Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
November 20, 2018, 07:20:24 PM
Home Help Login Register
News:

CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Recent Open House Ideas/Feedback
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Recent Open House Ideas/Feedback  (Read 1055 times)
RiChArD7032
Recruit

Posts: 43
Unit: MER-DE-025

« on: July 15, 2018, 03:31:35 PM »

Hello everyone.  I've recently been appointed my Squadron's Recruiting/Retention Officer and in October we'll be hosting an Open House event.  I wanted to see if any of you have hosted a recent open house that I could bump some ideas off of.  I did a search for past threads and the vast majority of them are back in the early 2000's.  I did find some good nuggets, but I would like to hear of more recent recruiting drives.

How did you advertise? What activities did you do during the open house? How did you organize the open house? What did you do that worked great and what flopped?

Thank you in advance!
Logged
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,307

« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2018, 06:57:44 PM »

Curious as to location. That would affect many ideas. If you meet at the airport, and could have the open house in the hangar with the plane, etc. ... or do you meet in a building elsewhere?
Logged
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,268

« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2018, 07:47:45 PM »

#1 recruiting retention mistake - selling things your unit doesn't do and / or your members
aren't involved in.

Speak to real unit activities and member experiences.
Logged


Brit_in_CAP
Seasoned Member

Posts: 394
Unit: MER-VA-002

« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 10:26:50 AM »

#1 recruiting retention mistake - selling things your unit doesn't do and / or your members
aren't involved in.

Speak to real unit activities and member experiences.
+1...sell the CAP you have, never the CAP you don't have.  By all means discuss your aspirations and hopes, but only sell what you have.
Logged
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,540

« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2018, 10:41:01 AM »

The two gents above covered my area of focus: Show them who you are and what you do.

Don't take them on an airport tour if it has nothing to do with your unit. Don't talk to them about search and rescue if your unit never goes into the field.
Logged
NIN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,996
Unit: of issue

« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2018, 10:49:08 AM »

+1...sell the CAP you have, never the CAP you don't have.  <snip>



Yes, I'm certain I've read that somewhere before...

 8)
Logged
Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2018 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
NIN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,996
Unit: of issue

« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2018, 12:43:24 PM »

OK, so you're on the right track here.

First, watch this video:
(yes, its about an hour long.. Use the YouTube speed function to bump it up by 1.25x. And pay attention to that guy in his dining room at your own risk..)

Second, advanced planning is key. Whats the timeline leading up to the event? Whats the schedule that night? Who will do what?  How will we follow up? AND, almost more importantly: "What will we do FOLLOWING this recruiting event to train and engage these members?"  If you wait until the week after the Open House to think about that, you're done like dinner.

Third, advertising: There are several avenues, but USE THEM.  Put your event on any local community calendars (ie. NextDoor, Patch.com, whatever), on your website, on your Facebook page, etc. Boost a couple FB posts or event pages with $25 or $30 of very closely targeted advertising. Throw down some Twitter posts if your unit has a twitter feed. Get the local newspaper to do a pitch about 2 weeks before the event, etc.  This needs a full-court press starting now, not 6 weeks from now.

Social Media Tools For Recruiting and Retention
How to do Facebook Advertising for Your Event

The paid advertising is helpful, but its not everything. Its just one avenue, so don't put all your eggs in one basket.

$25 or $30 is good to start if you've never done it, and be REALLY FOCUSED on your demographics, geographics and interests.  Its WAY too easy to get enamored with the whole thing and say "Yes, everybody within 100 miles, males and females from 13 to 90, with aviation in their profile.."  It will likely come back and say "You will spend that $25 in about 8 minutes.." 

Instead, narrow your focus. Recruiting cadets?  Age range from 13 to 18 (I don't think it lets you narrow the teen years down more) within 10 or 15 miles of your meeting zip code.  Seniors?  Its easy to think "OK, yeah, 18 to 60! Perfect!" or something, but you might be better off with "30 plus" because then you *might* get some overlap to parents with teens. And interests: Aerospace. Aviation. Disaster Relief. Volunteer service. Community Service. Youth Development. Youth Activities. Etc, etc.

Play with it. You can probably blow $25 as a learning exercise here.  Don't be like me and accidentally spend up to $50 each on a FB post and an FB event.  Oops. LOL.

But have flyers, word of mouth, etc, etc, etc.  Not one and done.

