HomeSchooling Outreach success
by Will Albenzi · 9/10/04
The HomeSchoolers in San Diego had a fair today from 10am until 2pm. SoCalFSP reached out to them at their event. It went pretty well and we made several very valuable discoveries. We also made contact with about a hundred people who already knew the government shouldn't be trusted alone in a room with their kids.
We made contacts in the San Diego HomeSchooling community by building a database for the HomeSchooling Resource Center to manage their Library. In exchange for that work, they agreed to make sure our presentation (50 HomeSchooling tri-folds) were placed in view by the checkout desk. A few weeks ago, they contacted us to let us know that we were welcome to set up a booth at an event they were having. We only knew about it because they contacted us. Well, the SoCalFSP decided to go there and dry-run the booth we were going to set up for a gun-show in October while meeting people interested in the FSP message.
At 8:30 I arrived with the materials. It took about 40 minutes to make sure that everything was neat and the projector was working. We had several flyers and the projector was looping "101 reasons to move to NH". Phil Boncer arrived and we finished folding the HomeSchooling Tri-Folds. The room we were in got VERY hot. From about 10am until 11:30am we spoke to maybe a half a dozen people. We saw them zoom past, never making eye contact with us. Around 11:30, Mary Albenzi arrived, and we decided that Phil could take off and to get something productive done, while I pondered what went wrong (we thought this was a bust). Of course things then really picked up. It got to the point were I had to manage three conversations at a time. That afternoon we spoke with about 50 people. We managed to introduce the FSP to a lot of people who were very receptive.
Bring a woman to HomeSchooling Outreaches I was talking with my wife about what a coincidence it was that stuff picked up right after Phil left. My wife pointed out that it probably wasn't a coincidence. She said that it was most likely two things: First, seeing two men at an event with lots of little children might have set off the creepiness detectors in some cautious parents. Second, two men sitting behind a table saying "freedom", "Live what you believe", "Reason # 7... citizen's right to revolution" positively SCREAMS unbalanced and dangerous militia-type organization to that group. It might have been that my wife's presence made us "more normal".
Change the Slideshow The slideshow has great information, but most people only glanced at the slideshow for a few seconds. Some possible changes might involve reducing wordiness while keeping the subject matter, or use a flash presentation like Introduction to the Philosophy of Liberty with moving images and few words to grab attention and keep it.
Bring more membership packets I walked in with the idea that more people would take the color "targeted" tri-fold than the color "general" tri-fold, and more color "general" tri-folds than black and white Membership Packets. So we kept count and observed. It turns out that at this event, with very few exceptions, that when a person took a Tri-Fold, they took all the available materials. When a person only grabbed one item, it was the membership packet. The caveat is that this may be an unusual audience. HomeSchoolers may be more interested in "content" than other groups we are trying to reach. This should be tried several more times with different groups before we can extrapolate behaviors from this data point.
Create material that specifically invites "friends" to help the FSP. We ran into many people who thought it was a great idea, but could not commit to a move. When I explained to them that there are ways to help even if you cannot move, they became excited.
- 1 folding table
- 2 folding chairs
- 150 FSP HomeSchooling tri-folds
- 1,000 FSP General tri-folds
- 50 Membership packets
- A laptop that had 101 reasons to move to New Hampshire set up as a slide show
- an FSP banner, and
- some rope