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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010, 21:51 
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Article in the paper is great!

I'm a little surprised that all the other promotion is done online...I would have thought that it's still only a minority of people that would check their website or any of the others... Facebook and Twitter??? Very easy to do this and and no cost, but it seems they're focussing on promotional methods that cost no money...?

I'm not trying to be negative on this, and perhaps they have little or no funding for promotions, in which case this sounds like a worthwhile effort regardless...

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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010, 22:31 
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haggisv wrote:
Article in the paper is great!

I'm a little surprised that all the other promotion is done online...I would have thought that it's still only a minority of people that would check their website or any of the others... Facebook and Twitter??? Very easy to do this and and no cost, but it seems they're focussing on promotional methods that cost no money...?

I'm not trying to be negative on this, and perhaps they have little or no funding for promotions, in which case this sounds like a worthwhile effort regardless...

A lot of it is by email attachment forwarded on to mailing lists - I suppose the equivalent of electronic word of mouth. There is very little money in table tennis. I'm sure they have a budget to stick to and as has been mentioned before, as we are "hosting" the event they probably feel that a lot of the responsibility lies with us / Preston.

Personally, I'd like to see them use their YouTube channel better. They do some stuff on there but I'd like to see in depth video player profiles, promo vids, coaching vids, maybe do a video diary of a player as they tour the world trying to make a living, maybe even a video debate of ITTF proposals to give an insight in to how the ETTA make their decisions on which way to vote :) . Still at least they have a YouTube channel. Do any other national associations have one?


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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 11:16 
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Well, the match was tonight and I really enjoyed it. Thanks to having put on the India match last May, we learned a lot as a table tennis association about what was involved and it went as smooth as clock work. My job on the night was to meet the VIP's at the entrance to the venue and escort them to the VIP area - and make sure only the VIP's got in :lol: I was there from 5pm having come direct from work. The VIP's started to arrive about 6pm. The main doors to the venue opened 6.40ish. In the end there were about 400 people in the audience. Less than the India game, but that was on a Saturday evening in May when there would also be no table tennis league matches on at the same time in the local leagues in the North West and most of the people wouldn't have school or work to go to the next day. Although we'd suspended our own league matches scheduled for tonight to make sure our players would have the chance to attend, other leagues couldn't do that. But overall, and in particular with the slow sales at the start we were pleased with that turn out, especially as about 25% were children who'd be seeing international table tennis for the first time and they'd watched players not much older than themselves so they'd be able to identify with them.

The players were introduced to the audience about 7:30pm and the national anthems played. Two tables had been set up in the Guild Hall, one for the men's match vs Israel and one for the women's match vs Poland. The same layout as when England played India, so wherever you were in the audience you would be able to watch either match. However, unlike the friendly against India where all five scheduled games were played, this time because it was a European league match, it was the first to 3 wins, and the match ends. I'd have loved for all the games to have been played, or even for an exhibition match to be penciled in if both games finished quickly 3:0 but that type of thing was beyond our control and so out of the question - especially with the England players competing in the English Closed Championships just a few days away.

Paul Drinkhall, comfortably won his first match 3:0, as did Daniel Reed against a player much higher in the rankings. Both matches were over quite quickly and I was beginning to worry about how long the matches would last. However, thankfully although the men were already through two matches, the women with Kelly Sibley were still playing their first which was proving to be tight. Sibley eventually lost, but it was a great competitive match. Joanna Parker then lost 3:0 to Xu Jie. That meant England men lead 2:0 and Poland's women lead 2:0. Darius Knight was next on for England's men and his match proved to be the closest mens match with Darius finally winning 3:2. That left just the one table in play with Hannah Hicks playing for England. Hannah finally lost a tight match 3:1 at 9:30pm. That meant the public had watched 1hr 45 mins of table tennis and with so many kids in the audience, it finished at a sensible time. I don't think I saw anyone go early.

Afterwards, we manned the VIP doors to the reception which all the teams attended and I finally left for home 11:40pm. Considering I'd gone in to work for 7:15am it's been a long long day.

Overall impressions, I'm not a lover of the European League format. First to 3:0 in a best of 5 series can be too short. Thankfully for us, although the scores were 3:0 there were some tight matches which meant there was plenty of table tennis to watch, but there is always the potential with this format for it to be over very quickly which can leave the paying public feeling short changed. The order of play and match format was also a bit strange - I think it was 3 players each side, with your number 1 player playing 2 singles matches, and your number 2 and 3 players playing 1 singles match each (total 4 singles) and the final match would be doubles - if it got that far. For people new to table tennis, listening to the compere trying to explain this was seriously hard work. I had a try at following it in the match program but gave up trying to figure it out and just watched each match as it came on instead. However, on the plus side watching international table tennis back in Preston for the second time in under a year at an excellent venue was great. It would have been nice for more people to be there but the numbers were ok, especially in comparison to other events of this type and as I've said already, best of all, there were lots of kids there meaning lots of new people introduced to international table tennis. Behind the scenes, everything seemed to go smoothly on the night and from talking to people they seemed to enjoy it which is the main thing.

