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Membership Building

Using Learn Bridge In A Day To Find New People

John Grossmann
D17 President

Hunting for new bridge players? Seeking to start a new game? “Learn Bridge in a Day” (LBIAD) may be a great way to build your player base. In D17, well-advertised LBIAD events have attracted 40-60 new faces a session. LBIAD is a one day immersion experience for folks completely new to bridge. It is also a way for long lapsed players to get re-introduced to modern bridge.
District 17 picks up the expense for a program site license. Participants get an introduction to three major components of bridge: bidding, scoring, and playing hands. LBIAD incorporates a Powerpoint type slide show, student manual, worksheets and, of course, cards on the table. Students play six scripted hands as part of the instruction. The day ends with an hour of shuffle and play with their new friends.
LBIAD does not produce instant bridge players. The key to a successful program is to design follow up activities to nurture new players. These may include: Easybridge! classes, mentoring, a 49er game, and individual lessons.
In 2015 Northern Colorado had three LBIAD events; students had a choice of follow-up options. One of these was a brand new 49er game in Loveland that now averages 12 tables a week!
Our experience has shown that advertising is the biggest hard cost. However, 50% of these expenditures may be covered by the ACBL CAP program, up to $500. Other expenses include: printing student workbooks, venue fees, projector rental, and hospitality. Units that have not hosted a D17 regional can apply for a grant to help offset these expenses. Participants have been willing to pay $25-$50 for a well organized program. It may be possible to create an event where 90% of the costs are offset by a combination of CAP subsidies, D17 grants, and admission fees.
A LBIAD event takes between two to three months to plan. You need a team to take the lead on publicity, slide show presentation, hospitality, and participant tracking. Newspaper ads, website postings, flyers, postcard invitations, social media, and “word of mouth” from existing players are important parts of publicity. Current bridge players also play a vital roll as “table helpers” during the event.

More information on how to run a successful LBIAD and what typical costs have been are explained on the District 17 website. Go to the ADMIN menu tab, then “Membership building resources,” and then LBIAD.
John Grossmann is the coordinator for the D17 site license for LBIAD and can be reached at Blackstone.co@comcast.net or 719 233-9464.
John Wolf - John-wolf@comcast.net- has been involved in six LBIAD events and can also answer questions.