Author: Taylor Walston
Summer programs can help generate revenue for your shop by bringing in new and experienced archers as well as youths looking for a new adventure during summer vacation. Talk to your customers to identify the types of programs that will perform well. Then schedule the event for a time that will work for the people you expect to participate. Market your event where you think it will be well received. Your program could become a staple in the community, and it might give young archers something to look forward to when school is out.
Evaluate Your Community’s Needs
Chat with your customers to gauge interest and determine what kind of events you should offer. Hand out a survey at your register and encourage customers to provide feedback on the kinds of programs they’d like to see at your shop. Give them options like leagues, date night, cosmic archery, 3D archery and youth archery, but also ask them to make suggestions. Place the survey on your website as well to include customers that are doing web searches for local programs. They could be waiting for the right event to try archery in a group setting, and they’d likely welcome the chance to provide input.
The ATA’s Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing programs and USA Archery’s Explore Archery program offer sample outlines for experiences like a weeklong summer camp. During these camps, archers meet every day for a week. Retailers can choose to offer the program during the day or evening, whichever works best for their participants.
Review the ATA’s Event Planning Guide for additional ideas and tips on how to get your programs up and running. If people in your community are looking to learn more about how they can use bowhunting to source local wild game for their dinner table, Field to Fork classes are a great option during the summer. Partner with your local state wildlife department to organize one of these events to help prepare aspiring bowhunters for the upcoming hunting season.
Give attendees options and schedule your event based on the most popular times. Photo Credit: Music City Archery
Schedule the Event
Choose a date that doesn’t conflict with other traffic-generating events in your area. For example, avoid scheduling your brand-new cosmic archery event for the same weekend as the local summer carnival or some other big festival. You want the members of your community to try the new program without feeling like they have to choose.
Include possible program times in your survey and select the most popular time frame. You don’t want new archers to be deterred simply because they are busy during your scheduled time. Events for younger children will likely require a different time frame than events for adults. Listen to your customers and schedule events when more of them will be able to attend.
Advertise your event on your website and social media. Photo Credit: Archers Afield
Make a Plan
After you’ve set a date, it’s time to make a plan. Decide on the best marketing strategy for your shop and start advertising. Post the event on your website and via social media, and ask your customers to spread the word. Consider taking out an ad in a local magazine and ask local businesses if you can display a flyer in their window, waiting room, etc. Libraries, restaurants and city-run businesses might have a bulletin board for displaying local events. Understanding your community is key: Advertise where you know your audience will be looking.
Hosting summer events and programs is a great way to introduce members of your community to archery and to keep your existing customers involved. If you heed the feedback from your survey, your programs should generate lots of interest and connect the members of your community through archery.