As Bowls’ Big Weekend approaches, here are our top ten ways to make your sessions a success!
- Make the Greeting Personal
Starting a new sport can be incredibly daunting, so make your guests feel welcome by introducing yourself and letting them know what to expect from the event. Make sure your volunteers are wearing a name label, as included within your marketing resource pack that we have provided. This will help make your club members identifiable and approachable to people attending a Bowls’ Big Weekend session.
- Brief your club members
Before the event, make sure your volunteers know their roles and responsibilities for the day. Make sure you designate people to welcome people to the club – this is really important to make people feel welcome to your club and the event.
- Dress code
Leave your blazers and ties at home! Bowls’ Big Weekend is a casual weekend aiming to recruit more new members to the sport. Whilst Bowls England acknowledges the rich history of the sport and dress code, we suggest wearing casual clothes and flat shoes this weekend. Casual attire will make the sport accessible and approachable and will help in recruiting more members to your club.
- Get your attendees bowling as soon as possible!
Make it fun! Your visitors are there to enjoy themselves, so get them on the green and delivering bowls straight away. They won’t want to learn all the minute information regarding etiquette and the Laws of the Sport at this stage. If you make it a fun and friendly atmosphere, they are more likely to return. Don’t worry about teaching your visitor how to cast a jack – why not use a football instead of a jack so that it’s a bigger target to aim at, or even a series of shuttlecocks placed up the green. If they are struggling to reach, don’t feel like the jack must be a ‘legal length’ – they don’t need to know about a 23m minimum jack length on this occasion.
- Setting the mood / Decoration
There ain’t no party like a bowls club party! All events need a great music playlist and our Facebook community have been on-hand to help out. They have suggested loads of great songs that puts them in the bowling mood – check out our playlist here. We’ve provided you with some branded balloons and posters within your resource pack – get these up around the clubhouse! Feel free to also put up some bunting and more balloons if you really want to set the tone and celebrate our sport.
- Clear Signage
No one likes feeling lost. Make sure you have clear one-way systems and social distancing markers in place if necessary, as well as clear signage to the toilets (and bar!).
- Open up gates and doors
Get those gates flung wide open and remove the ‘members only’ signage! Most bowls clubs are situated behind large hedges or fences, so it is important to appear welcoming. Be proud of your club and your sport!
- Thank your attendees
Leave a lasting impression and give all attendees a warm good bye. If you haven’t heard anything from them after the Bowls’ Big Weekend event, ask for their feedback as it may give you suggestions on how to do things differently in the future.
- Create an incentive
Everyone loves a bit of competition and the chance to win a cracking prize. Set up games on your green and get your attendees rolling. The prize can be anything your club deems acceptable: Free membership, £10 worth of drinks vouchers, or if you’re feeling generous maybe a free bottle of wine!
- Beginners Guide to bowling
We want as many people to try our accessible sport. Bowls takes a moment to learn and a lifetime to master. To get people on their way to becoming masters you’ll find a how to guide in the club resource packs, make sure you’re giving out these leaflets to all attendees. On the back is an incentive offer which will encourage people to return to the club – make sure you’re advocating that people take up this offer.