Fourth, build a response avenue. A web form, an email address, something, where people with interest & questions can get answers quickly. Build and manage your prospective member list this way.  If its on your website, make it obvious and then put that URL on all your materials, flyers, ads, Tweets, whatever.  EVERYTHING. Or use a link to Eventbrite to sign up (careful, it looks like you're "buying" something on eventbrite if you're not careful and that turns people off)

Fifth, figure out what you want to show people and how you want to tell your story that night.

Because my unit operates on the cohort model, we do things a little different.

1830-1900 - Arrival and "check out what CAP has to offer" (the displays you setup beforehand)
1900-1930 - Brief presentation about CAP (PPT, be careful!) and short Q&A. An "invitation to join" from your cadet commander or a similarly well spoken cadet speaks volumes during this.
1930-2030 - Refreshments, mingle around the activity tables, fly the sim, etc.  During this time, have membership packets available to hand out to people who are actually interested ("buyers," not "tire-kickers"). These membership packets detail how to join, what to expect, what its going to cost, etc. They are FAR more extensive (and expensive) than a $.07 flyer, so hold them in abeyance for the interested parties.
2030          - Start breaking down things, clean up, go home.

We setup a few tables/displays:
Emergency services - JOB (junk on the bunk)-style display of ES gear (again, if you don't have an active US program in your unit, then advertising this in that way is disingenuous. Don't do it), a laptop with a slide show of ES photos, maybe an ELPER and some radios or something,  1-2 ES knowledgeable people to talk about ES and answer questions.  (One of my guys took it on to "spruce up" the execution of our ES display this past spring after all our Hawk Mtn guys have left for them military and whatnot.  He created this neato engaging exercise that simulates airborne search using aerial photos of the ground. "Find the crashed airplane" or something like that. It was *very* cool and interactive.)
 
Aerospace/STEM - Rockets, STEM kits, our RC gliders and quad copters setup alongside our STEM kit flight sim controls on the squadron laptop with the squadron projector. Setup a short scenario ("Land at the airport on a 2 mile final" ) so people can try their hand at landing the plane. Photos of aerospace events, AEO on hand, etc.

The flying & pilots table - Two zipper-suited sun gods to answer flying & ES related questions.  We parked it next to the ES table.

A "Squadron" display that has our photo albums, a rotating PPT of things we do, some graphics, and the 75th anniversary poster series arrayed around.

We used to kick off at 6:30, but NOBODY knows what "6:30 sharp" means anymore, so we welcome people in starting at 6:30 and kick off our presentation right before 7. Maximizes the butts in seats.  The PPT needs to be SHORT. (did I say short?) The *real* recruiting is over a cookie and punch later on when Jr. wants to know when he'll be "flying that plane like Tom Cruise" (bonus points if you get the reference) or mom wants to know what CAP will do for her cherub's chances of getting into the AF academy.

Sixth, follow up! Be sure everybody knows (its in your membership packet) what the follow-on schedule looks like for membership.  Execute your training.

Seventh, rinse and repeat 4-5 months later.







« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 12:46:32 PM by NIN » Logged
Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2018 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
RiChArD7032
Recruit

Posts: 43
Unit: MER-DE-025

« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2018, 04:07:49 PM »

OK, so you're on the right track here.

First, watch this video:
(yes, its about an hour long.. Use the YouTube speed function to bump it up by 1.25x. And pay attention to that guy in his dining room at your own risk..)

Second, advanced planning is key. Whats the timeline leading up to the event? Whats the schedule that night? Who will do what?  How will we follow up? AND, almost more importantly: "What will we do FOLLOWING this recruiting event to train and engage these members?"  If you wait until the week after the Open House to think about that, you're done like dinner.

Third, advertising: There are several avenues, but USE THEM.  Put your event on any local community calendars (ie. NextDoor, Patch.com, whatever), on your website, on your Facebook page, etc. Boost a couple FB posts or event pages with $25 or $30 of very closely targeted advertising. Throw down some Twitter posts if your unit has a twitter feed. Get the local newspaper to do a pitch about 2 weeks before the event, etc.  This needs a full-court press starting now, not 6 weeks from now.

Social Media Tools For Recruiting and Retention
How to do Facebook Advertising for Your Event

The paid advertising is helpful, but its not everything. Its just one avenue, so don't put all your eggs in one basket.

