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ChapterGram: March 2013

Promoting Your Chapter at an Event


By Brenda Anderson, Chapter Administrator, EAA 650581

Your chapter worked hard to organize that fly-in, and the weather was bright and clear. Slowly, people began to arrive and check out the planes, eat a pancake or two, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere at the hangar. What a perfect day, you thought, but did you ever think about the opportunities you may have missed to promote your chapter?

Upon arrival, did the visitor know your chapter was responsible for organizing the event? Hanging up a banner is a quick and easy way to communicate that information. Your chapter can order a high-quality, customizable banner through EAA at a reasonable cost of $25 plus shipping. Simply contact membership services at 1-800-564-6322 or by e-mail at membership@eaa.org. (Banners not available in June/July.)

Did you have a welcome table to greet visitors, answer their questions, and introduce them to your chapter? You should have! Also be prepared with copies of your most recent newsletter, a flyer with a calendar of your upcoming meeting and events, membership applications, EAA brochures, and copies of EAA Sport Aviation. Perhaps have envelopes or folders on hand to provide a professional-looking packet to the visitor. EAA provides promotional materials to chapters at no cost, but the orders should be submitted three weeks in advance of the event to allow enough time for shipping.

Now you have a hanging banner and welcome table, but a few more finishing touches will enhance your visitor's experience further as well as increase your chapter's probability of recruiting new members.

First, be sure to pick one of your chapter's most dynamic, social, and knowledgeable members to "staff" the welcome booth. Second, think about how your chapter may connect with visitors after they leave. Perhaps hold a door prize drawing where your chapter collects the names and e-mail addresses of those in attendance. Now you can send them a follow-up e-mail thanking them for attending as well as share future newsletters and upcoming event information.

Lastly, make the most out of static displays, such as showcasing a partially completed project by creating photo boards of the progress. Better yet, have a builder present to share a personal narrative to help demystify the process. You never know when you'll meet that person who's been dreaming about building his own plane for years.

The fly-in season is right around the corner, so take a few moments to think about how your chapter will make the most out of its events.

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