Once you’ve decided to host a Women at the Game event, you need to think about how you get people there. Recruiting people to attend, and raising awareness of your event, can feel like a really difficult task, so we’ve pulled together some top tips that will hopefully provide some suggestions of where to begin.
Start with the low hanging fruit by considering what you already have and whether there are any links that you can use to appeal to a wider audience. AFC Wimbledon ran a feature in their match day programme on Women at the Game and interviewed a wide selection of women who already come to matches, or are involved in the match day experience (stewards, programme sellers etc.). This was to encourage existing fans to suggest the event to sisters, mothers, friends, partners, daughters etc. Hitchin Town get a number of wives of regular fans attending their events.
Does your club have a women’s or girl’s team? Several clubs, including Huddersfield Town and Hitchin Town, have used their Women at the Game event to raise the profile of the men’s game, with the followers of the women’s teams, and vice versa.
You should think about liaising with supporters trusts, local fan pages and the club itself to support on social media, either by posting themselves or retweeting/ sharing your original post.
Getting the message out there…
There are three main methods of publicising your event, electronically, posters and flyers and by local media. You may well use a combination of all of them!
An obvious but effective way of raising awareness in your local area, make sure that you are posting about the event on the social media channels of as many people as possible.
[INSERT CLUB] is hosting a @womenatthegame event at the match vs [CLUB] on [DATE]. Women at the Game events are designed to help more women go to football matches in a supportive, all-female environment. For more information or to attend yourself, please email [CONTACT].
In addition to fan and club sites, you can even look out for local interest groups on Facebook and post about the event there.
In the course of planning your Women at the Game event, you will hopefully be working with a number of businesses and people who will have their own networks that you can tap into.
Does the venue where you’re hosting your event have social media channels? If so, ask if they’ll promote the event on there. You can even put up flyers if they’re happy for you to do so, and if they’re really kind they might even speak to customers who come in about the event.
If you are a supporter’s trust or other group, and are liaising with the club directly, ask them whether they have a network of contacts they can use to help support you. If you are a club yourself, think about the partners you work with day to day including local businesses, patrons, and potentially even senior staff members or players who can promote the event using their own channels.
Half the task is raising awareness with the right people so the more people you have talking about the event, the better!
Posters and Flyers
Many of the lower league clubs that have held events to date, have made use of posters to publicise their events. These can be displayed throughout the community, e.g. community boards in supermarkets, libraries, work, school or leisure centre notice boards etc. We can provide the Women at the Game logo for you to incorporate in your artwork.
Women at the Game have previously been covered everywhere from the Huddersfield Examiner to Sky Sports and The Guardian. In fact, you’ll often find that local media are looking for stories related to the area’s football club, and a local interest story like a Women at the Game event should be something they want to write about.
Have a look on the publication’s website and see if you can find any journalists who are writing about sport. Then see if you can find them on social media and drop them a line, or call the switchboard of the publication (usually not too hard to find after a quick google) and ask to speak to a member of the sports team on editorial. Just make sure you’re really clear about what the story is you want them to write.
Make sure to get an email address so you can share more detailed information. They’ll usually need you to share,
- A brief summary of what Women at the Game is and why you’ve decided to host an event
- The date and location of the event
- The cost of tickets and how women can apply
We’re always happy to offer comment for any stories and if you can get the club to comment too, even better!
Then there is the radio…….when Banbury United held an event in 2017, they were invited to be interviewed on Radio Oxford, so you could contact your local radio stations (using the above method) to spread the word.
Expanding your horizons
As well as women who might be expected to have an interest in sport, consider other groups catering for women in your area, or other potential contacts.
If the club has any famous fans who can support through their social media channels, tweet them or send them an email (if you can find an address!) Your local MP or councillors may also be able to tweet, post, or directly talk to their constituents about the upcoming event. They may know of constituents who would benefit from the social interaction of going to a match.
If you have the time, it can be really valuable to approach local organisations directly. Think about if there are any local women’s groups, mosques, churches or running clubs that you think may have members who are interested in attending. If so, you can usually find an email address from their website or Facebook, or you could pop down and speak to the members during a meeting.
Are there junior football clubs in the area? Mums spend many hours watching their children play and even getting directly involved in running or coaching junior clubs. Some may jump at the chance of taking their children to a league match or coming along with friends.
Hopefully the above tips have given you some inspiration and help in promoting your events and encouraging women to attend. If you have any others that you have found useful please feel free to share those with us. You can direct message us on our Twitter page or post some tips on the Women at the Game Facebook page.
If this has inspired you to organise your own Women at the Game event or if you have any questions, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org