Formula for recruiting events
Recruiting events should be brief and relatively simple affairs where all of the partners share the workload as well as the outcome.
These events should last only a few hours, preferably in the evening, and be narrowly focused to give participants an introductory experience. Ideally, each partner will have a relatively small investment in the event, and that investment should mirror what they are already good at. As a result of the relatively small commitment, many partners will be able to be involved in more than one event. This will expand everyone’s reach and enlarge the cumulative impact.
Formula for recruiting events
The objective of a recruiting event is largely to gather contact information on individuals who are good prospects for new adult hunting or angling training programs.
To do this an event should be:
- outdoor/food oriented
- scheduled at an easy time for people to attend
By involving partners in these events you broaden the appeal of the event, increase attendance and lower the amount of time and effort you need to invest yourself.
The best partners are individuals or organizations whose focus boarders on hunting, fishing or food
- food co-Ops
- farmer’s markets
- culinary schools
- farm-to-table restaurants
- sporting goods stores
- bait shops
- charter captains
- hunting guides
The best scenario for a partnership between your agency and another partner is one where the partner’s reputation is enhanced with their customers because they are working with a state wildlife agency while the agency benefits from the partner's ability to attract potential hunter/angler training participants.
Partners could provide:
- The actual training/demonstration at the event
- The venue for the event
- Assistance with promotion and marketing for the event
Wild edibles - foraging for mushrooms, berries, etc - Unanimously would attend
Wild fish/game tasting event - Almost unanimously would attend
Wild fish or game cooking class - Almost unanimously would attend
Introduction to hunting – About 50/50 for a basic introduction
Introduction to fishing – About 50/50 for a basic introduction
Keeping the recruiting events simple will allow you to develop a broader array of offerings. This in turn, will allow you to expand your reach and provide more opportunities to find and recruit new participants.
In general, recruiting events will:
- Be a single, stand-alone event.
- Last only a few hours.
- Utilize outside expertise (game chef, meat processor, kayak instructor, etc.) in the primary subject area.
- Feature an agency expert to discuss wildlife or fisheries resource management, sustainability and recreational opportunities.
- Allow all partners to co-brand the event and share the participant contact information.
- Allow partners to tap into the networks used or developed.
- Allow partners to share the administrative workload of inviting participants, marketing, taking reservations, arranging the logistics and managing the finances. Each partner would handle the area in which they have the most expertise.
It is important for each partner to understand and mutually support the goals of the other partners. These goals should be clearly articulated during the planning process so a true partnership is developed.
Collecting Contact Information
Never forget that the objective of the event is to collect contact information of the attendees and to communicate with them about opportunities to participate in hunting/angling training programs. Ideally, a simple screening questionnaire can be administered at the event that measures their interest in an array of future offerings. An alternative is to collect contact information and send a post-event questionnaire to measure their potential interest. In any event, collecting contact information is critical.
Some opportunities to collect contact information include:
- The registration process for the event
- A door prize or giveaway at the event
- The registration table at the event
Once you have the contact information for attendees, you can reach out to them when you have an adult hunter/angler training program with open seats.