Monday, October 3, 2011

Recruiting Tips:

Recruiting Tips:


So, you are interested in starting a fan club chapter, and you could use some help. The question is where are you going to start?

    The best advice is START SMALL. Do you have any friends who enjoy Star Trek? If so, invite them over. Rent, or show, one of the movies, or put in several TV episodes. Just plan an activity of some kind centered on Star Trek. Like books? Then hold a round-table discussion of the Star Trek novels and start your own "book club." You can throw a Star Trek themed party, have a barbecue, pot luck, pool party, volleyball game, picnic, camp out, etc. and use it as an excuse to get together and talk Star Trek.

    Use your circle of friends to start holding regular events and get-togethers involving Star Trek. Let them know you are interested in starting a Star Trek club, or club chapter. Turn your regular gatherings into meetings. Set some club goals for you to achieve. Ask your friends to spread the news and ask them to invite others who may be interested to join you.

    One of the best advertising methods is word of mouth. Yes, it will put pressure on you to keep things going, trying to keep everyone enthused, interested, and looking forward to your next gathering. Is there any area or regional science fiction conventions? Then plan a road trip and go enjoy the weekend. As you begin to widen your circle, you will need better organization. Ask some of your friends to join an organized international fan club, Klingon Assault Group (KAG), Starfleet Command (SFC), etc. Delegate tasks to your friends, seek their help, and form a team. Can someone help you find a bigger place to meet? Can someone help you get a list serve started; call people who don't have internet access, or design a webpage, etc.? Can someone help you get a blog started, a face book group, or help you keep track of memberships, recruiting materials, etc.? The biggest secret to recruiting is to 1) locate potential members, 2) involve them in a local group, and 3) in joining a Star Trek group.

    To find other Star Trek fans in a wider circle of your community: spend a little money to make up and copy, or print, some informational fliers about your affiliated club, (KAG/SFC, etc.) and your local unit (ship/outpost). Put the fliers up in areas where people congregate (grocery stores, Laundromats, library, etc.), or on the freebie table at an area convention. Check out the local library, school, and area colleges. See if there is any science fiction clubs, or discussion groups. Ask if you could sit in on their gatherings, and put in a shameless plug for your group.

    If you don't mind looking silly, or if your "inner child" is alive and well, and still likes dressing for Halloween then don a costume. Nothing draws more attention to you at a convention than a costume, especially a good one! Turn your club into a more positive alternative to street gangs, and introduce high school/college students to Star Trek.

    If you, and/or members of your group, are seeking the limelight, one way to get publicity (assuming you have gathered a group of 3-5 members) is to do public service, or charity work. Find something news worthy, like a parade, answering phones for a telethon, etc. that can help you exhibit your club to the community. You could contribute to your local library by reviewing science fiction novels, then donating the novel to the library so others can read it too. How about offering to review books so space exploration, the future, classic science fiction authors (like Jules Verne), etc.? Make it a regular thing or make a display on special occasion (the anniversary of the first moon landing?) denoting books, articles, movies, etc. relating to space, Star Trek, and science fiction. After all, many of the greatest NASA and rocket scientists were inspired into their fields by the pages of a science fiction novel! A possible display title: "Are you ready for the future in space?" (or something similar). You can also help out with schools' science fairs, set up a similar display in the school library, or visit the school in costume the week of Halloween (remember to set it up with the principal first!) and go from class to class giving a talk on Trick or treat safety tips.

    Remember, 1) start small, but think BIG, 2) use word of mouth, the internet, etc. to your advantage, 3) let the community know about you, and 4) contribute to your community's knowledge of science fiction, technology, and/or the future.

    The only limits you have are those you impose on yourself. Be creative! Be daring! Try anything! If it doesn't work, at least you know what NOT to do again. However, there is one warning that must be imparted here—please make sure that whatever you do is LEGAL, MORAL, POSITIVE, FAMILY-FRIENDLY (not obscene), and if possible "non-fattening."

    Time, technology, and history are on your side. After all, as we know, "reality is just a crutch for those people who can't handle science fiction."


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