Occoneechee Lodge Black Friday Contest

By Austin Pauling

Last fall, Occoneechee Lodge held a unique contest, where its respective chapters embarked on a battle to see which chapter could get the most members signed up for its section conclave first. The competition started shortly before Thanksgiving when registration opened for the conclave. The prize for the winning chapter was being dismissed to eat first at one of the annual lodge events. Occoneechee Lodge Chief Gray Barnhill explained the reasoning for the reward.

“Food is always an incentive and it is great because it does not cause the lodge to spend any extra money.”

This was the first time that the lodge had used this type of contest. By the end of the first deadline, the lodge had registered 132 people of its 472 person goal, whereas other lodges in the section had at most thirty people registered. Barnhill was amazed at how successful the competition was.

“This is the first time we have ever had such a large amount of people register for conclave so early. Many times in the past, we had problems with our lodge registering at the last minute. We normally meet our goals, but it is always right at the last minute which does not help the section.” he said.

This type of contest is not just for a section conclave, since it can be used for virtually any event. The lodge’s thought was to start off with a big push, such as a competition, to hopefully bring more Arrowmen to the event. The contest ended with Netapolis Chapter winning, with over eighty-five percent of their goal reached. Temakwe and Saponi Chapters also ended up reaching over fifty percent of their goal. Barnhill has already began to think about how the Occoneechee is going to use it next.

“I love the competition and I am sure we will use it in the future to get early registrations. It was a big push and now we already have a lot of people [registered], and hopefully that will encourage others to register too.”

For more event promotion best practices, visit oa-bsa.org/pages/content/best-practices.

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