A new band trailer deserves celebration!
The expertly designed and wrapped exterior of the trailer is a jaw-dropping community showpiece, most often the largest billboard any program will have that is solely promoting them.
Band directors are the epitome of perseverance and creativity, and often they have been making do for a long time with whatever transportation options were available. A new trailer represents the end of a director’s ongoing struggle with how to safely and efficiently transport equipment. A new trailer provides instant stress relief and peace of mind to leadership, students and band parents.
A new trailer is visible evidence of incredible support for a program. Whether funded by a school district, booster club, donors or any combination of sources, a trailer represents just how much the community stands behind their band. It’s a monetary investment, often a manifestation of diligent fundraising, embodied in a final product that will be a viable solution for many years to come.
With so many reasons to celebrate, what better way to showcase a new trailer than with an unveiling event? At The Clubhouse, our delivery team has effectively been a part of many events, so we are pleased to be able to offer our best practices.
An unveiling event scheduled at delivery is the easiest way to truly keep the trailer a secret as long as possible. Many programs like to maintain an aura of mystery around the final image of their trailer, restricting access to the final graphics so that only a select few actually know what to expect. Even to those in the know, seeing the actual graphics printed on vinyl and applied to a 53’ semi-trailer is awesome. The more anticipation that gets built up surrounding what the trailer looks like, the more hype and attention the unveiling will receive. We have even been a part of events where the students did not even know that a trailer was the surprise that they had been invited to witness.
A well-planned route is paramount. We start with a staging area, which serves several purposes. One, if the delivery includes multiple trailers, a meeting spot sets up a coordinated time and place to connect. This allows each driver the flexibility and comfort to travel at their own pace, since moving as a semi-trailer convoy is not always feasible. Two, a staging area allows for an opportunity to open up the trailer for a final check and additional cleaning. Even though our trailers are thoroughly cleaned and inspected prior to departing our headquarters, a long-distance ride without any cargo can be hard on a trailer. Finally, a staging location establishes a meeting place to connect with any local staff and special escorts. The delivery really makes an impact when the trailer is flanked by police escorts, like a parade. School Resource Officers are great facilitators when it comes to working with local police and fire departments.
Speaking of fire departments, water arches from the fire hoses are dramatic and fun, and can make a big splash for an event. Our trailers are well-designed to withstand the elements, but care must be taken to avoid a direct blast to the trailer from a firehose. The high pressure of the water spray could damage the vinyl wrap.
A delivery route can include main streets where the trailer will attract attention, and landmarks that would be worth photographing with the trailer passing. Don’t underestimate the value of memory preservation when a trailer is delivered! Images can be used for websites and social media, and can also be shared with news and media outlets. Video and drone footage are also tremendous assets for promoting your program. In the past year, the need for social distancing has increased the importance of video and photos. It only takes a few extra minutes to plan for and sufficiently capture what could create lasting impressions. Another word of advice regarding photos and video: More is always better than not enough! It is easier to edit out what is not needed than wish there was more footage after the fact.
While the need for social distancing has affected the way we hold events and celebrations, trailer unveilings are still possible! The easiest way to show off a trailer is outdoors in a large parking lot, so creatively spacing guests or hosting a “drive-in” event where participants stay in vehicles are both ways to maintain distance. For people to see the inside of the trailer, walk-throughs can be staggered to promote safe distancing.
We highly recommend video throughout the event to allow everyone to participate safely and comfortably, as well as create a video archive that will forever preserve the moment. A quality video crew plus an appropriate sound system provide the necessary magic to engage the entire audience, whether they are on-site or attending virtually. Live-streaming does help with the overall hype for the event, but a video produced quickly, post-event, can still generate significant buzz.
Event attendees should include as many students as possible, as they are ultimately the ones who will benefit the most from the trailer. In restricted situations, select groups of students could include just the drum majors or section leaders only. Invites should also go out to those that have made the trailer possible: district and school representatives, school board members, booster club members and any sponsors or donors. Special invitations should be extended to media members so that the entire community can be looped in to the special delivery. School district communications staff are an asset when it comes to connecting with local media. Be sure to share any coverage so everyone in your program can get excited seeing their band on television or in the newspaper.
Show off your new trailer on social media. Online connections have enabled us to reach audiences that might not have been accessible in the past. Your program could gain national and even global exposure from a post with images of your new trailer. Be sure to tag appropriate program supporters to potentially access an even greater network. At Clubhouse Trailer Company, we consider every one of the programs we have helped to be a member of our Clubhouse Family, and we are always thrilled to be able to support them with post shares, likes and other social media activities.