Dear MQ members,
In this report, I discuss the Feature Event project we launched last year and which is now building some pleasing momentum.
Objectives of the Feature Event project
The objectives of the Feature Event project are various:
·Elevate the public profile of all aspects of motorcycle sport in Queensland and reintroduce the public to the concept of paying to see the spectacle that good motorcycle sport undoubtedly produces.
·Develop a number of Feature Events (both one-off and recurrent) that will draw spectator, media, sponsor and, of course,competitor interest.
·Develop a capability in the MQ office to provide promotion, publicity, media, sponsor and industry liaison services that will be available to any club for any open meeting (subject to some criteria discussed below).
·Develop templates and lessons for financially profitable event promotion.
· Develop revenue for clubs and MQ additional to competitor entry fees.
·Make all our open events more profitable for our clubs.
Why pursue the Feature Event project?
Most of our clubs do not have access to professional promotional services to raise the profile of their events and to attract significant numbers of paying spectators, valuable commercial sponsors and media coverage. This is no criticism. It is a fact. Certainly, at times, some of clubs have very able, enthusiastic and innovative promoters within their membership. But, inevitably that person or group moves on and the club loses that flair for promotion.
Because the MQ office can maintain more constant resources and capabilities, it is logical that the MQ office become, over time, the epicentre for event promotion services and the development and expansion of those services.
Events in Queensland have tended to standard formats with over-stuffed programs that give all competitors an opportunity to ride, rathe rthan configuring some major meetings to be attractive to spectators. If an event is attractive to spectators, then it will be attractive to sponsors and the media. The Feature Event project aims to steadily improve that situation by creating productive partnerships between MQ and promoting clubs for the promotion of Feature Events and, indeed, all our open events.
What is a Feature Event?
We do not have any rigid ideas about what type of event will qualify as a Feature Event. However, a Feature Event must have the following characteristics:
· It must have a high probability of attracting a substantial paying crowd.
· It must create significant interest from media.
· It must offer an authentic commercial opportunity for sponsors.
·It must have a high probability that the event will produce a substantial surplus, whilst recognising that all profit opportunities attract risk.
Therefore, the event must be configured to maximise performance in these criteria, including:
· A compact program or, if not compact, maintains spectator interest and involvement.
· No boring racing, classes or any other activity.
· Promotable 'big' names competing or participating.
· Off-track attractions (eg showcase for other disciplines, demonstrations, displays and other amusements) and industry participation.
· Alternatively, a mass participation event(competitive or not) could also qualify.
What can MQ do for your club?
We freely admit that we are new to this game and will we will make some mistakes. But if we all stick to the principles of good event promotion, our successes will outweigh our failures.
To date, Eliza-Jane Mann (MQ Communications & Media) along with Michael Brown (MQ Events), Kim Rowcliffe (MQ Operations) and Ray Buchanan (QMP Manager) have done some great work on building relationships with the industry, media, sponsors and motorcycling personalities and they will,over time, develop a very valuable resource for all MQ clubs that we have not had in the past.
Look out for the results of the great work they have done, and will do, on Moto Fest, a multi-discpline event to be conducted at QMP and Boonah, in conjunction with the Boonah Spring Festival in September this year. You will see more on this event shortly.
So MQ can bring promotion, publicity and coordination skills to the table to assist with the effective promotion of a Feature Event. If justified, we can engage appropriate external assistance to optimise promotion, whilst keeping a close eye on costs and return on investment.
How the promoting club and MQ share costs, revenue, profit and risk will always be a matter for agreement. We are committed to making that sharing as equitable as possible,remembering that the Feature Event project aims to make a major event both profitable for the promoting club or clubs and for MQ to develop MQ's capability and capacity in this area. Your club does not have to go it alone, it can partner with other clubs to share the load and bring more resources to bear and build better cooperative relationships between our clubs.
Essentials of good promotion
The essentials of good promotion include the following:
· Configure the event for success - >12 monthsout.
· Get commitments from 'big' names to participate,ideally 12-9 months out.
· Use the commitment of the 'big' names to attract sponsors and media interest.
· Steadily build up publicity for the event.
· Use sponsor participation to increase publicity.
· Manage and exploit media opportunities.
· Pre-sell tickets.
If you consider these factors, you will appreciate that good promotion takes a lot of persistent work over a relatively long period. And it is to that commitment and persistence that MQ can contribute a great deal.
So, think ahead, think new formats, think new partnerships and get in touch for an initial discussion and advice with Michael Brown and Eliza-Jane Mann.
We are looking forward to hearing from your club about the exciting new ideas your club can come up with for a Feature Event.
Is the Feature Event project restricted to Feature Events?
Whilst MQ is committed to the genesis of some new and profitable Feature Events to showcase our sport, the developing MQ expertise in promotion can be applied to any of our existing major events and championships to raise their profile and make them more financially successful for the promoting club or clubs. Again, MQ will share cost, revenue, profit and risk on an agreed equitable basis.
You should consider the factors for good promotion above and start thinking about the lead-time necessary to maximise the probability of financial success. That means committing to promoting a championship event over 12 months before the appointed date for the event and getting the promotion process going at that time.
That does not mean that if you do not have the luxury of a long lead-time, MQ cannot help.
Get in touch with the MQ office and discuss what is possible.
Until next month…