Article Credit: Mikey Titcombe (Professional Freelance Journalism Student)
Bowls’ Big Weekend is entering its third year in 2023, and the event continues to go from strength to strength as a key date in the diary for clubs up and down the country.
This year, clubs across England will open their doors over the four-day Bank Holiday weekend Friday 26 – Monday 29 May. New players will be able to sign up for free soon, while clubs that have not yet registered still have time to do so.
Last time around, Potten End Bowls Club in Hertfordshire reported that 76 people had attended over the Saturday and Sunday, with 36 new members signing up. As well as marketing effectively, they also aimed to increase retention by offering a month’s free coaching for those that joined.
Consett Park Bowling Club in Durham invited their local MP, Richard Holding along to one of the days. Richard was more than happy to accept the invitation, even having a practice match against Club President Jim Ruddick.
Inviting a person of status along to an event can certainly be a highly effective marketing tool as word of mouth can be very beneficial to any sports club. However, for this to have the desired effect, it is essential that the attendees have an enjoyable experience. In total, Consett Park had over 80 people attend and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. This could lead to further uptake in future seasons when those who attended the Bowls Big Weekend encourage their family and friends to give the sport a try.
Adam Tanner, Bowls England Development Director, commented on the popularity of the event, and how the clubs with high attendance numbers made their weekend a success.
“I feel that the main priority for any club during the Big Weekend is to make itself very clearly and openly welcoming to all members of the public. To enable this to happen, it’s essential for as many members as possible to offer a wide range of activities. The first priority is of course to get people onto the green, where there should be plenty of variety. Short sessions, offering a range of different ways in which to engage people, are key.
“A real effort should also be made to get people into the clubhouse, where other members should be keenly promoting the benefits of both the club and the sport in general.”
Clubs – Register, plan and maximise your Bowls’ Big Weekend event!
This is still time to register events for Bowls’ Big Weekend. We will support our clubs to make the most of this opportunity by providing loads of key information on how to make your events a great success. In particular, feedback has shown that the most successful clubs have generally concentrated effort on a single event during the period rather than spreading resources across the four days. We are also thrilled to have our new partner Aviva on board for this year’s Bowls’ Big Weekend!