5 Key Factors in Successful Off-Site Adoption Events

July 10, 2014

Off-Site adoptions can be a great way for animal welfare organizations to get their message out and to get some animals adopted. At the same time, off-site events mean a lot of work. If you’re organizing an event, you also need to consider which animals to bring and how to get those animals to the event safely.
With all that work, of course it’s mission critical that the event goes well and that you reach your goals. There are 5 things you can do to improve your odds:
1. Choose locations very carefully. Look for a location that offers lots of traffic and visibility. You will also need a location where you can manage animals easily. One way to improve your chances of finding the right venue and making the entire process easier is to form a partnership with places such as PETCO or PETsMART. Large pet stores such as these have already hosted off-site adoptions and have the resources (and venues) needed to appeal to animal lovers.
2. Get a few more volunteers than you think you need. If you get a better turnout than you expect, you will want to make sure that no potential adopters are ignored. Ask for volunteers early and choose volunteers who are great with people and enthusiastic.
3. Plan for good animal management. Animals will need to be sheltered and provided with water and possibly food. It is also essential to prevent all possible unsupervised contact with animals and to provide potential adopters with a space where they can interact with animals individually.
4. Advertise properly. Start advertising well ahead of the event to prevent impulse adoptions from people who are not ready for the responsibility. To promote the event, use social media, but also contact television or radio stations and newspapers. Often, pet adoptions are a solid “feel good” local story. Put up posters and don’t discount word of mouth advertising.
5. Keep it fun. Planning off-site adoptions can be stressful, but don’t let them see you sweat. Give animals a chance to play at the event and introduce bright colors, balloons, or even games to attract more visitors. Just keep in mind that this will require more volunteers.
There’s no way to guarantee that your big event will be a rousing success if you follow these steps, but these tips can improve the chances that you and your organization will change the lives of more pets.

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