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Old 12-07-2013, 10:42 AM   #15
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Lynn, you make a good point. From what I have observed as membership chairman of my unit. Most new members care less for unit activities no matter what we do to encourage them to attend. We have members who have never attended a rally even though they have been members for several years. As for the younger generation, my experience is, they are not joiners.

Many organizations are having the same problems as WBCCI.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:29 AM   #16
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If a younger generation is less interested in rallies and caravans, then what can we add to the organization that might attract these people into the club? In a kind of obvious sense, the "fun and fellowship" notion would have to be expanded to accommodate more people's notions of what this means and how it is realized. (Note that I'm talking about adding to the club's offerings and expanding the club's offerings, not replacing them with something else.)

I've suggested elsewhere in the forums a 50% discount program for stays at RV parks by club members, similar to Passport America. While I do not think that this will be a magic bullet to stem the tide of lower numbers, do you think something like this will help with a different generation of potential members?

Taking the idea even further, suppose that we pow-wow with, say, FMCA to do a 50% discount program at RV parks with them: Membership in either earns the discount. Would this make a significant difference to expanded membership?


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Lynn, you make a good point. From what I have observed as membership chairman of my unit. Most new members care less for unit activities no matter what we do to encourage them to attend. We have members who have never attended a rally even though they have been members for several years. As for the younger generation, my experience is, they are not joiners.

Many organizations are having the same problems as WBCCI.
Joe
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:11 PM   #17
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I have often wished the club would offer a discounted 3 or 5 year membership option.
In my case it appeals to my frugality but the other plus is some one who joins for multiple years is not asking themselves whether it is worth paying the dues when they get their annual billing.

They do of course have the lifetime thing which is way to complicated to deal with and not too appealing when you don't know if you are joining for the clubs life or your life
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:16 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=

Taking the idea even further, suppose that we pow-wow with, say, FMCA to do a 50% discount program at RV parks with them: Membership in either earns the discount. Would this make a significant difference to expanded membership?QUOTE]

well, i don't dilute my beer and i don't dilute my whisky; so i see no reason to dilute my AS club.

FMCA is, by definition, a MH club - which is great for them. If i was a member there, i wouldn't want a bunch of shiny metal sausages at my rally.

as an AS'er, i don't want to be surrounded by 40' long, double decker buses with triple slide-outs.

just sayin...
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:26 PM   #19
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And I'm certainly not suggesting anything of the sort, Jon! Let me try to disentangle:

1. Any arrangement we might consider with any other outfit must preserve the original nature of each outfit. That means that the WBCCI is and remains a club for Airstreamers only. Period.

2. The discount idea is just a way to get more bang for the buck of membership dollars. Currently, you can pay your $60+ for WBCCI dues and then pay more for, say, membership with Passport America (the big 50% discount program at participating RV parks). Wouldn't it be nice if membership in the WBCCI alone got you something similar to membership in both? And by joining with some other outfit in the endeavor (e.g., FMCA), we might just entice more RV parks to join the program. It has zero impact on the fundamental nature of either club, on rallies, on caravans, or pretty much on anything else except your wallet.

3. The discount idea is hardly a way to define this discussion. My intent is just to get people thinking about ANY means by which we might expand or add to current activities in order to stem the tide of stagnant/falling membership numbers. In other words, I hope to stoke your imagination to come up with even more things that will appeal to more AS-owning people.

4. Finally, keep in mind my initial point: Falling/stagnant numbers are by no means specific to the WBCCI; it is happening across the board in other RVing clubs. What this means, among other things, is that the situation likely has little to do with actions or activities or practices that uniquely characterize the WBCCI.


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Taking the idea even further, suppose that we pow-wow with, say, FMCA to do a 50% discount program at RV parks with them: Membership in either earns the discount. Would this make a significant difference to expanded membership?
well, i don't dilute my beer and i don't dilute my whisky; so i see no reason to dilute my AS club.

FMCA is, by definition, a MH club - which is great for them. If i was a member there, i wouldn't want a bunch of shiny metal sausages at my rally.

as an AS'er, i don't want to be surrounded by 40' long, double decker buses with triple slide-outs.

just sayin...
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:58 PM   #20
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lynn,

no problem!
in fact i concur with many of your statements.
wish we could find a FCU type group out here!

jon
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:04 PM   #21
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In truth, I have no idea whether instituting something like the parks discount or the cross-acceptance of relevant members with another club would make any difference at all.

The cross-acceptance idea would have the least chance of helping, I think, and it would almost surely result in a huge headache for the office staff, so that one should probably wind up in the bit bucket in the sky.

I just don't know about the RV parks discount thing. It would be a good deal of work to set it up. And, yes, while some current members might really appreciate it, I'm not entirely sure that it would attract new members. It's kind of like AARP discounts in a way: It's nice to get them, but that's not why we joined. I just don't know.

Does anybody else have any ideas? I don't think there's a magic bullet here, so it may boil down to a string of different things, all of which combined might do something to turn the tide. I certainly don't want to consider throwing out activities or other things that a good number of our current members happen to like, though: Attracting new members by turning off current members is just not smart.


