OPEN DAYS – Guidance

Plan to hold an annual Open Day for New Bowlers
(The most successful month to hold open days for new bowlers is June)

  • Give yourself plenty of time
  • Form a small sub-committee to organise & to run the day
  • Bowls England packages – www.playbowls.org/clubs/packages
  • Your own ideas
  • Have enough qualified coaches (BDA or EBCS)
  • Ask EBCS coaches to obtain BDA membership – provides Insurance
  • Have experienced helpers on the green – Suggest that they attend an Activator course
  • Let the coach plan the session – what does he need – there are rules he has to follow
  • Health & Safety
  • Safeguarding
  • Fix the date & time – think about the weather – have a contingency plan (another date or a weekend)
  • Coaching dates after the open day – when will green be free?
  • What age group are we looking for? (different advertising for different age groups)
  • Can we offer free or reduced fee bowling in First year – what are the Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Refreshments
  • What equipment do we need on the green (think contingency)
  • Think Clothing & footwear for your potential new bowlers – too strict may restrict numbers!
  • Volunteers
  • Advertising

Plan the advertising

  • What budget do you have
  • Be welcoming
  • Footwear (no heels)
  • What are your options – own ideas or use Bowls England material
  • Where and When
  • How much notice is required - Papers or magazines have deadlines
  • Personal approach with flyers – need willing volunteers with a script!
  • What permissions do you need
  • How many members are needed – you may need a plan
  • What is the best time for your members
  • Do not advertise too soon –The few weeks before will be ideal.

Check you have everything

  • Keys to get into the Club
  • Sufficient refreshments
  • Enough helpers for refreshments & coaching
  • Form to record all those that attend
  • Have sufficient equipment – ensure you have small size bowls, 00 - 0 – 1 as well as 4 & 5’s
  • Be prepared for anything
  • Ensure those who are Coaching wear Club clothing that makes them stand out to your potential new members

The day itself

  • Arrive at least ½ hour before the start time
  • Be welcoming
  • Ensure you obtain contact details from all who attend open day (see sample form)
  • Show the attendees around the Clubs facilities.
  • Get them on the green
  • Make sure it is Fun
  • Sell the reasons that you joined the Club
    • – Friendship – Humour & Camaraderie
    • – Stimulating & challenging outdoor activity, both mentally & physically
    • – Low level exercise
    • – Private Club house with its kitchen, flourishing bar, indoor lounge and area for watching the bowling and for socialising
    • – Participation in social events
    • – If you are a serious sportsman or woman we can meet your needs. You can participate at any level of the sport.
    • – There are many levels of competition to choose - within the club and at county and national level
    • – After your first few lessons we are confident that you will be able to enjoy participating in friendly roll-up games and you can soon be enjoying our friendly matches against other clubs as well as taking part in our internal club competitions
    • – Compared with many other sports, the cost of lawn bowling is low - and for a lifetime of enjoyment
    • – Unlimited bowling and use of all the club facilities, the annual club subscription payable by members is based on the cost of maintaining the green and clubhouse and is kept to a minimum.
  • Try not to appear too pushy in conversations re membership leave this till after the follow up coaching - Unless they ask you about membership
  • Make sure they know the dates of the follow up coaching & check they can make it – have a contingency date/time
  • Give them something to take away – Contact name with date of next coaching session

Coaching Sessions

  • Input from the coach
  • Have sufficient equipment – ensure you have small size bowls, 00 - 0 – 1 as well as 4 & 5’s
  • Coaching assistants from experienced members – following coaches guide
  • Record who comes to coaching & what covered
  • Have time to talk afterwards & allow for any questions

Following the event

  • Follow up – request feedback from participants
    • Joined the club
    • Attended coaching but did not join
    • Came to Open day but did not pursue the game
  • Evaluate your event
    • Was the event successful?
      • What is the measured standard for success? (profit, participation, club promotion, etc.
      • What specifically made the event successful or unsuccessful?
    • What could be done to improve the event?
    • Advice for future officers, scheduling, recommendations to expand event, marketing, etc.
    • What were some unforeseen situations?
    • Risks, costs, miscommunication, weather, etc.
    • Based on the evaluation, should the club continue to hold the event? Why?
    • Additional comments/suggestions.
  • Communication - of how successful you were
    • With members
    • other clubs in your area / county development
    • Local press – pictures and article – this is the start for next year or later in season. keep your club in the news – it is free advertising
  • The future