Rougarou Media Day?

Monday, March 9, 2015 11:04 AM

I used to be that guy... How can I cram as many rides into the day as possible? How can I stretch this drink cup or meal deal to my advantage? Never been to any media or enthusiast events, so can't comment there...

But ranting & raving & throwing a fit because the park was somehow shortchanging me? I was never THAT guy. Having worked in the service industry for 10+ years I knew that behavior usually resulted in the opposite of what you felt you were "entitled" to. Snap your fingers at the bartender? You just gauranteed your drink will be the last one poured. A genuine smile, how's it going, or (gasp!) thank you, and I'll see you coming as you approach the bar for your next round.

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Monday, March 9, 2015 12:56 PM

Jeph said:

The Rougarou Media Day isn't exclusively for media. It'll be open to 200 enthusiasts, but you must have a winning ticket from the Winter Chill Out event.

I thought the number was actually 100, which would give anyone that attended a 1 in 6 chance of being invited.

It's gotten to the point that I try to send a thank you email to the park even if I can't attend these amazing events. They really are that incredible. If Cedar Point decides to end the similar Halloweekends preview they have done the past 2 years, I'll be sad, but not overly surprised.

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Monday, March 9, 2015 2:10 PM

I wouldn't read into anything to assume they'll never do the super mega media events again. Rougarou isn't that "big" of a new ride this year, and the season pass preview actually makes a lot of sense. As for Fury, I dunno, like I said, I theorize it's just that there are a whole lot of new people there this year.

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Monday, March 9, 2015 3:32 PM

Pagoda Gift Shop said:
I thought the number was actually 100, which would give anyone that attended a 1 in 6 chance of being invited.

I believe 100 names are picked from the WCO ticket buyers, but each gets to bring a friend with them. So 200 total, but only 100 names chosen. As the guy who bought 4 tickets for my siblings/Significant others, fingers crossed i get my name chosen.

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Monday, March 9, 2015 3:43 PM

I think the magnitude of Fury has something to do with it, too. It's not every season a 300ft+ tall coaster opens up and especially in that region.

~Rob

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Monday, March 9, 2015 5:11 PM

Jeff said:
I wouldn't read into anything to assume they'll never do the super mega media events again. Rougarou isn't that "big" of a new ride this year...

And I hope you're right about that. It would be nice if every once in a while they include us as well. I have to wonder about last year's event at Cedar Point, though. The Gemini midway wasn't that "big" of a deal, either, and that was a smaller event held in the evening, but the enthusiasts turned out in droves. (many hoping that big coasters would open as well)

Season pass holder night will be an interesting experiment. I've already read griping from those who are unhappy with the ride lineup. If the evening turns out to be a big hit, and is manageable, it will do well for future pass sales and the guys who collect club dues won't fare as well. Or, rely solely on events like CoasterMania to boost membership rosters as usual.

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Monday, March 9, 2015 9:08 PM

Oh that...an enthusiast tore their Hexed ticket in half and threw it at CP staff when they were denied entrance or such. That's the controversial meltdown that people are still talking about? Maybe I didn't hear the whole story..

Either you heard a mild version of the story, or the person who told me about it (and witnessed it) was sensationalizing it (which, knowing that person, I HIGHLY doubt). But regardless, treating staff the way you described is still very, very much a no no. And Dave has a history, he was very vocal about how he didn't like how he was treated at Goliath's media day last year (a true media day where they literally just needed enthusiasts to be riders for the media). He's a member here, and could defend himself. His absence when called out, to me, is telling. Regardless, I'd hate to be the guy that 2 park chains have discussed at the upper level, and I KNOW that happened.

As for Mr. Millennium Force, it's disgusting, disingenuous, and quite frankly highly insulting to any holocaust survivors that he compared the park to Nazis.

I still don't get how enthusiasts think parks need them. There are a few thousand of us, and several million park visits per year. That math doesn't add.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Monday, March 9, 2015 9:12 PM
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 1:06 AM

Maybe he just doesn't want to deal with your negativity, Tek. You seem to be the only one calling him by name here, and you weren't even there to witness his "nuclear meltdown," as you so dramatically call it.

I'm not defending his supposed actions. I'm calling you out for being a gossiping, troublemaker.

It makes me very uncomfortable.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 7:11 AM

If you don't like it don't read it. If Jeff had an issue, I'm sure he'd have said something.

