Tag Archives: SGP

Why is Singapore GP oversubscribed with volunteers? Because they advertise! #SGPmarshal

Singapore GP does not need my help recruiting marshals, in a sense that sharing this news on this blog will not result in a spike of exposure for their recruiting efforts. They do an excellent job of recruiting themselves, and specifically by posting this message on the “official” Singapore Grand Prix facebook page:

source: SGP facebook page
source: SGP facebook page

Check it out here: www.facebook.com/SingaporeGP

The official page has just over 100k Like’s and about 1.5k visits /check-in’s. That’s a pretty significant pool of candidates of which historically over 3,000 candidates would submit their applications to fill approximately 1,200 spots. All volunteer in various capacities though some are highly specialized, just look at the poster above: the people in Green have to have a medical background whether doctors or nurses, and the people in red have to be Firefighters. They have to show a certificate of proof to be assigned that role.

This post was made on March 8:

SGP recruiting on their facebook

And as of March 18 it has received 260 likes, 29 comments and 128 shares. One of those shares was me contemplating this blog post with my facebook friends, I don’t know what the other 127 shares discussed but obviously they were interested in some capacity of volunteering for the 2015 Singapore GP. The hashtag SGP created for this campaign is #SGPMARSHAL and was used along with other hashtags like #F1, #SingaporeGP and #F1NighRace, all relatively trending topics. Singapore GP organization has way more marshals that it knows what to do with and yet they are continuing to recruit to keep existing marshals on their best behavior and have a supply of reserves to keep the numbers up year after year.

So the real reason for this blog post isn’t Singapore, it is to ask the question: why doesn’t the United States Grand Prix or COTA –  Circuit of the Americas do a similar marketing/recruiting exercise for it’s own marshaling force?

Circuit of the Americas www.facebook.com/CircuitofTheAmericas  in comparison has 292k Like’s or almost three times as many as Singapore GP, and 45k visits/check-in’s or thirty (30!!!) times as many visits… That’s a ridiculously higher number of exposure in both categories. Not to mention instead of a single Night Race, COTA hosts a full calendar of high profile events from the Pirelli World Challenge sports car event to WEC – World Endurance Championship / IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship double header. From MotoGP to F1! And a number of smaller events and track rentals that could seriously benefit from a larger pool of volunteers (or even paid workers for that matter).

So why don’t they do it?

I think… and I could be completely wrong… but I really think that at all levels of management starting from the big wigs running COTA to the smaller wigs running the marshaling services, and the hired wigs that help with the recruiting for individual events like MotoGP, WEC or F1 have way too much “ego!” at play when it comes to the advertising aspect of the volunteer positions. There are too many assumptions that advertising requires too much time, money or effort… or basically resources they don’t have. Or are short on, or don’t really care too much about. There seems to be some foolish reliance on making due with what little they have… the richest country in the world, with the newest and most expensive circuit in the land is willing to cut corners in the safety department by running skeleton marshal crews, because they don’t have enough budget (time, money, effort). There’s the presumption that the volunteers must be experienced instead of assembling eager amateurs/ Motorsport enthusiasts and training them to the standards that the FIA requires for WEC or F1, or FIM requires for MotoGP… Oh no, we must only rely on trusted and experienced SCCA marshals because they’re the best… So much ego! So much wrong with this picture!

Why not take a page out of  the  SGP playbook/ best practices/ success stories? Why not advertise to the audience COTA already has? 300,000 fans is an incredible pool of people, many of whom would probably love to plan a trip to volunteer a weekend in Austin, Texas whether for F1 in October/November, or WEC in September, MotoGP in April or PWC in March… there are so many people that could potentially pick this hobby up and continue volunteering throughout the year closer to where they actually live. Be it within the US or internationally. Plenty of Mexican visitors to the USGP and they’re about to host their own GP again. Plenty of Aussies willing to travel to America to volunteer in Austin. Why not recruit them? I really hope that the 2015 United States Grand Prix marshal recruiting process doesn’t start too close to the event date. I hope everyone that is interested in participating in the event is given the information they need to start making their plans early instead of waiting until the last minute just for an opportunity to apply.

