The Future of Convergences

It’s hard to believe that it has already been six months since I was brought on as the new Xscapers Convergence Director.  I hit the ground running and started planning my first event almost immediately and it has been a nonstop whirlwind of exciting new experiences as well as lessons learned. With the busy season of Convergences behind us, it feels like a good time to share what you can expect from future Xscapers Convergences as we shake things up a bit.

What To Expect

We want to incorporate more community-led events into the Convergence calendar. Each year, members can still expect a handful of larger events, such as Annual Bash and our 4th of July Convergence, with numerous smaller events in between.

Why This, Why Now?

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The main push to revive these kinds of convergences is to make our ever-growing community still feel personal.  Large convergences still have their place within our event calendar but for some, especially new members, they can be very overwhelming.  It can be difficult and intimidating to find your place in the community when you feel like you are just one face in a crowd of 300 (or upwards of 800 at Bash). 

By creating numerous smaller events, we are giving everyone the opportunity to meet others on a more personal level.  We are creating spaces for attendees to find their own version of community while still getting to experience an Xscapers Convergence.

 

Community-Led Convergences

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To make these smaller events a reality, we are implementing a host program. Volunteer hosts and I will work together to create a unique event for no more than 50 to 75 rigs, dependent on the venue’s capacity and the host’s comfort level.  We will find a venue, work with vendors, and choose fun and engaging activities for attendees.  I am currently working on a packet for potential hosts to use when planning for Convergences.  It will break everything down into easily digestible tasks and provide a timeline for when those tasks should be completed.      

How Xscapers Can Help

If you are asking yourself how you can get involved, we have created a link on the Convergences webpage for those who have an idea for an event.  When you fill out the form, you will be asked to provide some basic information including the general location of the event, why you think it would be a good place for a Convergence, and what time of year you think would be the best time to hold the event.  You will also be asked to provide a list of potential venues if you know of any.

What To Consider When Planning a Convergence

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There are some important things to keep in mind when considering an event.  First and foremost, we are Xscapers and we cater to working-age RVers.  This means that during the standard workweek, most events should be scheduled after working hours and during the weekends.  We know we have several members who either have more flexible working schedules or are retired. However, Xscapers was created to support our largest demographic, which is those who work full-time jobs remotely. 

This leads to another important consideration: the availability and strength of internet and/or cell signal. As much as we all love to explore remote locations around the country, Xscapers Convergences need to keep our working members in mind.  This means that internet access is a must! 

Additionally, all convergences must be inclusive.  Every event must be open to any and all members that would like to attend, regardless of their age, race, gender, sexual orientation or identity, or what type of rig they travel in. As one member shared, when asked for their favorite part of Convergences, “COMMUNITY, and feeling understood.” Many members concur that meeting new people and making friends are the highlights of their Convergence experiences.

We want all to feel welcome at Convergences, and we will not limit attendance to any event for any of the reasons above.  For example, we can’t create an event that is only open to Montana 5th wheel owners.  However, let’s say you want to organize an off-roading convergence.  The event activities can be centered around off-roading but anyone who wants to attend may do so, regardless of whether they own an off-roading vehicle. 

Finally, when considering hosting an event, it is very important to bear in mind cost and budget.  We strive to keep convergences affordable for all members.  As much as we want to have events with live entertainment every single night and group bus trips or excursions to numerous locations around a convergence venue, those things cost money and can increase ticket prices exponentially.  The most significant way that we attempt to keep costs down is to find venues with the most potential for dry camping.  While we would love to find a place that has enough full hook-ups for everyone in attendance, those types of venues often charge large fees which means less room in the budget for the fun activities that we all love at a convergence.  By keeping these things in mind, we can work together to create an incredible event.

What Kind of Convergences Do We Want?

What types of smaller convergences are we looking for?  ALL OF THEM!

Want to host an arts-centered convergence with group paint nights and trips to local galleries? We love that idea!

Have an idea for a nerd convergence complete with LAN parties, comic book swaps, and D&D games?  That’s awesome!

Hoping to get a group together to explore the Kentucky bourbon trail?  Let’s assign some designated drivers and do it!  (We bet past community hosts, Kerensa and Brandon, can offer some tips from when they did this in 2017!)

The potential for these smaller convergences is endless, especially when driven by the Xscapers community.

Xscapers Is About Community

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I have been a member of this community for several years and know first-hand the impact Convergences can have on a person’s life on the road.  Had my husband and I not found this community, we would have likely quit this lifestyle long ago.  It was the act of finding ‘our people’ that changed our journey for the better.  I know our story is not unique within the Xscapers community which is why I feel it is so important to evolve our Convergences in order to keep them feeling personal and engaging for each attendee.

4 Responses to “The Future of Convergences

  • Hollie Parks
    Kirk Kuykendall
    8 months ago

    What happens if a volunteer is injured? Are they going to be covered?
    Will volunteers receive an appropriate compensation from xscapers?
    Thank you and best of luck Holly!

    • Great question, Kirk!
      Thankfully, we have solid insurance that would cover if an incident like that were to occur, whether it happens to staff or volunteers.

  • Hollie Parks
    Jason Boone
    8 months ago

    This new concept sounds amazing! I look forward to attending and why not just hosting as well.

  • Hollie Parks
    Becky Engel
    8 months ago

    Holly! This sounds wonderful! We will be traveling out west come fall and will do some investigation. Our biggest concern is that we plan one year in advance and once a convergence is posted, we have already made plans in a different direction.

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