Having just returned from my first MegaDO, StarMegaDO4, and with OneWorldMegaDO around the corner, here are 5 tips for a MegaDO Newbie.
5 Tips For a MegaDO Newbie:
1. Leave Home Without It
a) Guys have it easy, a polo shirt, some button downs and you’re good to go. It’s a little bit harder for a woman. Here’s a tip for the ladies: a MegaDO isn’t the Miss America Pagent so multiple outfit changes are not needed. Pare down your wardrobe to one outfit a day. Or even better, one basic piece that works with multiple items such as a solid color pair of slacks or skirt and four shirts. This gives you four days of outfits but only five pieces and lots of extra room in your suitcase for swag, auction items, and of course, shoes.
b) Business Casual is the norm. Most MegaDOers dress casually. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
MegaDOs are a social event. If you’re a little shy, you’ll want/need to break out of your comfort zone and meet people. You already have one thing in common: travel/flying, so start a conversation. “What’s your alliance?”, “What’s your hotel?” “Whose your rental car?” (My husband believes these are standard
pickup lines conversation topics for all members of Milepoint or Flyertalk.
3. Bust a Move
Because you’ll meet lots of people you may want to keep in contact with, consider bringing business cards to exchange. Or better yet, save a tree (and money) by using Bump to exchange contact information and photos. Bump is a free app and works with iPhone and Android, and can even cross platform allowing you to Bump an iPhone with an Android.
4. Paper or Plastic
Bring credit cards for the auction and raffle opportunities. Some of the auctions at StarMegaDO4 included: Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Status through February 2015, 3 Night Stay at Hyatt Orlando, Hyatt Gold Passport Points, an autographed guitar by the surviving members of the band Firefall, and a NASCAR package.
Cash is also accepted, but why lose out on points/miles.
Go with flow. If you need a detailed itinerary that does not change, a MegaDO is not for you. I’m all for structure and organization, but with any group event, especially one as large as a MegaDO, stuff happens. The organizers (Tommy, Ed, Gary, Randy, Melinda, Nathan and countless others) did an AMAZING job with both the StarMegaDO and the changes.
For example, when schedule changes dictated earlier wakeups than scheduled, the MegaDO organizers called every room, arranged for wakeup calls, and sent an email regarding the change.
Schedule changes should be expected on any group event because there are things that are outside of your control. Besides, which one of us has never experienced a schedule change to a flight?
The schedule changes were handled immediately and efficiently. I was very impressed with the effort made to ensure that everyone knew of the changes so that no one was left behind.
One last thing to keep in mind, you’re not going to get a lot of sleep. Even if you think you are, you’re not. You’re going to be too busy having fun and socializing to want to go to bed. It’s only a week, you can catch up on your sleep when you get home.
I’m working on a series of posts about my StarMegaDO experience so stay tuned.
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