I think the prospects of wet and stormy weather kept a lot of people away. Although the sun was out, the vegetation and trails were very sloppy. And weeknight meets tend to be slow anyway. One group of scouts got a real good intro to O and several passers-by picked up brochures and got a little verbal intro.
I guess that first answer kind of evaded the question.
To be a bit more specific, I felt it was an essential part of my club's role in the international O community that we participate in this event. On that note it is shameful that so few USA clubs participated. (Although in fairness, it wasn't well publicized here and I think many club organizers didn't know about it at all or didn't find out early enough to really plan - my club is masterful at throwing together events on very short notice).
I knew that Wednesday evening wouldn't get many participants, although I did hope for double what we got. The heavy rain storms of the previous few days and a continuing possibility of rain and severe weather further dampened (ha ha) participation.
As far as return on investment, it wasn't great. We got 5 first time participants (5 scouts ages 11 and 12). They and their two adult leaders (who did not go out on the course) seemed enthusiastic. Also as mentioned, several other park users were interested enough to inquire and pick up information. So there potentially could be a payoff in future participation and public awareness.
As to the investment, I spent 4 hours in the woods checking sites and setting controls. Add maybe an hour of computer and printing time (I did the original course design in an airport between flights, so I'm not really counting that. But I spent a few minutes doing revisions and a half hour printing). Add about 4 hours drive time for 2 round trips to the park and one to the print shop. Then maybe 4 hours at the park day-of-event for starts and clean up. So I invested about 13 hours and Matthew about 4. Add to that some burning of fossil fuels by both me and Matthew. Definitely a fairly high investment for the very small number of participants.
Other benefits included me getting in a hard fast run on a fun course, plus getting the boys (Mpage and Skyler) out on courses.
So bottom line, do I feel bad about doing it or that I totally wasted my time? A definite "NO" to both. Was I disappointed that we didn't get more people? Certainly YES. Would I do it again? Yep, although I hope with farther advance notice and promotion.
Of course, I asked because, if it were my event I would have been sorry I bothered. Then again, unless I thought there was a good probability of success, I doubt I would have agreed to organize it.
What do you think the IOF powers that be were thinking when they scheduled WODs -- this and the next two years -- on weekdays?
Their emphasis is on schools and getting kid's / classes out to events. I suspect in Europe, it may be somewhat easier for them to coordinate activities with schools.