With the January 1st deadline came the Non Smoking ban in the Moose Fraternity. Lodges have been working to accommodate the smoking members within their lodges. Building gazebo's, patio's, and tented areas are all great but what do we do next? How do we let people know we are now a non smoking facility? Will it hurt or enhance our business? These are all questions that every lodge in the fraternity are trying to answer. Here are some ideas that have been heard around our district and the surrounding areas.
Many lodges are reaching out to past members who have let their dues drop. Letting them know that their lodge is now non smoking. Many times we have heard how members have quit coming to the lodge functions because of the smoke. It is time to get the word out and bring them back in to our lodge homes. The best way to reach out to them is send a letter, make a phone call or send them a copy of the latest newsletter with an invitation to an event or orientation. Make sure you explain that we are a non smoking facility and would love for them to come and check us out again!
Have you advertised on your sign that your building is now non smoking? By putting three simple words on the sign out front (or a banner) you may attract attention from those who never thought of stopping because it was a smoke filled facility. Remember to keep the words "members and qualified guests" on your sign or any advertising you put up, but it is valuable real estate and we should be utilizing it! If you have a banquet hall that is frequently used or donated for activities in the community, send a letter or invitation to them letting them know about your new smoke-free policies. It may generate more use of the hall and from there you could be generating membership.
If you place ads of sponsorship for local teams, booster clubs, or charity events - make sure to include the fact that you are a family fraternity and that it is a non smoking facility. No better way to let people know the changes taking place in your lodge. This is a great way to have recognition in the community. By supporting other local charities or community events you have your lodge and membership recognized and can feel pride in knowing the good you are doing locally.
If your lodge is holding a charity event for the community, call your local newspaper or radio station. Many times they will do an article for you to either help promote the event or give a recap of the event and any monetary presentation. Make sure to let the press know that we are a newly non smoking facility. The advertisement will do wonders for your members and you may gain new members as well. Keeping in mind, you have to state that we are a Family Fraternity for members and qualified guests, but inviting the community to check us out and see what the Moose is about is the key.
A final thought, don't be negative about going non smoking. Keep the thoughts positive and those around you will feel positive about it as well. Think of your lodge as a totally new business. How would you market your business and generate the excitement for it to make it a success? Each Lodge is different and the area surrounding your lodge is different from others, utilize what you know about your lodge and promote it.