Acknowledged shortcomings

Acknowledged short-comings:


We had wished that...


-The building office/region would have managed to approve of our 2 year old planning project for a natural water filter in time for the ESBG, so we didn't have to rely on moveable tanks and have a crater in our garden.

-The large tent we ordered should have arrived 2 days before the opening, and been put up by the company. It instead arrived during Tuesday morning and we had to help erect it, stealing 15 crucial person-hours.

-The same company would also have delivered the 11 additional benches and tables, and 3 sales booths as ordered/promised. The additional benches would be around in the garden, allowing for more places to sit.

-The neighboring Agro-company would have allowed for camping (as promised twice earlier) on the flatter field where the cars drove to access the parking. This was prevented a week before the ESBG and we decided to illegally let you all cross their field, but to camp on our sloped meadow.

-The landscaping, (incl. gravel) would have happened earlier as ordered, so we could have had another layer of white gravel on top (It had to settle first).

-The new well which we started the process for 1 ½ year before the ESBG would have been operating smoothly prior to the ESBG, and not been drilled a week before and still not been sufficiently tested before the ESBG. (We went through 2 companies, both of them flaking out of promises)

-The Bouzov hotel would have not canceled our reservation of both conference space and accommodation; that more participants would have stayed in the accommodation we did manage to pre-reserve, so we didn't get a bad name for loose promises...

-The adverts we made in winter/spring would have brought us a vegie farmer to grow more of our vegies and make the vegie field be impressive. As we couldn't outsource it we had to try to do it and it became half-a..ed.

-Claygar would have delivered the donated 2,5 ton of plaster and panels prior to the ESBG; not during the Tuesday, when we couldn't arrange for a forklift.

-The E-Mixer would have arrived a week prior to the ESBG (instead of not arriving at all!)

-The Drag-On sprayer would have arrived 2 months before as initially promised, so we would have had more things plastered and learned about the need for high ampere and large compressor. (Clearly we should have rented a diesel powered compressor)

- Tom Rijven would have arrived a coupled of days earlier and taken charge of the bales/plaster on the bus shelter, and not unfortunately suffering from appendicitis, hospitalized and not able to join!

-All presenters would have submitted their abstracts and presentations in time; would have lived up to their commitment of being here. In 2 cases we found out the night before that they wouldn't show up (Luc and Michael Kallesen)

-The video producer who promised to make an online trailer, present and document the ESBG hadn't pulled out a month before the ESBG due to 'personal reasons'.

-The Bouzov town hall would have been faster in cooperation about the bus shelter; that they would have made a contract with us, that the design made by external engineer for the building permit would have reflected reality better.

-The grants would have been approved allowing us to cut the costs, include more poor balers.

-The grant for a renovation of the upstairs of our old farm would have been approved and we would have been able to make use of that building as well

-Some national networks wouldn't have been boy-cutting the event, and not promoted it nationally.

-Some national networkers would actually be a national networker, and not simply the only known person from that particular country, who then gained the title during the ESBG 2009. The effect is that the communication is not spread within the country as expected.

-That more than 9 countries would have made a national poster to be printed by us, thereby sharing the SB development in their countries with all participants.

-That the local farmer would have invested in a sophisticated modern straw bale press to suitably impress all of the participant with the 100 bales we needed. (we were criticized for not importing better bales).

-That all participants would have read and understood the scope of the participatory involvement of ESBG'11 (like in '07), and not arrived to expect the same tp-down facilitation as in ESBG'09.

-Ideally we'd had more high-profile balers join; They were invited; some canceled their reservation, others never responded. Some only arrived for a day or 2. In '09 several of them got their participation part-funded through the profit of a grant. This was not possible in '11 and raise the question if we all should be equal or not?


-That another 30 balers would have joined us, so we wouldn't have had to cancel the opening evening live music and constantly deal with low budget issues.

-Some of the participants wouldn't have refused to pay for the camping (which were informed about in the invitation), insisting on sleeping in their car, and been caught shitting in the grass near neighbors who then are able to criticize our event locally. Rules exist in C.R. for cleaning up after dogs; now we also need rules for 'balers'!?




-We had been more exact in necessary involvement/commitment of team members, been able to create larger out reach to Czech Republic. Ideally been able to pay a small team working full-time, rather than rely on a larger unpaid team working in their available time.

-Not only 2 of the planned 3 work weekends (for team members) before the ESBG were realized. This meant that a number of things were not finalized as intended.

-We had managed to renovate the cob-cat oven and big bale wall, making that area another attractive place to be, also for smokers.

-The bar would have had beer on tap the first night (not just bottled), that the bar would have been more furnished (furniture as well as inventory)...and that more people would have enjoyed the tea-house; we realized that non-alcoholic, non-smoking social offers was not very attractive for the user group!


-Our year-old intentions of professionally made displays and a self-guided tour of the property and buildings would have been in existence for the ESBG.

-We had been able to make more ornamental landscaping on the property, as well as finalizing the work on the tea-house cottage roof which got started 3 days before the ESBG.

-We would have managed to rent professional coffee brewing machines for self-service as intended.

-The straw bale workshop would have had someone capable of doing making the workshop interesting; that the bales wouldn't have been hidden 100 meters away, and that the compressor would have been self-powered.

-I would not have been persuaded to allow folks to watch presentations in the tea house cottage, instead have set it all up out side using our 2 projectors and 2 large monitors simultaneously, ensuring that a certain Austrian participant didn't overheat and complain to the world about it(!)

-I would have been aware that the person who had promised to be responsible to clean the toilets were much too busy doing everything else, and I would have found another solution for it. I failed to consider this, used our private toilet, received no feed-back from users or team, and were not impressed with what I found after the ESBG: Sorry! (Am also sorry for the folks who have fun sitting opposite than intended on a separating toilet seat, clogging up the funnel with!

-We had thought of having a (polite) inspector/bouncer on constant duty, making sure that the smoking rules were respected, that noise levels were acceptable after midnight, trash wasn't disposed off on the fields etc. Silly us, not to expect such behavior from adult balers...(!?)

-The overall budget would have provided enough profit to cover all costs (incl. travel expense of the ESBG Team members), to throw a party for the volunteers and to fund to have the videos of the ESBG conference made available online. Unfortunately the budget came out in deficit.

-that the simple concept of living up to ones promises by now had been introduced to Czech Republic (see list of 'external shortcomings' and the following)

-that we had made a contract with the person promising to document the conference, ensuring that the video footage was the ownership of the baling community and available online, and not as now; held ransom until funding is assured to have it released.

The deficit is in the eyes of the accounting and significantly Radka my wife, who have had finalizing our house delayed another year and a lot of additional stress and problems, from the time we offered to host this event.
It may well be argued that we profit from the landscaping, gravel, the work by the team members on our property, the final plastering of the cottage, the insulation of our bathroom, the various items purchased for ESBG and the donated items.

I let you be the judge:

Who's willing to host the next ESBG 2011?