And I did witness what he posted online. Which was pretty bad.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Tuesday, March 10, 2015 7:20 AM
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 7:42 AM

Awhile back I read a story from a journalist's perspective on how the traditional auto show media day was dead. Of course he didn't mean that literally, but he went on to explain. It used to be that automakers prepared expensive press kits, provided gifts, and had extravagantly expensive vehicle unveilings for the media. Today, he explained, the media days were much more like a regular public day. The reasoning was so clear to me.

If you've been to any modern auto show, it's basically a game of every automaker trying to take your photos and videos with their product. In order to retrieve them, you must provide your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. accounts, which it posts to. It's clever; we're doing advertising work for them. They're getting hundreds of thousands of social media seeds versus a fraction from media personnel, so of course part of the budget is being shifted away from the traditional media day.

I think this trend was exactly what Cedar Fair was recognizing and acting on, which was smart and forward-thinking. Let's have a media day, but let's invite our biggest park fans (the ones most likely to spread 50 pictures of a coaster train or lift hill) too. Even if some are really cheap, they're still the candidates most likely to brag and share throughout social media. I'm sure they would have liked to invite even more to media day, but the capacity is limited on such a day (and maybe that capacity was exceeded in their experiment).

How successful was their enthusiast experiment? Only the park knows those metrics. The following day Kings Island did have their biggest opening in history, and I believe the all-time attendance record. Maybe the thousands of extra social media seeds didn't help, but the park clearly did an excellent job of promoting Banshee in general, and I'd think they would try to replicate their marketing formula.

Like Jeff, I don't see Rougarou or Fury's reduced enthusiast presence signalling an end to these enthusiast-media events. If anything, that they're still including a couple hundred enthusiasts shows that there was likely some positive outcome. The future will be telling, but I predict a shift of resources from the traditional media day to social media regardless. Maybe that season pass preview is even a disguised enthusiast media outing, a day before the park opens.

Lastly, to Gonch and Mac: I've repeatedly seen your stance that enthusiasts are generally cheap, terrible customers that are of little importance to the parks. So, why do you think they're inviting enthusiasts to media events? They're trying to make business-forward decisions, so what do you guys think the parks are trying to get out of enthusiasts?

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 9:29 AM

I don't think anyone is saying that it's completely useless using enthusiasts for promotion, but enthusiasts seem to think too highly of themselves in these situations. The parks don't need us, we're one outlet they can use. They don't need to use us.

I wonder if this is a way to control which enthusiasts come to the event. Both Fury and Rougarou are inviting enthusiasts, but they're deciding which ones.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Tuesday, March 10, 2015 9:30 AM
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 10:12 AM

Tekwardo said:

If you don't like it don't read it. If Jeff had an issue, I'm sure he'd have said something.

I don't think I'm the only one qualified to call you out for bringing drama, nor do I sit here anxiously awaiting every post to see who might be causing issues.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 10:36 AM

But had there been an issue with I posted that warranted a warning, deletion, etc., you or one of the mods would have taken care of it. Travis can call me out all he wants, his opinion is of no value to me.

Having said that, I was under the impression that people here were tired of the back and forth between Travis and I, so I've done my best to ignore it.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Tuesday, March 10, 2015 10:45 AM
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 10:53 AM

Yes, please! cause I love you both. I just can't choose (runs upstairs sobbing).

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 10:58 AM

This divorce is ALL YOUR FAULT!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 11:44 AM

Dude, the community is self-policing. It always has been. If your measuring stick is whether or not someone who sees the delete button has an issue, then you're doing it wrong.

You are bringing drama where we don't need it. Please stop. If Travis annoys you, take your own advice and don't read his posts.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 11:48 AM

I think I'm pretty clear in that Travis *isn't* bothering me. If he's the only person with an issue, I don't care.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 11:53 AM

My media day includes:

1) The Traditional Media. Let's invite the press and the television stations. Let's take the time to rig the event with places so the television stations can mount cameras here and there and hopefully they'll include some shots on their AM, noon, and PM broadcasts. Let's also allow them to shoot live from locations so viewers at home can see the action and interviews up close. Let's remember to treat the newspapers right, too, because they'll print a shot or two in their daily and they'll also post articles to their on-line editions. But by all means lets not ignore these outlets- we know that millions of people still sit down in front of the tv in the morning and the evening and we need to get in there and compete with their other stories and advertisers for attention. After all, it's still a multi million dollar business. We also know that as folks on the local and regional level use search engines to look up OUR business these articles will appear for them to read.

