Motorcycle events are no doubt something our community thrives on. Of course, these past few years, events have been put on hold, but this year’s events seem to be bigger than ever. The motorcycle community is quite small, as you likely know. That’s why these events seem to have such a big impact on us: building the riding community, creating camaraderie, riding together, and setting a foundation for the community to become more cohesive overall. So, what if you want to hold your own event?
Recently, in my town, we held the Triple B ladies’ dirtbike rally, it’s an event that sees female riders from all over Western Canada come to ride and socialize for the weekend. I’ve been organizing this event for a few years now, and I’ve learned a few important things in that time. I thought it might be worthwhile to give you an idea of what goes into an event and how to run one of your own.
The first and most important thing you can do when contemplating an event is to reach out to your local community and find out who is willing to help — the more the better. It’s worthwhile to sit down with volunteers that want to get involved and discuss the overall concept and goal of the event, and what tasks people would like to take on to share the workload.
The first year I organized the Triple B, I thought I was being smart when I decided to take everything on myself. I didn’t know what was involved, but thought if I could control everything then I would know how to do it, and could then pass it on to others for the following years. This in turn burnt me out, took up way too much of my time, and caused me to split my focus. Things were done at a lower standard than I had set for myself.
After you’ve found some people willing to help you organize your event, you’ll want to settle on a location. Because the Triple B is a dirtbike event, we hold it at the dirtbike track, although in the past we have held it at a nearby hotel. Having the event at a hotel or building with facilities is incredibly helpful: there is running water, storage, and, in the case of a hotel, we had all of our food and liquor in-house, which negates a large part of the planning process.
This year, our event was all camping, and it was all outdoors. It was great because it was more central to our trail systems, but logistically, keeping our food and drinks cold while offering lunch and dinner became a hindrance.
Depending on the size of your event you should promote it through ad placement in both print and digital both locally and nationally, social media and word of mouth. For potential attendees, you want to make sure your event promotion explains what is included, the skill level needed, and inform people if there are any deterrents that may stop them from coming. For instance, our event was camping only with no running water, so we wanted to let people know that they would be packing in all water and essentials they felt they required while at the event.
No event can be successful without the support of the community, so reach out to local businesses and see if they are willing to sponsor the event with meals, or prizes for the riders. In the past, we’ve had a large motorcycle brand sponsor our events, but this year I decided to shift my sponsorship spectrum to dealerships in our area. This worked out better than expected. Not only were we able to show all motorcycle brands, but we also supported all our local bike shops. The shops were happy to be included and worked hard to get us more prizing than expected, making it extra special for all of the riders.
The last and potentially most important thing to work on is an emergency plan. Are the areas you’re riding accessible by truck and ATV? Can you keep track of and communicate with riders? What happens if the weather turns while people are out riding? An emergency plan is a lot of work for something that might never be used, but it pays to think about the risks you might encounter and how to combat them should anything happen while at the event.
In the end, the most you can hope for is that people have a good time. We’ve spent the last two years confined, and for the most part without face-to-face interactions within the motorcycling community. Bringing riders together is a powerful experience, and after holding this last Triple B,
I can’t wait to run it again because the number of friends and memories that were made couldn’t have been created any other way.