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Don't worry, be happy!
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I did something fun yesterday. Our club hosted our first skills camp. We did a three hour session, for 10 gals. One of our local LBS guys who is a USCF coach helped us put it on.
It was a lot of fun. We billed it as fundamental skills - mountain biking basics.
We actually ended up with a wait list, we had 10 gals enrolled and all but one showed up.
Our skills focus was bike set up, basic body position and body/bike separation; and braking. We spent a lot of time on being a dynamic rider.

In retrospect climbing would have been good too but we didn't get to it. I got to be assistant coach and "demo girl". We started in our staging area, and then went on to some of the natural terrain in our future bike park to put things into practice.

We finished up with a club sponsored picnic at the beach across the street from the bike area.

Oh, and thanks again to Catzilla for really enforcing the concept of building community with events. We are having pretty good success with this.

Here's what I'd like to discuss.
When y'all do events, are they free or do you charge? What about memberships, if your club is sponsoring the event, do you make people join in order to participate? Free for member, charge to non members or what?

We are taking the low key approach. Our club is sponsoring events, but they are free for anyone to attend. We give a little spiel about who we are and what we do, ask for donations and support through memberships, but we are really mellow about it. I am satisfied with the approach, but I am curious what else people do.
 

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Glue Sniffer
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553 Posts
formica said:
When y'all do events, are they free or do you charge? What about memberships, if your club is sponsoring the event, do you make people join in order to participate? Free for member, charge to non members or what?
Here's what I figure, which may or may not be right, feasible, or even make sense at all.

It all depends on what the goal of the event is, which really comes down to what the needs of the club are.

In general, clubs to events to a) increase membership, b) increase funds, or c) a totally benevolent contribution to the community.

So, depending on the goal, you'd either a) require membership to participate, b) charge, or c) advertise broadly and don't charge.

My favorite method is be creative and get the best of all worlds. Charge a nominal fee, or no fee at all, for club members. In all the marketing, non-members are absolutely encouraged to attend, but will be charged, say 10 bucks. BUT, that charge includes a free membership to the club. The club makes a few bucks. The skills clinic has added value, because for some reason people feel like something paid for is more valuable than something free. And you get to pile on the new memberships without making it a "Members Only" event.

You get to build political will through the new all the while giving new riders the tools, skills, and community to make the leap from novice to passionate enthusiast. I guarantee you that, in time, those people will become your most loyal and positive club members.
 

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Our club hosts a skills clinic every year and charges the same (minimal) amount for each participant. Food & bike stuff are provided. It's a fun day and great for meeting other women who ride or who want to ride.

Additionally, myself and a group of friends have implemented our own "Guest Rider Program." We ask friends (a different one every couple of weeks or so) who are good technical riders to come and ride with us. For a couple of hours one evening, we concentrate on 2-3 different skills while going through the usual mantras: Look where you want to go, keep your weight back (when applicable), etc. We've been providing a 6-pack and cookies to our featured Guest Rider.
 
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