The Truckin' Nationals at Firebird Raceway - Custom Truck Show
Plan Drive Show
The Truckin' Nationals took place in October outside of Phoenix at Firebird Raceway. As in years past, the Mini Truckin' staff covered the event and acted as editorial support for the other magazines in the Primedia Truck Group. Just before the event, however, I caught wind of a movement to boycott the show. Apparently, tons of people were staying away from the event due to high registration fees and entry costs. Immediately, I went online to understand why this was happening.
With the way things have become in our pastime, we can't afford to intentionally stay away en masse from any show. When this happens, another enthusiast group rises from the pool of people who attend and the event becomes overrun with non mini-truckers. This has happened time and time again with other events, including the NOPI Nationals and the Indy Truck Bash. Some event organizers are working their asses off to reclaim the enthusiasts who have stopped attending events, but are constantly being blindsided by the very enthusiasts they're trying to attract.
Through e-mails exchanged during this boycott ordeal, the upsetting factor in the debate seemed to be promoters making money off mini-truckers. Yet at the same time, mini-truck clubs that put on shows are also making money off mini-truckers. From that standpoint, mini-truckers don't seem to mind paying the entry fees. As a group, mini-truckers have to realize that just because it's our show doesn't mean we're the ones setting the prices. And staying away from the event isn't going to harm the price-setters one bit.
Other things are also sabotaged when enthusiasts abandon an event. First, you're even unhappier than you would have been had you attended and paid too much. The show itself is fun, but hanging out and BSing with other mini-truckers is priceless. In addition to that, you miss yet another opportunity to be featured in the very magazine you have in your hands. The Mini Truckin' staff shoots more than 90 percent of the features run in the magazine over the course of a year at shows. Without quality vehicles at the events, what would we use to fill the features? We could start covering import races and writing 20-page tech articles on engine building, but with my attention span, I'd go postal in no time.
Boycotting shows hurts many of the things that you hold dear as a dedicated reader of this magazine. While most people think they're only sending a monetary message to a show promoter, they're actually doing a lot more harm. If you want to make a big impact on a show, talk openly with the promoter. Most promoters welcome the voiced concerns of their attendees; that's the only gauge by which they can measure the ways to further improve their venue.
Every so often, I strike a chord with our readers that results in tons of e-mails, and I anticipate that this month's editorial will be one of those times. As usual, I welcome this onslaught of interaction with our readers; it lets me know how I'm doing as an editor. Until next month, enjoy all the shows you can and don't avoid a single one of them. I don't want to miss seeing you or your ride next time I'm in town shooting MT features. There's nothing quite like seeing someone again after their ride has been featured - talk about the happiest freak on the planet. L8R.