Author: Cassie Gasaway
With a tough year behind us and the new year underway, it’s time to market archery like never before. Show your customers and community that archery is a year-round sport, and then deliver on that claim by hosting monthly events.
Special events are rewarding, especially when they generate extra revenue. Use the tips below to help brainstorm monthly events, and then learn how to market them to generate good turnouts.
Market your events to gather interest and attendance. Photo Credit: ATA
First, though, make sure to market your shop to ensure your community knows about your business. Effective marketing explains who you are, describes what you do, and pinpoints your location so customers easily find you. Also, learn to effectively share your values, goals and policies for customer service and satisfaction. Transparency creates trust with potential customers. Then invite everyone to your store to browse your offerings.
Marketing techniques include sponsorships, word-of-mouth advertising, TV commercials, outdoor billboards, direct-mail campaigns; and radio, newspaper or magazine ads. You should also conduct email marketing, and place ads on local websites and social-media accounts.
Include your business logo and contact information with all marketing materials, and promote your business alongside future events.
Theme your events to whatever holiday is coming up, like a Valentine's Day shoot. Photo Credit: NFAA
Brainstorm and Create Events
There’s always something to celebrate near home or farther away. That means you have endless reasons to host archery events and drive profits. All you need is some creativity.
To create a fun, unique event, start by googling upcoming holidays and happenings. You’ll likely find a day for everything, but not enough time to host events for everything. Pick your favorites.
Make the connection between archery and that special day. Valentine’s Day is easy, given that its mascot is a winged cherub wielding a bow and arrow. You could host a love-inspired event for couples with a theme like “fall in love with archery.” Create the ultimate date night featuring dinner and archery. Partner with a caterer or restaurant to serve dinner at your range. Or host an Anti-Valentine’s Day event and let customers shoot heart-shaped balloons to join the “Heart Breakers” club.
Not all connections will be so obvious, but you can make most topics relevant. For example, April is Math Awareness Month. Host an event that challenges archers to solve math problems by shooting paper targets. To solve a problem, they could shoot the correct number of arrows into a specific spot to solve a problem, or shoot a corresponding multiple-choice letter. Youths could solve equations like 1 + 1 and 4 – 2, while advanced archers could do division or multiplication.
If you’re struggling to find ideas you like, the ATA offers a document that features five events for each month. It’s called “Archery and Bowhunting Event Ideas.” You’ll find décor ideas, education lessons, and sample shooting games for each event. The ATA also created unique target faces to complement some of the event ideas. As an ATA member, you can download these resources for free. Documents like these are a part of your many ATA-member benefits. You’ll find the documents in the “retailers” section on the ATA’s resource website. Log into your MyATA member dashboard to start.
Once you settle on an event, consider how to make it fun and unique, possibly with music, shooting games, decorations, unique targets and friendly competition. Your event must be easy to attend and accessible to all. Set a fair price and pick a good day and time.
Use the ATA’s Event Planning Workbook to help craft a fun, popular event. The 25-page workbook is free for ATA members, and provides a general framework for event-planning. It also breaks the process into manageable pieces so you’ll feel comfortable and confident crafting events of all sizes. To download the guide, log into your MyATA member dashboard and click “Download Free ATA Resources.” Search for “Event Planning Workbook,” print it, and then snap the pages into a three-ring binder to start planning.
Create events that are fun and visually appealing. Photo credit: Archery Headquarters Academy
4 Tips to Market Your Event
Market your event after setting the details. Use these tips to start.
Write a Compelling Description
The description should be brief and informative. Give the topic, time, place and who should attend. Tell attendees how they’ll benefit from your event, and highlight its features, including free food, a speaker, games or certified instructors.
Create a Facebook Event
Facebook lets users create events. Fill in your event’s time, date and other information; and then invite customers to attend. Change your event settings so participants can invite friends, too. Facebook event pages help generate and gauge interest because people can select whether they’re “going,” “interested,” or “can’t go.” You can also post updates and highlights to keep participants informed about the event.
Spread the Word
Let customers and community members know about your event, and invite them to attend. Ask customers at your shop to spread the word or bring friends. Post your event on community calendars, public bulletin boards, and your website and social media. You can also alert radio and broadcast stations.
Ask for Help; Work with Partners
Share the event information with partners, local celebrities and community connections. Ask them to cross-promote your event on their channels. Agree to help them promote future events, or give them free admission.
The ATA’s Event Planning Workbook has many marketing tips. Don’t forget to get it through your MyATA member dashboard.
Archery is a unique sport because anyone of any age or skill level can participate. It can be done almost anywhere and in any season, especially if you have an indoor range or access to one. Don’t delay. Host events as soon as possible.
If you have questions or need event-planning help, please contact Nicole Nash, ATA’s manager of range and retail programs, at email@example.com.