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
Recruiting events are designed to be simple, non-threatening first steps. The goal is to attract individuals who enjoy the outdoors and are concerned about where their food comes from. Attracting these individuals and gathering their contact information makes it easier for you to recruit attendees for your new adult hunter/angler training programs.
Some would say, “With luck, people will attend your event.” However, luck will have little to do with it. Proper planning, partner selection, marketing, understanding your audience, and implementation are the keys to getting people to attend.
Each of these elements requires clear thinking and hard work! Documenting your thinking and hard work is important in order for you, or another staff member, to be able to replicate it. The good news is that, by doing so, your hard work will be rewarded and subsequent events will be easier to plan and implement.
Nonetheless, you should congratulate yourself if the event is successful and attended by your “perfect” attendee.
However, it is important to remember that these events are “experimental” outreach efforts to new audiences. Not every group that you partner with will result in identifying future attendees for your learn-to-hunt or fish program. Keep looking, and asking people what other clubs might be interested in hosting an event.
If you have carefully documented your efforts, you will be able to reconstruct both your program assumptions and the decisions you made so that you may be able to avoid those errors in the future.