200 DAYS LEFT FOR THE GIGA EVENT IN PRAGUE
Four months have passed since the event 20 Years of Geocaching Prague 2020 (GC7WWWW) gained the status of a giga event. During them, the number of registered geocachers who announced their planned attendance with the "will attend" log approached the four thousand and is still rising.
Organizing an event for such a number of people involves a number of tasks. We were interested in the progress of the preparatory work and therefore we contacted one of the main organizers - Jirka Ledahudec (geocaching nick = kulhal) - to ask him some questions.
We have the holidays and the whole of September behind us. What has happened in the past months around the organization of the giga event?
Just before the holidays we met with members of the organizing team in Žluté lázně with the aim to get to know each other and also to get to know the environment in which everything will take place. Personally, I felt very good about the meeting. At the end of August, we took advantage of the presence of Geocaching HQ representatives in Prague to discuss the details of the event and HQ's plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the game. From the beginning of September, we started working with our partners at full pace, preparing team meetings on individual activities, games and disciplines. We also managed to get the patronage of the Mayor of Prague. Meanwhile, we are dealing with dozens of small organizational issues, answering geocachers' questions from abroad ... every day something about the event happens.
Have you counted when the number of "will attend" logs could exceed the "magic" threshold of 5000?
We have some estimates, but for us as organizers, it is important that everyone who is considering participation should log in as soon as possible. This will simplify our planning while helping our partners. We therefore ask all those who are planning to arrive at the event and have not yet written their Will Attend log to do so without delay.
However, we are watching the statistics of our and other events and at this moment it is very likely that our event will be the only gigaevent in Europe next year! It also suggests that this could be the biggest event next year, including the major US events scheduled for August 2020.
At www.geocachingprague2020.shop you already have an e-shop. What can people find here?
They can choose from geocoins, T-shirts, caps and backpacks. Themes are both gigaevent and GPS Maze. Geocoins are also available in a special donation edition. If someone is interested in limited edition geocoins, then I recommend not postponing the order for too long.
I would like to point out that by purchasing at the event e-shop, cachers will contribute to improving the working conditions of volunteer organizers, to a richer program and better equipment of individual activities.
You are also going to hold CITO event GC7WWWA, which has not been published yet. Why?
The reason is simple - the publication of accompanying events is possible 6 months at the earliest before the event. The place for CITO event is already selected and the listing is being prepared.
In this context, the following question arises: given that one of the five Czech webcam caches is not far from from the venue in Zbraslav, the gigaevent seems to be an ideal opportunity to get all the icons in one day. How else can the event contribute to player statistics?
We plan to incorporate the Community Celebration Event into the program, which should be a twentieth anniversary geocaching event with a special icon. In 2010 they were held under the name Lost & Found. We are waiting only for confirmation of the specific form of these events by Geocaching HQ. Lovers of statistics will have a unique opportunity to look for various icons.
Do you already know if Geocaching HQ will award a souvenir for attending the event?
Of course, visitors to gigaevent will receive a participant souvenir. We also expect another souvenir to be associated with the Community Celebration Event, but it has not been officially confirmed yet.
Another highlight of big events are the lab cashes. How is Prague doing - how many lab caches will you publish? Do you already have plans for what the individual series of lab caches will be devoted to?
As experienced event visitors know, gigaevents have the ability to create up to five lab cache series. We will see if we use all of them, quality is more important than quantity to us. We will certainly use one series to facilitate navigation to individual program activities within the venue. We plan to place another series in the vicinity of Žluté lázně and we want to take it somewhat more adventurously. We are still working on the others. Lab geocaches associated with the main event will be available on Saturday and Sunday and will be located on or near the event area.
In addition to the gigaevent lab caches, the GPS Maze will also have its own lab caches series used for a simple visitor quiz. I also remind the existing series Podolí Adventure Lab, which we published some time ago, and which is created as a short local history tour in the adjacent Prague district.
The program itself looks definitely interesting. Is there anything you would like to explicitly recommend to visitors?
The program is designed so that everyone can find something interesting - families with children as well as "performance" cachers. If I headed here as a visitor, I would certainly not miss a demonstration of tree climbing associated with a professional demonstration of rescuing the injured.
Certainly I would choose from the offer of discussions with interesting people and I would certainly like to meet with many geocachers, which I have met during my long gaming history and perhaps have not seen them for a long time. The area of Žluté lázně has a great location and offers many pleasant corners on the banks of the river for a pleasurable chat.
How can geocachers support the organization of the event?
At the moment, first of all by
telling others about the event and about the importance of logging Will Attend
in time. They can also support the organization of the event by purchasing items in
the event e-shop.