Business

Festive Shoots: Offer Themed Events at Your Range!

Don’t be spooked. Treat your customers to fun, holiday shoots.
Photo Credit: Music City Archery

Author: Jackie Holbrook

Archery ranges generate sales and customers. Hosting leagues, lessons and open range times are great ways to make that space pay. But if you’re looking for another fun way to attract customers, consider throwing a themed shoot.

Themed events pull customers through the door by offering unique experiences. Now is a great time to create several opportunities because Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas make exciting themes. You can also celebrate New Year’s or the beginning of winter.

Bullock's Archery teaches archery to Girl Scouts. Photo Credit: Bullock's Archery

Steven Bullock, owner of Bullock’s Archery in Ventura, California, teaches archery to Girl Scout troops. “We teach about 20 girls at a time, and show them how to shoot and score,” he said.

Bullock is a big believer in growing archery, and he thinks themed shoots are perfect for beginners. He’s organizing a turkey or Christmas shoot to spark interest in unique ways. “Themes make archery fun for all ages,” he said.

Bullock organizes events several weeks in advance to spread the word and fill the event. Emails, social-media posts, signage in the shop, and word-of-mouth are great ways to inform customers about the event.

Archery clubs use themed shoots as fundraisers, especially because they’re affordable. All you need are a few decorations and special targets. Events filled with fun, camaraderie and competition encourage members to come out and support the club.

The youth archery club designs Halloween-inspired targets for their Halloween fundraiser every year. Photo Credit: Skookum Archers Club

The Skookum Rangers, a youth division of the Skookum Archers Club in Washington, host Halloween fun shoots to raise money to compete in the state championships. The students trick – OK, challenge – archers with 28 spooky-themed targets and hand out treats afterward.

Arizona’s Oro Valley Archery Range hosts a free holiday shoot in December in conjunction with a 50/50 raffle to raise money for the Oro Valley JOAD. The shoot includes holiday themes like snowman and Christmas targets, and a “Nightmare before Christmas” archery zone.

The Arizona range offers events with a variety of themes for all interests. Photo Credit: Papago Archery Association

The Papago Archery Association uses a themed shoot to boost attendance at its annual membership meeting. Organizers of the annual “Holiday Potluck, Membership Meeting & Fun Shoot” say the event helps members learn about the association and connect with each other before partaking in a holiday-themed event.

Themed shoots encourage customers to test their skills and spice up the way they shoot. Their themes and looks are infinite. These examples offer a glimpse of what others shops do:

–  Customers dress up for Halloween and shoot in costume.
–  Customers attending Thanksgiving tournaments bring canned food to donate to the food bank.
–  Archers arrow Rudolph’s red nose for Christmas instead of shooting at traditional targets.

If you don’t think you’re creative, don’t worry. Throwing a themed event is easy, and plenty of resources can help. For further inspiration, check out “Deck the Halls with Archery! 6 Ideas for Themed Shoots” and “12 Fun Holiday Archery Targets.”

Certified archery instructors also enjoy free access to the Explore Archery program. Explore Archery’s quarterly newsletter contains plans for fun activities, many of which have themes. To learn more about Explore Archery, contact explorearchery@usaarchery.org.

Nicole Nash, ATA’s manager of range and retail programs, can also help. Call her to chat about ideas and event planning at (866) 266-2776, ext. 116; or nicolenash@archerytrade.org.

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