American going Dutch
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zuidhorn, The Netherlands
Bikes: Nazca Gaucho
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A bunch of manufacturers in Europe get together for giant exhibitions, test-ride events, time trials, etc. Here are a few examples.
It gives people a chance to see what bents can do and (more importantly) test ride a wide variety of models. The big trick is to attract people who are not already obsessed with bents.
In the US, these kinds of exhibits could be combined with say State or County fairs. When I was a kid in the Buffalo, NY area, the fairs typically had horse races and such. Adding human powered vehicle races to the events would put a modern, green spin on an old tradition. Very politically correct.
The fair would draw a diverse crowd that is coincidentally interested in (a) thrill rides and (b) games and tests of skill. Test-rides on bents should satisfy both of those urges. If we can get groups of high school and college kids racing each other around a test track, we might get a few new bent addicts. There should be a lot of laughs as they tease each other through the wobbly phase. If it catches on like bumper cars, it could be good fun and good business.
My guess is that a hard sales pitch would scare folks away. The idea of a joy ride at a fair would be more effective at getting people over that initial threshold of actually trying a bent. A stack of brochures by the gate would allow those who are interested to take the next step. This kind of exposure once a year in each geographic market should stimulate initial sales. Adding just a few more local riders would mean more year-round exposure to bents in those communities. That and some word-of-mouth could help stimulate an upward spiral in sales.