Marketing

How to Host a Profitable and Memorable Holiday Event

Hosting themed events is a great way to bring a fun time and potential customers to the range.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Taylor Walston

Holidays are a great opportunity to connect with your customers because you can create a fun atmosphere at the range and bond with the archers over a shared experience. Retailers should embrace the holiday spirit, for all holidays, and create themed events that will attract archers looking for activities to enjoy. We know it’s tough to find time, so we gave you a head start. With the ideas below, you can go from Halloween to Valentine’s Day with flair and fletching.

Use zombie archery targets at your Halloween event. Photo Credit: Delta McKenzie

Halloween

Celebrate the spooky season with a “Halloween Monster Mash.” There are so many ways to make the range a ghoulishly good time for the archers.

  • Set up zombie targets and have the archers unleash their inner Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead. Use 3D targets, print out images to put on your targets, or provide a mixture of both.
  • USA Archery offers some kid-friendly printable Halloween archery targets.
  • Invite the archers to come to the event in costume. Hold a contest and give prizes to the best costumes. You could even give an extra prize to archers dressed as archery characters. Think gift cards, credit toward an archery lesson or range time, merch from your shop.
  • Set up a black light and use neon colors in your decorations for a fun, illuminating atmosphere. Drape fake cobwebs everywhere.
  • Put out a table with snacks and refreshments. Wrap the table in “mummy wrap,” i.e., gauze. Serve ghost- and pumpkin-shaped cookies. Decorate other cookies with spiderwebs. Serve green punch in a punch bowl and call it Franken-punch, or serve it in a cauldron and call it Witch’s Brew.
  • Set up a pumpkin carving station and allow the archers and their guests to carve a pumpkin. You could prep the pumpkins by taking out the “guts” ahead of time. Offer prizes for the winning pumpkins.
  • Play “Monster Mash” on the stereo if you have one, because … of course you should.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection, good food and enjoying the company of your friends and family. Celebrate turkey day by hosting a “Thanks-For-Giving” themed event with the message of the event being giving back.

  • Set a small entry fee for the event and donate some or all of the proceeds to a charity of your choice. You could also use the proceeds to fund the local JOAD team’s events.
  • Ask archers and guests to bring canned food for a food drive and donate to the local food bank.
  • Decorate the range with turkey targets and use a fall color scheme of red, orange, yellow and brown.
  • Set up a refreshment table and have a “guess the jelly bean flavor” contest. Try to find fall flavors if you can, like pumpkin, maple, cinnamon, etc. Have the archers and their guests do a blind taste test and try to identify each flavor. Offer prizes to those that guess all the flavors correctly.

Host an ugly sweater contest at your holiday event. Photo Credit: Music City Archery

Christmas

’Tis the season for archery! A Christmas event will bring cheer to the archers and awareness to your range with a holly jolly event. Afterward, be sure to tell Santa you’d like some archery equipment for Christmas.

  • Set up a target with Rudolph’s nose. Print out a Rudolph picture and attach a red foam ball to the target where Rudolph’s nose is. Whoever arrows the nose gets a prize.
  • Print out pictures of a Christmas tree and have the archers shoot at the ornaments.
  • Offer prizes to anyone dressed in costume as an elf, reindeer, Santa or Mrs. Claus.
  • Decorate the range in red and green. Hang garlands and fake snowflakes, and put up a tree.
  • Set up a table with Christmas cookies and eggnog.
  • Offer Christmas cookie decorating.
  • Host an ugly Christmas sweater contest.
  • Play Christmas music on the stereo.

Hanukkah

In 2022, Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins on Dec. 18 and ends on Dec. 26.

  • Offer an eight-day-long tournament to celebrate the holiday.
  • Invite archers to shoot at the range all eight days and calculate a tournament winner at the end. Offer a prize like gift cards or credits for lessons to the winner.
  • You could also declare one winner every night. Print out a picture of a menorah and have the winner write their name on the candle for that day. For example, the winner of the first day writes their name on the first candle, etc. Post the photo of the finished menorah after the tournament on social media.

New Year’s Eve

To celebrate the New Year, offer a New Year’s Eve event and ring it in with a bull’s-eye.

  • Play Blackjack. USA Archery has a Blackjack activity that will encourage a fun, Vegas-inspired atmosphere and will get the archers aiming strategically. Set up playing cards on the target and have the archers aim at the cards, trying to land two that equal 21. Anything over is a bust. Offer prizes like gift cards and range time for the winner.
  • Decorate with silver and gold streamers. Set up number balloons to represent the new year. Offer noisemakers and party hats.

Host a date night archery shoot at your range. Photo Credit: Music City Archery

Valentine’s Day

Celebrate the day of love with a Valentine’s Day shoot. Cupid’s arrow will certainly strike all of the participants with a love of archery.

  • Explore Archery offers an activity called the “Candy Shoot.” For this activity, you print out pictures of candy, which you can find on USA Archery’s website. Set up the pictures with a few different candy choices on each target. The archers can use a specified number of arrows and should aim at the picture of the candy they’d like the most. Reward the archers with one piece of candy matching the picture for each arrow that hits its target. You could have the archers who win the most candy face off in a final round against each other for a king-size candy bar.
  • Fill a jar with some of the candy. Have the archers and their guests try to guess how many pieces of candy are in the jar. You can reward the winner with another chance to win candy or reward the winner with the whole jar. The prize could also be a gift card to your shop or a credit for range time or lessons.
  • Set up hearts on the targets. You could also print out images of “conversation hearts” with classic sayings like “Be Mine” and “XOXO.”
  • Decorate with pink, white, red and purple decorations.

Market the Event

Whichever holiday you choose to host an event for, and we hope it’s more than one, make sure you market it ahead of time. Create social media posts about it, promoting the event. Make sure the dates and times are clear. If you can create an eye-catching graphic for it, that’s all the better. You want people to pause on the flyer and see what it’s all about. You can also distribute flyers for your event at local businesses to reach people who might not otherwise find your social media.

For more ideas, check out the ATA’s Archery and Bowhunting Event Ideas document. It provides ideas for events to host every month. For help on how to plan the event, reference the ATA’s Archery Event Planning Workbook. Both resources are free to members and available to nonmembers for a fee.

We hope your holiday-themed event introduces the sport of archery to as many new archers as possible and that you have a wonderful time doing it.

Want to discuss further? Contact Nicole Nash, senior manager of outreach, at (507) 233-8146 or nicolenash@archerytrade.org.

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