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Old 02-14-2010, 01:02 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by eubank View Post
Bill, it seems to me that we've got quite a store of info on WBCCI membership from Mike (the OP of this thread). What's still needed is numbers on units sold, and WBCCI is not likely to have that info; Airstream Inc. would (and so, probably, would various company/investment-watching organizations).

Lynn
Lynn,

Mike has some information, but not member age and trailer age. I don't believe that Thor publishes any volume information on an individual company basis. Dealers may have access to this information, but it would be confidential.

Bill
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:12 PM   #58
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Yes, member age and trailer age might be subfactors, but if we can just get solid figures both on deline in membership overall (i.e., Mike's numbers, even without age of rig and age of member) and on number of units sold, we'd be in a position to do some fairly simple statistics for a few decades anyway. Both are interval numbers, so a Pearson correlation ought to follow without difficulty.

I'm very naive when it comes to corporations, but it seems to me that stockholders would certainly want to know figures on units sold. (Or at least I would want to know that info before investing. But I'm not an investor, either, and it probably shows.)


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Old 02-14-2010, 01:20 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by eubank View Post
Yes, member age and trailer age might be subfactors, but if we can just get solid figures both on deline in membership overall (i.e., Mike's numbers, even without age of rig and age of member) and on number of units sold, we'd be in a position to do some fairly simple statistics for a few decades anyway. Both are interval numbers, so a Pearson correlation ought to follow without difficulty.

I'm very naive when it comes to corporations, but it seems to me that stockholders would certainly want to know figures on units sold. (Or at least I would want to know that info before investing. But I'm not an investor, either, and it probably shows.)


Lynn
Lynn,

I believe that disclosures are only made on a product line basis, in the case of Thor, motorized, towables and busses. In addition, I don't think the disclosures are units only dollar volume.

Bill
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:37 PM   #60
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I'm sorry, Kevin. I didn't mean to ignore your post. Just too much stuff coming in at once.

What caught my eye in your earlier post was the stuff about modern trinkets available in more recent rigs. That's a tough one. When I compare our 67 Airstream to any modern Airstream, it's like night and day: All sorts of modern amenities in those things (which probably accounts for their increased weight, I think). And comparing modern Airstreams to other modern rigs we get here in the park, I don't see many trinkets in the white-sided rigs that don't exist in modern Airstreams.

Yes, though, there are lots of things that explain why folks might be dissatisfied with the WBCCI. Again, no doubt about it; these pages are full of that kind of anecdotal evidence. But what I'm trying to get at is whether this is all of the story, half of the story, or even just a small part of the story.

Now, if we can exclude number of units sold as a main factor relating to the decline of WBCCI membership, then we'd be in a much better position to claim that the WBCCI is doing a poor job of wooing members.

Let's imagine analysis in which we show a non-accidental, negative statistical correlation between MEMBERSHIP (capitalized to indicate a list of numbers) and OWNERSHIP: As MEMBERSHIP declines, OWNERSHIP goes up. In this case, you've got a pretty solid indictment of the WBCCI (for whatever reason).

However, the opposite is also possible: A non-accidental, positive statistical relationship between the two, so that as OWNERSHIP declines, so does MEMBERSHIP. Obviously, you've got a factor to contend with that goes above and beyond issues with the WBCCI.

But a positive finding would reflect on the WBCCI nonetheless: In the case of a positive relationship between OWNERSHIP decline and MEMBERSHIP decline, it would be up to the club to increase its ratio of MEMBERSHIP to OWNERSHIP in order to survive in any form related to the past or present.

Again, then, Kevin, I don't dispute your points at all. I just want to point out that if we can untangle this mess a little more with some simple statistics, your points might even be more valid.


Lynn

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Hi Lynn,

Which demographic influences are not logical to you?

Looking at the annual number of units sold is not a great way to predict membership since even marginal increases are just that - increases. If you look at how many Airstreams were on the road in, say, 1970, and compare that with 2010, there are WAY more out there today since 2/3 of all AS built are estimated to still be on the road. The 1972 Sovereign 31' bought new by a retired couple who joined the WBBCI is likely still out there, but now is owned and used by a younger family who are not WBBCI members.

