Get Social (Media)

Published on August 25th, 2013

The Inland Lake Yachting Association oversees the health and well-being of amateur yachting and yacht racing on the inland lakes of the Middle West of the United States. Their stewardship is unique in part because their sanctioned classes are unique to their territory… scow country.

Dominated by inland lakes, short summers, and flat-hulled one-designs, the racing within the ILYA continues to thrive with a mix of family teams and twenty-something participation… two categories that have decreased elsewhere.

Here is a reminder that ILYA provided its members, a reminder that is relevant elsewhere too…

For some of us, scow sailing is winding down. We are sending our children back to school, sailing schools are closing down, folks are leaving summer homes. But sailing is still in full swing elsewhere.

As our youth sailors begin high school sailing, Optimists begin to travel southward, adults move to Melges 20s or compete in end of year championships, we can follow our sailors online. Gone are the days of a blackout until the cars arrive in the driveway. News of results with photos and often videos are nearly instantaneous. Friends at home follow mark roundings when they occur. It’s a NOW world.

So how does this impact your club?

Gone are the days when you just publish a date and folks come (to your event). This is a competitive market. If you are not promoting ahead of the event, chances are someone else will beat you to the sailors’ time and money. If you are not publishing results each day’s end, you are disappointing and thus discouraging next year’s participation. This adds burden to the host club’s work force but results in a net increase in participation.

Sailors’ recreational dollars are endless no longer. It takes effort to attract sailors to your lake. Your effort before the event, your hospitality during the event, your regatta wrap-up impacts your next year’s attendance. Get social media-savvy; your regatta success depends on it!

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