As someone who participates in cycling events, one of the first things you may notice is that all the cycling events do the same thing differently. By that we mean that not all cycling events are the same or deliver the same experience.
It’s kind of like when you go to different restaurants that serve a similar menu. Even though the choices on the menu may be the same, each restaurant has it’s own way of doing things and each can give you a completely different experience.
Cycling events are the same. You can go to different cycling events that are held at the same location and have the same routes but that’s where the similarities end. The event experiences will most likely be completely different and if the event does a good job, you’ll most likely be back the next year, and hopefully even bring some friends with you. If not, unfortunately, that may be the last time you attend that event.
So, one of the first questions you may ask is, why are they run differently?
The reality is that there are many different elements and factors that are involved in producing a cycling event, just like a cake recipe. It’s a combination of all the ingredients coming together to deliver your event day experience. If all the ingredients are there in the right balance, it usually winds up being a great event. If some ingredients are missing, even if everything else is there, it may not deliver the experience that you want or expect.
What Goes Into Producing a Cycling Event
Starting from the top, the organization, charity, committee, cycling club or individual(s) basically sets the foundation and tone of the event. In many cases, a group of volunteers are assigned the task of producing the event, and in most cases, the volunteers are cyclists, with some events being produced by non-cyclists.
Some of the ingredients or elements of planning and producing the event include the selection of the course distance options, on-course route markings, distances between rest stops, rest stop food and hydration choices, on-course support vehicles, t-shirt design and fabrics, finisher medals, post-event food, entertainment and much, much more.
Budget and cash-flow have a big influence on what’s included in the event. In most cases, especially with smaller events, the registration revenue barely covers the operating costs to produce the event, which usually means that they have to be very careful with the expenses and may not offer as much as some of the larger events.
What’s the Problem?
In most cases, many of the events are actually run pretty well. Everyone has a great time out on the course, they come back and head home, and hopefully, they plan on coming back the next year.
The problem is when the events don’t change what they’ve been doing for many years. In those cases, you can virtually hear the organizers say “that’s the way we’ve always done it”. And in those cases, eventually they see their registration numbers continue to stair-step downward each year, and in some cases, to the point where the event is terminated due to low participation numbers. Unfortunately for them, the customer’s expectations change but the event structure doesn’t…and people stop coming.
What’s the Solution?
Just like any business, events have to listen to the customers. They will tell you if you are doing it right, simply by being a repeat customer.
The trick for the events is to listen to the customers and then deliver what they’re asking for. In many cases, all it takes is some tweaking and adjusting to come up with the solutions that make the difference between an average event and a good or great event.
Here’s Where YOU Come In.
We (CAAM Events) want YOUR feedback. We want to know what you want at the events.
Your input is extremely important and valuable to helping events evolve and create a better event experience for you and everyone else.
The first step is to let us know if you want your voice to be heard and help improve the events by completing the surveys referenced below.
The “Tell Us” Survey Series
CAAM Events has created the “Tell Us” series of surveys where you let us know what you like, don’t like and would like to see on different event specific topics.
Some of the topics we’ll ask you about include:
- SWAG items – What do you want? What don’t you want?
- T-shirts – What fabrics, styles, colors and designs to you like
- Finisher Medals – Yes or no?
- Finisher Certificates –
- Post-Event Food – What do you like? Vegan options? What don’t you like?
- Route Markings – How do you like your routes marked? Color assignments? On-ground markings?
- Route options – What’s your preferred distance
- Distance goals – Training for a longer distance?
- Ride Pace Groups – Ride with groups at a steady pace?
- Segment Timing – Interested?
- Rest Stops – What do you want on the tables? How many miles between stops?
- Series Completion Awards – Awards for completing specific events or different distances?
- Many other topics!
Each week we’ll send you a different short survey asking for your feedback on specific items or topics, letting us know what you like, don’t like or would like to see done differently.
Your feedback will be used to implement enhancements to the events in the CAAM Tour Series.
What’s the CAAM Tour Series?
The CAAM Tour Series is a collection of individually owned and produced events that follow a uniform set of guidelines that create a more consistent experience for you, similar to a sports league. While each team (event) is individually owned, they all work together in the league, playing by the same rules, using the same field markings, registration structure, etc.
The CAAM Tour Series currently includes events in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina and will continue to expand deeper into those states as well as growing into other states. The benefit to you is that you’ll get a more consistent event experience at all the CAAM Tour Series events!
The Bottom Line
Get Involved! Be heard and help the events get better for you and your cycling event friends!
Click the link below and join!
Thank you for your participation! We look forward to seeing you at the events!