Seeing tangible increases in your wild game dinner attendance is not always an easy task. Sometimes you work like crazy to promote your wild game dinner, and nothing happens. Sometimes people show up in droves, and the only explanation you have is that God did it!
One of the neatest jobs I ever had came when I was finishing my seminary degree at Southwestern Seminary. There was a financial firm who specialized in helping parents find financial aid for their college-bound student. This firm would host a Saturday or Sunday seminar that lasted about two hours, and I was one of their professional speakers. They literally paid me to present their material to the parents.
Their sales methods taught me a lot about presentation skills, but it also taught me a ton about hosting events. I used this tactic when I hosted men’s events and I saw a definite increase in wild game dinner attendance when I put it to use.
The firm had noticed there was a sizeable and depressing difference in how many people signed up for the event when compared to how many people were actually showing up for the event. Nothing new there, for we’ve all seen that happen. People RSVP, but even that doesn’t guarantee attendance.
So, I get a call one day from the CEO, and he asks me to lead a pilot project of sorts. He would fax me a copy of the RSVP list, usually about 25 families, which was complete with phone numbers. He had me personally call the list on Friday night, the evening before the event, which was typically scheduled for Saturday mornings at 10am.
All I had to do was make a phone call, tell the people who I was, and confirm their reservation. It wasn’t rocket science, but I can tell you, our attendance saw immediate increases from the very weekend when we started using this strategy.
I was the Evangelism Pastor of the church where I first had the idea of pursuing the creation of an outdoor ministry concept. Our outdoor ministry was just starting to launch when we hosted our first wild game dinner in the late 1990s. I didn’t know a thing about outdoor ministry, or how to make it successful.
Yet, I put this old trick to use because I had seen it work, and man did it work. I’ll never forget it. I personally made 72 phone calls on a Friday night.
We had over a 90% “follow through” rate from RSVPs in comparison to actual attendance.
Wild game dinner strategies do not have to be complex to be successful. Email is great, and you’ve got to use it for RSVP and confirmation; but, don't let your outdoor ministry effectiveness live and die by a wild game dinner attendance when you can do something about it so simple as make phone calls. There’s nothing like a phone call from one hunter to another hunter offering a personal invitation.
Put your outdoor ministry leaders to use. Any man can do this, and all it takes is a little time. The investment is worth it, and you’ll see it the very next day!
Jason Cruise is a published author and speaker. He's the host of Spring Chronicles on Sportsman Channel.