A bike jam/event can be a way to bring riders together, and have a really fun time. It can also be a way to benefit your community in some way, depending on what you are going for. It can also bring awareness to a charitable organization. There are many things a bike jam/event can do. It is also really fun to plan one. You may wonder how to do so, and here is where reading on will help out
.After planning and having two successful BMX and MTB jams, with a third in planning, I have learned many things about putting on this kind of event. With planning an event, it may seem like a really big task, but it's really not. Now with my events, I gave them a good kickstart in planning. Like a good half year (six months) of planning before hand. You can do it with three months of planning as well, but it's better to have a longer time between first planning your event, and the actual date.
Before you start to plan the event, have a reason as to why you want to do it. With mine, I have raised money for an indoor skatepark (first jam), raised money and awareness for the Surrey SPCA (second jam) and now with my third jam, I am raising money and awareness for the Terry Fox Foundation. Also, before you start to plan the event, make sure you have friends backing you up on this and willing to come out to it. It helps to have a little support.
Now once you have support from friends, and a reason for your event, you want to be contacting sponsors so that you will have prizes and what not. More so, a reason for people to come out to the event and have a stellar time. BUT before that, you'll need a flyer for your event, otherwise companies will most likely not believe you. It is a must.
When you contact sponsors, most likely via email, you'll want to include the following:
-Flyer (examples of them below)
-What your event is all about.
You could also write up a blog outlining what your event is all about, and go into more detail then you would in an email about it. I have done that, and it works really well (examples of them are below). In your email, make sure your spelling, grammar, etc is spot on, otherwise they won't take you seriously.
Here is a sample of what you can send to the companies, it's an email that I sent out to the companies this year:
I was wondering if you guys at, Kink, would like to be a part of my jam this year. I am planning it early this year, so I can make it even better for the riders, as that's what it's all about. For the riders, and having a good time. It's going to be on June 5th, 2010, in Surrey, BC, Canada. The two previous jams did help out a lot, as the first did gain enough support that Surrey is building a new covered skatepark, and the second year raised money for food and other things for the animals at the Surrey SPCA. This year, the money will be going towards the Terry Fox Foundation, which is a foundation in memory of the great Terry Fox to raise money for cancer research. To learn more about it, you can do so by visiting this link: https://www.terryfox.org/.
If you want to recap on what happened at the first jam, you can check out the blog here: http://dotca.pinkbike.com/blog/jamwrapup.html and a recap on last year's, you can follow this link: http://dotca.pinkbike.com/blog/results.html. Any other info you want or need, just ask. The jam flyer is here: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4022/4265899443_4f324c913a_o.jpg
When you are planning your event, make sure to get riders input on it. As in reality, that's who it is for and what it is about; the riders. Pinkbike forums, especially the local rider sections, are a great way to gather input and suggestions. Making even a topic is great in the country section where it is best suited to go, like this
When everything is all good and you have sponsors and a updated version of your flyer listing the sponsors, then go out to your local shops and parks and put up flyers and get lots of local support for it too. Then when the jam is all said and done, be sure to get a lot of photos and thank ALL the companies when you're done with photos and videos of how things went. It's good to write up a blog on how it went, and include the things mentioned above to send to the sponsors. By thanking them, it shows you're appreciative of their support and goods they sent and they may just be on board for future events you hold.
Things to also consider is to try to get some companies out there to demo/show stuff. For my first event, I got Haro out there to show off their spring 2008 line. For my second event, Norco showed off their 2010 Norco Rev (BMX). Also, contact your city and let them know about your event. They can be really helpful in it, and even provide music (such as a DJ, like at my events). They also may come out, and have waivers signed as it is a liability and it protects you from getting sued in case something major happens. Make sure you have registration forms and judges (if it is a judged event) for the event too, and those are things that are necessary in order for the event to go on.
Another thing, try and get an MC (master of ceremonies) that knows what people are doing in the jam/event and let him freestyle it out on the mic. If I did not have the MC I had, it would have sucked to an extent. He was a great MC, who added depth to the event. Also, if you have enough prizes, try to do a raffle, as it will get the kids happy knowing they have a chance to win stuff if they didn't win or compete in the jam/event.
I hope this will help everyone with their future jams/events. If you guys have ANY questions feel free to shoot me a PM or ask it in the comments. Good luck with everyone's jams or competitions.Just some notes
- Organize your prizes before your event starts. I learned that with my first event the hard way. It wasn't pretty.
-If a jam format, try to have it at like 4-5 riders per run at like 5-6 minutes a run.
-Make sure you have judges before the date of your event (I still have not learned this).
-It may seem like a lot of effort to put it on, but it is really not. Does take up some time, but in the end, it is worth it.
-Most important, HAVE FUN!Example of my jam flyers from my events:
April Fools Jam Flyer
Do Epic Stuff Jam Flyer
Steeze the Day Flyer
Examples of jam/event flyers from other events:
Canadian Concrete Flyer
SORCE Bike Fest Flyer
Bike to Work Week Flyer
Here are examples of blogs I wrote up:
Before the event (about it):
April Fools Jam Details
Do Epic Stuff Jam Details
After the event/results:
April Fools Jam Results
Do Epic Stuff Jam Results
Have fun, and I look forward to seeing what may come up in future events planned by you!