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Old 01-11-2007, 07:46 AM   #15
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VAC membership cost were raised from $10 to $20 per year several years ago. It might be that, some members were just paying the $10 to get the Vintage advantage Newsletter may have thought $20 was too high a price to pay. Others may have dropped their membership in WBCCI and therefore VAC because of conflicts with WBCCI or other reasons. In any case, it seems the total dollars in the VAC budget has dropped, which will mean we have to tighten our belts.
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttercup
Yes, but to whom????
Without sounding facetious, I would think that would seem pretty obvious given the vast converstations about the subject around here.

Loosing 300+ members in one year is over 5%. That's not a small number. If it continues for the next 5 years at or near the same rate, you're talking about a possible 25% further decrease. That's over 1700 current members gone, bringing the total membership to somewhere around the 5200 range from where they are today.

We've all known for years there has been a membership slide. How that would effect the VAC I don't know for sure. What I think would solidify the the trend comment toward the main group that was made earlier would be to see what the numbers were for say the past 5 years, year to year. I don't know off hand if it's anywhere near 5% for each year for the past 5 years, but to me that would be interesting to see and could, if the numbers stayed consistant moving forward from here, give us a better average.
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:21 AM   #17
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Thanks for the numbers - but you should also ask what the annual LATE registration percentage is and factor that into your calulations. We would be one of those percentages. two years running.

On another note - "culling" is a good thing for an organization - when there is no more need for culling it will either blow away in the dust - or good people like many here will step by step re-build the club to carry it's members another 50 years - and when we are 70-75 years old - the good ole' working class (in their 40's) with their kids and toys will be breathing down our necks to hurray along and "Change".....

Maybe they will say - all they want to do is eat and sit around a campfire.

Have you asked the older folk......maybe their response migh be....
I'm cold sitting outside - I don't like mosquito bites. I enjoy going out - I have earned it. I like playing the card games and dominos it is easier on my bones and joints from all the years of sports in my younger days. I am afraid to do these adventurous things that could land me in the hospital and the thought of having to put my rig up for payment.....

Although I have had my share of complaining - I do believe we should stop complaining and just get busy having fun in the Club or do something else. How on earth are we going to build a club if all we do is complain about it - it sure makes it hard to get new members pumped don't you think. And who are we to opinionate a Newbies enthusiasm! Let them build into the club/unit what they can - some seem to manage it very well others...... - hang out here....
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:34 AM   #18
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I'm not sure folks are complaining here like has been done on other threads. I think te question is a valid one and one worth discussion.

I personally would be interested in seeing what the numbers are, seeing where they might be. Anytime I see a number it's a guide not a final actual number because of the late registrations, folks joining in the middle of the year, etc. Even doing this can still establish a trend.

I'm all for the club surviving, but I also think this is a great conversation with some good information that could be put to good use in several areas like:

Waking up the folks on the sidelines

Getting current administration to see the numbers and start to help be part of the solution, not part of the problem

Getting current folks interested

There are other great uses for this type of info, but I think these 3 could be the most useful.
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
Thanks for the numbers - but you should also ask what the annual LATE registration percentage is and factor that into your calulations. We would be one of those percentages. two years running.
Good question. There was also a problem with some registrations not getting in from the units in time for publication in the directory last year even though they were submitted on time. I know a lot of our unit got left out, and I'm not sure of the cause. The directory is probably not the best source for looking at the numbers, but maybe it's all we have.

In the last few months I saw the results of a survey Airstream Co. did of new Airstream buyers that showed age group and other demographics. I can't put my finger on it now and can't remember where I saw it. Was it in the Blue Beret? Did anyone else see this survey? I'm as interested in where potential new members will come from as I am where the old ones are going.

As Silvertwinkie pointed out, the numbers could be very useful in helping make changes that will benefit the club.

-J
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shacksman
Through a paperwork error some of us in the WDCU did not get into the book this year.
Could you provide more information about this? I am a member of the WDCU and this is the first I have heard about this...
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:58 AM   #21
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Silvertwinkie and DougJamie-

I hear you both I really do and very valid points. Having gone down that lane just a couple of years ago - the numbers really don't paint any sort of substantial picture. Because the demographics are so diversified - we tend to read into the number what we want to see. Possibly using the numbers as our only source of rationalizing the decline - and waving them at the people at the "sidelines" - if we can read the number I am sure the Officers can see the numbers.

While I would never deter thread conversation as it is mostly fun over the years - and I would never send people searching the forums to find an answer they seem to need right away. By vitue of the trend here at the forums. Numbers lead to questions, un-answered questions lead to self rationale which invariably leads to 'complaints' or not neccesarily complaints - not the best choice of words - more individual observations - being used as rational and justification as to why the numbers are declining.

It is like sperm to the egg - millions of potentional members out there - but only a few will join - and only one will make it to the top of the pile once a year - thus if the future IBC President is groomed in the system and has X views of the club from his or (one day HER) outlook - then you can bet hence election day that person is going to draw on their own strengths to lead the club on their point of view.

The club will change with the presidents yet to come - the people here that have many good ideas - that are not members yet - that have the fun Rallies (Fourm Rallies). One day those same people will want something to hang onto as all their friends start to dwindle - Have you ever noticed a culling of the 50's where many friends just seem to pass away - and those left have an eye opener. When that time comes for many here - then the forum rallies will need to become something more reliable to them - something they want to count on - and a shift in needs will happen.

We really just have to look outside the club - and look at the NorthAmerican demographics of the human....

