This year, our country will again come together to honor the sportsmen and women who have come before us, and of course, to encourage new blood into the outdoors as well. National Hunting and Fishing Day has over one hundred years of history and is one of the best opportunities we all have to give back to the sport that we love. For many this will be their first exposure to the sport and a great opportunity for you to acquire new customers. This is also a great day for you to increase awareness of hunting, fishing and the outdoors and the important role anglers have played in conservation and the economic impact anglers have made to local businesses, and how angler’s dollars have helped preserve vast tracks of state and federal lands for the public’s enjoyment.
There is still time to put something together locally, but you cannot wait much longer. First, look to see if your local community is already doing anything for this great event. Many times local conservation groups, clubs or civic groups will have something planned. See if you can donate some of your time, or even product if need be, to assist them. This is a great opportunity to also donate a few gift cards to your store or even tackle to a new angler. Since many of these anglers are new, remember to offer up quality starter packages or combo rods and reels.
Next, talk to your fellow business owners in the area; see if they are willing to join together in helping with an event. Maybe they can donate time, or they themselves may even be interested in learning about fishing and how to fish. Explain to them that this isn’t about your store, or making money, it is about exposing more people to the great outdoors. If needed, reach a hand out to fellow fishing tackle retailers in the area and see if together you can help with the local events.
Make sure the local media is aware of the events that will be taking place and ask for a representative be sent to help cover them. Newspapers and local television stations generally like a good community-interest story – what better story is there to tell than this? Offer to assist them in any way you can by lending your knowledge of fishing and the vital role it plays in our society. Do your own advertising and media campaigns as well; have your social media buzzing with news of the events and what you are doing to contribute to NHFD. Don’t stop with your social media the day before either, keep posting news and pictures throughout the day, and remember to do a wrap-up after the event. Thanking everyone who came out and took part in the event is just as vital.
If you are planning upcoming events in your store or in local parks to help promote new anglers to fishing, be sure to have fliers up and be active in spreading the word about these dates. Make yourself available to answer any questions the new angler may have. Many may feel more comfortable speaking one-on-one with you instead of in a group setting.
National Hunting and Fishing Day site has everything you need. Just download what they have and fill in the blanks with your information.
See how many of your employees can either donate their time or offer to work the events with you. Have them all dress in their best uniforms and remind them that while they are there to help promote fishing they are also there as a representative of your store.
Talk to your customers and see how many of them can come out and help the less experienced anglers that will be at the event. Explain to them that they are being given a great chance to pass on their knowledge to the next generation of anglers and might even learn something along the way.
National Hunting and Fishing Day will be different in each area, and will mean something different to everyone who participates in it. By participating in an event locally that is recognized nationally, it is a great way to not only get your store’s name out to would-be anglers, but is also a great way to build community spirit.
While September 28 is the official date this year, this doesn’t mean you don’t have time to organize something in your community, or that you can only hold a special event on this date. Get involved and remember each day should be viewed as a new chance to bring new blood into our sport.
What are you doing to take part in this great event? Share what you’re doing with us all on our Facebook page or in our LinkedIn group. If you need ideas of ways to help promote your own event, ask your fellow retailers through our pages as well. Remember, this is the best chance you have all year to introduce someone new to the sport of fishing.