The Bowlr Membership & League Management System for Indoor & Outdoor Bowls clubs

How to plan a next-level social function for your bowls club


Bowls is one of the most social games out there. It can be played by people of all ages, from children to grandparents, and its laid-back nature makes it perfect for socialising while you play. In fact, the social aspect of bowls is what draws so many people in!

With all that in mind, why not take advantage of the opportunity by hosting social events at your club? They’re a fantastic way to bring people together, attract new members, and keep the current ones engaged - and they’re a lot of fun, too!

Here at bowlr, we're all about helping clubs reach their full potential. If you're wondering how to put together a five-star social event at your club, we've got you covered with our easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide. Let's get right into it!

1. Think about the purpose of the event

Before you get down to the nitty-gritty of planning your event, you should think about why you’re hosting it. Is it to celebrate a special occasion, raise funds for the club, or simply provide a fun gathering for members? Once you have the purpose in mind, you’ll have an easier time planning out an event that fits it.

2. Plan out logistics

Before you jump into booking catering, setting up stands, and spreading the word, it’s important to lay the groundwork. Here are some things to consider:

  • Budgeting: Begin by examining your club's current finances and potential revenue from ticket sales or sponsorships. Carefully allocate funds to cover expenses like catering, decorations, entertainment, and other necessities.
  • Time Management: Allocate sufficient time for planning and create a detailed schedule for each stage of the process. This will help you avoid running out of time.
  • Date and Time: Select a date and time that aligns well with most club members' schedules. Avoid busy weekends or conflicting with other major events that could reduce attendance.
  • Attendance Management: If applicable, set up an RSVP system to gauge attendance and facilitate catering arrangements. Depending on the event, you may also need to sell tickets in advance.

It’s also a good idea to form a planning committee. Each member will be responsible for planning and executing a certain part of the event, which will lighten your workload and stop things from slipping through the cracks.

3. Nail down the theme

Now that you've got the essentials sorted, it's time to think about the vibe of your event!

You can keep it as a simple gathering, but why not add some extra fun by choosing a specific theme? Themes like "Garden Party," "Retro Night," or "Tropical Luau" will entertain attendees and make the event much more memorable in the long run. Of course, those are just a few suggestions - the options are limitless, so get creative and come up with something totally unique!

Once you and your committee agree on a theme, you can design the event around it. If you go with a "Tropical Luau" theme, for example, you could dot around fake palm trees, have tiki bars serving up delicious cocktails, and hand everyone a flower lei as they arrive.

4. Arrange catering, entertainment, and more

Finally, you can start putting your plan into action by hiring the caterers, entertainers, and anyone else who will make the big day a success. Here are a few you should consider:

  • Catering: After deciding on the right caterers for your event, work with them to plan a menu that matches the theme and caters to the tastes of your club members. Don't forget to think about any dietary restrictions – you should have some vegan and vegetarian options, and have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available.
  • Entertainment: You’ll want to keep your entertainment fun and family-friendly. Live music is always a great option, as attendees can enjoy it while taking part in your main attraction – the bowls! Alongside the hired entertainment, you could also think about setting up raffles, lawn games like darts or giant Jenga, a dance floor, or a dedicated play area for children.
  • Photography: Why not arrange to have a designated photographer at the event? This will encourage attendees to share their pictures on social media, creating lasting memories and promoting future club events. You can also utilise these photos on your website and social media platforms for even more exposure!
  • Support staff: If you’re hosting a larger event, you should think about forming an organised team to handle things like cleaning and serving food. These could either be volunteers or hired contractors.

5. Promote the event

No matter how amazing the event is, it won’t be much of a success if no one knows about it!

The best way to get the word out is by leveraging all the marketing channels available to you. Some of these include:

  • Club newsletters
  • Posters
  • Social media
  • Website
  • Word of mouth
  • Collaboration with other clubs and local businesses

You should also encourage members to invite their friends and family, which will help expand attendance. The more, the merrier!

6. Manage it on the day

Time to get this party started! When the big day arrives, take steps to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Firstly, have all preparations completed before the event starts. Collaborate with your staff or volunteers to handle various tasks during the event, such as registration, serving food and drinks, and cleaning up afterward. This will guarantee a seamless flow of activities and allow you to tackle any last-minute issues that may arise.

7. Thank your attendees and prepare for your next event!

Once the event is over, don't forget to send out thank-you messages to all the attendees, volunteers, sponsors, and anyone else who helped make it a success. It’s also a good idea to jot down what went well and what didn't, so you can make your future events even better!

Host show-stopping social events with Bowlr

Bowlr’s club management software makes organising social events a breeze. It allows you to easily communicate with members, check their availability for scheduling, generate letters in bulk, and so much more. Whether your club is indoor or outdoor, it will allow you to streamline both your next event and your day-to-day operations.

We don't stop at club management, either - we offer a variety of marketing services to spread the word even further! From creative email campaigns to social media marketing, we've got the perfect mix to boost your club's visibility and success.

So, what are you waiting for? Make your club the best it can be by talking to our team today, either online or by giving us a call on 01202 684400!