EVENTSBeing in front of target market individuals where they play or where they look for jobs continuesto be an important part of our overall recruitment strategy. It is particularly true in the summermonths when school is not in session, but school-related events such as football games,basketball games and wrestling meets provide much the same opportunity. In all cases, the objectives are the same: Put our “mouth where the Money is” by disseminatingbasic information about Navy jobs and educational opportunities on site, and identifyinginterested people who can become even more interested if we can provide them with more in-depth information.It is no secret that a number of these kinds of events turn out to be duds from the standpoint ofattracting and identifying highly qualified prospects. It also is no secret that we will have tocontinue handling a number of these events simply to satisfy the broader objective of creatingNavy awareness, especially with audiences that might become good target market individualslater on (Boy Scout camporees, for instance) or be key influencers down the road (veteransgroups, coaches conventions, professional associations for example) or those that are affiliatedwith other Navy awareness initiatives (Navy Weeks, air shows, diversity events, STEM events).To the extent that we can, we will strive to eliminate or reduce the number of events that simplyeat up your otherwise-productive recruiting time. At the same time, we are working to enhanceyour opportunities for productivity at those events that you see as either very worthwhile or justsimply fun to engage in with the anticipation of a few prospects.The following pages detail some of the elements we have to enhance your opportunities atevents. You also will find here some guidelines, instructions, forms, etc. that will make eventparticipation worthwhile.
HQ support itemsPull-up Bar – in most cases, a pull-up bar will travel with this trailer to enable recruiters toengage an audience in a PT challenge.Football Toss – wherever 110V AC power is available, the Navy recruiting inflatable footballtoss can be used both to attract attention and to establish a competitive environment that can leadto completed surveys and solid leads.
RADs Usage GuidelinesThe term RAD stands for Recruiting Assistance Device. That description, alone, is key to ourunderstanding regarding how to use these materials.Quite simply, WE ARE NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF HANDING OUT MATERIALS WITHNO EXPECTATION OF A RETURN. Instead, these materials – ranging from literature piecesto tee shirts and water bottles – represent an investment in capturing a place in the minds of thosewho receive them.Does that mean that we don’t give something to someone who we don’t think will qualify as animmediate recruitment candidate? Certainly not, but it does mean that we need to usediscriminatory judgment regarding what we give to whom.Rule number one regarding our contact with the public in general and target recruiting market(17-24 age-group individuals) is that EVERYONE MUST WALK AWAY FROM YOU WITHA STRONGER BASE OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE NAVY – ITS MISSION, ITSOPPORTUNITIES, AND ITS REQUIREMENTS FOR QUALIFIED CANDIDATES – THANWHAT THEY UNDERSTOOD WHEN YOU FIRST MET HIM/HER. Most of the time, thismeans that these people should walk away with at least a literature item and possibly somethingmore.Let’s take a closer look at that, starting with the range of people you are likely to meet:At a high school or college career fair, the vast majority of people you will talk with will betarget age and have some basic interest in Navy – either for a particular job or at least to find outa little more about what might interest them. For this group, our RADs investment should befairly heavy – literature on specific job areas, information about Navy qualifications forpersonnel, and perhaps some token give-away item.At multi-school athletic events, again the vast majority of people will be target age, even thoughthey have not demonstrated an interest. For some in this group, our RADs investment should beheavy, but for others our investment should be much lighter. There is a need to separate the twoso that more expensive RADs go to the ones that are worth pursuing more. In any case, peoplewho visit should at least walk away with information about Navy job opportunities, Navyeducational support, and basic qualifications for becoming a sailor.At target-market events, such as country music concerts, or STEM or Diversity functions, manypeople will fit target criteria, some in a very distinctive way. For some in this group, our RADsinvestment should be heavy, but for others our investment should be much lighter. There is aneed to separate the two so that more expensive RADs go to the ones that are worth pursuingmore. In any case, people who visit should at least walk away with information about Navy jobopportunities, Navy educational support, and basic qualifications for becoming a sailor. STEMand Diversity candidates should also walk away with information that supports those initiatives.
