Playa Info

About this photo...Playa Info continued last year’s successful arrangement of combining all participant information resources under one roof. The services included:

  • Answers to questions by our knowledgeable “Oracles”
  • Dynamic find-a-camp board: A visual layout of the city posted to allow on-the-fly mapping of your theme camp location
  • Directory participant camp information
  • Burning Bell messages for alerting campmates and friends
  • Digital Directory with participant camp information and message sending capabilities
  • Volunteer coordinators to match participants with volunteer opportunities
  • Postings of updated news and event information
  • Found items
  • Scheduling for RV pumping
  • Bulletin boards

About this photo...Playa Info had a strong team, with more than 70 on-playa volunteers. The pre-playa meetings with our core volunteer group were critical venues for establishing our identity, what services we should offer, refining informational materials, and of course creating the wonderful decorations and signage. Our shade structure seems to be the cool meeting place on hot playa days – an inadvertent alternative to the Center Camp CafĂ©. People just enjoyed hanging out and helping out!

About this photo...Some terrific volunteers suggested ways to further improve our service as they worked on wonderful projects like the laminate design, the pocket maps of the city, camp decorations, and our red-themed cocktail party.

About this photo...Our meetings began in March and culminated with an October review meeting/barbeque followed the next day with volunteering at the Decompression Info Desk. While we had a great year, we discovered areas that could stand improvement and places where better communication with other departments will make our job easier in 2004. Successes included:

  • A great volunteer coordinator to help manage larger numbers of volunteers
  • The totally revamped and improved Digital Directory
  • White board listing the Top 10 questions of the day, providing self-service info gathering for common issues
  • Playa Info training manual
  • Placement of the Oracles front-center, with Directory and Volunteers on either side
  • Curtains separating the service desks and the lounge
  • Comfortable environment for people to hang out or wait to meet someone
  • Beyond Belief-themed Playa Info laminates with “Ask Me – I Can Help” printed on the flipside to clearly identify Playa Info staff
  • An assistant manager and leads who assumed responsibility for the management of Playa Info, keeping all of us sane and happy
  • Laminated map of Black Rock City posted on the wall
  • Volunteer training
  • Assistance with found bikes
  • The Red Sea Party!

About this photo...We experienced a couple of disappointments at take-down. Few volunteers appeared to help remove and store the camp materials and supplies. Also, participants continue to leave trash in our camp. Next year we plan to work on the following projects:

  • Decreasing the time participants must spend locating desired information services
  • Gathering more information about events and art on the playa
  • Improving Digital Directory to help users locate camps, friends, and events
  • Composing an Oracle cheat sheet of top issues of the day
  • Updating the training manual
  • Increasing pre-playa training
  • Cross-training Directory and Oracle volunteers
  • Posting more large, laminated city maps
  • Posting event locations
  • Posting/publicizing Playa Info hours of operation
  • Placing bike racks at the camp

Submitted by,
Rob Oliver
Manager, Playa Info