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Getting people to play?

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Rotaryguy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 July 2013 at 7:42pm
Hey guys my Friend and I have opened our own small woodsball field...well a lot of acres and plenty of room for expansion but we are nothing compared to major fields. I am wondering if anyone has any tips on getting more people to come out and play...it seems that i get more people who say "That would be fun to do" or "I have always wanted to play paintball" then i get actual people showing up. We are not pro by any means and welcome any level of player to the field but it seems that paintball intimidates more people then it doesn't...I have tried flyers around town( its a small town) and in some of the bigger towns around the area. Have a page on Facebook with a good amount of people who like it but we never get anyone to show up to the actual games. Any help would be greatly appreciated! 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reb Cpl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 July 2013 at 7:50am
One of the things I found when I was in college was that if anyone had loaner gear, it was easier to get people in to try it out. If you talk to people and they express interest, you'll push them over the edge if you tell them "yeah, I have a bit of extra gear, show up and you can try it out." People are hesitant to run out and buy gear for something they've never tried before.

If you can rope in one or two people that way, then they'll talk to their friends, and so on and so forth until you have the people you need. Fliers are neat, but they have a tendency to be forgotten about.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnfalto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 July 2013 at 10:03am
It sounds like you opened a commercial field. What town is it in and what is your FaceBook page?

You mentioned that you are in a small town. What type of competition do you have?

Years ago, I was involved in outdoor lasertag events (no snickering), and even though I supplied all the materials, did not charge a penny and put together interesting scenario games, it was difficult getting consistent people to play. Life just gets in the way, even for a once a month event.

When it comes to a commercial venture, you cannot go by the old premise that was highlighted in the movie "Field of Dreams", that if you build it, they will come.

The majority of time in any business needs to be spent in finding new clients. If your field is competitively priced, and offers the amenities people are looking for, they will come back. So the rest is customer service.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rotaryguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 July 2013 at 1:40pm
Thanks for the replies. The Field is in Frewsburg,NY and the facebook page is Frewsburg Paintball. We have five people that play almost every time. We all have extra gear that we are more then willing to allow people to use free of charge. As for fees and such, we charge $10 for all day air and field use. We have 2 scuba tanks that we fill our HPA users off of and one large CO2 tank for the CO2 players. We don't have a field paint policy but have paint available to buy if needed. We are mainly woodsball and if we get enough people we like to mix in scenario games. The problem is that we never get the people...only 6 people most of the time. We play every two weeks on saturdays with notice for facebook fans usually given well in advanced. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnfalto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 July 2013 at 3:20pm
Still not sure if you are doing this as a business venture or just some people wanting to play paintball (or both).

None the less, just did some research and your town is small. The Wiki puts the population at 1900 according to the 2010 census and another site puts the population at just over 3000. Did not look up in the map how close your neighboring towns, hamlets or otherwise might be. Some people are willing t travel a distance for something special, but most won't. I once drove over an hour to play at a field which I will never do again.

Considering the small population, the numbers are against you if this is purely a commercial venture.

However let's continue down that path.

First of all, I would say that the Youtube channel does not reflect the field. You need to re-brand the YouTube page with your field name. Secondly, you need to update the videos, even if it is all staged. You may consider putting together a regular video blog that you would post to youtube and link onto Facebook. Doing both combined will raise your rankings when someone is looking for paintball that may be in your area. Right now entries on both are dated several months back.

A video blog could be anything such as a marker review, tips and tricks, game highlights, whatever. There are many such posts on youtube already to give you an idea. You do not need fancy or expensive video equipment and I know someone that does a regular blog, using the camera on his laptop.

Don't know if there is big industry or a larger employer in your area, but offering your services for corporate team building, fund raisers or similar may get you more attendance. Then for those that attend, give them a card with a discount offer for the next game. Something like, bring a friend with you for 50% off, or free pod of paint. 

Are there any local charities that you can do a fund raiser for? Something like a Zombie Run has become very popular, but do it as a Zombie Hunt (then get some well padded volunteers as zombies).

Do the same thing with local church groups and schools. In fact try to get a sponsor(s) and put together a youth tournament.

Put out a press release to a local radio or tv station to see if they are willing to do a piece on your field. Some will do so, for a human interest story or something for a slow day. Some radio stations may want to make a gimmick out of it. Great, publicity for you.

Your prices seem to be reasonable, but I cannot compare to your competition (if any exists).

I never asked if your field is rented, owned by you, or if someone just gave you permission to play there. Regardless, however if you are working out of the trunk of your car, or the back of a pickup, it doesn't lend credibility to your endeavor. Now I have been to two fields (one paintball and one airsoft) that the shop/office was actually a trailer that was dropped onto the ground with an electrical hookup or a generator. The point that I am trying to make here is that signage and a semi permanent facility also plays a big role. Even if it is not a play day, but if someone were to drive by and see a sign that says PAINTBALL FIELD with a contact number and a webpage address, they may be inclined to research more (btw you can assign a domain name to a Facebook or Youtube page).

Best of luck. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rotaryguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 July 2013 at 7:14pm
Thanks a lot John!

It is more getting people together to play and hopefully bring back the sport of paintball to the newer generations. 

Yes the town is very small, considered a hamlet actually. I live in Hamburg, Ny...so i travel an hour and a half to get to the field. Don't mind the drive and my family lives there so its a bonus. That is one thing that i have seen from my buffalo friends is that nobody wants to make the trip down, even car pooling. 

The youtube channel reflects the original name and i am actually thinking about getting rid of it all together because of all the restrictions youtube has, music wise. 
 I mainly just upload my videos directly to Facebook, my personal page more often the field page. I have wanted to do a video that would be purely set up and give people a good look at all of the different advantages to our field and the game. 

I really like the idea of a youth game and company games! My father works in a large factory so i will talk to him about that point! I also will look into the charity games!

we are indeed trying to get something more permanent at the field, building wise to store the tanks and such. Right now we transport them to each game. We play this saturday so I will get signs made! 

Price wise i think we are really cheap. Every place around the buffalo area that has a field is at least $30 for playing and restrict the amount of time you play. 

The property is owned by my partners father, who allows us to build and play on his land. Cant thank him enough for allowing it!

Thanks a lot for all the advice! I love paintball and I do not want to see it die out to airsoft, as it seems like it is doing(Nothing against airsoft, Use to play and enjoyed that also!)
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