I should point out that COTA has created a facebook page just for their marshals: www.facebook.com/cotatrackmarshals and while it is certainly a plus to have something so specific, at 411 Like’s and 55 visits/check-in’s (at the time of the writing of this post) it doesn’t really compare to the audience of 300,000 facebookers on the main COTA page. That should be used for recruiting volunteers more than anything else. It could be done in conjunction with the official page on the COTA web site:

www.circuitoftheamericas.com/volunteer

 

I will also acknowledge that writing this post can be construed as criticism of both the United States F1 Grand Prix as an event and Cicrcuit of the Americas – the race track that hosts it… and while that is not my intention I know there are ego’s at play and I can’t prevent them from thinking the worst. I have already experienced what people told me was punishment while volunteering for the US GP last year  where I was assigned a position where I couldn’t see anything. I wrote a post complaining about that experience and all kinds of people got all bent out of shape about how dare I criticize such a wonderful event. I certainly didn’t see the need to paint a rosy picture which I’m sure would have been very welcomed when the reality didn’t correspond to it. The same people that got ridiculously offended were also the ones that promised to prevent me from marshaling ever again, so I don’t know how much stock I would put into that promise. I know for a fact though that I wouldn’t volunteer my time, spend a bunch of money on travel and accommodation, just to be “punished” , for whatever reason. I’d rather stay home. But I would get over my own ego and support all of COTA’s recruitment efforts because I know it would improve the sport and the marshaling situation in the US which is dismal, we are very short on people. The more new marshals that volunteer, the more training there would be offered for all of us, the more we all benefit. Much like what Singapore GP has been experiencing for years. My fingers are crossed with the hopes of improvement, and that improvement starts with better advertising. Use your facebook page for good Circuit of the Americas! Please advertise all the available volunteer opportunities and continue doing it often…

I have taken the liberty of creating some useful hashtags for such a campaign, feel free to use them: #USGPmarshal, #USF1marshal, #COTAmarshal, #WECmarshalCOTA, #MotoGPmarshalCOTA, #PWCmarshalCOTA, #F1marshalCOTA etc. the possibilities are endless!

Post card from Marina Bay Circuit at the Singapore GP

Greetings from the little red dot in Southeast Asia.
I’m having an interesting time here so far. Some elements of the marshals management have been unusually cold and unwelcoming, but my fellow marshals have been incredible!

sgp 2

sgp 1

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I am a flaggie at turn 22, opposite pit entry and one turn ahead of the last turn. High speed turn that may see some action. So far only showers of sparks have kept us entertained from cars bottoming out.

Its nice to reconnect with marshals from Australia, New Zealand, India, UAE, UK, Malaysia and of course Singapore. The weather is perfect. Food is awesome. Looking forward to the race.

singapore gp 2

singapore gp 3

Accepted to the Singapore F1 Grand Prix

Great news from Asia this week. The place where it all started for me wants me back 🙂 Got my acceptance e-mail for the 2013 Singapore F1 Grand Prix. Thrilled? Indeed I am.  I’ve already booked some flights, and have started thinking about where I’ll go for my birthday in Thailand and Malaysia. This will be my third SGP to date, and I can’t wait.

As I’ve posted about before I managed to use some Virgin America miles to snag a one way on the Singapore Airlines A380 again. On the way home, I’m even more excited to try the newest A380 service in the Thai Airways fleet. It will be a new airline and a new experience.

Another perk of working SGP that I’m really looking forward to is all the delicious food. Whatever it is, from Malay to Indian, Chinese to Thai, I can’t wait to taste all of it again.

PS. now waiting for good news from the other major event I have pre-booked flights for this year: the 24 hours of Le Mans… fingers crossed!

Singapore F1 Grand Prix appreciation letter

Four month after the conclusion of the Singtel Singapore F1 Grand Prix the marshals receive a little gift in the mail: a certificate of appreciation and a group photo taken at the event. This is a really neat touch from the organizers to stay in touch with the marshals and indeed show their gratitude to the volunteers that shared their time and enthusiast at the night race.

This is my second certificate from Singapore, and fourth overall. Not every country does the certificate mailer but those that do give you something to hang on the wall and be proud of. So far I’ve got one from Malaysia and Australia as well. The most interesting one is from Malaysia who give you a blank certificate that you fill in with your name at your leisure. Ironically I lost mine at the LCCT terminal at Sepang/Kuala Lumpur low cost airport while flying back to Singapore, but they were kind enough to send me another copy. Sweet!