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Old 12-08-2013, 03:56 PM   #22
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Why don't we ask the potential members what would it take to cause them to sign up? Airstream tool a survey of 14,000 of them 5 years ago and then changed their product line up and designs to satisfy the needs and desires of the majority of them. Airstream weathered to recession and are now doing very well. No more class A motorhomes, no 34 footers, no slides, more products like Eddie Buar and smaller size front bedrooms that meet younger people's active lifestyle . The harder thing will be to get the old timers, that run the club, to accept those changes and maybe lose their titles.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:05 PM   #23
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With many working folks scared to take even a day off from work for fear of losing their job, the ability for many to take a "long" trip seems to fall into the folks in the "retired" status where there are no job related time constraints.

Other groups I belong to have declining memberships as their member's free time becomes more constrained. This decline seems to impact nearly all activities.

From my personal experience, that even includes service clubs like Rotary.

Thus there is a growing need for the long weekend type group activities across the country to be put on by local units where the travel time is a day or less each way.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:40 PM   #24
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Humm. Ok, so more weekend and local orientation.

Of course, one could ask units to put on more weekend stuff (though I suspect that a fair number of them already are weekend events). If events are longer, then they should at least include a weekend and should make a point of accepting those members who arrive Friday night/Saturday morning.

Regionally, we could ask that each region have at least (say) four region rallies through the year, each one a weekend event, and each one at a different geographic location within the region (very important especially for our very large regions in the west).

Do you think that kind of thing would help?


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With many working folks scared to take even a day off from work for fear of losing their job, the ability for many to take a "long" trip seems to fall into the folks in the "retired" status where there are no job related time constraints.

Other groups I belong to have declining memberships as their member's free time becomes more constrained. This decline seems to impact nearly all activities.

From my personal experience, that even includes service clubs like Rotary.

Thus there is a growing need for the long weekend type group activities across the country to be put on by local units where the travel time is a day or less each way.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:04 PM   #25
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For the heck of it, I looked up benefits of membership for FMCA. I'll link to their page here:

Member Benefits | Family Motor Coach Association

1. Travel Assistance and Medical Evacuation
2. FMCA Connections
3. Family Motor Coaching magazine
4. Campground discounts
5. Office Depot National Discount Program
6. FMCA Mail Forwarding Service
7. Motorhome Trip routing

Ok, so if you look these over, those in (1), (2), (4) and (5) are what we might call "bang for the buck" benefits: Various discounts on this and that.

The magazine is not a benefit in the usual sense, but the mail forwarding service and trip routing are.

For these, let me throw out a couple of questions:

a. Do you think that "bang for the buck" strategies would help us to recruit more AS-owning members?

b. If you do think that "bang for the buck" strategies might help, what others can you think of (other than campground discounts)? Even more interesting, what benefits could YOU arrange for club members from your business, if any?

c. Do mail forwarding and trip routing seem feasible as ways to recruit more AS-owning members? (My gut feeling is that these are nice benefits, but more aimed at the older crowd, but maybe I'm flat wrong on that.)


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Old 12-08-2013, 05:57 PM   #26
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For these, let me throw out a couple of questions:

a. Do you think that "bang for the buck" strategies would help us to recruit more AS-owning members?

b. If you do think that "bang for the buck" strategies might help, what others can you think of (other than campground discounts)? Even more interesting, what benefits could YOU arrange for club members from your business, if any?

c. Do mail forwarding and trip routing seem feasible as ways to recruit more AS-owning members? (My gut feeling is that these are nice benefits, but more aimed at the older crowd, but maybe I'm flat wrong on that.)


Lynn
Different people need or want different services.

Full timers use mail forwarding however if I was full time I would use the escapees service as that club offers a number of other services that appeal to the full timer also.

Does anyone use trip routing anymore with all the map programs and google maps available plus plug the destination in your GPS? I know I haven't in over 30 years.

I rarely use private campgrounds so campground discounts aren't much of a draw. I do belong to PA and have lost money on it every year. A campground discount needs to be pretty hefty to be a significant benefit.

I joined the WBCCI to meet other Airstream owners and learn more about the product. In 40 years I have made a lot of good friends and at this point that is what keeps me in the club.
We no longer attend the International since 3 amp was eliminated. Not willing to pay the extra $200. It should be noted International attendance has dropped by over 50% since that time. (We have instead attended the Birthday Bash)
The Florida State Rally is gone. We were regular attendees there. WE will not be at Alumapalooza except for maybe a quick visit. I wish them success but they have exceeded my price criteria, plus there are several other options in FL in the same date range.
At this time the club is not large enough to provide many of the services larger clubs provide yet the dues are higher than any of the others. FMCA is about 1/2 the price for example.
I realize some of this is pretty negative but I really don't know what needs to be done.
I am encouraged to see people in the upcoming officer chain that have a good grasp of reality and that is encouraging.
As others have said all organizations seem to be losing members but our situation seems to be worse .
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:36 PM   #27
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I just looked at the FMCA site. They also have discounts for Costco and a Sam's offer too. They only charge $50 year and have discounts if you pay for more than one year.
How do they give so many benefits and charge less for membership fees? Interesting.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:17 PM   #28
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The cost of the four ladies at HQ is $200,000/yr. including benefits and FICA. That is $34/yr./membership. We only take in $360,000 in dues. In 1975 we had 25,000 members and the dues were $7.50 and we had 4 ladies at headquarters. There is no added cost to the International to have the local units put on more weekend rallies. More short caravans are also no cost to the national club. The ads on this site for WBCCI emphasize the family camping theme. This is a good. The Blue Beret should also stress it and show young people enjoying themselves.
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