▲ Getting a motorcycling celebrity to support and endorse your classic bike show can't do you any harm at all. Sammy Miller, pictured here at the Woolwich Arsenal riding the legendary AJS Porcupine on the 40th Anniversary of the AMC factory closure, is definitely on the "A" list. www.sammymiller.co.uk
▲ Colin Seeley pictured on that same Porcupine (main image) taken from Sammy Miller's classic bike collection. Putting chassis builder Colin in the frame won't do you any harm either, and Colin is both a gentleman and a professional and knows how to deliver the goods time and time again.
▲ Two Sump girls on a Trumpet at the Ace:
Now that's what we call a real photo opportunity.
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Classic bike shows, autojumbles, club runs or festivals can be an organisational nightmare. Our experience is that many, if not most, promoters fall down at the basics and fail to press the crucial buttons that help ensure good attendance and useful feedback from the press. If you're running a show, or are even thinking of running one, take a look at our guide detailing how to flex your marketing muscle. It won't take long, and just might help clue you in on some areas that most organisers—even the professionals—get badly wrong.
1. Advance show notice
Sounds obvious, but at Sump we frequently receive only a few days notification of a classic bike show, autojumble, or bike run. In the mainstream motorcycle press, we also frequently see very limited notification of an event.
Classic bike magazines usually need a couple of months lead-in time to process a press release or show date. Trying to squeeze your dates in close to the publishing deadline is risky.
Motorcycle websites update much faster (in days or hours), but you still really need to think at least a month ahead. Ideally, think in terms of three months. Or longer.
If you're placing ads in magazines, the same rules apply. Get in early if you want the most favourable spots. People usually need plenty of reminders. If you want your event to flower, seed it early and water carefully.
Don't forget to contact your local press. If you can't afford an advert, at least send a press release. Not sure what that is? Well you're not alone. Just write a simple statement of the facts surrounding your classic bike festival or event:
Name, Date, Time, Location,
And make it newsworthy. Spin it a little. If your guest biking celebrity is a local man, use that as an anchor for the story:
TT Winner to Open Local
Classic Bike Show
Give an editor a headline or a soundbite. Better still, send a photo with the press release. Make it easy for the editor to convert your words to print.
And consider your local TV and radio station. Thirty seconds on the airwaves can help put money in the bank for next year's outing.
[for part two of this feature, click here]