Hammocks, Hangouts, and Trashcan Tourneys

Events, Hammocking, Life, Nature, Outdoors, Sports, Trashcan

I expected 80 to 100 hammocks to be a part of the event.

Monday, March 2, 2015.

It was a seemingly normal day. Spring Break 2015 was in session. My plans for the day and week? Relax at home in the city of Melbourne and make multiple trips to the beach with good friends.

Add a little social media management in there for a End of Year Hammock Party and little did I know: I started up one of the largest hammock events that I’ve ever known.

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About 3 weeks prior to Spring Break, my friend Jefferson and I were part of a large hammock and Trashcan event. With many of my friends from Cru at UF, we were able to bring out nearly 180 people to play Trashcan and set up nearly 40 hammocks along a row of 7 palm trees!

Just from that event, were got featured on ENO‘s Facebook and Instagram and got some love from Grand Trunk Goods for the Road!

After seeing the results of the “Trunks and Trashcans” event, Grand Trunk reached out. With a simple comment on my profile picture about their upcoming Trunk Straps, I quickly responded with a Facebook message asking for more information about their new Trunk Straps.

To my utter surprise (one of many to come), Grand Trunk was enthusiastic to send us some of their new straps to try out before they even go out in stores! The only simple stipulation: create a simple fun video showcasing the use of the hammocks and straps!

Easy.

With the success of that event in mind, I knew I wanted to gather as many as I could to top it.

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Initially, I invited about 200-300 friends to the event, envisioning a simple hangout in an iconic setting in front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium… possibly breaking a UF record for most hammocks gathered on campus.

I expected 80 to 100 hammocks to be a part of the event, but boy did I misjudge.

4 hours from the creation of the event, over 100 participants said they were “going.”

2 days. 280 participants.

6 days. 734 participants, and over the course of 3.5 hours, the number jumped from 695.

8 days. We reach over 1,000 participants going, and 1,000 more still invited.

I’m currently sitting outside at a coffee shop 2 weeks from the creation of the event and there are over 1,350 people going and over 1,330 still invited. Numbers are expected to rise.

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The event wasn’t just a hang out with friends anymore. It was a full on event that needed meticulous planning and considerable thought into the process of locations and various factors.

People were spreading word of the event like wildfire. Friends would tell friends, and people that I have no direct connection with started confirming that they were going to the event.

Now, we were considering making T-Shirts for the event, find some catering from local restaurants and even considered breaking a World Record.

Once we surpassed the 1K mark, Jeff decided to look into records for Hammock Parties. The only record we could find was on record setter here. In 2013, 125 hammocks were set up at Santa Monica Pier. Even if we had 40% of the “going” show up, we’d topple the old record by a significant margin. Unfortunately there wasn’t any official record or category in the Guiness World Records for largest Hammock Party. That being said, Jeff sent in an application to start up the petition process to have a new category added. As the weeks draw closer to the event date, we’ll be expectantly waiting for the response from Guiness.

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This explosion of media activity was picked up by both ENO and Grand Trunk… who both proceeded to create discount codes for their hammocks specifically for the event!

Our biggest push was for the shirts, opening up design submissions to those who wanted to help out, but with competing companies, Jeff and I needed to tread lightly. Designs would be featured on the front and the back would be a space mostly for sponsors. Jeff and I both asked Grand Trunk and Eno.

To our relief, after explaining our situation and being honest about the contact with the competing companies, both were willing to help out with sponsoring the shirt. Now, our task would be to find other local sponsors and find a shirt company to print well over 500 shirts.

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On Sunday, March 15, 2015, I was able to organize a group to help plan out the events.

Much headway was made over the course of the 2 hour meeting. We were able to discuss locations, shirts, legal issues, sponsorships, and designs.

There are 5 weeks and 4 days left until the event (that’s just 39 days). We’re excited to see where it goes.

This is the power of social media. The is what happens when you combine passions, social media, and collegiate interests together.

By the time the event comes around, the full event would have been organized in just 53 days in the midst of classes, jobs, and exams.

This might be the worlds largest hammock hangout to come. Who would’ve though flat Florida would be the one?

I sure didn’t.

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