$25 or $30 is good to start if you've never done it, and be REALLY FOCUSED on your demographics, geographics and interests.  Its WAY too easy to get enamored with the whole thing and say "Yes, everybody within 100 miles, males and females from 13 to 90, with aviation in their profile.."  It will likely come back and say "You will spend that $25 in about 8 minutes.." 

Instead, narrow your focus. Recruiting cadets?  Age range from 13 to 18 (I don't think it lets you narrow the teen years down more) within 10 or 15 miles of your meeting zip code.  Seniors?  Its easy to think "OK, yeah, 18 to 60! Perfect!" or something, but you might be better off with "30 plus" because then you *might* get some overlap to parents with teens. And interests: Aerospace. Aviation. Disaster Relief. Volunteer service. Community Service. Youth Development. Youth Activities. Etc, etc.

Play with it. You can probably blow $25 as a learning exercise here.  Don't be like me and accidentally spend up to $50 each on a FB post and an FB event.  Oops. LOL.

But have flyers, word of mouth, etc, etc, etc.  Not one and done.

Fourth, build a response avenue. A web form, an email address, something, where people with interest & questions can get answers quickly. Build and manage your prospective member list this way.  If its on your website, make it obvious and then put that URL on all your materials, flyers, ads, Tweets, whatever.  EVERYTHING. Or use a link to Eventbrite to sign up (careful, it looks like you're "buying" something on eventbrite if you're not careful and that turns people off)

Fifth, figure out what you want to show people and how you want to tell your story that night.

Because my unit operates on the cohort model, we do things a little different.

1830-1900 - Arrival and "check out what CAP has to offer" (the displays you setup beforehand)
1900-1930 - Brief presentation about CAP (PPT, be careful!) and short Q&A. An "invitation to join" from your cadet commander or a similarly well spoken cadet speaks volumes during this.
1930-2030 - Refreshments, mingle around the activity tables, fly the sim, etc.  During this time, have membership packets available to hand out to people who are actually interested ("buyers," not "tire-kickers"). These membership packets detail how to join, what to expect, what its going to cost, etc. They are FAR more extensive (and expensive) than a $.07 flyer, so hold them in abeyance for the interested parties.
2030          - Start breaking down things, clean up, go home.

We setup a few tables/displays:
Emergency services - JOB (junk on the bunk)-style display of ES gear (again, if you don't have an active US program in your unit, then advertising this in that way is disingenuous. Don't do it), a laptop with a slide show of ES photos, maybe an ELPER and some radios or something,  1-2 ES knowledgeable people to talk about ES and answer questions.  (One of my guys took it on to "spruce up" the execution of our ES display this past spring after all our Hawk Mtn guys have left for them military and whatnot.  He created this neato engaging exercise that simulates airborne search using aerial photos of the ground. "Find the crashed airplane" or something like that. It was *very* cool and interactive.)
 
Aerospace/STEM - Rockets, STEM kits, our RC gliders and quad copters setup alongside our STEM kit flight sim controls on the squadron laptop with the squadron projector. Setup a short scenario ("Land at the airport on a 2 mile final" ) so people can try their hand at landing the plane. Photos of aerospace events, AEO on hand, etc.

The flying & pilots table - Two zipper-suited sun gods to answer flying & ES related questions.  We parked it next to the ES table.

A "Squadron" display that has our photo albums, a rotating PPT of things we do, some graphics, and the 75th anniversary poster series arrayed around.

We used to kick off at 6:30, but NOBODY knows what "6:30 sharp" means anymore, so we welcome people in starting at 6:30 and kick off our presentation right before 7. Maximizes the butts in seats.  The PPT needs to be SHORT. (did I say short?) The *real* recruiting is over a cookie and punch later on when Jr. wants to know when he'll be "flying that plane like Tom Cruise" (bonus points if you get the reference) or mom wants to know what CAP will do for her cherub's chances of getting into the AF academy.

Sixth, follow up! Be sure everybody knows (its in your membership packet) what the follow-on schedule looks like for membership.  Execute your training.

Seventh, rinse and repeat 4-5 months later.


Wow!!!  Thank you very much!!!! You helped lay out a road map that would have taken me weeks to figure out.  You've gone above and beyond and I appreciate it.
Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Recent Open House Ideas/Feedback
 


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP SMF 2.0.14 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.091 seconds with 25 queries.