Why is this forum so successful? - because the majority are of the computer age - and feel comfortable in trusting people we have never met before from ourt home - eventually we gain enough confidence and join in on a forum Rally - why? because the growing need to be with like people grabs us as we get older and our children grow - and the world around us is so filled with war! Values, safety are huge in the way we live - but we can not stop the yearning of adventure and travel in us all.....
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:01 AM   #22
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While I'm not a member I do follow these threads and in my business life I spend a lot of time looking at and analyzing numbers and trends.

If I were looking at these numbers to try and understand what is happening I would want to understand more than total membership numbers. For example;
  • What is the true attrition rate for members?
  • What is the churn rate for new members?
  • Are new memberships increasing or decreasing?
  • In other words, where, exactly are the gains and losses?
Detailed numbers could tell you a lot about what is really going on with the club.

Are older members not staying in at a rate that is faster than new members joining or are new memberships simply not keeping up with the "natural" attrition rates?

I suspect everyone assumes it's new memberships to blame for the losses. Perhaps this is true. But what if newbies are holding or increasing but just at a slower rate than older members "retiring from Airstreaming". Perhaps this is simple a "right sizing" of the club as a large group at the end of it's career simply exists the ranks.

On the other side, if new memberships are holding steady or even increasing, but the churn rate for newbies is high (50% - 80%) then that can tell you a lot about the "content" of the club. Perhaps people are joining at a good rate, but for whatever reasons they are not finding what they need and moving on.

Just some food for thought.
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:05 AM   #23
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Swebster - MOST EXCELLENT POST!
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65GT
The name change possibility gave many the ire to leave. SOBs could very well be the walking papers that didn't materialize last year. Feelings are stronger against the International Leadership now than they ever have been. TWO club crisis years in a row could be the straw...
You could look at another way. The name change was prevented and still the people walked away. You can't really blame this on deaths as most of the older folks aren't on the internet anyway. I know cause I try to get information from them for the web sites. They probably didn't even know about that name change battle.

The club is losing members that ARE on the web and are just plain quitting. Some thought the name change would help the club grow, some saw little future with a club that refuses to change with the times, and some simply got tired of the constant bickering. At any rate there seems to be no solution that is acceptable that will grow the club. Too bad. I hate to see it decline just as much as the others.
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:26 AM   #25
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Patience my dear friends.....

It will not happen overnight - how long has this forum been up since 03??d


We landed on the Moon in 1969 - but it was many many years before that the people played around with the concept - but it took one Person and an Administration May 25th 1961 to set the GOAL for it to be done by the end of the decade - and it was.

This club right now is tossing all sorts of ideas, panics, and the like, around on the table - not to mention dealing with the Manufacturers changes that ultimately affect the club as well.

It is a matter of form a bonified PLAN with realistic Goals - simple ones, where all efforts will be placed to reach those goals. That has not happened yet - but I am hoping it will soon.

I strongly believe we are in the "decade" of change and soon we will see the leveling off and then the wheels will slowly start turning forward again for its next cycle.
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:51 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
For example;
  • What is the true attrition rate for members?
  • What is the churn rate for new members?
  • Are new memberships increasing or decreasing?
  • In other words, where, exactly are the gains and losses?
Good post.

Yes,what I have posted is only numbers and a snapshot in time of the club membership.What I hope it would do is give us an idea of the obvious trend and hopefully generate even more discussion and awareness of the situation.Sometimes that is all that is needed to get someone to dig a little deeper and ask the tougher questions.At least I hope this does.

I can answer one of your questions and of course have the numbers to back it up.

Are memberships increasing or decreasing?

Neither.

They seem to be staying in a tight range between 823 and 1131 new members yearly.These numbers cover a period from 1990-2006.

For example 1990 had 947 new members,1991 had 871 new members and more recently 2004 had 908 new members,2005 had 1042 new members and 2006 had 903 new members.
The years between 1991 and 2003 all have numbers around this range.

Again...just numbers.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:05 AM   #27
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Mike,
That is great additional information. So if new memberships are "holding steady" (on average) year over year then the next question is what is new member "churn" look like against the general attrition rates of the club. These two add up to the total losses each year.

But, even with these numbers I think we can safely say that a lot of the decreases over the years have been attrition rather than churn. Even if 100% of the new members left within a year or two, the club is still decreasing in overall size. The only place for this to come from is "existing members".

So, roughly speaking, if about 1000 members a year are joining, and we know that not all are leaving within the year, then a significant portion of the losses are coming from somewhere else and in total exceed those new memberships.

It would be interesting to plot out membership payments over time. Then we could see where people are generally falling out.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:19 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
Mike,
That is great additional information. So if new memberships are "holding steady" (on average) year over year then the next question is what is new member "churn" look like against the general attrition rates of the club. These two add up to the total losses each year.

But, even with these numbers I think we can safely say that a lot of the decreases over the years have been attrition rather than churn. Even if 100% of the new members left within a year or two, the club is still decreasing in overall size. The only place for this to come from is "existing members".

So, roughly speaking, if about 1000 members a year are joining, and we know that not all are leaving within the year, then a significant portion of the losses are coming from somewhere else and in total exceed those new memberships.

It would be interesting to plot out membership payments over time. Then we could see where people are generally falling out.

I am in total agreement with your statements.My own gut feeling in following these numbers over the years is roughly 40-50% of new members do not renew after the FIRST year.

Non renewal numbers from the 1992-2006 years have also been in a consistant range of 1200-1500.
Putting this number together with the new member number and you get a loss of 500 members a year on average.
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