HOSTING EVENTS can be both a blessing and a curse, but one thing is certain: events are a necessity to stay viable and present in the minds of your customers and in the community at large. Some shops hold a gathering every weekend while others concentrate on a few specific times a year. All successful events share common components, and while it’s not rocket science, most shop owners agree: thoughtful event planning can boost business.
Strokers Dallas in Texas can get 1,000 riders in a weekend, because an event gives riders an excuse to ride somewhere.
“Motorcycle riders want to be where other riders are, where there’s music and pretty girls, to have a beer and something to eat,” owner Rick Fairless said. “If you can’t get them in your store, how are you gonna sell them anything?” To reach new customers, “Make it fun so your regulars bring their buddies,” Fairless said.
Strokers has a state-certified bar, and Fairless said alcohol is restricted and monitored. “We’re trained to spot people when they’re having too much and we cut them off. We have to, and we do,” he said.
Last month San Diego Harley-Davidson owner “New York Myke” Shelby was preparing for his Moreno Boulevard store’s grand opening.
“When you charge for beer, people are more cautious,” he noted.
Shelby usually gets a charity group to set up the beer garden. The group handles permitting, complies with prevailing laws, mans the space and keeps security while Shelby provides the beer. The charity receives donations, intake is monitored and everyone feels good about it.