the balance donated to 501(c)3 greyhound adoption organizations so that they may transport, vet, and place adopted greyhounds from the race tracks around the country.
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