Host a Bird-Feeding Workshop for Kids & Other Customers
One of the best ways you can get customers coming into your store is by hosting a workshop. With just a small outlay of material (including some items you already have on hand), you can invite the community in for a fun (and profitable) bird feeding promotional event.
With this workshop, you can draw in regular customers as well as newcomers who’ve never been in your store before. They’ll visit your store, learn about what you do and what you sell and will come back when they need your services and superior customer service.
Help for Your Bird Feeder Sales
One of the best workshops for customers is centered on your bird feeding business, which should include a full line of Perky-Pet® seed feeders, and most importantly, a high-profit bird seed inventory.
In this workshop you will create one or more birdseed bundles, which will get your visitors excited about the birds they can attract to your yard. Once they’ve seen the birds they can attract to their yard, they will return for more.
Preparation: Before the Workshop
What you need to do:
- Advertise the workshop at least 1.5 months in advance. Advertise online, in the newspaper, with handouts and on your store sign. Be aware in some instances that you’ll need to advise attendees to bring containers with them.
- Invite a specialist to talk about birds and bird feeding, such as members of a bird watching club. Allow them to sign up members and, if you like, offer a special discount to members on one item as a thank you.
- Invite local scout troops, youth groups and other kid-friendly organizations.
- If you host a workshop during the school day, invite the local senior center or community service groups.
- Gather all the food related items needed, many of which may be in stock.
- Obtain the special supplies you will need, including mixing bowls, mixing spoons, sealable sandwich bags, cookie sheets, plastic containers, a metal pot and a way to apply heat (a display BBQ grill would work). You won’t need all of these items for every project, so get these items as needed.
- Designate several items as door prizes to ramp up the excitement.
Once your workshop day arrives, follow these guidelines:
- Clear an area to stage the event and put up tables.
- Set up all the ingredients, but allow the participants to assemble it on their own.
- Have handouts explaining the bird food mixes and what they need to do when they get home.
- Move related items near the event location. In this case, we mean your bird feeding supplies!
- Teach the mix to a designated employee so they can lead the workshop.
- Collect names and contact info of all participants. (You can add them to your mailing lists)
- During the event, visit with every participant and make a connection! Let them know you’re the manager or owner and ask what you can do to help them.
- Start the event two or three hours after open and end at least one hour before close. This will give you time for set up and clean up.
- On the next business day, award door prizes from the list of participants and contact them to come pick up their item.
- Here are three options for your bird seed project. No need to do them all, just pick one that works best based on your current inventory.
Supplies & Quantities
Check over the supply list of the bird feed mix your assembling and make sure you have the appropriate items. Note that each mix has a “Makes” entry, which explains how many participants you can help based on the initial recipe. Be sure to double, triple or quintuple as needed based on your expected crowd size!
Also note that you may need to supply containers (at a cost to the customer), mixing bowls, spoons, plastic bags and even a hot plate.
HOW TO MAKE: Birdie Granola
Bag A Mix
- 2 1/2 cups corn meal
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup peanuts
Bag B Mix
- 1 cup suet
- 1/2 cup chopped apples
- 1 1/2 cup seed (any variety)
- 1 cup cranberries
Makes: Enough for 8 participants
- Combine the first 3 ingredients and deposit ½ cup batches into sandwich bags. These are called “Bag A.”
- Mix remaining ingredients and divide them into ½ cup batches as well. Each of these are called “Bag B.”
- Press “Bag A” flat and have them take home, where they freeze until firm.
- Once firm, remove from the freezer and crumble the mixture.
- Mix the crumbles with the remaining ingredients, divide into single serving containers and freeze.
Put these in a suet feeder or place on a rock or stump for birds to pick at.
HOW TO MAKE: Birdie Raisin Delight
- 1 cup uncooked oatmeal
- 1 cup wheat germ
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup shortening
Makes: Enough for 1 cookie sheet (1 family)
- In your circulars and advertising, advise attendees to bring their own cookie sheet or have them available for purchase.
- Mix all ingredients and form a thick batter. Have a few bowls available so multiple attendees can mix at once.
- Store in plastic bag until they take it home.
- Grease and lightly flour a cake pan.
- Bake the mixture at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
- Cool and break into medium-sized pieces.
Feeding the Birds: Place Delight pieces into suet basket.
HOW TO MAKE: Suet Bars
- 2 cups corn meal
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 2 cups quick cooking oats
- 1 cup suet
Makes: Enough for 2 participants
- In your circulars and advertising, advise attendees to bring their own plastic container or have them available for purchase.
- Have a warming pot available to melt suet and peanut butter. (You could do this on one of your display model grills or a hot plate.)
- Melt suet and peanut butter together. Stir in remaining ingredients.
- Split mixture in half.
- Pour mixture into container about 1 1/2 inches thick and place in freezer.
- After the mixture has become firm and cut it into squares.
Feeding the Birds: Place bars into suet basket.
So what are you waiting for - get going! Gather everything you need and let your customers know!