8 Marketing Tactics That Will Encourage New Residents to Participate in Your Programs

8 Marketing Tactics That Will Encourage New Residents to Participate in Your Programs

When planning your marketing strategy for your parks and recreation programs, new residents should be a significant component of that plan. When people move to a new neighbourhood, whether they are families, retirees or young professionals, chances are that they will be interested in learning about their community and meeting new people. By educating new residents on available programs, facilities and classes early on, you are more likely to encourage participation and may even transform them into regulars. To help reach your new community members, we've rounded up 8 creative marketing tactics. 

#1. Hold a Meet and Greet For New Residents

New residents would appreciate the chance to get to know their local community members. Hosting an informal meet and greet every three months at one of your local parks or facilities is a great way to welcome them to the community. It also gives them a chance to experience your local facilities. 


 #2. Deliver Your Program Guide

Make sure a copy of your seasonal course catalog or program guide is delivered to the new residents in your community. Whether that's via email or mail, make sure it reaches them in the first few months after they arrive. This is the right time to get them interested in local community activities and events. 


 #3. Offer a Free Park or Trail Pass 

Offer all new residents a free park or trail pass for a day during their first 6 months or year in the community. A free pass gives them the incentive to check out your local parks and trails in one day and may encourage them to become regular visitors. 


#4. Hold an Annual New Neighbour Event

Once a year, invite everyone who has moved into your community within the past 12 months to attend a special event. This could be a picnic at one of your community parks, where you could plan fun activities for the kids. You could also hold an annual golf tournament open to new residents only. By forming random teams, you'll allow newcomers the chance to get to know other new neighbours. 


 #5. Discount First-Time Registration Fees

Once a new resident registers for a community program or classes, chances are they will participate again. To motivate them to sign up for that first program, consider offering them a discount on their registration fee the first time they register for a program during their first year of moving to the community. You could also encourage family participation by offering a 25% discount for a family of 4.


#6. Include Pamphlets In School Registration Packs

Partner with your local school districts to include pamphlets promoting your seasonal parks and recreation activities in school registration packets.Include information about sport leagues and any after-school programs that could help them adapt to their new home and make friends. 


#7. Introduce a Walking Group for Newcomers

Introduce a walking group for all the newcomers in your community. Not only is this a great way for them to get active and meet new people, but they'll get a chance to become familiar with their new neighbourhood. 


#8. Offer a Refer-a-New-Neighbour Promo

Even in the world of digital marketing, nothing beats word of mouth advertising. People are more likely to sign up for something if they learn about it from someone they know. Offer a refer-a-new-neighbour promotion to encourage your current program participants to get a new neighbour to sign up for a class with them, for 20% or 30% off the registration fees for both. 

Your community has a lot to offer its residents and it is up to your team to help educated new residents about local programs and events. No matter the size of your budget or staff, with some targeted marketing tactics you can help make the new residents in your community feel at home and help them enjoy all the programming and activities your parks and recreation department has to offer. 

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