David Waterworth with input from Solar Citizens
For me, the most difficult thing about organising an EV show-and-tell day is in picking the venue. Fortunately, we have a large tavern in Bracken Ridge and the owners are “car people”.
The tavern already hosts the monthly Rust and Chrome Hot Rod show early on a Sunday morning once a month. They kindly allowed us the use of their car park and QR codes for Covid sign in.
The next step is to choose groups to partner with, especially groups that have public liability insurance. Possibilities include Australian Conservation Foundation and Solar Citizens. Once you have the venue and an insured partner, pick a date and negotiate with the management of your venue.
Next task is attracting groups and organizations to participate. The Australian Electric Vehicle Association and Tesla Owners Club of Australia will bring many cars and drivers to the event. Scootmasters will bring a fun flavour and a broad demographic.
My suggestion would be to not make it too broad or too formal. I would stick to a futures oriented theme with a display format (no speeches). If possible it would be great if people could try products – like a scoot or a ride or a ride-along in an electric car.
Test rides were very popular at the recent event in Logan. They are doable but complicated from an insurance point of view – Whirl are experts on this.
It is a good idea to get the politicians involved. Since it is a community grassroots event local members should be interested. You need to give them lots of notice and then keep reminding them.
They want an opportunity to interact with as many people as possible, so it’s important to be assured that the event is being promoted widely. If someone on the organising committee knows a politician, choose them to send the information. Look at your priorities. Who do you want to get there?
Now, the really hard part – managing the hordes of people and groups who want to participate. Again, a clear focus on what your objectives are should help. At this point you might want to expand your team – a central person to manage enquiries, but others to handle record-keeping and advertising (traditional and on social media).
Use multiple platforms for promotion including roadside signs, flyers at car club get togethers (all sorts of cars), ads on FaceBook (an inexpensive option), local community pages, newspaper articles in local papers. Contact local schools and religious groups. You may even like to visit local car dealers and try to get them involved.
Definitely make contact with government departments and transport companies – you may even be able to get an electric bus or a hydrogen car!
On the day itself: get there early and have lots of helpers with clearly defined roles. Make sure that you as leader are not doing everything. Accept offers of help graciously and give people jobs to do.
Make sure you have a designated photographer. You can never have too many photos. Media input on the day also helps by posting on FB and Twitter on the day and afterwards. This will increase the impact of the day.
Remember – things can go wrong – have flexible backup plans.
At one event, the venue was double-booked with a 60 person Christmas party on the same day. This required a quick change of site plan as the test ride area had to be moved. You need to plan forward give yourself a buffer for the last couple of weeks.
At another event, the venue had been used for a large celebration the night before. When we arrived, the car park where we were to display was scattered with rubbish, wheelie bins and portaloos. We handled the rubbish and the bins, thankfully a forklift arrived in time to move the portaloos before we opened to the public.
There you go – all the best with your local EV event. Please share your stories.
David Waterworth is a researcher and writer, a retired school teacher who continues to provoke thought through his writing. He divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla.