Each year, "Time To Ride" is presented by the American Horse Council's Marketing Alliance to promote the to encourage people in your community to Meet A Horse. This equine industry initiative created to encourage and champion the growth of the U.S. horse industry, "Time to Ride" was pleased to announce that the fifth annual National Meet A Horse Day was held Saturday, July 21, 2018.
While it's too late to get involved with this year's program, to hold an event like this at your barn can take some time to arrange so it's not too early to start thinking about next year.
All barn owners, instructors, non-profit organizations and clubs are encouraged to celebrate National Meet A Horse Day by hosting an event, and to consider enrolling in Time To Ride. Enrollment is free and provides access to a wide variety of marketing materials and tips on promoting and holding successful activities, plus the opportunity to win cash and prizes for attracting the most newcomers. Whether you want to get involved in next year's Time to Ride Challenge or just host your own barn open house, consider the following tips and ideas.
Check Your Insurance
Before you hold an open house on your property, make sure that your barn’s business insurance is in effect and will fully cover you for the event. A quick call to your insurance company to verify that the event will be covered is always a good idea.
Perfect Your Marketing Materials
Before the day of the barn open house, make sure that your barn’s marketing materials are professional and perfected. Your barn should have a quality barn website up and running, and you will also want to have brochures, business cards, and possibly flyers present at your open house.
Offering interesting demonstrations is a great way to draw in the local riding crowd. Consider offering introductions and displays of the styles of riding that you will be specializing in. Demonstrations provide the audience with entertainment and a reason to stick around, so schedule a few demonstrations throughout the open house.
Have Food Present
While you don’t have to go all-out, having refreshments present at a barn open house is a great idea. Refreshments can help to establish a friendly atmosphere, while visitors will appreciate having cold drinks available on a hot day.
Get Attendees Involved
Making your barn open house engaging and entertaining can help to draw attendees and keep them at your barn. If you are operating a child- and family-friendly barn, consider offering pony rides to attract young and future riders. Be sure that property tours are readily available for horse owners considering boarding. Other activities, like a raffle or giveaway, can also draw attendees.
Work with Local Businesses
Consider reaching out to local horse-related businesses ahead of time to see if they would like to take part in your barn’s open house. Business owners may appreciate the opportunity to set up a small exhibit table in your barn aisle or in the indoor arena, while you will be establishing excellent networking connections with local business owners at the same time.
There is no better way to drum up new business than to offer specials at your barn open house. Consider offering special discounts on a first riding lesson, a first month of training, or a first month of boarding. Doing so can lead to new clients who may go on to be long-term clients.
Hosting a barn open house is a great way to spread the word about your barn’s completion, as well as to show off your beautiful barn to friends, family and the public. To learn more about Time To Ride and becoming a Challenge host for 2019, please visit www.timetoride.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 512-591-7811.
<span style="color:#000000;">photo credit: Bunker Park Stable</span>