This may seem like blasphemy, but I'm gonna bring it up anyway: One of the most off-putting things for women at these banquets is all the chicks in four-inch heels and low-cut shirts shoving their boobs in men's faces asking if they want to buy raffle tickets.
I know it's good marketing and it sells tickets, but it sends a really loud message to everyone in the room that "this event is for MEN." Those girls certainly aren't there for my benefit.
Do you really want to serve women? Go ahead and keep the raffle girls, but add a really hot guy to the mix. Make sure they can see his eight-pack abs. He can just target the women in the room. And if the men object, WHO CARES - we've been watching the cleavage girls target our men for years.
I agree with others here about having a women's table of raffle items. There are several women's hunting clothing companies now that have good products: SHE Safari, Foxy Huntress, Prois Hunting Apparel. No one makes duck gear for women, but most of us hunt more than ducks. And if you get clothing items in a size that doesn't fit the raffle winner, these companies are super nice about exchanges.
There's also a woman in Colorado, Keli Van Cleave, who has a line of pink products coming out, including a pink compound bow from Alpine and pink binoculars from Alpen Optics. And there's a company, I think in Oregon, that's making pink duck calls (I'll get one of the first off the production line next weekend, so I can tell you more then if you're interested).
As for non-hunting stuff, you've hit on some good ideas here already, but consider adding a women's shooting or outdoors event, like BOW (Becoming an Outdoorswoman). I'm finding a lot of women are interested in trying shooting or hunting, and all they need is to 1) be invited to try, and 2) be invited to try in a "safe" environment, and for us, that means without a bunch of men watching as we take those first few hesitant shots. There may be some non-hunting wives who would see that and surprise their husbands by saying, "I want to try!"
Good luck - please let us know how it goes!
Editor, California Waterfowl Magazine