Bowls’ Big Weekend is still well over a week away – but one club in Gloucestershire is already reaping the rewards.
Kingswood & Hanham Bowls Club, 5 miles east of Bristol, has one fully sold out session, whilst others are also progressing nicely.
Club Secretary Val Molton credited the online seminar, run by the BDA in conjunction with Bowls England, as being the catalyst.
“I found this very informative,” Val said. “[It] kicked me into proper planning mode.”
Six separate sessions across the weekend were planned, all run in a COVID secure manner. Volunteers from the Club membership will act as ‘buddies’ for each person/group who have signed up, in order to guide and help them.
How have the Club marketed the event? “[Our] advertising has so far been through a local free magazine called The Voice, Facebook, Members encouraging friends, a banner in the park where we are situated and our website” explains Val.
In particular, the Club has done a lot of work on Facebook – a simple and effective way to reach potential attendees and members. “I joined as many local community groups as I could find on Facebook and I have been pushing out posts on all of these every week.”
The Voice ran an article on the Club’s return to the green in its editions within a three mile radius of the Club. As an independent community news publication, this is a great way to reach local residents.
Other actions taken include regular updates on their website, as well as “utilising the photos and posters that have been made available to us through Bowls Big Weekend.”
The sessions will feature five activites across five rinks. “People will spend 10 mins or so on each activity” Val told us. “We will have the bar open and will also offer hot drinks and some food.”
Just as important for clubs looks to convert attendees into members is how they follow up after the event.
“At the end of each session all those who attend will leave with an envelope containing a thank you for coming note, a membership form, contact info and details about the opportunity to sign up for a series of coaching sessions with our two qualified Level One coaches – as well as an open invite to come along to our Monday night club night.”
Kingswood & Hanham are looking forward to a great Bank Holiday weekend and making the most of the opportunity of bowls being in the limelight.
Bowls England will be sending around a digital Club Guide via email to all Bowls England clubs who have registered their events on the official Bowls Big Weekend site, with hints and tips on how to maximise the opportunity the open weekend represents.
If you’re still to register your event, you can find the page here. If you want to receive the Club Guide, you will need to register your event before Wednesday 19th May at 5pm.
If you’re hoping to attend Bowls Big Weekend to find out what the sport is all about, you can find your local event here.