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Avatar User Offline marmbrust
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Posted: August/05/2017 at 9:03pm  Quote
 
Greetings fellow balsa bashers, closet ARF flyers, and event coordinators. 

The purpose of my thread is to create a place where we can share what it is we do to promote and advertise and event. I'd like to include anything related to managing the event from advertising, requesting sponsorship, running the flight line, etc..... any thing related to the management side of an RC airplane event is strongly encouraged.

I fly at a club in South Florida and attend most all of the events within a 3-5 hour drive of where we live. I can say with out a doubt we have the nicest facility south of I-4.

We are located at 20044 SW 168th Street Miami FL

We hold a few different events though the year and would like some ideas as to how to possibly increase pilot attendance and public attendance at our events. Depending on the event we get around 30 pilots to show up and perhaps 150 spectators. We would like to double both of those if possible. We get $5 a car for parking and $15 landing fee that includes lunch for the pilots.

We pull the event sanction at least 6 months in advance so it show on the AMA calendar. A few of us attend other events around the state and pass out flyers for our own. And we put up road signs the day of the event to help guide people our way.

For sponsors I have written e-mails requesting donations and such.

When I attend other events in the 3-5 hour drive range I see as much as 50-60 pilots at best in FL. I think this is due to our unique nature of no radius to pull from. As compared to the rest of the US.

So I'm asking for ideas and suggestions from ya'll as to how to best attract public and pilots to events and share with us all what it is your doing to get er done.

Thanks....Mark 




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Posted: August/05/2017 at 9:41pm  Quote
 
Some basics...

1. MOST IMPORTANT: Setup a page for the event on your club's website with ALL the details everyone needs and point back to it from everywhere (ads, facebook, rcflightdeck, rcsb, rcu, rcgroups,etc).

2. Generate a PDF flyer that you can email out and print out if needed.

3. Make sure your event is setup on rcflightdeck.com - A lot of folks use this to look for events to go to and it has some nice features like preregistration and such.

4. Setup a Facebook page for your event. Use the menu on your account to go set one up (see photo below). This is a great way to generate interests and send out updates.



Then spend $10-$20 dollars to target your page to potential visitors and attendees by setting up a Facebook ad using the Promote Page link in the settings for the page.

4. Publish your event on ALL the popular R/C forums. It's free and gets some good exposure to your target audience.

5. Post flyers at all the local hobby shops and talk the event up there.

6. Call your local news channels and see if they want to come out and cover the event. They love this kind of stuff. it's great filler for their broadcasts.

All of this will help but nothing beats going to other events, taking fliers and passing them out to other folks there. Also, invite as many folks as you know in the general area to attend.

Marketing comes down to just getting in there and putting the time in to do all this and talk it up whenever possible. There are no shortcuts it take time to build a following. You have to do these things EVERY YEAR to build a good crowd.

Good luck!
Mike






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Avatar User Offline chandley
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Posted: August/06/2017 at 6:27am  Quote
 
Thanks mike great advice I will to just that calling the news guys today!!

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Avatar User Offline Joespeeder
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Posted: April/12/2018 at 8:44pm  Quote
 
Mark,

Lots of great info in Mikes post. Like you, we are trying to grow our events each year and I have tried lots of things that are unique to develope a reputation for events that are unusual yet very fun. Mike covered the ad resouses very well.

The main thing that really helped us was getting some of our guys and going to other clubs events. We make a show of it. Setting up our tents and adding flags from countries from WWII at each corner of 3 or 4 tents. Now everyone knows it's us under those flags and the flags make a field feel alive. Sounds weird but it works. It promotes us quietly and those festive flags show up in everyone's photos. Suddenly their event looks active and lively. We actively work on being polite and use only family friendly language.

Back to our events, I plan unique things and try hard to give the Pilots something to talk about during the year that is different than other events you'll attend.

