Updated: May 5, 2021
With the first day of May comes opportunities to share Freemasonry during community festivals, fairs, and other public events. This post should help you leverage these opportunities to bring increased awareness of the fraternity to your community:
1) Create the Team - during lodge find a group of 2-10 brothers that know Masonry well enough to speak about the fraternity. These men should be physically able to and willing to spend a couple of Saturdays or Sundays during the spring, summer, and fall sharing the craft with the community.
✔️ Petition the lodge to purchase this team uniform polo or t-shirts
❗ Consider talking with other lodges and appendant body representatives in your county and form a task force.
2) Prepare a "Go" kit of items necessary for the day:
✔️ Information on Upcoming Lodge Open House or Other Public Events (meals / scouts recognition / instillations / dedications / etc..)
-Optional: Print this information on the reverse of Branded Postcards
❗ If working with a regional task force, create a flyer that outlines the locations, meeting dates, a brief lodge bio and points of contact for lodges.
❓ Consider ordering a SMALL amount of truthful & informative introduction books on masonry and have them to purchase or provide a list of reputable resources.
❓ Consider purchasing a pop-up tent and bringing folding chairs - this may reduce your cost for some events. NOTE - many locations may have specific anchoring requirements.
❓ Consider preparing a contact sheet to collect information of individuals who want more information or a 1:1 conversation later.
❓ Consider sending a tally sheet for your volunteers to record frequency of interactions during the event for future reference.
❗ Make sure your volunteers have a Freemasonry elevator pitch down - encourage personalization to assist in adding color to the conversation.
3) Finding Events: Now that you have the people and the supplies, it is time to start looking.
✔️The best options for finding these types of events is to look at local radio, tv, and news organizations for a "Community Calendar."
✔️If all else fails - search for your city name + "Community Calendar."
❗ Some events may require a small table fee or other registration fee. If the event is being held in front of or near your location, consider providing access to your location for public restrooms / etc. in exchange for a table out front - if you can staff the building.
❗ Some events may require you contact your lodge's insurer and obtain additional coverage for the event. In these situations, the event coordinator will request a certificate of insurance (COI) naming the event organizer as an additional insured. This isn't unusual and your insurance agent can help you out. Even when this isn't specifically requested - it can be a good idea to obtain this for each event.
4) The week and the night before the event, be sure to brief those attending on:
-The Day of the Event and their Shift
-Who is responsible for setup / tear down including transportation of the materials to and from the event
-Weather considerations and related personal hydration requirements
-"Emergency" contacts incase of a no-show or an inability to access the area
-Location of the tent / table + rules around bringing your vehicle into the event space to drop off an pick up materials
-Event ticket requirements - does the event require any additional credential to enter (think an art, county, or state fair)
-Access to electricity - let your team know if they should expect to have access to power (there is frequently an extra fee for this)
-Access to Social Media platforms and any event or other hashtags.
5) During the event encourage your volunteers to actively engage those coming into the tent. Encourage promotion of upcoming public events and to increase awareness of the "Freemason" brand / FAQs.
6) After the event, debrief the volunteers and prepare a brief written report back to the lodge including any tallies collected for reference next year.
Permission to reprint extended to Masonic Bodies with citation to “Andrew Stephens, PM, INGL PR & Marketing Committee Chairman. inglmarketing.com“