Ways to get more people into trials?

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noobmeister
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Ways to get more people into trials?

Postby noobmeister » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:43 am

Anyone got tips for getting more people into trials? I know it's big in the UK and Europe but elsewhere it seems to be the best kept secret of motorcycling. Of course none of this applies if a club wants to keep to a certain size, but is more for growing a club or at least maintaining club membership levels over time. I've been chatting with a few overseas clubs, checking some good threads and got the following ideas so far:

INTRO TO TRIALS DAYS: Have a dedicated day to get interested people on some loan bikes and give them some basic instruction. Can also be just for an hour or two before a club event, as then they can spectate as well and see how it all works. Some clubs get local dealers to provide loan bikes and get a chance to sell some bikes too. I know a lot of clubs participate in the Come and Try Trials Day in Feb every year across the country, a great start! Some larger clubs even have a club bike so that newcomers can borrow it for their first club event (but must pay for any breakages).

TRIALS DEMOS AT COMMUNITY EVENTS
Get some upper grade riders to do their thing over some portable obstacles at community fairs and shows. Bigger events will actually pay for this sort of show too, which can go into the club's coffers.

PROMOTIONAL LEAFLETS & PAMPHLETS
At any event, have these on hand to give to visitors and spectators, or mail out to anyone who enquires through a club website. An online version can be set up on a club website too in the form of an "Introduction to trials" page.

CHAT WITH SPECTATORS WHO SHOW UP AT CLUB EVENTS
Chances are spectators who show up are interested in trials. When possible, stop to say hi and ask them how they found out about your event. Every club member is the face of your club and they'll be that more motivated to join when they see your club is supportive and friendly to newcomers.

WORD-OF-MOUTH
Most riders only get into a new facet of riding when they have mates who are into it. So if you know guys on road, adventure or dirt bikes encourage them to have a think about trials. Almost every dirt rider I speak to says at some point they have thought about getting a trials bike but often it was because they didn't know how to get into it, or didn't know anybody else who was into it. Some people say trials seems like a secret club or it's all a bit mysterious - the best way to counter that is talk about it and how easy it is to get into it.

USING ONLINE MEDIA: If anyone in your club is handy with a video camera and basic editing, film some of your events, post them online and use a Facebook page or your website to make them publicly accessible. It gives newcomers an insight into your club and it's members.

KEEP CLUB EVENTS FRIENDLY TO NEWCOMERS
I've never heard of this being an issue in Australian clubs, but some overseas clubs found they lost members, or didn't gain new ones, because the more skilled riders made even basic sections too difficult. It seems a healthy club is one that always keeps the newcomers and less skilled members in mind, or simply those who prefer to have more fun than challenge when they ride.

GET MORE EVENTS HAPPENING
One criticism of trials can be the lack of events - a new rider may just see there's one club event a month and think why bother? Some clubs make their events open to each other so there are events several times a month. As as club grows, it should be easier to start putting on training events and social ride days too.

A PROMOTIONS DUDE: One guy said the most successful strategy they ever used was a club member at each event was the promotions guy... he or she would just go up to any newcomers who looked interested, and ask if they'd like to come back at a set time and have a ride on a trials bike. He started a club from scratch in a tiny country town which grew to 40 members quickly (along with most of the strategies mentioned on this page too).

MAKE CLUB EVENTS SPECTATOR-FRIENDLY
If you plan on encouraging spectators, keep them in mind with signs to your property from the main road. Think of spectators when laying out your sections - how far it is to walk between sections, and how well sign-posted are they? Will they know which are upper grade and which are lower grade? Provide instructions on how to get to the event on your website. The previously mentioned pamphlets could come in handy if they explain how the scoring system works too. Being spectator-friendly becomes quite important if your club ever hosts a championship!

BIKE SHOPS
Put up posters in the bike shops in your area... especially if they are a trials bike shop, but all the others too.

GET ARTICLES INTO THE MEDIA & COMMUNITY PROMOTION
If anyone in the club is good with words, put articles in the local rag about trials riding and your club. Explain how it is a great sport for parents to get their kids into. Send in articles after the event with the scores and outcome. Include a photo of smiling club members.
Put up posters in your local community each a club event rolls around that would be good for spectators.

FOCUS ON THE KIDS
The youngsters are the champions of tomorrow. Consider a sub-group within the club that focuses on the kids. Have a cool name like "Rockhoppers" that Taffy used in a club he set up. A USA club I chatted with said they have two sherrifss and two school teachers who ride, so they have set up a law camp for youth that has 500 kids attend. They reckon it's a fun way to get paid to ride... that's thinking outside the box!

Good tips from the AJS crew... they have quite a few juniors so have three classes - Junior A follows the clubman line, Junior B have free run of the section and should be suitable for the automatic small wheel bikes and they also offer Mini Trial which is not competitive. A family pricing structure reduces the cost burden of having multiple children riding from one family.

ONLINE PROMOTION
Have a look at your website and see it through the eyes of a newcomer? Can they easily find info about trials? How to join your club? How and where to buy a bike? Can they come to your next event, and how do they get there?

If you are part of forums dealing with other aspects of motorbike riding, every now and then mention trials and see if you get any bites. Search for any trials-related threads in these forums and put in your two cents worth. Find interesting videos of the world's best riders like Toni Bou and post them in video sections just to raise the profile of trials riding.

