Would you like to increase the membership of your sport club? Did you think about organizing an open practice?
Follow these 8 steps and organize a successful open practice at the end of which you will definitely welcome new members to your sport club.
1. Plan it in advance. Make a list of what you need
If you want full attendance for your open practice, do some planning in advance. You can start with making a list of the things you will need.
Your list should definitely contain things such as the time and date of the open practice, available budget, members to help with organising, advertisements, flyers and posters, and a blog article for your website.
2. Pick your date wisely
Don’t organize your open practice during public holidays when people are free or away for vacation, when schools in your area have open days or when any other big events are already scheduled to take place.
Also, announce the open practice on time, at least one month before it takes place so those interested have to plan their participation.
3. Involve your members
Meet with your board or bring all the members together. Delegate the tasks to everybody who is willing to help. For example the person in charge of the finances should firstly do a budget overview to see how much money you can spend on the event; another member with DTP (desktop publishing software) knowledge can help with making the flyers and posters; and a member with some PR (public relations) experience could write the blog article for your website, the text for your advertisements and contact the local newspapers.
The members of your club can also help with the physical distribution of the flyers and posters: at their schools or work, in local supermarkets and shops, in all the mailboxes in the area where your training location is situated. They can also invite their friends and family to join and share the article about the event on their social networks. Any help from your members matters!
4. Choose your target area wisely
Promote your event in the area connected to your training location.
Here are two examples to help you define the area where you should promote your event.
- If for example you are a judo club from a small town and you know that there are no other judo clubs in the area, you can consider the whole town as your target area. Promote the open practice everywhere in your town.
- If you come from a large town, there are big chances that each part of the town or neighborhood have their own judo club. People won’t travel across the town to join your club if they can find another one closer to their homes. Promote your open practice in the area where your training location is situated.
5. Focus on the specific needs of your potential members
The young and the adults have different needs and expectations.If you invite both the young and adults to take part to the open practice, it will get messy and you won’t have sufficient time for everybody.
Every marketing specialist will tell you that if you want to have a successful event, you should plan two separate events, one for the young and one for adults.
6. Online presence and online sign-up sheet
People receiving your flyers and posters will definitely check out your website. Before distributing your posters and flyers, make sure that you have an online blog article and Facebook post where you discuss the open practice and what people can expect from it.
Three things that you need to be aware of when drafting your blog article:
- The pictures and the information about the time and location of the practice should be consistent with the one on the flyers and posters that you will distribute (always double check this).
- Add a short description of your club and talk about what makes you special.
- Add on your website an online sign-up sheet where those interested can fill in their phone numbers and email addresses. It will prove to be very useful later on in the process!
7. Print a sign-up sheet. Contact details matter!
Have a printed sign-up sheet at hand when people start arriving for the practice. Have those who haven’t joined via the online sign-up sheet fill in their email addresses and phone numbers before the practice begins.
At the end of the practice everybody will be busy asking questions and preparing to leave and you might not get the chance to get their contact details. Without contact details, you can’t move on to step 8.
8. Follow-up (a.k.a. the extra mile)
If you follow the above guidelines the event will be a success and you will certainly gain new members at the end of it.
There will also be people who won’t be 100% sure whether to join or not. Make sure you call them and ask what their impressions were. Invite them for a couple of additional free practices!
This really works. People will see that you want them to become a member of your club and you taking further interest in contacting them will matter to them. Think about what they are looking for – a place where to train, a nice group, a sense of community!
For more articles and tips on how to grow the success of your sport club, check our blog at www.victoryz.com/blog