Here's to the next one and in the meantime, hopefully with events like this, the profile and interest in table tennis in the North West of England will continue to rise. Time for some sleep now though. :D


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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 13:30 
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Sounds like a successful event Debater, well done to you and your club!!!

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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 16:13 
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400 showed up, what a relieve! You were so worry before, one more event, you'll be the expert in organizing International events. A job well done. :up: :clap:


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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 18:35 
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Thanks guys. Jim Clegg, our chairman is the guy behind it. He has the contacts and knows how to get this type of thing organised and done. There's no way our association would even consider attempting doing these types of things if he wasn't there to oversee it and I'm not sure the ETTA would allow us to do them either. It also helps that our association has built very good links with the City Council and done a lot of work over the years coaching in schools (which the Council have now taken a direct interest in driving forward), helping run school table tennis events, running social sessions for the general public and junior coaching sessions at the St Augustines Table Tennis centre. Having a Council on board who are keen to promote the profile of Preston and table tennis is a big plus for us. The Guild Hall have also been very good to us.

My advice to any local club or league etc is to look outside your own association or club and build contacts especially with your council and get involved in providing coaching or playing opportunities not just for your league members but people in the local community too. In the UK the ETTA also run Premier League Club status. PremierClub is the National Club Development Programme of the English Table Tennis Association - more details here http://www.englishtabletennis.org.uk/de ... atid=20912

It involves a lot of work for people in the Association who are volunteers and it means having to do things certain ways, but it has certainly helped us be taken seriously as a league and given us a focus and direction to follow and complimented the way we do things as a league. Some may resent having to comply with these things and would rather organise their clubs their way, others may not be able to spare the time it requires to gather evidence and set the club up in certain ways. Again we're fortune we've had someone called Tony Rigby on our committee - he's taken part in some of the videos I've done for our leagues YouTube channel - but the things you need to do to get club status mark and then actually getting it helps broaden your appeal to lots of other organisations and bodies and all this can help with grants and funding.

Also moving our league to a purpose built table tennis centre (previously the teams in our league had all played in their own separate venues like works canteens, hired church or social club rooms etc) has been a massive benefit to us. Something I have to admit to being very sceptical about when the move was being planned. Getting that sorted took many years and a lot of hard work and disappointments along the way by our leagues committee (I wasn't a member at this time) but it's given us a focus point and the opportunity to run and organise coaching sessions, league matches and social sessions in a purpose built environment for table tennis. All this projects a much more "professional image" for table tennis in Preston and means players can play in excellent facilities. Ironically, a forum member here posted a link to a video I filmed about the background to our move to a table tennis centre and the impact it has had on our league in this forum about 2 years ago viewtopic.php?f=38&t=2086&hilit=preston+table+tennis

Our problems as a league could come in a couple of years time when both Jim and Tony pack in their jobs on our Committee. But for now things are good for us and table tennis in our area :D


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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 20:07 
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Each time I read one of your Preston reports, I can't help but feel happy for your achievement. Well done. :clap:

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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 20:48 
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Good on you for giving Jim and Tony the credit they deserve! I think it's really important to formally recognise people that give so much to a club, as it's nice to feel appreciated, and it might inspire others to give a little as well.

Perhaps there should be some sort of long term plan for these guys to show the ropes to other members, so that they can take over one day?

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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2010, 02:50 
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Then, Debater, learn as much as you can from these fine gentlemen and be ready. ;)


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PostPosted: 05 Mar 2010, 08:41 
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Debater, excellent work. The place Preston is familiar to me. I was at Preston about 8 years ago, staying at Novetel Hotel, Walton Summit for a week. After attending to my work, I walked around in a nearby town, I think it is called Bamber Bridge.

Nice experience for me.

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PostPosted: 05 Mar 2010, 09:39 
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jixiaolan wrote:
Debater, excellent work. The place Preston is familiar to me. I was at Preston about 8 years ago, staying at Novetel Hotel, Walton Summit for a week. After attending to my work, I walked around in a nearby town, I think it is called Bamber Bridge.

Nice experience for me.

You are correct jixiaolan. I live in Bamber Bridge - not far from where you stayed!

Pity you aren't visiting there again. We could get together and play at our table tennis centre. It' about 5 miles away from the hotel you stayed in.

Guys, whilst I can learn from them, I don't have the time needed to even try and take over from either of them when they resign - and I doubt I'd be asked. There are plenty of other people who can take that side of the job forward and learn from them. I'll stick to what I know, videos and my current post thanks! That takes up enough of my time as it is :sweat:

Like a lot of leagues, we rely on volunteers and we have a lot of people helping out and taking responsibility for the running of the league and our other activities. We just need people to keep coming forward and offering help.


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