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Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Last post by nicklaszlo on July 15, 2017, 09:41:33 PM »
Although the club does have a LTS program, most of our adult skaters already know how to skate.

You should have an adult LTS class, and advertise it.  You would need an additional coach, but it can share ice with the existing LTS.

Get the kids' parents skating. 
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Dream figure skating app
« Last post by nicklaszlo on July 15, 2017, 09:37:41 PM »
For moves in the field, an app that vibrates to the rhythm of a power circle.

I checked and there are already apps that will vibrate the rhythm of a pattern dance.  I didn't try it yet, but presumably you have to manually enter the tempo.  Maybe an app that already knows the tempo of each dance and will vibrate it for you?

Vibration might be better than playing the music on your phone because rinks are loud environments.
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Dream figure skating app
« Last post by nicklaszlo on July 15, 2017, 09:23:52 PM »
An app that shows zoomable dance diagrams on the screen for when you forget the rulebook. I wouldn't be surprised if that already exists.

Edit: I already had an "analog" version of that, as some here are aware.

Yes, my ancient Kindle Fire does that nicely. 
Spectator Skating Discussions / Re: How to advertise a rink?
« Last post by AgnesNitt on July 15, 2017, 08:52:03 PM »
My rink has an email list. It works pretty well. Also it has presence on facebook so you get updates--if you've signed up for the email list.

But as to everything else, Rinks need to stop acting as if the fact that it's there and has services is a state secret.

Rinks also need to have its schedule on a mobile compatible site. I've been at two rinks that had mobile compatible schedules who dropped them. ARE THEY INSANE? Living in the 90's? What?

There are services that will publish the schedules for the rink, and they look like they're designed by 12 year olds who rolled their own code with all the design sense you'd expect out of a 12 year old (tiny print, open source images--or watermarked images!). Not to mention weirdly placed drop down menus, URLs that lead no where, important links in tiny print at the bottom of the page, no explanation of how LTS and LTP work, no recommendation on how to dress, or even how to tie your laces.  Jeeze people, spend the couple of K and get a graphic designer to do a pro job.

Rinks need to have brochures advertising Learn to Skate and Learn to Play right on the front desk, right next to the register.  >:(  This isn't rocket science people!

Every rink has schedules posted in various kinds of document  displays. And where are they displayed? Across the lobby on the wall. Down the lobby in the last place you'd look for them. UNMARKED as to what is in each display holder. 

At least my home rink has an adult on duty as a manager at all times. I skated at a rink that was run by teenagers half the time. I had my suspicions on why it 'lost' money.
Spectator Skating Discussions / How to advertise a rink?
« Last post by Query on July 15, 2017, 08:07:33 PM »
The rink where I work has had trouble filling public sessions. Even on weekends, we often get a dozen skaters or less at peak time. Sometimes we have more employees on duty than skaters on the ice. I gather this is a generic problem that affects a lot of rinks, especially in the summer. What are some cheap ways of advertising?

We often get more people on our freestyle sessions, and on hockey stuff, and they earn much more money. It is very hard to convince management that advertising public sessions is worth it.

Realistically, all the serious local skaters know about all the local ice rinks already, though some of them don't know how few people come to our public sessions. We should want to reach the people who don't know, or haven't thought about it in a while.

One needs a way to advertise that pays back the advertising costs in increased business.

U.S. mail (e.g., Every Door Direct) costs about $0.50 - $1.00 per address to advertise - and there are many thousands or tens of thousands of reasonably close addresses. It was tried. Only a couple customers were attracted.

I tried to use Facebook to advertise a math tutoring business. I got about 100 likes for $0.50 - $1 / like - but no actual calls or emails. Still, you can target by geographic area, age, having school-aged children... I tried to convince a manager this was a good idea, but think I haven't succeeded.

I suggested we set up a mailing list that people can sign up for, that would advertise changes in session schedules. I guess no one agreed that was a good idea either. Or that the cost of setting it up through the web-site service the rink has chosen to use (which probably charges a lot, and makes pretty web-pages, but which aren't always up to date or useful) was more expensive than it was worth. I'm thinking of offering to do it for free (for a while) to demonstrate it would work - though I'm not sure how effective it would be. It still only gets the people who already know about us.

I suppose we could sell cool-looking tee-shirts that advertise the rink - at cost. Then, other people would see the tee-shirt. But that would compete with pro-shop concession, which sells various shirts.

The big search engines (Google/Yahoo/Bing) are incredibly expensive to advertise through. Realistically, they are out of the price range of most businesses.

Some small businesses advertise by leaving notes on car windshields, and by leaving signs out on the road or on telephone poles. That is pretty cheap. But almost everywhere, including here, that is illegal, can lead to fines, and annoys a lot of people. (But: the bigger tutoring companies, and some new businesses, do it anyway. They apparently view paying the fines as a cost of doing business.)

Because we are a private business, we cannot legally advertise through public schools, and we cannot advertise in government recreation flyers, such as the local county recreation flyers that are mailed to everyone in the county. (The government-run rinks can and some of them do.)

The Pro Shop / Re: Club jackets
« Last post by Query on July 15, 2017, 07:42:52 PM »
I think they are a great idea, if you can afford them, for kids who want to fit in with the other skaters in their club. And a great idea for skating moms who want to show off that they have a skating child.

Since I (volunteer) teach at a rink in DC, and the extras of their jacket was on sale a few years ago, for $20, I bought one. Deep intense blue, polyester pile, washable, useful pockets, and well made. I have often worn it while teaching. But I would feel out of place using it in another rink.

Maybe Olympic team gear would be cool - but to some extent would look silly if you aren't a really good skater. USFSA gear might be cool too, but similar comments apply.
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Dream figure skating app
« Last post by Query on July 15, 2017, 07:22:22 PM »
1. This would be really hard, and would require a lot of physics to do, and I think there may already be an expensive commercial product for you to compete with. Something that tells you how to adjust your body to spin better. E.g., pitches that tell you something about where to move a hand/arm and/or foot/leg. Should also tell you whether your spin is traveling, and in what direction. You need good GPS reception inside the rink for the last part.

2. An app that shows what pattern you actually skated. Again, needs good GPS reception. This is really the same as some trail GPS programs do. But: add tones to show how you are off from the desired pattern.

3. An app that computes how much money and time you are spending on figure skating. Include session fees, sharpening, lessons, cost-of-driving, other travel expenses, clothing, time spent playing with, etc. A magic button that makes all the money spent go away. :) Oh, wait - skating itself already makes all the money disappear.

4. An app that warns a parent if a child uses their phone (for calls, apps, messages, etc.) instead of skating during an expensive skating session. :)
The Pro Shop / Re: Best skates for around $150
« Last post by Query on July 15, 2017, 07:06:44 PM »
Here are some Iowa pro shops:

Call first - some probably only offer roller skates and/or skateboards, or maybe nothing at all.

BTW, if you take no lessons, and have no one to help, you can only go so far.
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Last post by singerskates on July 15, 2017, 04:20:56 PM »
Advertise on Facebook groups like US Competitive Adult Skaters and other Adult Skating Facebook Groups.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: How to grow an adult skating program
« Last post by Jf12 on July 15, 2017, 12:17:28 PM »
We skate at Ice Land sometimes and there are very few adults there too.  I don't know why!  One of our coaches teaches on your ice which is why I know about it.  I looked at it and it doesn't make sense for us to join just because we are mostly down there just on the weekends.
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