2) Webmasters. We know that millions of people turn to niche websites for news, so let's be sure to include those guys too. Let's use our experience to choose websites and their associated clubs that identify directly with our particular business, and the ones that have done us the most good in the past. Those websites not only post news reports, but include message boards and discussion groups. They will also shoot video of the event and post to their websites and YouTube. This is particularly valuable to us because we know readers of these sites will post, repost, and link to their personal social media pages and do a lot of work for us.

3) Bloggers. We know that bloggers are valuable to business and supply news and discussion to the on-line community. We approach this with caution, as we know bloggers are an opinionated sort and don't always deliver the message we'd like, but they are a good way to get our name and number in front of those who search for information about us.

4) Our Personal Social Media Pages. We're no chumps and have already stepped into the ultra-modern world of social media. We post, tweet, pin and tube all day long anyway, in fact we have several people employed here that do nothing but that for us, so let's bombard the cyber community with as much as we can since this is our day. There's a couple of awesome things about this. One, fans out there who "like" us and subscribe to our posts and tweets will send and resend our information to their friends and their "friends". They like to be the first on the block to spread this kind of news. Two, tradition media outlets who declined our invitation due to time, money, or distance restraints may still pick up our message and pass it along anyway. And it will be our message, not someone else's.

5) Fans. Of course we're going to include these people. After all, what's better than having our best customers in to enjoy the day and discover our new product. We know these guys take tons of photos and vids and will also do a lot of work for us by posting to their personal pages and will supply instant, good publicity. We know they belong to clubs and will sit on those websites and discuss their experiences all day and all night. But once again, let's be cautious. We'll select a certain number of fans to participate, to make things manageable for us, and we'll be sure to include the ones we know will put their best face forward for the regular media. We'll be sure to treat them well while they're here, and make sure tiny details are attended to. We'll be careful with these guys, as they are the ones who know it all already and are the ones that scrutinize us the closest. We don't want complaints and criticism from them, just their positive reviews, praise, and thank-yous. And good luck to us with that.

The auto show reference is a good one, Jeph, and you're right in noting that media events aren't dead, but have changed. You can also rely on the fact that, while the auto show business includes the latest form of interaction, they have not ignored traditional media- they were there in full force too. My favorite television station is present at our auto show, just as they're present at my favorite amusement park. Just because you don't subscribe to television doesn't mean that I don't, along with millions and millions of others. We're reachable and we're teachable. I hope your journalist isn't looking at things from the same narrow point of view that you are, one that thinks the latest way is the only way.

I've noticed myself that media days in general aren't as well attended as they used to be, and by that I mean the mainstream media doesn't show as large a presence. They are in and out, do their work, and leave. Time is money for those guys. Theme parks may have thought to include the entire enthusiast population in an attempt to make their day look busy, and keep the place bustling. Did that backfire? Will they ever invite us back? I dont know. It seems in the meantime, though, they've re-thought that concept for whatever reason. I never once said that enthusiast presence is a bad thing, but I bet they've recognized the ways they can use us without having to feed us and put up with our B.S. And that's business-forward thinking.
I don't dislike enthusiasts. Just enthusiasses. And it seems those guys number into the many, doesn't it?

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 12:00 PM

And I think that is why they're doing invite only to enthusiasts. That way they know who is coming, they've already seen how they act at events, and they have their contact information and names so that if they do have an issue, they can say no thanks going forward. Seems like a win-win to me, the park gets what they need, and enthusiasts who behave get what they want.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 12:53 PM

I think that is a good point Tekwardo.

I am surprised CP/KI were so generous with their media days. In one respect, it made sense. Huge marketing potential and you also excite a relatively important group of people for the industry. The parks always went above and beyond and put on some of the best days of the season (I thought). I couldn't appreciate enough what the people involved did to put together those events. It is unfortunate that people still felt entitled over and beyond the already special event being put on for everyone to stir up some drama. In theory, those days should have been drama-free for the park staff aside from normal work related stuff.

Personally, stuff like that though is the reason I like to hide out in the shadows of the enthusiast community. I love talking to people about various parks, technologies, etc... But only with the right people. Most of the time I play "uninterested" to avoid any of the undesirable enthusiasts at the parks. There are some great people out there for sure, they are just harder to find!

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