Organizing and hosting a mail-in race is a lot of work. It just is. The Diecast Racing Iceberg is a real thing. We all appreciate the time and effort hosts put into building a track, running cars, and producing the videos we love to watch...but the most important aspects of hosting is all the stuff we don't see, particularly when it comes to dealing with the cars people have sent in to race.
Communicating is the single most important thing you can do as a host
Communication is what will make or break your reputation. It means sending out emails and messages to people as cars are received and shipped. It means providing dates and timelines...and more so, it means letting everyone know when those dates change! We all know things happen - and that's fine - just let folks know so they're not left in the dark and getting angry.
Hosting a race is a customer service job
It's always disheartening for me to hear about people not getting cars returned or people just having a shoddy experience. It's not good for any single person, and it's not good for the hobby.
New people are discovering competitive diecast racing all the time. If someone's first experience with the hobby is feeling like they got ripped off or even just ignored and poorly treated, they'll move on. We should all want the hobby to grow so we can see new tracks and new cars getting built all over the world.
But any bad vibes can be remedied if you just communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Let people know when you're not going to get cars back on time. Let people know when dates change. Let people know when shit breaks. And let people know when good stuff happens too!
Check email. Check messages. Reply, reply, reply. It doesn't have to be instant, but it does have to happen.
Communicating is by far the easiest thing you can do next to watching cars roll down a track. And honestly, if you're willing to put tons of time and effort into building a track and producing videos, but you're not willing to shoot off some emails, you're in the wrong business.
Would a host feedback system help?
I've often wondered if we should have a rating system for host clubs. Feedback systems aren't perfect but they can be a good guide, especially for people just getting into the hobby. It can be a slippery slope, and I'd like to think we don't need one, but maybe that's become the case...thoughts?