Hosting martial arts events is important not only to keeping your current students but to reaching out to new ones. An ideal event will include an audience of parents there to see what their children have learned and extended relatives who will see how exciting martial arts can be and want to enroll their own children in your classes, or perhaps take a class or two themselves.
Invite Everyone to Your Martial Arts Events
Stress to parents that everyone is welcome at the event. Encourage them to invite neighbors and friends they think might be interested in taking classes. Be honest with parents and explain your vision for growing your facility. Then just ask for their help.
Postcards are the perfect size for people to hand out, so have a batch of postcards printed that state the day and time of the event as well as if there will be refreshments and any special guests who will be doing an exhibition.
Get Free PR
Write up a press release that reads like an article and send it to all local newspapers. You’re most likely to be featured in the free weekly newspapers as they are often hungry for material. Stress achievements by students who will be performing, such as competition winners.
Offer Something Free
Offer a ten minute group lesson after the event to anyone who wants to learn more about martial arts. Keep the instructions simple enough that anyone can pick it up. Also keep the lesson lighthearted and fun. This is where you can utilize the instructor who has a ton of personality. Let him teach this ten-minute class and highlight his skills.
Help a Charity
Tie the event into a local charity. Collect donations or a small fee at the door with the understanding that all proceeds go to the charity. Invite the charity to attend and tell a little about what they do and the help they need. In turn, they will likely announce your help in their next newsletter that goes out to their supporters, so even though publicity shouldn’t be your motivation for helping a worthy cause, it is a nice perk.
Hire Social Media Promoters
Hire a professional or a couple of local college students who are studying advertising and have them talk up your event on social media. Your target audience will be limited to those who live close enough to attend. This will save you time and effort. They also will understand the intricacies of each social media platform and know what to say and how to say it to gain the most attention.
Go Into the Schools
Talk to local school principals and ask if you can bring a couple of advanced students and offer a martial arts exhibition to students. Stay at the school all day, going around to classes and teaching the kids responsible martial arts (don’t karate chop your fellow student, for example). Ask if you can share info about your upcoming event with the students and pass out flyers. Most principals will allow this.
Advertise Special Events
If you’re offering events such as birthday parties and skills workshops, advertise these where parents will see them. For example, advertise on a local kids events website in your area and in the newspapers in the parenting section.
There are many creative ways to market your martial arts events. These ideas will get you started and before you know it you’ll have more students than your facility can handle.