TOPIC: The LSF NATS - how can it attract more entrants?

The LSF NATS - how can it attract more entrants? 3 years 6 months ago #766

  • James Deck
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This topic is devoted to airing ideas from the LSF membership on how the LSF NATS could attract more entries. Please post them here. One caveat: for purposes of this discussion, assume the NATS remains at Muncie

The LSF NATS - how can it attract more entrants? 3 years 6 months ago #769

  • Wayne Norrie
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Hi Jim,

Here are a couple of ideas:

Try to get some sponsors for the events and have some prizes. But, don't give them to the top 3 pilots, instead offer a prize for finishing in the middle of the pack, or to the highest placing "first time to the NATS" pilot. Be creative.

Have a Soaring triathlon event that spans the entire soaring NATS to determine the best all around soaring pilot. DLG has their champ, Unlimited has their champ but who is the finest all around soaring pilot. Imagine how fun it could be for pilots to need to fly 3 different disciplines at the NATS, let's say DLG, Unlimited and ALES, and have their combined scores in all 3 classes determine an overall winner? How many venues around the US could even offer such an event? If you wanted to get really silly you could have something along the lines of a special yellow jersey that the current leader could wear each day.

Encourage model building by offering an award for the best built model within each event. Set it up so that each contestants scorecard has a line where they can vote for the best built model. Now obviously Unlimited and DLG might not have too many self built models but NOS, RES and ALES will probably have some woody builds in them. Heck, there may even be a few home built composite planes, think Supra and Supergee. If you wanted to think prizes then the best built woody could get a free set of plans from the AMA plans service and the best built composite could get a yard of carbon or kevlar fabric. A picture in the NATS News acknowledging the builder and their plane would be good too.

How's that for a few ideas?

Wayne

The LSF NATS - how can it attract more entrants? 3 years 6 months ago #770

  • Ingo Donasch
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we have over 100 pilots attending the nats every year, lets start with them as recruiters. How's about this:
- for every 1st timer participant that a veteran pilot recruits to the NATS (s)he gets "half prize off" on a the entrance fee for one contest.

this also lowers the bar for the 1st timers quite a bit if they have somebody they already know to team up with. I know from personal experience that it is very hard to show up at the biggest event of the year and not knowing anybody out there. Not even mentioning the boring ride to muncie when you all by yourself....
Ingo

The LSF NATS - how can it attract more entrants? 3 years 6 months ago #772

  • Wayne Norrie
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Just a point of clarification on my first suggestion, sponsors and prizes, the prizes would be awarded in a manner as to encourage attendance, not for winning. As an example, I believe a few years ago at the Bruce there was a prize of a new 2.4 radio which was awarded to the highest placing pilot who was still using 72mhz. Now 72mhz isn't allowed at the NATS but you get the idea. I believe they also awarded a new DLG to the pilot who finished in the middle of the field and I want to say they had a prize for the last place finisher. Again the idea would be to encourage attendance not necessarily reward the top place finishers.

Wayne

The LSF NATS - how can it attract more entrants? 3 years 5 months ago #775

  • Ryan Woebkenberg
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I want to start by saying I like the Nats as is. I have spectated or entered the Nats in 12 different years.

That said, it seems from my viewpoint what is driving the big contests to have big attendance is an "event" feel to it. After hours stuff, a feeling of "this is the big one", etc. Personally I am not interested in those things but that seems to be what drives big contests in the US (The Bruce, Polecat, etc.). Maybe if the Nats had a social aspect to it that it would grow again. This isn't something I personally am interested in but it seems to be driving growth in other areas.

Ryan

The LSF NATS - how can it attract more entrants? 3 years 5 months ago #777

  • Wayne Norrie
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Another possible way to attract more/different people would be to offer something not offered anywhere else. Something like a woody open class contest. Break out your Sagittas and those Legionaires. Dust off that old Dogeson sailplane and tune it up because it might be sharing the air next to a Miles or a Ray Hayes Big Bird. There are a lot of nice sailplanes out there that would qualify for something like this. You could run it in parallel with ALES, the same way you run NOS and RES, that way you wouldn't be adding more days to the NATS.

Wayne

The LSF NATS - how can it attract more entrants? 3 years 5 months ago #778

  • Ryan Woebkenberg
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Perhaps with the current age of 2.4 only radios, computer scoring, and portable printers we could add some additional "extra" entries to the flight matrix and then allow last minute or on site sign up at an additional premium on a first come first serve basis?

Ryan

The LSF NATS - how can it attract more entrants? 3 years 5 months ago #779

  • James Deck
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What sort of "after hours stuff" had you in mind? Remember, the NATS tries to get as many rounds as possible in and the entrants are sometimes worn out after the last round.

The LSF NATS - how can it attract more entrants? 3 years 5 months ago #780

  • Ryan Woebkenberg
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jdadmin wrote: What sort of "after hours stuff" had you in mind? Remember, the NATS tries to get as many rounds as possible in and the entrants are sometimes worn out after the last round.


I want to re-state this isn't something I'm interested in. I'm with you on the worn out lots of rounds bit. I like the Nats as it is and am not personally interested in any after hours stuff.

That said, I'm just trying to list examples of rc glider contests that are doing well regarding attendance. The Bruce, the IHLGF, Polecat, etc. These are "events". After hours/event things that folks seem to like include raffles, bonfires, large groups of campers, organized dinners at unique venues, fireworks, micro brews, on field catered lunches, and shooting ranges. People seem to get psyched about those sort of things. There are a lot of contests to choose from and most folks only have so many days they can dedicated to rc glider events. It might be that when weighing which things to do the "extras" give an edge.

Ryan

The LSF NATS - how can it attract more entrants? 3 years 5 months ago #786

  • James Deck
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Back in "the good old days", an after competition activity, "hand launch golf" (and the knock the bottle cap off challenge) took place and attracted both participants and spectators. The event was a victim of technology and discus launching. Would an informal event like "All up last down" with mini-Radians be of interest or is it too much like what has been going on all day?
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