So it’s been over a month since I blogged about spectators and where have they gone? (click here if you missed it).
I thought it was time to share the findings from the poll, and some of the comments that have been emailed to me or people have come up to me at events and chatted about. Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill in the poll, or email/speak to me direct.
I have to admit it’s not the results I was expecting, but this is how it panned out.
As you can see, the highest (only just) was “Didn’t know the event was happening.” I actually hear this a lot whilst in the stages from people that don’t regularly follow the sport, and found out last minute it was on. I know that organisers do a LOT of promotion leading up to an event, but clearly it’s missing lots of local people who would come along to watch if they knew about. Who knows they may become big fans and want to join a club and have a go.
Next was “Access to rally stages is too difficult.” I get this, as I also find it hard to follow the rally and access the stages. As many regular followers of this site will know, I try to stay and shoot every vehicle in every stage I get into. This makes it really hard to get ahead of the rally to get another stage in. I’m having a good day if I can get to three stages, or two plus a service. One of the better rallies (in my opinion) was Rally of the North, as the route made it easy to get into four stages and shoot every car. I know some drivers don’t like the idea of repeat stages, but it’s a way to resolve the issue of access, as the rally comes to the spectators, rather than the spectators having to chase the rally. WRC repeat most stages, so I’m not sure why there seems to be a reluctance to do it here.
I would have thought (and I don’t know), that repeat stages would be easier to organise and get road closures for, and it would need less volunteers. It also means some roads can be rested so they are not being driven on year after year. It could be possible to reverse the stage for the second run, so the driver maintains a challenge.
“Other.” This made up 28% of the votes, which is quite a chunk, but unfortunately I was unable to add a section for people to explain why they chose “Other”. I did ask people to leave comments at the bottom of the page, which one or two very kindly did. It would be really good to know the reason why you chose “Other”, so if you ticked this option, could you please let me know? I will keep names confidential, but may share your thoughts (if you agree).
I’m personally really glad that “Would rather watch via Live Broadcast / Social Media got Zero votes. It would be a sad day if this was a preferred method. It definitely has its place, and can be better than nothing when you cant get to a rally, but nothing beats being there!
So where to from here?
Well there’s not a lot I can do with organising events as I can’t be everywhere, and this is only something I do in my spare time, although I take it pretty seriously and give 100%. But what I can do, is offer this site to any club or organiser to do some promotion on. I can create a calendar for ALL gravel events – both North and South Islands, from national events right down to club level. All I need is help from all the clubs and organisers to send me the information, and remember to keep me informed if things change. This site received over 4.5 million hits in 2014, and is on course to do over 4 million this year, so it would be seen by many people.
I can post up any promotional article you want to write about on an upcoming event, so send in photos to make sure your club members are being seen. Ross Teesdale does an amazing job of post event reports for his club. They are extremely popular and read by many. I can supply anyone interested in taking advantage of this offer, a template for the Events Calendar, so you know what information I’m looking for, which will include links back to your club or entry/regulations page. I regularly get emails asking if I know of events going on, but I’m as much in the dark as everyone else currently. None of this will cost you a thing, other than some time putting your information together. Photographers will ALWAYS be credited if the information is passed on to me.
If you or your club / event is interested in spreading the word via this site, please get in touch with me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have an opinion? Then why not share it here. You can leave comments below, or you can send me an article and I will publish it so long as it’s constructive and not a blatant dig at anyone / organisation. And I’m happy for it to be controversial or thought provoking, as that’s all good.
This site exists for the betterment of rallying in New Zealand – so why not use it?