As you may (or may not) know, I founded the Lindy Hop and Balboa scene in Buffalo, NY back in late 2007. SwingBuffalo.com went live that year on December 5th. And from the start, I wanted my new scene to get a taste of what the world of Lindy Hop and Balboa had to offer, so I established what eventually came to be known as “Rhythm Shuffle“, a workshop in it’s 8th year this September. I no longer live in Buffalo, but luckily, the scene goes on.
My focus had always been on the locals, and mainly, the beginners. I wanted to give them the experiences I had as a beginner swing dancer, traveling to my first workshop, to inspire and excite them about what dancing could be. I learned a lot putting on that workshop for 7 years, much of which I may post about here at some point. I had helped out with numerous workshops in the past in other places I’d lived, but this workshop was the first one where I was calling the shots.
One thing I learned is that experienced dancers, who travel a lot for workshops 1. look for quality instruction and 2. are frugal travelers (because they travel a lot). They are always looking for a good deal. Well, I searched and searched and found a way to advertise to those dancers with a hook that’s hard to beat:
Cheap registration combined with cheap airfare!
I had amassed a database of small scenes around the country and found that I could best utilize that database by setting up a fare alert on AirfareWatchdog.com which would notify me about cheap airfares from ANY origin to a specific destination. These notifications are called “Arrival City Fare Alerts“.
Whenever I would see a rock-bottom fare-alert for a specific origin to Buffalo, I would post that link on the scene’s facebook page or group to entice them to make the trip out. And it worked!
It’s a bit labor intensive, but is much much less laborious than searching flights for each scene individually. I would usually take maybe 15 minutes each morning sending along that day’s cheapest fare along with a registration link to potential attendees. The low fare combined with an affordable workshop and free housing makes for a high value weekend of fun!