low numbers in univ. groups

Scott White swhite at cimedia.com
Thu Jan 16 18:14:27 PST 1997

>> >SCA having low numbers problems athe UofH.
>This is a very common problem in groups who draw primarily from 

Well, we have probelms with numbers in my barony IN SPITE OF being in close
proximity to a huge university in a huge city. We suffer in the recruitment
area because of a nearly-invisible fighter practice location (you'd miss it
if you blink) and on-again, off-again reception of new folks.

I see the solution as twofold -- promotion and reception. Neither can
adequately function without the support of the other. 

Promotion is surprisingly easy -- easier than most folks think. (I work at
my city paper, btw, and have been active in entertainment promotion for
years.) Usually it only takes a phone call or two to set up a running blurb
in your newspaper's events calendar. 

Talk to an entertainment editor and ask him/her to do a feature on some
aspect of your group -- something specific and engaging, not an article
about the whole organization. How about a feature on getting the local
'troops' ready for Gulf War? About someone building a siege engine? About
someone studying some lost art? If you've got an angle, the SCA makes great,
colorful copy ... good photo material too!

Having a fighter practice in a visible location, even if it's just once a
month, can be an awfully positive thing, too ...

Now you've done a little bit of promotion and folks are starting to show up
on the sidelines -- GRAB 'EM!!! Make sure your members know who to send
newbies to, especially if they're interested in A&S or fighting or something
specific ... during my first fighter practice, I was bounced around to a
half-dozen folks before I found the Hospitaller and Knight's Marshall. Be
engaging, enthusiastic and don't make new folks feel like dopes when they
ask questions. Not everyone was born with the knowledge of what a vambrace
or aventail is.

And it may sound goofy, but maybe a nice banner saying INFORMATION could be
hung on a fence or something and the Hospitaller could hang out nearby ...

Folks, I think you'd be stunned by the number of people who discover the SCA
just a matter of letting them know that we're here.

<swhite at cimedia.com>

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