Power of Previews

Cyclosportives are organized group bicycle rides over a set course.  Although not a true race, many of these events are timed and certificates are awarded for those who reach specific time goals.  Some are small and reasonable in distance while others are grand in number of participants, distance, and varied terrain.  I rode the Nove Colli in Italy last summer which included 14,000 riders who rode up to 205 kilometers.  Getting across the start line took over one-hour and  I never rode alone during nearly seven-hours.  In response to the large interest for these events, companies send out a rider and a video crew to pre-ride the route months in advance and then sell DVD’s to participants who wish to see every detail of the route.  Potential participants can ride their stationary bikes in the winter months while watching the preview of the course play out on a screen in front of them.  I am struck by how dominant our visual senses are when we encounter new terrain.  Riders have free access to course maps, elevation profiles, testimonials, reviews from other riders who participated in previous versions of the event, but the videos are the second most valuable pre-race information piece short of a personal reconnaissance of the course.  This niche market speaks to the value of visual platforms supported by YouTube, Instagram or Pinterest.

How do we manage the visual clues first-timers to our enterprise encounter?  Do we help them feel confident and competent?  Is there a visual to orient them and provide a favorable launch pad for interactions?  Well developed and intentional visual clues can immediately establish trust and a connection.

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