|Exhibitions may or may not help to promote the sport -- I say this becuase while they obviously would help with lots of media coverage, they don't really get any and thus aren't widely seen. |
However, from a dart player perspective they are a great help! When I first attended an exhibition it was Bob Anderson back around '93 and from that I really got the bug to improve and compete.
I've seen this kind of thing myself. There are players in our league that look forward to seeing how much they have improved against Dennis Priestley since our last Priestley Exhibition...
But really, it's tough to organize from the monetary sense here in the USA. It costs money, lots of money and US dart players are cheap (sorry, I've concluded this is true) and don't like to part with their cash. They will go for free, maybe even a few dollars (like 3) but ask them to pay $25 and they will balk and go drink $25 worth of beer instead and play a blind draw for $3 entry.
Yep, finding the right location for a reasonable price, or a venue that is willing to pick up a reasonable share of the cost can be a challenge. Not to mention that raffles are marginally profitable if the raffle prize items are not donated in return for advertising.
Don't mean to sound cynical but I've been around the sport a long time and quite frankly I can't believe the lack of support in the sport -- people just don't want to spend a buck if they can help it.
I am still thinking about it, I would love it but how to get people interested? You can´t always offer Phil Taylor he might be even in Germany would attract some people.
So how organise an event, get people interested, don´t make to much loss, manage that everybody enjoys and wants to see some more?
And in the end: does it really help to promote the sport??? Is it worth all the trouble?
The best way to build interest is to talk about it non stop! Always find a way to work it into the conversation even with non dart players. We had several folks who were just curious come to our last two exhibitions. Also do everything you can to get information about the event into your local and regional news papers. TV and Radio Coverage would be good if you can get it.
How do you pay for it?
Try to get all of your league sponsors / venues to kick in some money to help pay for it (let them hang a poster or banner in return).
also give them a free picture (as a surprise gift)
Try to get a bunch of raffle prizes for free or minimal cost, and sell raffle tickets to any one who who will buy them (dart player or not).
How do you make it fun?
1. Make sure that you have TV's so that everyone can see what's going on.
2. Have a lot of raffle prize drawings...
3. Have a fun Master of Ceremonies...
4. Have a great Pro Dart Player!
All that being said our league (Ventura County Dart Assn - vcda.org) will again this year attempt to hold a Pro Darts exhibition featuring Dennis Priestley - June 25, 2009. Getting it organized will be time consuming, and there is always the fear that the league will lose our member's money (they love it when our schemes work out, but seconding guessing when the plans fail.)
So why do we do it?
I guess for the love of the game.
BTW we are always interested in hearing about ideas for making an exhibition fun, and pay for itself.
Also if any of you out there are interested in having an exhibition by Dennis you can contact him via his website: http://www.dennispriestley.com/, or EMAIL me your contact information to me and I will forward it to Dennis
(sewa-darts.com thread link...)