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An idea to help grow your club

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Exactimator

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There's occasional threads on here about outreach to grow the hobby or specific clubs.

Last season, one of our regulars invited his alumni group to a launch. He bought bulk packs of RTF Estes kits (the OOP Sizzler) and motors. When his group memebers arrived, he handed them their rocket, motors, and he had printed and laminated several copies of NAR’s LPR safety code for them to review. A quick demo on how to tie the shock cord to the nose, attach the chute, and prep the rocket and they were off and launching on club gear with help from the officers. It was kids from maybe 5-10 years old and their parents. They all had a good time, and several commented or asked about coming back.

It worked so well, I decided to recreate it last weekend with a parent/family group I belong to. I asked if there was interest and got a good response, so I sent an E-vite out with the details and got RSVP’s for 13 kids. The deal was each kid gets an Estes crayon rocket and (3) C6-5 motors for $15. The point was not to make money. I just wanted to get costs covered and spark some interest.

I bought (2) Estes crayon 6-packs plus one extra rocket (Estes customer service did a wonderful job of making sure I received them on time) and (2) C6-5 bulk packs from our onsite vendor.

I had 9 extra motors so I offered these deals:
Rocket with 3 motors: $15. This was the minimum as promised.
Rocket with 4 motors: $18.
Rocket with 5 motors: $20. I lost something like 80 cents on this deal, but might as well burn ‘em while we had ‘em especially if the kids were having fun.
Anyone who showed up early and helped set up the range got an extra motor.

To move things along, in the evenings before the launch I opened all the rocket packages and tied the nosecones and chutes on so there’d be one less thing to do the day of.

The families showed up, picked their rocket, got their motors and a demo of how to prep, over to the club officers for a safety and launch controller demo. Then they were off and launching. One family took me up on the 5 motor deal at the start. The rest kept coming back for more until I ran out of motors. I had one awesome helper that got a free extra motor. They burned all 48.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch many of their launches. We ended up getting really busy, so I didn’t make it out of the prep area until later in the launch when things finally slowed down. There were late comers who needed prep demo’s, a lot of repeat questions like how much dog barf and how to pack the chutes. It took some patience. Plus parents coming back to get more motors. It was a successful launch. No rockets were lost or damaged. One purged its fins and skywrote, but recovered fine.

There was the launching-with-a-club benefit of watching others including two-stagers, gliders, and some MPR. Someone had a new Estes shuttle, which was a good show.

When they were done, we pointed out they knew about us and how our launches work. They now have a rocket and we have an onsite vendor they can buy motors from and invited them all back. At least a few of them said they plan on returning. I referred them to Estes’s website so they could see what other rockets are available. One of the dads is making plans to return with his son’s scout troop. I figure a couple families from the scout troop will get interested and come back, invite their friends and the group will grow.

Just one idea for growing the hobby that seems to work.

Here's a pic of the kids after they burned all their ammo. They seem to be smiling enough. Exept for the kid in the red cap with his tongue out. That kid's trouble, I tell ya.

20615990_1769063353107154_7259507581908579133_o.jpg
 

Bat-mite

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I think it's a great idea. Another idea is to pick one launch or one day a year and make it a "Non-members fly free day," or something. I'm sure there are people that would like to come out and launch once a year, but don't want to shell out the club fee or flight fee. But we all know that once you are hooked, there's no going back. :wink:
 

CPUTommy

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ive always helped the scouts with there rocketry merit badge, That was one of the most rewarding things ive done for the scouts. The scouts are alwalys a good move as there are a lot of family members who support there scouts.

Not sure as to what the girl scouts do, but that may also provide another way to introduce new people to the sport.
 

SpaceManMat

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We do something similar on open days, we have a Fly It, Take It program. Always sells out, we usually have a seperate pad just for them. We found that offering them free insurance for the following month launch gets a hooked.
 

Exactimator

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We do something similar on open days, we have a Fly It, Take It program. Always sells out, we usually have a seperate pad just for them. We found that offering them free insurance for the following month launch gets a hooked.
I've heard Fly it Take it mentioned before, but don't know how it works. Would you mind providing some details? I might want to try implementing it. What do they pay for? How do you let people know?
 

SpaceManMat

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I've heard Fly it Take it mentioned before, but don't know how it works. Would you mind providing some details? I might want to try implementing it. What do they pay for? How do you let people know?
Pretty much the same thing as mentioned in the original post. I think it's $20 Aus for a small rocket and motor, includes paid membership / insurance to launch on the day and the following month. We would normally run this on open days which will be advertised / promoted. I think we also try to get contact details of flyers. Of course a number of people will buy additional motors on the day from onsite vendor and relaunch (as well as other kits etc). Since they get an extra month, a number return so reinforces the whole experience plus there's a lot more chance for social interaction, questions etc.
 

snrkl

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Pretty much the same thing as mentioned in the original post. I think it's $20 Aus for a small rocket and motor, includes paid membership / insurance to launch on the day and the following month. We would normally run this on open days which will be advertised / promoted. I think we also try to get contact details of flyers. Of course a number of people will buy additional motors on the day from onsite vendor and relaunch (as well as other kits etc). Since they get an extra month, a number return so reinforces the whole experience plus there's a lot more chance for social interaction, questions etc.
I'm a happy "victim" of this fly-it/take-it program.

I joined QRS six months later once our rocketry projects this program spurned started hitting residential ceilings of 400ft...

And I haven't looked back... 😜
 
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