|Tisma Juett is the manager of First Shots
for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Her responsibilities include oversight of every
aspect of this successful introductory shooting
and firearm ownership program.
Views from NSSF staffers and guest contributors
In any business there is a struggle to find new customers. That includes shooting ranges. As an industry, we know why we need new shooters. They need instruction, firearms, ammunition and accessories. Where do we find them, and how do we keep them interested, engaged and coming back to the range for more shooting time and to purchase more ammo and new accessories?
The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s First Shots is the answer to all of the above. Ranges that work with First Shots are provided a reference guide for help with hosting an event, targets, ammunition, instructional PowerPoint presentations, 50 percent reimbursement for cooperative advertising, print ready graphic ads, radio and TV spots ready for airing, posting on the First Shots schedule of events and informational safety literature for all participants.
One of the reasons people choose to sign up for a First Shots event is because they are curious about the shooting sports and they are looking for information. Many do not know how or where to get started. They may be nervous, frightened and a little intimidated by the concept of shooting and the shooting sports. First Shots is a great way to provide a service to the community and allow people to satisfy that curiosity in a safe, controlled and fun environment.
We know First Shots works. It is a very simple event to run. The three-hour event does not require a lot of time from the range or the participants. Participants are provided information on the shooting sports, the basics of firearms safety, information on what it takes to legally own and possess a firearm in their area, and then they literally get to take that ever-important first shot.
According to the First Shots Industry Intelligence Report, 43 percent of those who attend a First Shots event return to the host range an average of seven times within six months of the initial event.
Now that the participants have taken that first shot, it is our job to keep them coming back to the range for more. Ranges that have ongoing classes, programs, events, leagues and other activities are able to constantly reach out to these new shooters and get them back on the firing lines.
To assist some of those ranges who do not have as many activities on the calendar to entice the new shooter, NSSF is proud to introduce First Shots Second Round. The Second Round concept builds on the excitement participants experienced during the First Shots event and introduces them to a new aspect of the shooting sports.
If the first event involved .22 caliber handguns, use Second Round as an opportunity to introduce those new shooters to higher caliber firearms with a Second Round Try-A-Gun event. Bring out several caliber firearms and explain some of the different reasons someone may chose one caliber over another.
Perhaps the First Shots event was an introduction to shotguns. The Second Round event could be introducing these new shooters to the game of sporting clays, trap or skeet. During the Second Round event, explain the rules and the scoring of the game being presented. Finally, invite the participants to join your leagues.
Some of these new shooters are excited to learn about other opportunities in the shooting sports. They, however, understand their skills are limited; they would like to try different things, but they are afraid to show up on league night for fear of doing poorly and embarrassing themselves. A Second Round event can provide them an opportunity to learn the rules of the league, to practice and to gain encouragement from those who are active participants. All of that will go a long way in making these new shooters feel welcome and in giving them the boost they need to return to the range and become an active participant.
A Second Round event can consist of many possibilities. NSSF has created a Second Round Reference Guide that lists some ideas to get you started. In addition to the reference guide NSSF will provide a one-time contribution of $500 to help get your Second Round event off the ground. As with a First Shots event we will provide 50 percent in cooperative advertising funds up to $3,000 for each of your Second Round events, as well as offering you print-ready graphic ads and your participants safety literature.
First Shots events are a great way to introduce new people to the shooting sports, your range and your staff, but it could be the Second Round will keep them coming back for more.
For information on Second Round and a copy of the reference guide, please contact me, Tisma Juett, manager of First Shots, at firstname.lastname@example.org.