Add a new Activity category called "Other".
This could be a catch-all spot for new ideas that don't yet fit an established category. A good example is the Olympia Branch Gear Swap. It is desirable to run it as an Activity because: 1. The intent is to have sellers register and pay for tables. and 2. Folks have now been trained/accustomed to searching activities for things to do. Given the creative, entrepreneurial nature of members and branches, new ideas do come along and need an outlet, rather than be discouraged just because they are a square peg. Over time, examples that had persistence would become candidates for a new activity category.
For items like your Gear Swap, the proper category is an Event. Events can be set up to have people rsvp for a table or to simply attend. If we want to collect money connected to events we currently use Eventbrite. Event listings allow us to post the event in multiple calendars. Events can be easily downloaded to your personal calendar, and offer complete customization. We want to be able to market these cool new ideas and event listings allow you to have titles and text and photos how you want them rather than being stifled by the activity template listings.
Activity templates do not have the same functionality as they include leader’s notes, mileage, etc. Trip specific categories don’t make sense for an event like the gear grab. The Event category also allows members to register guests without having to create a separate profile for a guest or have the guest sign a waiver.
The ‘Find Activities’ area is designed to show all the outdoor trips we lead. These activities have minimum standards and committees establishing guidelines for these trips. Activities require participants to have waivers and create accounts. By listing an event as an activity, we would confuse the system and create a barrier for people to attend an event like a Gear Swap by requiring them to be members in our systems and sign a waiver. Event listings are staple parts of our programs and are highlighted on the front page of our website.
Additionally if there is a new activity that is gathering momentum and has a group of people wanting to list activities (like Stand Up Paddling did) we can get a committee listing and a new activity type for that. We definitely aren’t against new activities we just know that our user studies showed us that people were having a hard time finding what they were looking for when it was all in one bucket. Plus labeling something as Other isn’t descriptive. We want to be able to label these events and activities in a way that describes what is going on and markets them in the best way possible.