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Jeremyw View Drop Down
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Joined: April 09 2009
Location: Utah County
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    Posted: September 28 2015 at 8:15am
REEF TOUR 2015 FAQ'S 
 
Q: I'm new here... just what is a "Reef Tour"?
 
A: The Annual WMAS Reef Tour is basically a group "Open House" where Club Members open their homes to the general public for the purpose of showcasing their aquarium systems. This is a "family friendly" Club Event and it occurs on a Saturday. The purpose of the Reef Touris to promote the hobby (and the Club by extension) as well as give back to the community at large, by providing a source of information and viewing pleasure for those who may not currently be involved in the hobby.

 
 
Q: Why would I want to be a Reef Tour host home?
 
A: As a Reef Tour host, you have the benefit of "showing off" your aquarium to literally dozens of interested people, both fellow hobbyists and non-hobbysists alike. If you have ever wished that your fellow Club Members would come "check out my tank"... well, this is your chance!
   In addition, we try to make the day as "fun" as possible for both the Reef Tour hosts and the visitors alike. Many of our Tour hosts incorporate extra activities into their day; things like offering refreshments for visitors; designing information boards that describe their systems in greater detail; showing videos of hobby-related (and kid friendly) movies like "Finding Nemo" or "Shark Tale" to keep the kiddies occupied; hanging fish posters and Reef tour welcome signs, etc. We will also have a "Live Blog" Thread here on the Message Board come Reef Tour Day for our Tour hosts to share their days activites / visitor traffic info with the rest of the Club. 
  We would also encourage all our Tour hosts to update this Forum with details on their own preparation activities; both for the information of fellow hosts who might be wondering "What do I need to do to get ready?", and as a great way to maintain overall interest and keep up the "hype"...
 
Q: Does it cost anything to be a Reef Tour host home?
 
A: No - absolutely not. The only requirements we have to be a Tour host is a willingness to open your home on Reef Tour Day for the hours of the Tour. Now, as you can see from the answer above, we do have many Members who take it upon themselves to enhance the experience at their homes. Some just put out a plate of cookies and some punch; some go "all out" with BBQed hotdogs and chips and sodas and balloons, big lawn signs - almost an "open house party"... while we certainly encourage you to celebrate Reef Tour Day as extravagently as you like - it is certainly not required
 
Q:  What do I need to do to prepare my tank(s) for showing?
 
A: In reality, all that we ask is that you clean up your systems a bit to make the tank viewing as pleasing as possible. You know, scrape off any algae buildup or salt creep, make sure the water is topped off, clean your skimmer cup, etc.
   Of course, many Members use the Reef Tour as a reason to go out and add some new livestock or equipment to their systems. Maybe a special fish of colorful coral that you have been thinking about getting... maybe a new skimmer or a UV or some other cool gadget or goody.
   If your home is not used to the presence of small children, you might want to go around and put away any glass items or things that little ones might get into. Maybe put out an extra chair or 2 if you have them, so visitors can feel comfortable.
   And, on Reef Tour Day, remember to turn on your tank lights early - like around 8 AM. This gives the tank occupants a couple of hours to fully "wake up" and look their best for all the guests. And don't worry - a few extra hours of light won't hurt anything.
 
Q: Who else in my neighborhood / town / county is going to be a Tour home?
 
A: Once we complete the sign up process, WMAS will publish a downloadable / printable Tour Guide booklet that will list ALL the Tour host homes - along with a map and directions to their home, and description of their aquarium(s), even a picture or 2 to whet your appetite.
    While we are on the subject, let me answer a second (related question):
 
Q: I don't want to "waste" a Saturday if no one shows up... What is the best way to ensure my home gets alot of visitors?
 
A: The ABSOLUTE BEST WAY to guarantee alot of foot traffic to your home is to make sure that ALL the Club Members in your town are all signed up for the Reef Tour as well! This is especially true for Members who live in more "outlying" towns; places like Ogden or Toole, or anybody from Utah County (I am in Lehi, so I should know Wink). If there are 3, 4, or 5 (or more) Tour homes in your town then people will be MUCH more likely to "make the trip" to come see YOUR tank then if you are the only Tour host home within a 25 mile radius. So, talk to all your WMAS neighbors and friends and GET THEM SIGNED UP!!!
 
