Part 1 can be found here:
The Inaugural End of Year Hammock Party has finally come and gone.
Hosted by the future Hammock Club at UF, between 700 and 1,000 attendees came on out to Westside Park in Gainesville FL, ready to set up hammocks all over the park.
On a final Facebook rsvp, there were about 2,081 who said they were going/went. The day of, the number dropped from over 2.1K due to upcoming exams.
So how did the event actually play out?
Earlier in the week, Jeff and I decided to purchase 2,000 ice pops namely the Fla-Vor-Ice pops. Yes, they are the same pops that you ate as a kid growing up. The largest challenge that we faced was finding freezer space to fit it all in. After spreading the pops across Gainesville in 7 houses, the pops would make their way to the event just in time for it to starts.
On the day of, a group of guys and some girls came out to help set up the domes at 8 am. While the domes took quite a while to set up, they proved to be a very interesting sight and central location for many hammocks.
In addition to the shirts being distributed, Hyppo pops were being sold (which were a huge hit with the crowd), and sponsors such as Brasington’s and STEM’d were present relaxing and answering any questions that people had.
Throughout the day, I was pulled aside by multiple Journalism students where I repeated the story of the Hammock Party inception over and over again. The excitement was strong and alive throughout the whole 5-hour event. Even though there weren’t any specific food trucks at the event, hunger did not faze Jefferson or me. Between running around answering questions, setting up hammocks, and meeting people, there was very little time to think about hunger. The energy from the event was more than enough to keep us going.
So what happened with the potential world records?
In most cases, people have constantly asked me if we successfully broke world records.
Frankly, we might have broken a few unofficial world records. During the official count off, we had over 158 people sitting in hammocks although by that time, there could have been 50-100 other hammocks that could have been set up prior. Each time I am asked about the records I respond with something along these lines:
“Unofficially, I think we broke some records, but I don’t focus on the world records. I mean, I think it’s super cool if we officially broke them but I don’t want any discouragements in the case that we didn’t break a record, because I’m sure there are crazy amounts of hammocks at music fests such as Electric Forest… although that’s also for a music fest, while this event was purely for hammocking. So did we break records? I dunno. What I focus on and what I’m happy for is the fact that everyone enjoyed themselves and had a great time relaxing before exams.”
But in the spirit of the hammock records, here’s all we’ve found online so far:
Worlds Largest Hammock Hangout: 125 on recordsetter. BEAT with 158.
Worlds Tallest Hammock Stack: 14. BEAT with 15.
So recapitulating what happened after the Party, I was left with over 350 shirts. Most of the pre-orders were bought but the leftover shirts took up lots of space. Now the question is what I’d do with the shirts. So far our decisions were to hold onto the shirts and sell at a lower price come Fall.
We believe that there were less sales than expected mainly as a result of exams keeping people back from actually showing up to the event.
So in the end, what have we learned?
Don’t set unrealistic expectations.
There is great satisfaction in seeing positive responses from event hosting.
The Hammock Club has huge potential.
Create a very low estimate on shirt orders.
Sponsors are lifesavers.
Community efforts are some of the best efforts.
Keep on hangin out and get outside!