We all know the saying, If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? Well, the same goes for your classic boat show. Now I know I know, Keels and Wheels does a great job of raising a ton of money for kids charities. And there is some serious dedication going on to pull it all together. But to be blunt. A show that large that draws from around North America needs to realize that even though the Keels and Wheels it features are cool classics, using vintage marketing tactics work as well as a 1960 Corvair thats been sitting on blocks for 30 years.
Please as you all know we positive about everything, and this is NOT about bashing or being negative. It is a lesson to all the folks that want to have a visible successful event. In today’s world, your event, or restoration business MUST use social marketing and have a digital marketing plan. PERIOD. To be more blunt. You’re missing out if you don’t have this stuff in the works. Yes ,yes, I am being rough here. But the simple fact is that we all in the hobby depend on your event and business to be successful. We all win, when you win, and we all loose when you do as well. This is the case with the Keels and Wheels event held this last week. No advance social marketing. Not a word. This is not a ploy for ads BTW, thats “By The Way” fo you non textingr folks.. BTW.. We monitor all the social channels, and .. cue the crickets. As for the event, NO photos or reports.
Yes there was some Facebook stuff, More on Facebook later.. But no press release no photos, no nothing. So in a sense, the show never happened this year. Best of what show.. To the person that drove miles and miles there to show there boat. Nothing, like it never fell in the woods. I will take this further, sorry Keels and Wheels, but this sets back next years event, since you are falling of the radar you enjoyed. Now.. we did notice that many members of the ACBS were there.. Sorry to be blunt again.. That isn’t enough anymore..
We are at a critical time in the cultures life. We must do better, we MUST not miss a beat. So, right here right now we will give you some sobering thoughts to think about your business or event.
1. Facebook is not your friend. Its a business now, using your stuff to reach people. If you have 500 friends, 30 of them will see your stuff, if your business has 13,000 likes like us, Facebook throttles back the content. We are amazed if 4000 people see a post. And forget linking anything, then its less. So you have to now PAY to boost a post to be seen. So, have a budget for that. You can not trick Facebook.
2. You need a full time person to be online talking about you. Be on forums, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, everyplace you can be. That person you have should be all over the place plugging, helping and sharing.
3. Pictures and Video. Don’t post crappy photos. They are boring and no one looks or worse shares them. OK, wait, you know I am telling the truth here. Have a good club member with an eye.. Use it.. ALOT.. and share.. Make Videos.. Look at Bob Kays from Lake Hopatcong. He is pounding 24/7 online, and it shows, the club is robust, fun and very active and the shows very well attended.
4. Stop being cheap. Many of you are holding money like the depression kids that you are. Spend on media and awareness. But be smart about it. Have a media plan, a PR plan and execute it.
5. Posters. Make great posters, mailers. Period. We will not post a crappy poster of your event.
6. Realize people need time to make plans. Look at the Woods and Water event marketing. This gang is all over the place. See how they do it.. Follow the lead.
7. When you have your event, make it an event, not a show. Make it more than a static group of boats at a dock.. Show photos of boats running around! We want to have fun, the 30 boats at the show can be seen in an hour.. Then what? Hats off to Algonac for doing more, moving back to the shrine of Chris Craft, having tours of the town, and great water trips. All packed into a perfect weekend. Sounds like fun right? See. It’s an event you may be able to travel to and have a fun weekend. Do your traffic count for the past ten years. Your a lot smaller now, right? It aint the economy or gas prices anymore. Your old boat show is old and boring. Sorry. The internet has changed everything. Use it.
Please understand, we want to help here. We are fully behind your success. Woody Boater is all of you, not just Texx and I.. It’s here for you to use, and we are here to help you help yourself. We will push back and tell you to do better if you ask. We have seen some amazing stuff change for the positive by the way, In other words “Help us Help You Help The Culture Of Classic Boating.