Q: How can I help advertise the Reef Tour?
 
A: The SECOND BEST WAY to generate foot traffic to your door is to help advertise - especially local advertising. Hang flyers on your neighbors doors (we will have these available for FREE at the April meeting); put up a flyer on your local Church bulletin board, your local food store bulletin boards, even a local WalMart. If you are feeling adventurous, put flyers on car windshields at a local shopping center. If you have a PetCo or PetSmart nearby, ask to hang up a flyer or 2 there as well. Anything you do to get the word out will help not only your Club but your own local area as well.
 
Q:  What have the past years Tours been like?
 
A: While all the past years Tours have been successful, some years generated a bigger response than others. Factors on the "success" of any given year included:
 
 - How many homes were on the Tour total
 - Any other non-hobby events going on in the area (football games, Church events, etc)
 - How well not just the Club but individuals advertised for the Tour
 - The weather that day (in the fall we even saw snow in some northern locations one year)
 - How many homes were in your specific area
 
 I can tell you that my first year as a Reef Tour host we had a total of around 29 - 30 homes participating, with only 3 in Utah County - and no one within 15 miles of my home (a bad sign)... it was LDS General Conference Weekend and it rained all day long (another bad sign)... I did absolutely no local advertising and not even too much on the WMAS Message Board (another bad sign)...
  In the end I got a whopping 2 people total come to see my tank Ouch
 
BUT... I did not give up. Next year we had a record 52 homes participating (a good sign) with 13 total in Utah County (another good sign) and 3 within 10 miles of me (another good sign)... the weather was gorgeous and there were no major non-hobby events going on that weekend (another good sign)... then I put up advertising, not just locally in the neighborhood Ward chapel but also at a local grocery store and I put up ads announcing the Tour on KSL.com....
 
    By the end of the Tour day I had almost 90 visitors PLUS around 15 of my neighbors - so over 100 people total. My recollection of that year we had more than a 20 other host homes report 50+ visitors each, with another dozen or so getting from 20 - 49 visitors. So, a whopping success all around Big smile
 
  If you would like to see some photos from past Reef Tours, click on the "Other Stuff" tab in the left side margin and then click on the "Reef Tour Pics" tab that will come up on the screen.
 
 
Q:  Reef Tour decorating; signs, posters, etc - How do I do all that?
 
A:  This year we will provide you with FREE Reef Tour flyers to advertise around your local neighborhood... other items, such as paintings, drawings, decor, etc. alot of that you can find dirt cheap at places like DI or local yard sales, or on KSL.com, if you just search around a bit. If you have any "nautical" themed decor - put it out on display! Any old dried out starfish or seashells... put them out!  I remember one host went to a party store and found "Finding Nemo" plastic tablecloths that were on clearance for $1 each and hung a few of those up in his living room!
    This is one area where you really don't have to spend alot of $$$ at all and you can really make a memorable display to go along with your sweet reef tank Big smile
 
Q: If I am a Reef Tour home, then how will I get the chance to see everyone else's tanks?
 
A: Admittedly, this one is a bit of a toughie... Obviously, if you are home hosting all day then you can't be out visiting at the same time. What we CAN do - and it really is up to those of us who sign on as Tour host homes - is we can organize some sort of "alternate ReefTour"... it can be like an "after hours" thing (say, from 4 PM - 9 PM the same day as the official Tour) or it could be the next day, or the following weekend... really it is up to YOU. But I feel confident that we can put something together that will allow those of us who want to check out the other tanks on the Tour a chance to see at least a few of them.
 
Q: Any other "perks" to being a Reef Tour host?
 
A: I know that  this year the Club will host a party for all those who participated in the Reef Tour as a host home as a way to say "THANK YOU" to all of our Host homes.


Edited by Jeremyw - September 28 2015 at 8:16am
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