Early 2009 began with meetings, planning and improving our processes within our team, within the organization, and with our participants. To that end, we worked with Technology and Gate departments to improve our questionnaire form and early arrivals bar code distribution system. We had a further refinement of the city sector planning process that was begun in 2008, as placers made use of more sophisticated digital graphic planning tools.

We also faced the challenge of a smaller city and yet more reserved camp placement requests than in 2008. This required a sterner application of our placement criteria. As a result, over 130 camps filing for reserved space still could not be placed. This means that going forward the bar has been raised once again to produce new and unique interactive spaces to engage participants.

749 camps, villages, and departments filed questionnaires requesting placement, and 618 were placed as part of Black Rock City’s urban planning efforts in 2009.

Communication was one of our biggest challenges this year. We learned that it’s essential to stagger the on-playa (and therefore off-line) presence of our key communicators next year, so we can better respond to concerns and issues close to event time. We regret that this year the traffic volume exceeded our capacity and shut down our incoming email from camp leads. We will investigate the problem to insure better results in the future.

The camp-boundary flagging process took two weeks this year. We were more successful than last year in holding back the prime block between A & B streets, keeping it open and available for participants that arrived after the event began. Once the event opened, our smaller trouble-shooting team could be reached through the helpful staff at Playa Info.

We love being part of the growth of Black Rock City, from the playa up. The magic of finally interacting with the Theme Camps on playa after months of planning keeps our team energized and looking forward to doing it again next year. Thanks to all of the registered Theme Camps for their commitment and hard work and everything they bring to Black Rock City!!

Submitted by,
Susan Bernosky