Missing your regular car club meetups and events? We hear you. The coronavirus lockdown has put an end to many of our usual hobbies, including the chance to meet up with mates and talk cars for hours on end.
Even now the rules have been relaxed slightly, car meetups can’t go back to how they were just yet. But with all that said, we think we have the perfect solution: why not host your own virtual car club, and bring the excitement of a meet to your driveway?
In this guide, we’ll be giving you some advice on hosting a virtual car club, from the platforms and tools you can use to tips on how to get people to turn up and tune in. Let’s get to it.
First Things First: Why Host a Virtual Car Club?
On paper, a virtual car club might not sound all that authentic. You might be thinking that it’s hard to see, smell and experience a car through a screen, but there are lots of reasons why taking your car club online can be a great idea – even when we’re free from lockdown rules. Here are some things to think about:
- Help grow your club – if you host or attend a regular car club, we’re guessing you see a lot of the same faces week on week? It can be hard for local car clubs to grow beyond their core members, which is why taking it online can be a great way to open it up to new people – even those not in your local area.
- See a bigger range of cars – new members mean new cars to admire and discuss. Whether you’re into classic convertibles from the 1960s or hot hatches from the 1990s, you’ll stand to see more cars and kit by welcoming new members online.
- Take things international – the sky’s the limit when you take your car club online, and you may even attract the attention of overseas collectors and car enthusiasts who are equally as keen to link up with fellow car fans. Wouldn’t it be great to have a real mix of cars from all over the globe?
- A flexible way of doing things – as much as we don’t want it to, day-to-day life can sometimes get in the way of our hobbies and interests, and interfere with your car club-hosting efforts. Giving yourself an online platform will mean you can connect with your club anywhere, anytime, and give members the flexibility to do the same.
- Keep everyone safe – while lockdown is easing for some, others are less fortunate, and may not be ready to mingle with the outside world just yet. By hosting car club events online, you can make sure that all your members can still get involved without putting themselves at risk – providing a safe platform for everyone.
Where and How to Host Your Virtual Car Club
Ready to take your car club online and start hosting virtual meetups? First, you’ll need to choose the right platforms and tools.
If the coronavirus lockdown taught us anything, it’s that there are dozens of ways to connect with others online, beyond the usual Facebook, Twitter and Skype. This means you have complete control over where and how you host car club events, giving you and your members greater flexibility when it comes to meeting up virtually.
Here, we list some of the platforms we’d recommend for both general car club activity and video meetups:
- Facebook group page – any great car club starts with a Facebook group page. Here, you can keep members up to date with events, share pictures and videos, and encourage light-hearted debate on all things cars. Facebook Live also lets you stream live videos direct to the group page – perfect for car presentations or general club news updates.
- Periscope – powered by Twitter, Periscope is a user-friendly app that lets you share live videos on the go. Easy and free to use, it’s great for connecting with your club, with full audience interaction so you can get involved in the chat while you’re streaming.
- Twitch – Twitch is great for car clubs because it lets you set up a dedicated page where users can subscribe to your channel just like YouTube. From there, you can stream live videos, host interactive quizzes and games, and upload previous videos for people to watch later.
- Zoom – if you’re looking for a reliable video calling service that allows for lots of members at a time, Zoom is the app to go for. Available for both desktop and mobile, Zoom was a godsend for businesses working remotely during lockdown, allowing for easy video calling between dozens of people. If your car club likes to chat face-to-face, this is the platform to go for. You might need to upgrade to the paid package though, as a free account only gets you 40 minutes at a time.
Tips and Ideas for Your Virtual Car Club
All set and ready to start hosting? To keep things interesting and make sure members keep turning up, here are a few ideas that can take your virtual car club to the next level:
- Host a car quiz – everyone likes a good quiz, so why not make one about cars? Your mates will love showing off their knowledge of rare makes and models, and you could even incentivise things with a prize for the winner.
- Attend major virtual car shows together – the coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to most big car shows, but many organisers have instead arranged virtual events you can attend online. Why not gather up your mates, head onto Zoom and then start streaming a live car show together?
- Invite some special guests to help you out – if you’re keen to grow your car club, you need to give people a reason to keep coming back. Seeking the help of fellow collectors or even famous faces that have something interesting to say about cars, or better yet an impressive garage to showcase, is a great way to keep putting out interesting live content your club will want to see.
- Host competitions and challenges – a little healthy competition never hurt anyone, so you can pep up your virtual car meets by introducing some challenges and competitions. For example, why not challenge members to see who can change a tyre or wash their car the fastest, encouraging them to share videos and pictures of their efforts? Or, take things to the next level with a car detailing competition, whereby the best car in show receives a prize or, perhaps more importantly, huge respect from the rest of the club.
We hope this guide helps inspire you to host your own virtual car club. In the meantime, why not join us fellow car enthusiasts on the Redex Club Facebook page, where you can talk all things motoring, mates and more.