So you want to grow the hoop love tribe, connect with more hoopers and improve your hoop skills? A hoop jam it is then.
Hoop Jams are a really great compliment to hoop classes/learning and often have a very different vibe. Depending on how the group decides to roll a hoop jam is often about bouncing tricks and ideas off each other, every one having the opportunity to be the teacher and the student, a strong community spirit and a great place to meet other movers…OK maybe not that different to a class. A creative hive of hoopy awesomeness.
If you are considering starting a hoop jam in your area, here are some questions you might like to ask yourself.
– Have you got a team? While it is wonderfully spirited of you to want to start a hoop jam all on your own it is a pretty mammoth task. Considering hoop jams are all about community and connection, why not get together a team of creatives before you start. They don’t even have to be hoopers (but will likely be converted in no time). Think of the people you love to create with; perhaps a music maker, a close friend and your guardian angel are on your dream team. In all seriousness though call upon your powers of collaboration and co-creation to rally a team of funsters together so you can all enjoy the experience of carrying hoops, setting up stereo systems, promoting the events, driving to the location, playing with friends and meeting new peeps. Plus when one of you is not available the others can step in and it doesn’t mean you have to cancel the jam.
– What is the purpose of the jam? If you do have a team creating the jam together you might like to have a quick meeting about your shared vision for the events. Chat about what each person wants to contribute and how much time they can commit to the jams. Being clear about the purpose and commitment will help to keep everything running smoothly.
If you are all hoop teachers in the area it is best to have a discussion about the type of promotion that is fair and appropriate for each of you and the group. Can anyone promote their classes and products freely? How will this be done most effectively and fairly? Are there clear boundaries for promotional “behaviour” so that there is equality and hoopers do not feel bombarded or the introverted teachers do not feel shut out by the naturally extroverted promoters? Perhaps a promo area/mat/table for fliers, stickers, hoops, business cards or simply links on the online promo.
If you are running the hoop jam on your own you may like to think about creative and sweet offerings for new hoopers and how you can best show case your classes/hoops etc if the purpose of your hoop jam is partly about promotion.
– Are there others doing the same thing? Research is important before you start anything. If there is already another group close by you may want to communicate with them about joining in on their fun. You may also let them know that you will be holding a jam not too far away and would they be interested in cross promoting or joining forces from time to time.
– Got hoops? If you are committed to growing the hoop family in your area you need to make sure that you have enough hoops for every one to play with. This will take a financial and time investment to begin with. You might want to consider selling hoops at your jams to fund the events and the cost of practice hoops.
– Where will you hold your jams? Location is super important. If you are holding your jams outdoors you will need somewhere that has access to toilets, shade and is in a safe, flat area. You may also consider holding your jams in an area with a lot of foot traffic so that you can catch the eye of other would be hoopers. Perhaps a park near a university, in the center of the city, near cafes and shops.
If you choose to hold the jams indoors you will be looking for a large area, with high ceilings, in an easy to locate place. You will also need to consider how you will cover the cost of space hire. Will people donate a small fee for entry or will you (and your team) chip in and make it happen.
– How will you pump up the jams? Music! If you want to add high vibes to your jams music is the way. If you are outdoors you will need a speaker system that runs on battery and is loud enough to be heard over outside noises. You will also need to decide who is making the playlists, this may be something that the group contributes to throughout the week and you compile ready for the jam. You may have friends that like to make hoop music sets, how fun would that be! New music brings new inspiration so mix it up and keep it fresh but don’t get too distracted by the soundtrack, you are there to have a good time too.
– How will you promote your hoop jams? Make marketing your jams part of the fun. Word of mouth is a great way to get more hoopers, bring a friend and double the fun. Social media is awesome too, so take lots of great pics and get everyone to share them. Why not invite the local news paper or maybe a morning TV show? You could put up fliers in local cafes or do a bit of street busking some time to promo your fun jams. Thinking outside the box with your marketing will be sure to bring more people to the circle.
– Are you willing to be consistent? Are you excited to be the ambassador of greatness? Are you willing to stay positive and focussed even if no one turns up? Are you able to pick yourself up and spin on with excitement even when you don’t feel like going to a hoop jam let alone organising one? Can you keep the momentum going, raise the energy and show up even when there are difficulties or rough edges to smooth over? Yes! Go on, say yes. But only if you really mean it!
– How are you going to keep it fresh? New people, new toys, new ideas are always great. Maybe you can brain storm with the community fun ideas to keep your jams alive. Imagine the possibilities – dress up days, guest teachers, group shows, super star djs, themes, yummy foods…the list goes on.
Happy hoop jamming!