Our Impressions from the Worlds

We had an amazing time at the worlds this year. We had a chance to make new friends and interact with teams with more diverse backgrounds than on previous years. We loved to see many more teams from China and Mexico, we also loved to see teams from United Kingdom, India, South Korea, Paraguay, and Colombia. We are eager to see if many more countries join us at the worlds next year.

It is my understanding that Louisville, KY will host the worlds for the next 4 years, so I would like to share some of my impressions or concerns to see if next year we can have an even more amazing event.

  • There aren’t many flight options to Louisville, KY.I had a chance to meet teams from Arizona, Mexico and Texas (west coast) that had to travel Charleston, SC (east coast) to then travel back to Louisville, KY.REC should coordinate with the city on Louisville and airlines to increase the number of flights and open more routes during the world competitions.
  • I chose to stay at the Rodeway Inn next to the Kentucky Exposition Center to be able to walk to the venue every morning and back to the hotel every afternoon.I was surprised when I noticed that there weren’t sidewalks all the way up to the venue.We only had sidewalks in front of each hotel along the way.Other team members staying at nearby hotels had the same complaint.The city should consider completing the sidewalks from nearby hotels up the exposition center for a better experience not only for this event, but for any other event taking place at the exposition center.
  • I was also surprised by the lack of restaurant and fast food chains near the Kentucky Exposition Center and nearby hotels.If you end up tired after at a day at the expo, there weren’t many nearby options to get a meal within walking distance.You either had to drive or order from Domino’s Pizza or any other delivery service.The city should incentive the building of restaurant and fast food chains around the Kentucky Exposition Center and nearby hotels.
  • The VEX IQ / VEX U entrance smelled like a rodeo.Kentucky Exposition Center should shampoo their rugs in between conventions.There is no reason why a robotics competition should smell like a rodeo or horse racing convention.
  • The venue was so big, that we didn’t have time to walk the whole venue to see VRC matches or see the high school pits.We only had time to visit VEX U teams, since they were close to us.
  • VEX IQ had their own stadium, but it felt empty.The kids told me they liked it better last year, because they were in the same stadium as VRC and the stadium was always filled with spectators, lights and special effects.They felt like they were part of a huge event, meanwhile this year they felt like if it was a state competition with people from other countries.REC should consider moving at least the finals to the VRC stadium in a huge finals celebration so that the kids can feel that this is not just a VEX IQ event, but something much bigger and that we are all part of the same family. [/LIST] Besides that, the kids had a great time, it was a huge learning experience. Thanks for hosting such a wonderful event and hop to see you all next year.
  • The kids also loved the VEX After-Party. Even though some of our new found friends got stuck high in one of the machines, and one of the doors of the enterprise opened during one of our rides, we loved the thrill. We also loved to spend time and enjoy ourselves with some of the teams we met at the competition. Hope the VEX After-Party is here to stay :slight_smile:

    We also were at Worlds last year and this year so it was interesting to note similarities and differences. While it seemed empty, it was so nice to have space and room to move. I am sure the event will grow in the upcoming years. It was also nice for our kids to have room away from the crowds to perform. While it may have been a bit too far for good pictures, we didnt have unruly parents blocking everyone’s view, crowding the walkways, etc. this year which was nice. Yes a little Febreeze may have helped at times :slight_smile: We used the online system to book our rooms. I would recommend the creators of that site to check the mileage they put on there from hotel to Expo center. .3-.5 of a mile should be walkable but I am not sure any hotel/motel was walkable. From an East Coast team’s perspective, it was a nice and a lot cheaper to be able to drive! Our parents were very impressed with the setup in Freedom Hall for the ceremonies-very professional and well done!