I discussed using vids with Trials Australia and it resulted in the video below. Feel free to pass it on to any non-trials mates who you think might be interested in riding without a seat. :D



A big thanks to Taffy over at Trials Central for some great ideas: http://www.trialscentral.com/forums/topic/42643-promoting-trials/



jml
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Re: Ways to get more people into trials?

Postby jml » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:58 pm

noobmeister wrote:INTRO TO TRIALS DAYS: Have a dedicated day to get interested people on some loan bikes and give them some basic instruction. Can also be just for an hour or two before a club event, as then they can spectate as well and see how it all works. Some clubs get local dealers to provide loan bikes and get a chance to sell some bikes too. I know a lot of clubs participate in the Come and Try Trials Day in Feb every year across the country, a great start!


I agree with this point as it's how I got my feet wet in Trials. I attended one and it was a great day. I definitely was not prepared physically but it gave me a very good understanding of the fitness requirements and motivated me to get off my arse and into the gym. Another bonus was getting to ride a variety of different capacity bikes making my buying decision that much easier.

http://www.thehellteam.com/catalogue/c196/c250



matt monk
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Re: Ways to get more people into trials?

Postby matt monk » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:06 pm

Motor cycling Australia being more user friendly may help as well .


i was young and silly then i,m so much older now!

noobmeister
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Re: Ways to get more people into trials?

Postby noobmeister » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:14 am

matt monk wrote:Motor cycling Australia being more user friendly may help as well .


yeah, can't say it's a fun site to visit and try to navigate around. :-(

thanks to pete from AJS in south aust for plenty of tips, i worked them into the first post.



Brigalow
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Re: Ways to get more people into trials?

Postby Brigalow » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:05 am

Most people have no idea what trials is & trying to explain it goes no where. Demo's tend to be showmen type riding & miss what the sport is all about. We need more spectators on club days, to really showcase & we need to get 'em to have a go. Thing is, how do we get them there? maybe put up signs at the next event,COME WATCH AUSTRALIA'S TOUGHEST BADASSEST BIKERS CUTTING LOOSE ON THEIR WILD MACHINES free sausage sizzle & drinks for the kids!!! Exposure & promotion is the key as we all know, once bitten, your gone.



noobmeister
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Re: Ways to get more people into trials?

Postby noobmeister » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:43 pm

i think you nailed it brigalow. a guy in the US said the single biggest thing that's got new people into the club is getting spectators along, making sure all the club members take time out to say hi, and offering them a try of a bike (at a later date).



JC1
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Re: Ways to get more people into trials?

Postby JC1 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:21 am

Very worthwhile thread.

Another one, at least for classics/twinshocks: I joined HMCCQ (Historic M/C Club of Queensland)earlier this year with the specific intent of airing some publicity for classic trials bikes (with pics) for their monthly glossy colour journal. Several classic riders are already in the club & the president himself has a Matchy G3C & a neat Stornello trials, so there's quite a few bikes to feature.

The club has a membership of about 2000 I'm lead to believe so hoping to get a bit of publicity there & let the bikes themselves be the attraction. Also researched the Bantam trials development story culminating in Rowland's superb '67 ride to 2nd place in the Scottish. Just trying to find a decent pic or two thats not copywright. The article maybe too long for the journal but they maybe willing to run it over a few issues. Otherwise it will appear on the forum here.


"Men are never more likely to settle a matter rightly than when they can discuss it freely"

matt monk
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Re: Ways to get more people into trials?

Postby matt monk » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:51 am

noobmeister wrote:
matt monk wrote:Motor cycling Australia being more user friendly may help as well .


yeah, can't say it's a fun site to visit and try to navigate around. :-(

thanks to pete from AJS in south aust for plenty of tips, i worked them into the first post.



Never tried navigating their web site. Just apply for a licence was fraught with frustration.. That is why I ride with SQTA.


i was young and silly then i,m so much older now!

zulujack
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Re: Ways to get more people into trials?

Postby zulujack » Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:38 pm

I know it is a chicken and egg situation, but the number of events, venues and riding opportunities available at the moment is pretty dismal. The more people ride the more they will get their mates to ride and soon it will just feed itself. I know it takes a lot of organising a lot of people offering their own time, etc.. but one event every couple of months is never going to promote the sport or grow it. When I say event I don’t mean just competitions… could be social events or come-n-try days. A case in point…. MV had advertised at the start of the year that their national C&T day at Broadford included trials. I rang up only to be told that they could not be bothered with it as they did not think trials was popular enough. Ah well that settles that then. Promotion is always most effective when you actually have something to promote.



Trango
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Re: Ways to get more people into trials?

Postby Trango » Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:12 pm

You have brought up some excellent points about how to promote our sport but you have not touched on why they should get into it. To the lucky ones who have already experienced trials the reason is obvious why you should ride but to the majority of people the sport lacks one important ingredient, the adrenaline rush of speed. How many times have you heard someone say it is easy because you are only going slow? Pointing out the main reasons (cheaper form of motorsport, safer for the kids) would be good to get the parents interested but to get the attention of the die hard speed freaks it would help to point out some of the class riders from the speed disciplines who do or have in the past ridden trials. In Australia alone it is a long list. 5 time world champion Mick Doohan rode as a guest in a Brisbane arena trial in the 1980's to name just one. Pointing out some of these facts may encourage more people to look at our sport in a new light.




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