Few people, even sponsors and volunteers, can appreciate the challenges every Event Director faces every year, every month and nearly every day. But we do.
We provide coaching and (sometimes) hands-on consulting for Event Directors that want to up their game.
How Does This Work?
Whether you have a new cycling event, or you’ve been running one for years, the challenges are significant.
We see great events with weak marketing. Beautiful routes without sufficient safety plans. Established events struggling to wrangle volunteers, particularly after “volunteer fatigue” sets in. The constant search for sponsors. The constant pressure to promote the event to participants.
We know your challenges, because we’ve faced them.
How We Help
We’ve been doing this for years, combining our talents in marketing, leadership, detailed organization and safety planning with our love of participating in cycling events. We have been riding in, volunteering, promoting, and organizing elite cycling events for more than twenty years. Now we’re ready to give back, and help you with your event.
We will not run your event. Although we still run a couple of events as Directors, we are no longer accepting Director positions. But we’ll help you run yours. We’re not your competition, we’re part of your team.
Think of us as a team that “has your back” — helping you anticipate what you hadn’t considered, tap strengths you didn’t realize you had, and plan for success… while also keeping a skeptical eye on what might go wrong, and plan for that too.
We stay in the background, while you lead your event. We don’t need any credit or public attention — we think that should go to you and the rest of your team. Better than anyone, we know that you deserve the recognition. We’ll help you succeed.
Just a few of the topics we address, depending upon your specific needs:
- Brand definition of your event
- Marketing strategy
- Event promotion through marketing channels and other tactics
- Participant gift bags and leveraging sponsors
- Event logo wear and strategies for additional brand development (and income)
- Route creation (including route testing, cue sheets, maps and GPS computer files)
- Volunteer Job Descriptions
- Recommendations for event applications for registration sales, volunteer sign-up, team workflow, email marketing, social media marketing, etc…
- Tools for team task management for a typical event
- Event Safety Plan template customized for your event.
How Do We Start?
Each of our coaching and consulting engagements are tailored to your specific needs. To get started, we ask you to complete a questionnaire about your event. After reviewing your responses, we’ll schedule a call to delve deeper into your concerns before providing a quote.
Why We Think We Can Help
We’ve directed more than 20 cycling events. Our expertise in cycling event consulting, taps project management, marketing, and fiscal oversight skills honed by 25 years of experience in corporate finance and 35 years of business management by the two principals, Jennifer Caldwell-Billstrom and David Billstrom.
Our experience includes launching new products, marketing events, reorganizing teams for better performance, raising money from investors, and various leadership positions in companies ranging from raw startup stage to Fortune 100. Obviously, these skills have applicability to large and complex events with a hundred (or more) volunteers.
When we examine the concerns of our consulting clients, our first priority is the safety of both the participants and bystanders. David has over 35 years of experience in public safety including EMT, firefighting, and search and rescue.
That said, we help our clients strike a balance between the unfettered joy of a challenging event, and risk management. And above all, we want you to be as prepared as you can be for the unanticipated.
Events we’ve already helped
Mountains of Misery – Newport VA. Mountains of Misery is where I fell in love with cycling events (both as a rider and as an organizer). It’s also where David and I discovered that we both had a passion for directing events.
Cycle To Farm – Black Mountain NC & Sandy Mush NC (both located near Asheville NC), Chapel Hill NC, Greenville SC. Cycle To Farm was created by Velo Girl Rides and you can learn more about it in this post.
WNC Flyer (formerly the Fletcher Flyer) – Asheville NC. This was the first event for which I was not the founder that I was paid to serve as the Event Director and it was the first time that the Fletcher Flyer had a paid director. In 2013, when the event was 10 years old and still called the Fletcher Flyer, I was the Event Director and David served as the Safety Director (another first for this event). Created by the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club of Asheville, this event normally has around 1,000 riders and raises funds for various bicycle advocacy efforts supported by the club.
Bookwalter Binge Gran Fondo – Asheville NC. Although not technically “my baby”, this event was founded by Jamie Bookwalter and her professional-cyclist husband, Brent Bookwalter, I provide quality child care throughout the year. Kidding aside, I pour my heart and soul into directing this event. My work extends beyond event day logistics to include marketing, sponsor fulfillment, volunteer recruitment and supervision, safety coordination (with help from my partner, David Billstrom), t-shirt folding, tub washing, and more. Held on the final weekend of October, the “Binge” is the perfect end of season celebration in the craft beer capital of Asheville nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Of course, this mountain girl loves this event.
Farm to Fork Fondo – Asheville NC. In 2018, Tyler Wren decided to bring Farm to Fork Fondo to Asheville in the summer of 2019 as part of his plan to grow his event and expand further along the eastern US. To help jumpstart his planning and organization efforts, he hired me to design the initial routes, provide introductions to farmers, and describe the event permitting process. I am excited to welcome this event to Asheville because it is so similar to Cycle To Farm and it will appeal to the many local-food loving cyclists in Western North Carolina.
Cycle North Carolina – Mountains to Coast NC 2018. David and I jumped onboard this NC cycling train to help kick off the multi-day ride in Black Mountain. I helped refine the first day route from Black Mountain to Morganton NC. David and I also helped plan the safety and support for the first leg of the epic journey.
New Cycling Event coming in April 2020 to Eastern NC. I was honored and excited when a non-profit group located just a short distance east of the state capital of Raleigh NC engaged me to design routes for a new charity cycling event. As plans are finalized, I’ll share more information about the event. In the meantime, read about my experience scouting the routes that I created for this event.
To get started, we ask you to complete a questionnaire about your event. After reviewing your responses, we’ll schedule a call to delve deeper into your concerns before providing a quote.