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Promoting autoslalom-2022 edition


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Back in 2017, there was a discussion about promoting autoslalom and I really think we all need to look at this again. Our sport is awesome but not enough people know about it. I remember when we had 60+ drivers every event and I want to get back to that. I believe that the root of our low numbers is our site. I know it's all we have but it doesn't need to be. We need to take another shot at getting the sludge lot or find other suitable sites. Does anybody have the address of the sludge lot? I have a connection to a government lobbyist who knows all the right people to get us the sludge lot but it might cost us something (sorry, this is how our city works). 

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This is a cut and paste from Weebly in 2017 and I think it's still valid today:

Yeah, it's me again ... "Mr. Let's Keep this Going"

First of all, thanks to Helix for initiating this topic with "Novice Taxi" and to Dale for resurrecting it with "Promoting Autocross".  Here's a brief summary of the ideas submitted so far:

  • Promote awareness by producing business cards for random distribution.
  • Create a promotional video highlighting the action and excitement of the sport. Could include some testimonials from certain photogenic members (leaves me out).
  • Develop a relationship with local car clubs such as Unrestricted Empire (UE) and Top Tier 1 (TT1) to spread the word about AutoSlalom, which could become a win-win for everyone.
  • Consider introducing a new event at the beginning of our 2018 schedule called "Introduction to AutoSlalom".  See this thread for details.
  • Simplify the constraints of our current classing rules by introducing a casual class called "Open Class" or "Raw'.  Basically, if the car is street legal and registered, it's qualified.
  • Offer promotional items, such as T-shirts, ball caps, at each event to novices and spectators to help spread the word that AutoSlalom is alive and well.
  • Consider reducing the number of events over the season so as to consolidate the entry levels to  a more sustainable number.  Maybe 30 - 40 per event.  However, this is a "Catch-22" in that less events could equal less entries over the span of the season.
  • "Make Autocross Great Again (MAGA).  Got to love that suggestion!  Should that become our mission statement?
  • End of event "casual" run.  This would expand the "Introduction to AutoSlalom" (proposed at beginning of season) to each and every event.  No need to register or go through tech inspection (this could be an issue), but it would allow people who arrived as spectators to take their car for a spin (no pun intended) on the course.
  • Need an improved location.  Do we adopt an "it is what it is" attitude or do we dig deeper into avenues that we've already explored?  There's been talk about Red River Ex, the water treatment "sludge pond", Springs Church, and the Cirque de Soleil property across from Ikea.  Springs Church might work as a once per season promotional event.  Might be hard to get the hot-dog guy to come to the sludge pond.
  • Mix it up.  This suggestion encourages variety to maintain interest throughout the season.  Not only should we use the Gimli skid pad for our AutoSlalom, but what about adding another Gimli AutoSlalom event on the road course?  
  • Stimulate interest by introducing a "Team Challenge" event where you're competing as part of a team rather than one-on-on class completion.
  • Add a sponsored charitable event to our schedule that would draw attention from a larger audience.
  • Waive the entry fee for first time entrants.
  • Add a "Novice School" to the schedule which would minimize anxiety issues or reluctance to compete.  Strictly casual runs with no timing and no mandatory course work.
  • If in reality there really is a $25K allocation set aside for improvements (sounds too good to be true), how to we use a portion of this fund to promote our sport?
  • Allow a little more leniency with late arrivals if they are newcomers or rookies. 
  • Establish a core base of attendees by offering a discount on a "season ticket".  Details need to be worked out.
  • Select certain events in the schedule to be a combined car show and AutoSlalom event.  This might be better suited to Springs Church for the required display area.
  • Encourage attendance by offering prizes at each event.
  • Consider splitting the season into two mini seasons of 9 events each.  This would give individuals with conflicting schedules to still have a chance at winning a trophy ( or would that be a half-trophy?)
  • Encourage spectators by providing bleachers or maybe a sheltered area (tent) near the start/finish area.
  • Post individual videos and any other commentary that would help identify new members.  Sort of a "get to know each other" kind of thing.
  • Post the point standings on a more frequent basis to encourage not only competiveness, but to minimize the laissez-faire attitude of "what's the point of coming out".  Instead, wouldn't it be nice if it resulted in the " holy crap! ...if I attend the next 3 events, I could actually win this thing!!"

Lastly, I apologize for any of the great suggestions I may have missed.  Do not hesitate to respond to this thread and add any more suggestions you may have.  Thanks everyone for your input to promoting Autocross and encouraging me to write this summary.

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Some replies, from the perspective of a casual/novice.

  • Create a promotional video highlighting the action and excitement of the sport. Could include some testimonials from certain photogenic members (leaves me out).
  • Post individual videos and any other commentary that would help identify new members.  Sort of a "get to know each other" kind of thing.
  • Post the point standings on a more frequent basis to encourage not only competiveness, but to minimize the laissez-faire attitude of "what's the point of coming out".  Instead, wouldn't it be nice if it resulted in the " holy crap! ...if I attend the next 3 events, I could actually win this thing!!"

