By Terri Cotta
The second part of our tips series on promoting begins with several different options, Here are a few simple ideas to get you started. Remember that for most times you are going to be videoing your event for after sales. This is always a good option to further promote your self.
Music and sound systems for a Muay Thai event:
If you know of a disc jockey, who does functions for parties etc, check to see if he is available for your event. These people always have flashy lights etc, and can add a sparkle to your event. It is also an extra sound system just in case there is a break down. make sure that your listing of the fighters is in order and there names and titles are correct, (there is nothing more irritating than the wrong information being given out for the wrong fighter) . Write yourself a short script and include a briefing of each fighter in the correct order that they will be entering the ring. Make sure that the DJ and your staff have the same order.
Check to see that the Disk Jockey has a double cassette unit available. Make two duplicate music cassettes of the Ram Muay Tape ( if you have one and you should), duplicate and mark both sides of one cassette as (Pre-fight ritual). record the Ram Muay pre-fight music on to this. Duplicate' both sides and mark the other tape as the (Fight music), record the other side of the Ram Muay tape on to this.
Give this to the Disk Jockey who should be at your event in plenty of time to set up and test equipment etc. Inform him of the how the tapes should be set. It is often useful to have a competent member of your staff at his side to advise and assist. Inform the Disk Jockey that he is not here to deafen the audience or the fighters so he should adjust his volume accordingly and that the Ram Muay -Fight music should face the ring not the audience.
You can make your event look just as spectacular as any TV or Pay Per View event seen on TV with just a little know how and a few tricks for the video camera. If you are going to promote a lot of events, then a suggestion is this. Think about getting some banners made that will fit around your ring area.
Advertise your school etc, talk to a couple of local businesses for sponsorship, who might be interested in having the company exposed in this way i.e. sports stores, health products, etc. (remember you have two sides to a banner so the more the better). I suggest banners because they are easy to roll up and pack away until the next event. If you are holding events in your own place, then you can also try using ply-board etc. posters can be enlarged by color photocopiers in many different colors and pasted on to these boards and set around the ring area. This is a lot cheaper than you think and can be changed for each event . This idea will give your event that clean and symmetrical and organized appearance.
Videoing your event:
If you want to add a bit of flare to your tapes by adding writing etc, these tools are available from most hi-fi or computer stores at around $200 dollars or so. Video enhances, fade in & outs, and special effects are also cheap readily available. If you are thinking of promoting many events and intend to sell lots of videos the cost and time involved in doing it yourself is a lot cheaper than you might expect. Believe me, it is not as complicated as it may sound. I have done this myself many times. One note is to make sure that your hi-fi and VCR are capable of these functions. Most new hi-fi and video equipment are.
It is always better to have two video camera's instead of one. A suggestion is this; Have one Video camera set above the audience but in a place that has a clear view. Have the other camera set up that is close to the ring and will have full close up view of the fighters entering the ring, and fighting in side.
It is far better to use video cameras that use the standard size cassette than the portable camcorders. always use a super-high quality video tape, they cost a lot more than normal, but your quality recording will make all the difference as your 'master tape' when transferring. If you are not having your video professionally processed, here are a few neat tricks that you can play around with to beef up your video if you are going to duplicate the video yourself. I have done this so I know it works great, and will save you a bundle yet give a great impression to the purchaser of your fight tapes.
Commentary addition to Muay Thai fight videos
If your like me, got the time, but don't have the cash to spend on fancy technology supplied by the video processing companies, here some simple ideas to play around with. There is nothing worse than watching a video and do not know who is fighting who etc. Get your self a microphone, they are fairly cheap around 20 or 40 dollars, set up your VCR. connect the line out of the VCR into the audio input of the hi-fi auxiliary switch, (cables are usually supplied with your VCR). Play the video to check that the sound comes through the speakers of your hi-fi. If this works, and you hear sound then you are nearly ready.
OK, now put the speakers facing towards you and as close as you can get them. Get your self a writing pad and pencil, get as much information on Muay Thai that you have, and the fight program for the video. (Remember that the audience and video buyers don't always know enough about Muay Thai to really understand it completely). Connect the microphone to your music cassette player and set the microphone up in front of you but away from the speakers, (otherwise you'll get feedback), sit in the middle of the speakers and watch the video. Make notes of the fights etc. By watching the video first, you will know what to expect when you come to comment on the fights for your final version.
once you feel that you are confident enough and you have enough information to commentate for the video, buy a couple of the best brand and high quality hi-fi tapes you can get. Depending on the length of the fight video, maybe a 120 cassette is enough.
Rewind the video and play, start the tape recorder and start your commentating. Don't forget to add on the date and the name of the event and also put on towards the end of the tape who to contact for the next event and a bit of advertising etc. The idea is that the video sound coming through your hi-fi speakers in front of you is picked up by the microphone as well as your own voice, giving the effect of you actually being at the event. The reason that you are recording onto the tape recorder instead of directly dubbing onto the video, is that if you make a mistake, you can always start again without messing up the sound of the video.
Once you have recorded your commentary, rewind the video and turn the sound down. Rewind the hi-fi tape and play them together. If the sound matches the video (this might take a little fiddling around) , and the quality of the sound is good, then all you have to do is dub the hi-fi cassette onto your video tape by unplugging the VCR recording cables from the (Sound Output socket) and connecting to the (Sound Input Socket) on the back of your VCR. Unplug the the other end of the cable from the (line in) or (Auxiliary in) on the hi-fi tape deck and connect to the sound (Output Socket) of your hi-fi tape deck.
Video Case enhancement:
Add a bit of color to your video cases. Like everything else the most colorful advertisers sell better than plain ones. People like to see what they are buying. Choose a decent photo, maybe one taken at the event. Enlarge this to A4 size at a color copy store, buy some color stick on letters that can be purchased at your local office store, and buy a clear smooth vinyl file cover.
The rest is quite simple, cut the vinyl cover into two separate sheets, place one piece of the vinyl cover over the photo, with a pen draw your lines of where you are going to put the stick on letters etc, place the other vinyl cover over the first and begin to place your stick on letters on this. When you are satisfied with your layout, remove and discard the first sheet with the pen lines on, measure the length and width of the video cover sleeve, take these measurements plus the completed front cover back to the color photo copy store and get them to reduce to your written sizes. Now you have a master cover for your video cases. Just cut these to fit into the sleeve of the video case and you have yourself a good selling colorful video.