Trout On Tap
One thing is pretty clear, anglers generally like to drink and tell fishing stories. Whether that’s in a bar, brewery, winery or distillery, if you create an opportunity for members to gather for a drink or two, to meet and mingle and to share their love of fishing and conservation, you’ll be pleased with the results.
Many chapters have had great success with purely social happy hours, informal gatherings where they can enjoy an hour or two of easy conversation and laughs, maybe meet a new fishing buddy, or discover a great local watering hole. To make your event a success – and to make it as fun to plan as it is to participate, follow these simple strategies:
- Keep It Simple
Set the bar low and you’ll always feel you succeeded. Over-complicating an event like this is easy, but it’s also easy to avoid. the most successful Trout On Tap events are ones where chapters simply identify some local, willing watering holes, pick a few dates and promote an informal, no-host gathering spot to members. Ideally you’ll have at least two board members willing to be the lead on each night, and clear that their job is simply to set the date, time, and location, give the venue a heads-up that they are coming with a group of friends and then be there that night to relax, mingle, network and enjoy some drinks.
- Move Around to Meet New People
A standard monthly date, time and location may make sense for ease of planning, but if that date, time and location are inconvenient for some members, you’ll never draw them out. In an ideal world, your chapter would pick a handful of venues in different towns throughout your territory. This gives new people a chance to pop in every so often and gives your board a chance to make new friends and potential volunteers. (By heading to a different venue each time you also build relationships with more bar / brewery / restaurant owners and managers happy that you brought them business, making a banquet gift certificate donation much more likely come fundraising season.)
- Make the Messaging Fun and Frivolous
Too often in TU we come across as being all serious business about conservation, advocacy and putting out fires to protect the rivers that we love. A Trout On Tap event is the antithesis of that. It is just what it sounds like, a fun, informal way to meet people like you who love fishing, care about rivers and are eager to make new friends and fishing buddies. Be sure you sell it that way in your communications so everyone knows the only expectation of them is to come buy a beer and share a few laughs for a fun evening out.