By Jon Hornbeck
With the groundwork of your event now taking shape it’s time to start putting the pieces together to help grow support and awareness for your event. Unless you have a big following in the bicycle industry which unfortunately many of us don’t it’s time to get to some leg work and you can do so by starting with these two key ventures.
The first being by going down to your local bicycle shop where you can partner with one and have them give you support at your event. If you gain support from one of your local shops they will help promote your event to their customers that are walking into their business daily. You can do a bit of a trade with them as well for example with putting their logo on your flyer and online presence for them coming out and supporting your event with a tent and some supplies on hand for riders that may need something day of. You should be hitting up every bicycle shop in the area and beyond with flyers and posters of your event.
Another great attribute to partnering with a local shop is their local knowledge of the roads around the area. For example with our upcoming Gravel event we did one last year as well and I had not much knowledge of the amazing dirt/gravel roads on hand with myself always training on the road. One of the owners of the local shop; The Bike Shop Temecula, actually put most of the course together for the event as he is an avid rider of those roads. That helped my workload massively as I didn’t have to go out and explore new roads last minute.
On the bike shop side as well they see value in supporting local events as one of the owners of The Bike Shop Temecula Rich Wessels adds in; “Doing these events are really fun for us as it’s what we’re truly passionate about with being out there at the the event. Not only is it good to get exposure for our shop name but it’s something we can all enjoy doing while being out there. It does feel a lot less like work when we get to go out and enjoy being apart of any event. On top of that it helps us reach customers that may not be familiar with us as they may not be local and that helps us bring new customers into the shop. We also offer neutral support at the events we do which is another great aspect because we can keep people going at the races and also let them know if they need a bit more work done that they can bring back into the shop. Partnering with events is another great way to be apart of our local cycling community.”
Your next area of support can be partnering with a local cycling club/team. This is a really good way to gain some volunteers and also give back to the team with a portion of what you make off of your event. Opening your event up to a club to come on is real quick way to get more people to know about your event by having them spread the word among themselves. You can also offer the club a discount code which can be used among their members to help get them to come support your event as well. With these two examples you want to highlight where you can help create value for your event by giving value you to others as well.