SUMMERSIDE – The Atlanticade Motorcycle Festival might just seem like a five-day motorcycle event, but there’s a lot of work involved in marketing the festival long before the first bikes roll into town.
“We will be attending no less than six motorcycle shows the first three months of 2013,” said Atlanticade founder and chairman Dale Hicks. “It started with the North American International Motorcycle Show the first weekend in Toronto. The following weekend we were at the Northeast Expo in Boston, and now we are gearing up for three more shows in February.”
Next month, the Atlanticade team will be in Halifax, Feb. 8-10, Moncton, Feb. 15-17 and Montreal, Feb. 22-24. In March organizers finish off a six-show tour with a stop in Charlottetown for the P.E.I. Motorcycle Show March 15-17.
“It is important to be at these shows more than once year,” Hicks said. “It sends a message that you are serious about the event and are looking for people to consider you as an option when making their vacation plans. It allows us to speak face to face with potential participants and also provides the opportunity to engage possible vendors, industry representatives and members of the motorcycle media.”
“Everyday Heroes – A Salute to First Responders” will be the theme of the 7th annual Atlanticade, which will be returning to Summerside this summer, from June 27 to July 1.
Hicks said they are hoping to attract more participants from Quebec, since it is just a one-day ride to P.E.I. That’s why Atlanticade will have a presence, for the first time, at the Motorcycle Show in Montreal.
Although the costs associated with attending shows are significant, the efforts are eventually rewarded. In the past two years, the festival has attracted participants from nine states and all 10 provinces.
It’s not just a question of costs but also time.
“Each show requires about three days of effort, so in total, that comes to about 18 days just attending shows to promote a five-day festival,” Hicks said. “Most people look at the event itself and think that is where most of the time and effort is focused. However there is additional effort by the committee over the course of the five months leading into the event.”
Hicks said the response has been positive and the committee expects the 2013 festival to continue growing as it heads into the seventh year.
So far at the shows, the Atlanticade representatives have received, “Lots of positive feedback on the fact we are located in P.E.I. and plenty of interest in attending,” he said. “So we are encouraged by the level of enthusiasm for the festival.”