Since 2017 the social media presence has gotten a LOT better. Photo and video content is limited to what people submit or what the account-runner has time to create, but there's a clear effort to put as much content out there as possible, and the aesthetic of the Winnipeg Autoslalom socials is tight. I'm mostly on Instagram but I did check Facebook as well and it's well maintained too, good job. The frequent Instagram updates have definitely played a part in motivating me to get back into it.

  • Offer promotional items, such as T-shirts, ball caps, at each event to novices and spectators to help spread the word that AutoSlalom is alive and well.

I love the gear, and I saw a lot of people wearing the shirts and rocking the stickers. Don't forget to bring them to the event though! I definitely would have bought a sticker.

  • Encourage spectators by providing bleachers or maybe a sheltered area (tent) near the start/finish area.

Agreed. The current location doesn't lend itself to casual spectators, on a couple of levels. The unfortunate reality is that "perimeteritis" is a real thing in Winnipeg, and even though St Andrews Airport is barely outside the city, it's far enough that it dissuades at least some people from just heading over on a whim to see what's going on. It "feels" far, even though a lot of people will put more miles on just cruising up and down Portage. The other part of it is that while spectating is allowed, there's no real accomodation for it. I'm willing to go stand out in the sun and watch for tipped cones because it supports the event, but is that fun for someone who is just there to watch? Less so. Watching from the grid is OK, but at the moment it's still very much a "find somewhere that works" situation. 

  • Consider reducing the number of events over the season so as to consolidate the entry levels to  a more sustainable number.  Maybe 30 - 40 per event. 

I can only speak for myself, but having many events throughout the season makes it a lot easier to find a day that 1. my car works 2. I can spare the whole day 3. the weather is good. More frequent events = more accessibility.

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All good points, but regarding the stickers and gear, I'm reluctant to put stickers on my car of the WSCC logo that still has a car from the 1930s (or whatever it is) on it. The car on the logo doesn't necessarily accurately reflect the modern sports car club. If I was an outsider/newcomer looking at that logo for the first time, I'd think the WSCC was a bunch of old timers in their ancient vintage cars that wouldn't be particularly welcoming to the younger generation in their modern machines.

There had been discussions several years ago about modernizing the logo, and even some prototypes created, but nothing ever came of that in the end. I think it needs to be revisited.

Edited by Brian_Earl_Spilner
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7 hours ago, Brian_Earl_Spilner said:

All good points, but regarding the stickers and gear, I'm reluctant to put stickers on my car of the WSCC logo that still has a car from the 1930s (or whatever it is) on it. The car on the logo doesn't necessarily accurately reflect the modern sports car club. If I was an outsider/newcomer looking at that logo for the first time, I'd think the WSCC was a bunch of old timers in their ancient vintage cars that wouldn't be particularly welcoming to the younger generation in their modern machines.

There had been discussions several years ago about modernizing the logo, and even some prototypes created, but nothing ever came of that in the end. I think it needs to be revisited.

Who said anything about WSCC logos and gear?  This topic is about the AutoSlalom division of WSCC. Here's an example of the current logo as a decal. Same appears on gear. You can also check the Winnipeg Autoslalom facebook page for more examples.

AutoSsmall.jpg

Edited by Iceracer
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I am noobie have only autocrossed at St. Andrews so I don't know any better, but why are people hating on that location? Is it because of the poor pavement quality?  

Besides the lack of shade (which I must admit was unbearable this past weekend) I like the fact that its in an open field. Coming out the first time it was comforting that even if I screw up I ll drive into the grass and not hit a curb or a light post.  If it was in a parking lot I would be much more hesitant to take out my car for the first time.

I also appreciate how friendly, patient and helpful everyone is towards new people, this was definitely a highlight for me when I came out for the first time last summer.  This is a great thing we got going on and my respect goes towards all the organizers and instructors who work hard to make this happen. 

 

Sorry I don't really have any suggestions on improvements, but wanted to give my 2 cents as someone who recently tried AutoX

 

 

 

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On 8/24/2022 at 3:21 PM, egorlike said:

I am noobie have only autocrossed at St. Andrews so I don't know any better, but why are people hating on that location? Is it because of the poor pavement quality?  

Besides the lack of shade (which I must admit was unbearable this past weekend) I like the fact that its in an open field. Coming out the first time it was comforting that even if I screw up I ll drive into the grass and not hit a curb or a light post.  If it was in a parking lot I would be much more hesitant to take out my car for the first time.

I also appreciate how friendly, patient and helpful everyone is towards new people, this was definitely a highlight for me when I came out for the first time last summer.  This is a great thing we got going on and my respect goes towards all the organizers and instructors who work hard to make this happen. 

 

Sorry I don't really have any suggestions on improvements, but wanted to give my 2 cents as someone who recently tried AutoX

 

 

 

You summed it up perfectly - that's exactly why we keep coming out to St. Andrew's - it's not about the venue, it's about the people.  Thank-you @egorlike

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