Increasing membership is possible IF a.) New trailers are bought by people who want to join WBBCI and b.) OLD trailers are bought by people who want to join WBBCI. I suspect membership is down by all owner types.

I fit into the demographics. I'm mid-40's, love camping, have a pre-owned AS, but don't see the personal or economic value of joining a club like WBBCI. My grandfather would have though...

If the WBBCI was serious about increasing membership they need to look hard at the demographics and figure out what they need to do to become relevant to the younger RV generation as well. They also need to look at their current membership demographics - if the average age (of the members and decision makers) is 55 or 60+, retired with money, it will likely not be an attractive club to my generation or younger....
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:51 PM   #61
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If it were as simple as just increasing membership, I could do that in a minute.

Just automatically issue every new Airstream RV owner a FREE one-year membership to the WBBCI and offer existing Airstream RV owners a FREE one-year membership if they have never before been a member of WBBCI. That would be the time to ask all the new members what they want and expect from the club in the future.

Short-term, it would do nothing to increase membership revenues to the club - and might actually cost money to administer these newcomers, but hopefully many could be retained as members in subsequent years. New blood might bring new ideas.

Just a thought...
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:10 PM   #62
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We did that about 5 years ago. We got to give away a lot of free Blue Berets. 6% of them renewed the next year when it came to pony up. That is less than the 10% we get to sign up when we recruit them now. Right now 25% of that 10% that signed up do not renew the next year. We lose another another 25% the following year. In the mean time we lose 10% of the existing members due to aging out. That leaves us with a net 5% loss in members (on the average) every year. To verify just check the net numbers given by streamer 23 above. Free memberships are not the answer. The new members quickly discover whether the club offers what they want and leave if they do not like what they find. Many of the new younger working members find that the International level of the club does not offer what they are looking for.
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:51 PM   #63
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Yep, free memberships increase numbers quick, but retention is the ultimate challenge. Dwight, Has anyone asked the new members what they ARE looking for?

I'm not up on the full history, but it almost sounds like the WBBCI board is afraid of change and doesn't want to ask the hard questions.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:19 PM   #64
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Reading this kind of makes me laugh. At International they give you a ribbon for your first time. Some ladies ring bells as they put it on you. My buddy suggested to them that maybe doing it for "second timers" might be a better celebration than getting someone to come once. The look on their face was priceless.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:31 PM   #65
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Cindy Reed from Headquarters does send out a survey letter to all non-renewals. She got a 22% return this year. Which is about normal for people who do not care enough to renew. I do not think she breaks it down by the years of membership. Aging out or selling their Airstream is the usual reasons for non-renewal. She issues a report to the IBT but I have seen it posted to some forum by a person in contact with her. I do not think we have conducted an official survey of potential members as to what they want from a club, but it should be easy to set up right here, where there are a lot of potential members who gather to exchange ideas.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:45 AM   #66
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I joined the WBCCI for opportunities to meet new people -- go to rallies and possibly to go on a caravan -- but the infiting has me reconsidering renewing.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:02 AM   #67
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:35 AM   #68
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Is that a flat line? A comment on the health of the WBCCI?
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:18 PM   #69
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I joined the WBCCI for opportunities to meet new people -- go to rallies and possibly to go on a caravan -- but the infiting has me reconsidering renewing.
We did too and assume that is the case with all enrollments. I hope your meaning about the infighting is that that it is an indication that all is not as it should be, and that you have not yet investigated it thoroughly enough to see why that exists. The IBT has all along discouraged infighting claiming the code of ethics. However to remain silent or silenced in an oppressive and unrepresented state is not the course many have accepted to adopt. The accepted MO is to bobblehead nod and smile. You will never hear dissent and barely even discussion let alone disagreement among the leadership of WBCCI.

Firedog now that you have had your second wind. What did you want to add?
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:27 PM   #70
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My buddy suggested to them that maybe doing it for "second timers" might be a better celebration than getting someone to come once. The look on their face was priceless.
International rallies are boring. The meetings are interminable and the entertainment is, at the best, only fair.

I have attended four Internationals. In retrospect, sitting here, I really have to wonder why I attended the last three.

Actually, the only thing that got me to Madison was that I had, in an unguarded moment, agreed to do several seminars there.
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