The American Legion of SW Florida Post 90 Marketing Committee staffed booths at trade shows and festivals and recruited members with a tent and marketing material at all the major ethnic festivals held in Cape Coral, including the German American Oktoberfest and the Irish American Festival, as well as the Cape Coral Arts Festival - the largest juried art festival in the county. In addition, the post was featured prominently on all three evenings of Cape Coral Bike Nights with a well-lit tent. External events usually yield high traffic and, in our case, exposed our post to identified target audiences (ex: Bike Night to prospective Riders). This tactic has earned the Marketing Committee a substantial list of leads, evidence that trade shows turned out to be a vital step toward attracting veterans to our post and our programs.
Overall, the post gained tremendous publicity, received exposure to hundreds of fair, festival and event attendees, interacted directly with an average of 55 participants at each event, and gathered data for follow-up with an average of 30 leads (prospective members) at the most prominent events. This resulted in a high yield rate from the "leads" (27 members out of 120 prospects for Legion membership). In 2021-2022 the post's new members increased by 69 and provided evidence the Marketing Committee's efforts were directly responsible for 39% of the increase (27/69). The success of the trade show recruitment program was measured by cross-checking the leads developed at trade shows with the current membership roster. To ensure all member prospects recognize the value of their membership, the Marketing Committee follows up and meets quarterly to call or email the "leads." In addition, the committee holds regular monthly or bi-monthly meetings to discuss marketing strategy and tactics, including how to make booths even more effective.
Ted Clark, PR Officer
American Legion of SW Florida Post 90
Cape Coral, Fla.