We have been getting an enormous amount of feedback on the event posters we get from the riding clubs and charities - so if you are an event coordinator or a communications person you WILL want to read this article.

In our events calendars we put all of the information on an event into our system and those that are not entered by us, are held unpublished until we can double check that all information needed has been given, and often times that means contacting people and waiting for information to complete the event listing. It sure makes our job challenging.

On our Canadian Motorcycle Events Facebook Page we have created monthly provincial folders and this is the place we get the most complaints about posters and their lack of information.

When you are creating an event poster, you need to remember that in this day and age - your posters are no longer "LOCAL".  Facebook, Twitter and so many other social networks make sharing your information to a broader audience easy - but if your information is incomplete - you might not get the traction you expect!

Riders on vacation want to know what's happening when they go through YOUR region and a poster that does not tell them how to find you is NOT doing your event or group any good at all.

Look at your event poster through the eyes of a tourist!

A good poster will have the following information on it:

Event Name - XYZ's Poker Run for Cancer

Group Hosting the Event - BDB Riders

Date - Sunday May 25th, 2014

Time - include key times like registration from 8am - 10 am, kickstands up at 10:05

Location - INCLUDE your town/city, province AND postal code
(many use GPS when they are in an unfamiliar community or region)

Contact information - Contact name, Phone number, email address, web site and/or social media page

Remember that these posters get shared, put in publications so don't clutter them up or try to get too fancy or every detail in them.

Yes, you want them to be eye catching, but remember, they also have to be readable!

Make your fonts readable by making them no smaller than 11 points.
Watch your font choice as well. Fonts like Arial, Helvetical and Trebuchet are easier to read than others.

It is far better to save your poster in 2 resolutions so that if a magazine or newspaper wants to run it and you need it on a web site, you have it in both versions.

300 dpi (dots per inch) is best for print and 72 dpi for web - save the original poster in BOTH sizes, and when you save the poster, put WEB or PRINT in the name so you can quickly grab the right version to send out for printing or sharing.

Below are a few some examples of posters that need some help to be more tourist friendly and poster that does the job it is meant to with style.

I do not wish to alienate anyone by identifying their poster as needing help, I am attempting to educate the masses on how to build a poster that truly gets your message out - please do not be offended if I used your poster as an example of one that needs help.  Without examples to follow - no one's posters will improve.

Posters that need some help:

The 1st Annual Poppa Bigras memorial Ride:
If you are a local - you will know how to find the Rocky Mountain Restaurant in Renfrew

If you are not the first question you are going to ask is where is Renfrew (It's in Ontario), the second question will be where is the Rocky Mountain Restaurant.

There is no way to find out more about the ride, no contact information, no social media page and no web site address - the tourist who'd love to go to an event is left not having any idea of how to take part.

The poster to the right is for a Brain Injury Ride in Cambridge Ontario - while the important elements are on this poster, there are some things that could be much better - for example - where it says SAVE THE DATE why not put the date in the centre? 

Where the date is located makes it very hard to find and it is spelled wrong. 
(Since I am the type O Queen, I always notice other people's type o's)  

It tells you what time the ride leaves, but not when registrations start - so many people will show up at 9:30 am

Breakfast is mentioned but not the times for service, goes back to the lack of registration time being identified.  Can I register if I show up at 7 am? Can I get breakfast then?

The poster on the left from the Rally in the St Croix Valley is a poster that is trying to do too much and focusing to hard on the raffle for the motorcycle instead of the event details.                      Where is St. Croix?                                                                        Where is the St. Stephen Legion?                                                  What time does the event start?                                                      Where can I find more information?                                                  Can I call the person that has ticket information to find out about the rally?

The poster to the right is another great poster that needs some help from the perspective of the tourist.

There is ZERO Contact information on this poster.
You are left to wonder what time the event starts if the bar is opening at Noon.

The dinner tickets information should be much bolder - because most people will not read the fine print as it is far too small - they will not get, at first glance, that the $100 ticket for dinner includes the door prize raffle of a 2014 Dyna Wide Glide.

My goal in picking apart some of the hundreds of posters we have on hand, is to help YOU - the event host/coordinator or communications person make the BEST poster possible.

I WANT your event to succeed and it won't if you are not disseminating the information to people that they need.

I want you to look at your event poster through the eyes of a tourist or pretend you just moved to the community/region....

Does your poster really tell the tourist or newcomer EVERYTHING they need to know in order to partake in your event?

Pretend you are not from the community the event is in, or the province...
Would YOU know how to find the event location?

If you had questions about the event, is there any way to contact someone?

Here is a very well done poster:

It tells you who is hosting the event - Heaven's Saints Motorcycle Ministry in LONDON ONTARIO!
It tells you it is the day after Port Dover  (Friday the 13th) on Saturday, June 14th, it tells you registrations start at 10 AM and judging begins at noon and that awards are handed out at 2 pm.

It gives you a QR code to scan to get more information and it gives you the contact information you need to know - email, website and twitter id.

Its eye catching and delivers he information a tourist needs to know.

There are two things needed to make this poster PERFECT - a postal code and a phone number.

Please remember that often times your poster is the ONLY THING people see about your event and if it is lacking in the RIGHT information, you may not see as many come out as you'd like to.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's topic - Event Posters 101

In other news:

Riders on the lower mainland of BC are upset about the Vintage Swap being cancelled.

In Ontario a rider was charged after being caught riding at 99KPH in a 50 KPH Zone with his 6 year old daughter on the back of his motorcycle!

In New Brunswick, there are changes coming to motorcycle licensing.

I hope you have a fantastic day...and if you are blessed enough to be riding today, please ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you.
Please, consider dressing for the slide, not the ride, remember the slide will probably happen while you are on a little putt around town!

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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