Overland Expo East - Experience Ticket For Noobs?

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richardalan1975

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Contributor I

233
USA
First Name
Richard
Last Name
Wright
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19069

We are cherry is an understatement, aiming for our first adventure in Oct. I spotted Expo East and it works and I wanted to get some feedback. This would likely be our first trip out. Thoughts? Is there value for us in the experience ticket that includes seminars, rides, videos...? I can’t find the 2019 west schedule for the experience ticket to feel out what was offered previously. We are anxious to learn and would love to meet a few potential families for some future travel. Is this where we need to be and honestly how well received will we be?

We are selling our boat and starting our next chapter pretty excited to dial back a bit.

R
 
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We are cherry is an understatement, aiming for our first adventure in Oct. I spotted Expo East and it works and I wanted to get some feedback. This would likely be our first trip out. Thoughts? Is there value for us in the experience ticket that includes seminars, rides, videos...? I can’t find the 2019 west schedule for the experience ticket to feel out what was offered previously. We are anxious to learn and would love to meet a few potential families for some future travel. Is this where we need to be and honestly how well received will we be?

We are selling our boat and starting our next chapter pretty excited to dial back a bit.

R
It’s a very pricey adventure this year for some silly reason, last year it was a disaster for most, the usual classes involve Land Rover and their track, cooking classes galore, safety classes, a number of video adventures of the richer folks in the crowd, totally cool display of rigs and associated gear displays everything from the top end Land crusher Earth Roamer to the tiny home built tent trailer. Love to cook outdoors, here’s the best display of outdoor ideas you can find anywhere, it’s usually a good time weather permitting. Get your tickets early, they sell out fast and crowds do create a deluge of traffic issues. I just hope this year is better than last, or this won’t make the cut. Love the folks at Overland for putting it on and hope it stays.
 

RescueRangers

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Pathfinder I

2,055
Fleming Island, Fl
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0675

My wife and I started learning about Overlanding about six years ago, and to be honest, we haven't reached the point to justify the advanced courses. What I am getting at is the experience package differs from the weekend camping package only in the hands on Camel Skills classes. These are classes like driving and ground guiding over obstacles. We have considered the package but can't justify the cost with our level of Overlanding. My recommendation would be to do the weekend camping package (saving you several hundred) and hit all the classes they offer that are of interest to you. If you would like to find out more about the hands on classes, you can go to that area and watch and listen. I do strongly recommend attending the round tables. These are the folks that have been there-done that, and are willing to talk honestly about it and answer your question. I know of one person that be giving classes and will be in the round table that spent eight years traveling around the world.

The great thing about listening to the people who have done these things is you will have the chance to see what direction you will take your overlanding. There are many ways to overland and everyone has their own style. Your overland style has to do with what equipment you have, how long you will travel, how remote, what you want to explore, and how often you desire civilization. Finding traveling partners may be a bit of a challenge. Don't get discourage, there are lots of folks out there that have the same interests as you, and finding the right people is a great thing.
 

Todd & Meg

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Member

Influencer II

We live 2.5 hours from Expo West and didn’t go. We just can’t justify the cost or the crowds. We did go a few years ago for a day and had a great time. We probably would have gone for a day this year but we went to the desert in California the same weekend. I think being new doing the full experience is probably not worth it, it would be overwhelming. There would be more value for you to talk to people in the campground and learn from people that do what you want to do. Next year we might go for the camping and vendors, we’ll see what it cost.

Have fun and don’t buy into the idea that if you don’t buy something that you are not a real overlander.

Todd
 

Dirty Ape

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Influencer II

1,977
Dayton, OH
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7732

I did the full package of classes at the first OE at the Biltmore, was glad I did but didn't feel the need to repeat it at the next one I attended. If the money isn't a stretch, I say go for it, can widen the scope of possibilities and prep for different adventures....
 

Kipp

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Contributor III

1,402
Graton, CA
Member #

13160

I did the experience package at Expo West 2018 and I don't think it was a great value. Some of the classes were good, but there were plenty of useful classes available that were open to general admission. This year my wife and I went to NW Overland Rally which has one inexpensive admission and classes are open to all. Much smaller than the Expo - only about 2200 people vs 20k at Expo West. I wish there was an equivalent on the east coast, but if you have the time, there is an Overland Rally in Gunnison, Colorado August 1 - 4, but that is a long trip from the east.
 

justjames

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Pathfinder I

1,836
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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9429

We did East last year and bought the full ticket primarily to get access to all the driving classes. I was in the first class on Friday morning and the remainder of the weekend's classes were rained out so it was money pissed rained away, literally. The only saving grace was a tip from another attendee who told me of Overland Experts for off road training. I'm a couple hours from Infinity Downs so I'll probably go and do a vendor walk-thru this year but never again on the full experience.
 
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richardalan1975

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Contributor I

233
USA
First Name
Richard
Last Name
Wright
Member #

19069

Thanks everyone for the feedback, we decided to hold off on the full experience. We still have a few hurdles to be ready for our first outing. Boat sale taking longer than we would like, everything does. I am am also in limbo trying to find a roof rack, hooping LOD can deliver their newest in 4-5 weeks AND it supports my needs. I still feel like I want to attend, I do like the idea of staying close by and driving in for the day. R
 

Overland ON

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Georgetown, ON
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Enrique
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Vivas
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0678

We will be attending the expo but I prefer to stay at the campgrounds within an hour drive from the venue and saving close to $250 by buying just a day pass for my wife and myself.
Hey Dennis, i'm also going we should meet, i'm going to work the week before at Atlanta and stopping at the expo on my way up back to Ontario.
 

Hwinck22

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Traveler I

233
Pennsylvania
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14830

We will be attending the expo but I prefer to stay at the campgrounds within an hour drive from the venue and saving close to $250 by buying just a day pass for my wife and myself.
We got a camping spot an hour away in national forest! All over were sold out. Hope you already booked
 
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sabjku

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Alexandria, VA
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Steve
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B
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Somebody else already mentioned it, but the campground is, by far, the best place to see all kinds of gear, in real world use, and to be able to talk to all of the people that use that gear, along with their experiences. The amount of cool rigs and gear in the campground is worth the price of admission, to me. Events like this are about the parking lot, not the vendors, at least in my opinion. You won't find anything in those vendor booths that you most likely haven't already seen on the web, but you will find some very creative ideas in the campground parking lot!

I've never done an experience package, as I don't feel the need for it at this point. But, the free classes and discussions are informative, and diverse. Go, you'll definitely have fun, and learn a lot!
 

RickLB

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Pathfinder I

1,798
Blythewood SC
Member #

12109

After last years debacle, I won’t attend. Saving grace was they refunded our money since the wouldn’t let us in. Found a lot better place about an hour away and had a great time free of all the mud they had at the expo