A few weeks ago I worked with one of our new customers, East10Drift, who was looking for some quick and easy promotion ideas. His event was right around the corner and he needed some more registrations. If you're a MotorsportReg customer, we do lots of promotion on your behalf. But that's never going to be enough. The ideas I shared with East10Drift aren't ground breaking and aren't going to flood your events with new attendees- but they're simple, most of the time free, and easily overlooked.
1. Google search for events in your town
The very first thing I did after chatting with our organizer was search for events in his area- Bowling Green, Kentucky. For this search, I kept it general. I literally searched Bowling Green events. Usually you'll find local newspaper and community or tourist websites with calendars about all kinds of events. The ones at the top of the search list get the most traffic. So find out how to post listings to those sites and be sure to play up how AWESOME your events are. They may be run-of-the-mill to you, but for an outsider they're pretty cool.
2. Google search for specific events in your area
Next I narrowed the search down to drifting in Bowling Green. I came across a few forums and a few Facebook pages of drifting associations. If you're not getting good results from your search, widen the area. Instead of Bowling Green, try Kentucky.
Forums are a great place to advertise your event and even though the forum posts I came across were a little outdated, at one point people were looking for drifting events in Bowling Green in that forum. Perfect audience! Contact the forum administrator and find out what it takes to post there. All forums are different and some have rules about what is and isn't allowed.
The Facebook pages that came up with this search were for sanctioning bodies and a statewide drifitng association. Contact the owners of those Facebook pages and see if they'll post something on your behalf. Consider throwing in a goodie like a discount or free swag.
3. Partner with local shops and tuners
I didn't know this until I listened to our recent webinar with Jeff Cowan on how to re-energize and engage your members, but some tuner shops have boat-loads of fans. Like tens of thousands! Survey your members and find out what local shops and tuners they work with. Then contact the owners and see if you can partner with them on promoting an event. Maybe they can post something to their social media network or send an email out on your behalf. They'll be more willing to do this if there's something in it for them. So again, consider offering a goodie to their customers and some free promotion for the shop/ tuner at your event.
There's a documentary out there about how you can literally find everything you need to survive for a month on craigslist.org. Since people are searching for thousands of things on Craigslist, why not your event? Posting is totally free and easy to do. And depending on your area, the categories you can post in vary. Check the types of posts that are in the section you're considering and tailor your message so that it fits into that category. Craigslist was started in my backyard so we have lots of options- it may be different in your neck of the woods. Here's where I'd consider posting a motorsport event:
- Community- activities, classes, events, general, groups, local news, rideshare, volunteers
- Discussion forums- autos, bikes, motorcycle, nonprofit, outdoor, sports
- For sale- this is a little sneaky, but if for example spec miata is a big class in your club racing program and people are searching for miata parts on craigslist, how about sneak in a post about your upcoming race with some spec miata keywords?
- Services- automotive, cycle
- Gigs- events
5. Google search for volunteer opportunities
Do a search for volunteer opportunities in your area. You'll likely come across aggregator websites where lots of organizations post volunteer opportunities. If you use workers/ volunteers at your events, or trade working with driving, this might be a good new channel for you. Again the sites at the top of the list get the most traffic, so find out how to post to those sites and gear your posting more towards the volunteer (and fun!) side of things.
Anyone tried any of the ideas above? How'd it work out? Or do you have an unusual promotion channel that's worked well for you? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!