CLEAR INVITATION ADAPTED TO THE TARGET GROUPS
“Which people get to hear about the demo taking place?”
An effective recruitment has an influence on the attendance rate of the demo.
It is essential to adapt the invitation to the target group. Make sure to adapt the language (jargon) to the target audience.
There are some questions to consider when designing an invitation.
Who is your target audience?
- Each target audience has a unique set of expectations and problems. If possible, focus on one single target audience at a time.
- Specify your target group in the invitation (e.g. only organic farmers, or both organic and non-organic farmers). This can ensure that you attract farmers with a specific interest.
What is your main message? What is your call for action?
- State clearly it is an invitation to join the demo event.
- Choose a good name for the demo event that also reflects the key message.
What is the problem your target audience is struggling with and how will you solve it?
- Clearly mention the goals and objectives of the demo, because it contributes to the demo’s effectiveness.
- If you have knowledgeable demonstrators, skilled facilitators or host farmers, clearly mention it on your invitation as they might attract farmers.
What advantage will your target audience get out of it?
- Specify what will be the added value for the participants of the demo.
- Communicate about all organisers on the invitation.
- Mention the admission fee, if applicable.
- Make the invitation visually attractive, and search for the right balance in information. You can use software such as Invitation maker.
- Increase the visibility of a series of demo events by using a fixed template. This ‘branding’ should then also be reflected in the name of the event. This helps with the recognition of the demo event, and when they have developed a good reputation, they will be more successful in attracting participants.
- Make the invitation clear and appealing. Do not overwork it, do not use a lot of different fonts. A welcoming friendly photo of the farm(er) could be good.
USE THE RIGHT COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
Multiple communication channels can be used for recruitment of participants. Invitations can be spread using flyers, letters, e-mails, posters, newspaper articles, websites, social media, mouth-to-mouth or radio and television promotions. To spread the invitation, one might make use of meetings, personal contacts, own networks or mailing lists, networks of other organisations (e.g. farmer unions, advisor networks), announcements in schools.
- Send personal invitations.
- Use a stepwise combination of communication channels in time.
- Consider who will spread the invitation.
- Make special efforts for hard-to-mobilize farmers!
INTERACTION WITH THE PARTICIPANTS BEFORE THE DEMO
You can already organise some kind of interaction with the expected participants:
- Extra information on the host farm, demo content, field trials, …
- Ask participants to complete online registration form (e.g. specific interests).
- Ask participants to prepare some reflective questions.
Offer extra incentives for farmers to come:
- Test samples
- Free soil analysis
- National championship in an agricultural discipline
- Food and drinks
- A show
- A party
- Prizes to win