EDIT: I should say we do Flying events that the public watches. The flightline is open to everyone. We don't schedule flights and present a formal show. Those are cool but we allow Pilots to fly when and as much as they'd like. I go over this at the Pilots meeting and everyone works together. When a group of Pilots want to do a mass formation flight we call it on the pa. Others tend to land or wait and we fly as a group. Music is changed to fit the aircraft type and the flightline is re-opened to everyone once the group lands. These become our impromptu demos based on when the Pilots are ready. END EDIT.

My primary rule in planing is we only shut down the flightline for 1/2hour max. No planned demos, and no demos of aircraft that don't fit the theme of the day. I give the Pilots all the flight time I can. They came to fly.

We do a lot of strange stuff but it never intrudes on the flying times or competes for attention. Flight time and showing off the models is the focus of the event. Everything else wraps around that basic premise.

We have Scale, Warbird, and WWI Flying Circus events that get about 30 Pilots with spectators in the 60-200 person range depending on weather. I do the warbirds.

All warbirds fly at our events master scale to foam. Pilots are instructed to give each other their time in the air and they get it. The newb is just as welcome as the veteran.

Each year we have a theme. WWI, European Theater, Mediterranean/African theater, Pacific theater, and this year it's Korea and beyond. Each year the music is correct for that period with real news reels, national anthems, marches and movie themes.

The food fits the theme like grilled spam & pineapple along with pulled pork for the Pacific theater event. We also gave every pilot a choice of frozen ice from the Kona Ice truck that came for a couple hours.

We also have a short program every other year or so. Either before the event or during the 1/2 hour Pilots choice break. We have had a full Bag Pipe band (I was even in full kilt) or we had traditional Hula Dancers for the Pacific Theater event. In our advertising we told Pilots to wear their best Hawaiian shirt for the event. They did, it was very cool. The Pilots choice awards were car dashboard hull dancers.

This year is Korea and beyond... our music starts in 1950 and goes through 1974. War ditty's, rock, jazz, news reels, political ads, all from that period in loose order that will start with the theme song from MASH(Suicide is Painless) and go through Bay of Pigs, Sputnik, Coke Hill singers, Brubeck, King Crimson, and so much more. Our advertising says to wear your best MASH gear or Tie Dye shirts.

When we do the WWI flying Circus we play all WWI music, movie themes, and news reels. Then when it's quiet we play Christmas Carols during the Pilots choice and I made a voice over that explains the 1914 Christmas truce. It's haunting.

I make sure new Pilots get recognized welcomed and we try to choose the guys that feel overwhelmed by a new field/event for CD's choice awards. Something, anything. I gave extra unopened cans of spam to them one year. lol.

This year each pilot gets a small box when they sign in that replicates the Survival kit that Major Kong opened in Dr Strangelove. The kit is labeled after the kit in the movie. Inside is a tin of mints custom printed for our event ($40 for 50 tins), a fake bullet bottle opener, the stickers for their planes in the Pilots choice, a 3x5 card for a ballot, a golf pencil, some gold coin chocolates, an atomic fireball, and an envelope with a CRM114 decoder sticker on the outside. Inside the CRM114 envelope is a cipher card with a coded word. Break the code and you get a chance to win a real clock from a Russian Bear Bomber, or a Mach Meter from a F-86, or a Russian round slide rule from the 50's to work out nuclear yields. These prizes are available to every pilot that decodes the cipher. This allows newbie to win the big prizes as well as master builders.

eBay is awesome for these items and with a little imagination you can get cool prizes cheap. The Mach Meter was $40.

We moved our event times to 4pm till 9pm. The Sun is behind us at that time and it turns the event into a dinner event.

So you can see where I'm going with this... We really work the theme and try to do unique things that get talked about. However, when we get a group of similar aircraft in the air I switch the music to fits that flight or for example I'll tell the guys during one hour I'm playing WWI music at the WWII themed event. They can fly jets or whatever during that time. But if some WWI planes are going up give them their 10 minutes of fame.

