REEF2REEF Saltwater and Reef Aquarium Forum
At the close of MACNA 2018, we have received concerns from multiple attendees about the raffle participation and raffle ticketing process as it pertains to MACNA volunteers who assisted with tasks like event floor management, exhibitor support, loadout, setup, attendee support.
This MACNA is the first MACNA that was completely managed and organized by the team at MASNA. To help ensure that MACNA 2018 closely resembled the attendee experience that our attendees know and love, MASNA chose to employ most of the same practices that have been done in previous years of MACNA.
Specifically, one process that has been long standing at MACNAs is the use of volunteer labor throughout the event and volunteers participating in the selling of raffle tickets to our attendee raffles. MASNA knows attendees enjoy the opportunity to participate in raffles, not only for the opportunity to win prizes but to also contribute through their donations in the raffle program to MASNA-led programs.
As MACNA volunteers are donating their time to MASNA programs, in this case, the MACNA Conference, they were offered the opportunity to choose to receive raffle tickets as a thank you for their time and effort. Volunteers were not required to accept the raffle tickets provided, nor were they encouraged to place their tickets into any specific raffle items by any MASNA staff.
We should note; volunteers did not personally draw any raffle tickets for any drawings they participated in and were prohibited by policy from doing any ticket selection to ensure there was no award bias. MASNA was not aware that WSI had asked the 2017 Fiji Trip winners to draw for the 2018 Fiji prize, nor aware of their participation in the raffle prior to their drawing their prize at the Saturday Night Banquet. Scott and Kelly deserve a huge thanks from everyone for being selfless and redrawing the winning ticket for the grand prize, even after they had placed many tickets into the drawing themselves.
MASNA is taking this opportunity to collect the feedback we have been receiving from attendees to reflect on the outcomes of the MACNA 2018 raffle drawings and process, and working internally to set new checks and balances in place to ensure that attendees have clearer communication before and during the event and ensuring we are meeting our obligation to maximize attendee enjoyment at our annual MACNA Conference.
Thank you all for attending #MACNA2018 - it was a wonderful event, and we have received thousands of kudos from attendees, exhibitors and professionals about their enjoyment of the event as well as suggestions to make 2019 even better.