At air shows, county fairs and community functions, the nature of the audience will be largelyoutside the target market, but can contain some key influencers. For this audience, NavyAwareness is essential across the board, and it will be harder to separate the two so that moreexpensive RADs go to the ones that are worth pursuing more. In any case, people who visitshould at least walk away with information about Navy job opportunities, Navy educationalsupport, and basic qualifications for becoming a sailor. Use of things like the pull-up bar andcompleted surveys to identify the more interested individuals is encouraged. Use of things likethe photo-op prop to siphon away little kids so that you can spend more time with the morequalified people is also encouraged. Use inexpensive RADs such as coins, tattoos and pencils forNavy awareness with poorly qualified folks, and save the more expensive RADs for the highlyqualified ones.At Boy Scout/Girl Scout functions, recognize that these people probably will be the mostqualified some day. Although these people should not get expensive RADs, they should getitems that help to spread Navy awareness in a constructive way. Posters and inexpensive RADswill be helpful in this regard, as well as literature – at least the kind of literature that helps topoint out Navy jobs, educational support and what it takes to become a sailor.At veterans’ functions, it is highly unlikely that you will have target market individuals, but thisaudience certainly serves as key influencers to young people. We cannot overlook theimportance of this group to help spread Navy awareness. Inexpensive RADs will be in order,plus literature that helps to point out Navy jobs, educational support and what it takes to becomea sailor. In many cases, this will be passed along to future market people.RADs Costs:The following list will help you identify the per-item cost of RADs:DVD $ 1.25 eaBumper Sticker $ 0.10 ea.Ruler $ 0.30 ea.Stress Ball $ 0.42 ea.Beverege Cooler $ 0.75 ea.Sport Coin $ 0.16 ea.Lanyard $ 0.72 ea.Water Bottle $ 1.50 ea.Coffee Cup $ 1.73 ea.Pencil $ 0.14 ea.Pen $ 0.35 ea.
Pull-up Bar GuidelinesNRD Nashville has one pull-up bar and several of the recruiting stations have access to them aswell.The pull-up bar offers two distinct advantages in event recruiting: 1 It attracts attention to the Navy venue and helps draw a crowd. 2 It enables recruiters to establish a competitive environment within the crowd, which in turn helps to select the most physically qualified individuals and enables recruiters to collect completed surveys.The pull-up bar is easy to assemble, but it is important to secure the components of the assemblyto keep it together. Large safety pins are kept with the bar assembly for that purpose. The pinsnot only secure the components together, they also help to keep components from jammingtogether, a situation that makes disassembly difficult.Upon disassembling the pull-up bar, make sure that the pins are linked together and also hookedonto one of the assembly components.Inflatable Football TossNRD Nashville also has one inflatable football toss set-up. This is another attention-gettingdevice that serves the same purpose as the pull-up bar. To build a competitive environment, itwill be important to establish a fair distance from the device to the point where competitors areexpected to toss the footballs.The football toss requires 110V electrical power to make it operational. Simply plug it in and theinternal fan box will inflate the device.The football toss has security straps that need to be used to anchor the device. Anchoring can behandled with tent stakes or with sandbags. Either will be sufficient.Footballs frequently will lodge between the front of the assembly and the inflated bladder inside.Recruiters monitoring this will often be required to dig out the footballs so that the competitioncan continue.
Convention Booth AvailabilityNRD Nashville has several convention booths available for use, and a few other devices that helpto make 10 x 10 or 10X20 booth spaces more attractive. Each of these convention booths isdesigned for easy set-up and break-down, but each also must be custom decorated for eachparticular event.A little practice and prior planning will be required to use these convention booths successfully,but the added professionalism makes the use of one well worth the effort, and produces betterresults.Consult with your PAO regarding the use of one of these convention booths for multi-schoolcareer fairs and other indoor venues where large crowds are anticipated.Canopy AvailabilityNRD Nashville has a number of canopies available for outdoor events. The Stations should notbe holding on to these, please return these to HQ. Most of these are 10 x 10 in size, but a few 10x 20 canopies are available as well.Canopies offer shade in severe sunlight situations, and shelter from rain when those situationsthreaten. Contact the district’s PAO to reserve a canopy for an outdoor event.School vs. School EventsIn the course of normal Navy recruiting, effort is so focused on the attainment of contracts, oneby one, that opportunities for high exposure that can build a large pool of future prospects easilycan be overlooked. The resources cited above are designed to enhance event recruiting.Without question, the best source for qualified candidates is the network of high schools,community colleges, colleges and universities within our reach. And if these venues do notproduce immediate candidates, they still are worth cultivating to produce a pool of futurecandidates.Multi-school events, such as football games, basketball games, wrestling meets and othersporting events can be ideal opportunities for developing a Navy recruiting presence. Concertsand other gatherings can do the same.We encourage recruiters to identify these situations and to use the resources available to exploitthem.General Awareness
Many audiences contain people who are not of recruiting age, but that does not mean that yourinfluence is lost. Older people can have an influence on younger ones, and youngsters willeventually reach the right age for Navy. In any case, it will be important to let everyone in eventaudiences know that the Navy has a wide variety of jobs; that the Navy has programs thatsupport an individual’s education aspirations; and that there are important requirements that needto be met for one to qualify for Navy service. The following is customizable for each NRS and isrecommended as a handout for virtually every kind of event.