The Post-Event Hangover

It’s over.

Storming of Thunder Ridge, the charitable cycling event that I’ve been marketing for the last five months, was this past Sunday.

And now, surprisingly, I’m feeling something that’s a cross between a hangover and emotional letdown. I’ve even closed the tab for the website I’ve left open since launching it! Sigh…

What I Love

I’m passionate about cycling. I truly love what I get out the sport. Yeah, sure, there’s the fitness part. But what I’m talking about is psychological and emotional.

When I ride, I can either tune in or tune out of whatever is rattling around in my brain. When I return, I’m recharged, refreshed and have a clear understanding of what to do next.

And, then, there are the friendships and strong bonds that are indelibly forged on a ball-busting century ride or frightening-as-hell but fun-as-hell sprint in which no one lets up.

I’m also a marketing geek. It’s a rush to develop a strategy and put a plan into action.

I love engaging an audience and finding out what matters to them.

And building a community that provides a fertile ground to connect not only with the cause (be it a charity, an event, a product or service, etc.) but, also, with one another. Kind of a hybrid of purpose and serendipity.

Oh, and listening and responding in real time to opportunities even if it feels as if you’re making it up as you go. Which, in a way, you are.

Plus, analyzing feedback and results and making necessary tweaks. What to keep. What to throw away. What to do more of. What to do less of.

And, lastly, working toward and reaching the goal.

The Perfect Mix

Marketing Storming of Thunder Ridge provided the perfect opportunity to blend my passion for cycling and stimulate my inner marketing geek. Wait, that sounded dirty, didn’t it?

We registered 283 riders in the second year of the event which was pretty darn close to our goal of 300. That’s up sharply from the 112 riders from last year. And a huge jump from earlier in the week when I predicted we’d miss the goal by a lot.

More importantly, the event raised a significant amount of money for the charitable cause.

And what’s really cool is that we built a community that took on a life of its own through direct interaction and posting on Facebook.

We’re listening and and we’re hearing riders rave about the event.

Still Work To Be Done

It’s not over for me yet. In my next post, I’ll share thoughts on what I’d do if I could do it all over again.

Plus, I’m reviewing the comments on our survey which, so far, have been educational.

I’m also thinking about how we can keep our community engaged.

And I’m really trying to determine how we can encourage each rider to “sell” Storming of Thunder Ridge to their friends who didn’t participate this year so we can dramatically increase ridership in 2012.

Ultimately, though, I’m figuring out my next move.

*******

I’d love to hear from you… Tell me about your big project when it wound down. How did you feel and what did you do next?

If you like this post or others that I’ve written, I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d subscribe. Just pick your poison at the top of the page over on the right side. Thank you!

(Image: SteveMcN)

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