The event is always growing and Pilots love the themes. However, having our group of pilots make the effort to go to other clubs events really boosted attendance at our own events more thanĀ  any other single item.

Hope you like one or two off these ideas. They're fun and can be very cheap.

Joe

Flying Circus https://youtu.be/QGetj403BJM

Pacific Theater https://youtu.be/JvZRjJ1PLxE

The theme and late start times saved the day in both cases. The FC had pouring rain till one hour before the event and the Pacific event was stupid windy. Enjoy.


 
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Avatar User Offline Joespeeder
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Posted: April/13/2018 at 7:19am  Quote
 
I forgot to ad I made YouTube advertisements for our events for a couple years.

They seemed to be liked but I didn't really see an increase in attendance due to them.
I would link the ads and post them everywhere it made sense but we still saw the guys we expected.

I made 2 advertisements for our first Flying Circus and posted one all over a few months before then the second the month before to stir interest. Im sure people saw them and enjoyed them but I don't think they changed our numbers.

Even getting others to link them or post them was a lot of work. Some places that they should have even posted never even got a link. Sigh...


Due to our themes, the ads seemed to let Pilots know the style of event but I don't think they added to our number of Pilots.


Warbird Ads

https://youtu.be/JuOWg5LQ9i4
 
https://youtu.be/HhA74qSB1jE



Flying Circus Ads

https://youtu.be/2rfLz6l5GyA
 
https://youtu.be/t7LgaY22tTc




It takes time to make the ads and I may do some again but I don't make it a priority at this point. Real life is intruding these days and time is tight.

Joe




 
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Avatar User Offline Vicar
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Posted: April/13/2018 at 7:42am  Quote
 

Joe,

Thank you very much for your input... I am stealing a few of your ideas.




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Avatar User Offline Joespeeder
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Posted: April/13/2018 at 7:59am  Quote
 
Thanks Vicar,

We are a small club of around 100-110 members and so our events are designed to be a typical warbird event in types of models flown. Guys with foam and ARF's can be comfortable and fly.

There are the high end events out there but ours is not that. We want to allow our members to fly and be as open as we can to all Pilots.

If it's a warbird it flys. Even if a guy put roundels on his Spacewalker he is welcomed and encouraged. Next year many of those guys will have a traditional warbird to join in.

Let me know what works for you. I'm always working to do something weird and make the guys laugh!!

Joe

EDIT: I keep thinking of things we do that are different and easy....

I wanted to give a standardized gift to pilots and workers each year and looked all over. I came up with Custom Poker Chips. I do the art work and add it to the site where you order them each year. For about $25 I get 100 poker chips. This is twice as many as I give out. If I miss someone or a pilot wants a replacement I I take a few of the previous years chips with me each year. This has been very successful as a keepsake. People look forward to a new poker chip and I have seen guys glue them to their flight boxes like kill markers. You can select different color marking on the chips and they are here with in a week of ordering them. The chips are way easier than engraved plaques or tee shirts. For us it filled the need for a memento very easily and cheaply. 








 
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Avatar User Offline bolar
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Posted: June/15/2018 at 10:26am  Quote
 
Quote: Joespeeder
Thanks Vicar,

 

EDIT: I keep thinking of things we do that are different and easy....

I wanted to give a standardized gift to pilots and workers each year and looked all over. I came up with Custom Poker Chips. I do the art work and add it to the site where you order them each year. For about $25 I get 100 poker chips. This is twice as many as I give out. If I miss someone or a pilot wants a replacement I I take a few of the previous years chips with me each year. This has been very successful as a keepsake. People look forward to a new poker chip and I have seen guys glue them to their flight boxes like kill markers. You can select different color marking on the chips and they are here with in a week of ordering them. The chips are way easier than engraved plaques or tee shirts. For us it filled the need for a memento very easily and cheaply. 




Wow, excellent idea!  I just stole this and had some made up for my clubs event in a few weeks.  Thanks!



 
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