INTERVIEW WITH CARL FROM STREETVELODROME UK
“StreetVelodrome has only been going for the past two years and has attracted a lot of interest from the cycling world and the general public so we are under close scrutiny when putting on events.
The whole point of StreetVelodrome is about local engagement and making this form of cycling accessible to people who wouldn’t normally get the chance to both participate in and watch the sport.
We run a national series which has seven events around the UK culminating in a grand final in London. All these events are completely free – which was vital to the success of our idea. Essentially anyone can turn up, register, get a helmet, a bike and ride.
Each event has pro-cyclists involved, including former Olympians and world class athletes and the combination of complete amateurs with this calibre of sportspeople works really well.
We have made StreetVelodrome available to children too as they are often the keenest to get involved. We believe that though StreetVelodome we are unearthing the cycling stars of tomorrow who without this opportunity may have never discovered their potential; but most importantly we are getting children interested in cycling in a way they never have before.
When we decided to stage these events we knew we needed to work with promotions staff who genuinely understood what our aspirations were. Envisage is intuitive and intelligent in reading a client’s needs and I really believe they have added an extra dimension to the StreetVelodrome experience. We knew that in the past people who attended cycling events could be faced by very official-looking, sober types in high-vis vests with clipboards. We needed people who were upbeat, dynamic and really understood that these events need to be engaging to both participants and spectators. Envisage staff instantly understood what was required which has meant a lot less stress on the day.
Envisage’s people have bought energy and attitude to every event they have been involved with. Getting families involved is hugely important as the children are often eager to ride, but the mums in particular maybe hesitant about getting on a bike in front of a crowd. Envisage staff know how to encourage family participation; this been really important to our local authority clients; whose prime aim is local community engagement in sport.
On Day One of the National series at the London Bike Show we were being watched very closely to see how we performed so it was important we created a positive first impression. Envisage spotted very early on that the huge interest the public showed in the event was creating a potential wait for people to take part. Without being asked, and purely down to their own initiative – Envisage staff quickly saw a solution, re-organising things to allow those waiting in line to watch the action on the track. This made their wait seem less and also meant we increased the audience numbers – therefore helping swell the audience’s excitement and create a better experience for the riders.
Envisage staff not only help us with registration and but they are working on behalf of one of our sponsors, leading cycling insurers, Cycleguard with promotional work at each event. Using Envisage to cover both aspects creates a more seamless experience for those attending StreetVelodrome. Promotions work demands people who can read a live environment creatively and add value at every opportunity and Envisage does this every time.”