Think beyond the usual suspects!
Planning a social event is critical for bringing supporters out of the woodwork to enjoy themselves and network in a casual setting. It's also a chance to grow your club membership and educate people about your major projects. The event can be a gathering of about two hours at a bike shop, bar, restaurant, small theater or a party in someone's big backyard; be creative! You can also have a cookout following the Sunday morning ride.
Take advantage of a captive audience to spread your message.
It's a good idea to prepare a slideshow to run in the background during the social with photos and tidbits of information about your club/shop and the local riding. We strongly suggest you give a brief presentation at the start of the social about your club, local opportunities and club/trail building/volunteer needs, or at least make informational materials available.
Can't go wrong with a group ride.
Schedule this for Thursday or Friday evening, so the Crew can meet everyone and get a feel for the trails.
Tips and Tricks:
- Schedule a movie showing of Life Cycles or Pedal Driven. Movies draw in a crowd beyond the usual suspects and can score you some new members.
- Check with your local Trek and Subaru dealers, as they might be willing to host or sponsor the event. Your local REI is another good choice.
- Consider things that will bring in a wide audience of people who may not even know about your group or the crew weekend, such as showing a popular cycling movie or throwing a party at your local pump track.
- The event should be scheduled in the evening after work.
- Pick a location that will draw a large sector of the trails community.
- Pick a location that allows people to mingle and come and go (unless showing a movie).
- Contact the special events coordinator at your preferred location early in the planning process to set up the space, date and time.
- Solicit donations for food, drink, prizes and/or general swag. At the very least, drinks and snacks are a must.
- Publicize, publicize, publicize! Put up flyers at bike shops, coffee shops, outdoor gear stores and trail head kiosks. Get your activity in the newspaper.