Working for a snowmobile magazine, it’s easy for people to understand what we do in the winter: We ride snowmobiles. But people often ask, “So, what do you do in the spring and summer when there isn’t any snow?” Riding sleds is seasonal, but producing a snowmobile magazine is a full-time, year-round job. Here’s what’s been happening lately at the Snow Goer office.
We’re Working On Sleds — We recently (reluctantly) admitted that the snowmobile season has ended. It’s over. Kaput. Finished. Not coming back. So with that comes the work of stripping off the wear bars, storage bags, skis, suspension components and other aftermarket products we tested on our demo sleds this winter, not to mention the tall windshields that kept us warm and license plates that made us legal. It all has to come off so we can wash the machines and return them to their rightful owners (Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo and Yamaha). While it’s depressing to take off all of the stuff and send the sleds down the road, working with them reminds us of so many great rides we had this winter, not to mention that it feels good to open the doors at the rural-suburban SG shop and hear the birds chirp, and let in the fresh air and bright sunshine.
We’re Working On Shows — Snow Goer also owns and operates two consumer snowmobile shows — The Big East Powersports Show in Syracuse, N.Y., and the Colorado Snowmobile Expo in Denver. Vendor reservations are coming to our sales staff as traction companies, suspension shops, snowmobile dealerships, resorts, jerky sellers and more are booking booth space for the October shows. We’re also in the early stages of gearing up for Haydays, and making plans to attend the Snowmobile USA shows in Milwaukee and Novi, Michigan.
We’re Redesigning Snow Goer — Just like cars, trucks and most other consumer products are redesigned every few years to stay fresh and incorporate new trends and technology, it’s customary for magazines to be freshened up every few years, too. As part of a full-scale redesign, we’re working on a new logo, re-tooling existing departments and adding new ones, lining up contributors, freshening the appearance and adding features to make the magazine more informative and easier to read. The new design will debut with the October issue, which will hit newsstands in late August.
We’re Planning — While the redesign is something new this year (we refreshed Snow Goer in 2011, not a full redesign), planning each issue defines spring in the SG office every year. We use high tech charts and infographs, and study economic and demographic trends in snowbound states to plan the content for each and every issue. We host dozens of focus groups and monitor brain wave activity of every participant. OK, we don’t actually go to such great measures to plan issues of Snow Goer, but we do carefully evaluate our stories to make sure each issue’s content will be balanced — based on brand representation, travel stories and their geographic spread, aftermarket products and clothing, technical information, etc. — so it appeals to the broad spectrum of snowmobilers who read Snow Goer magazine.
We’re Writing Stories — With rides and experiences fresh in our heads, we’re working ahead on stories that will be published in issues of Snow Goer this fall. It feels good to have knocked out a few thousand words by now because once the magazine-production train gets rolling next month, it won’t slow down until after Thanksgiving. Yesterday we knocked out a cool service and repair story at the shop, and more of those will happen over the next few months.