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Old 07-01-2013, 04:15 PM   #1
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Improving the WBCCI to attract new members

It's true that members who don't participate are more likely not to renew their memberships. The longer a member goes without becoming involved, the more likely it is that they will not renew at the next round of membership renewal. This why a big part of my job as membership guy for the 4CU is to get people to a rally ASAP. Once they take that leap of faith and attend a rally ... and get beyond the natural anxiety of not knowing anyone (which in the 4CU lasts for maybe 2 minutes tops), they find themselves really belonging. It's great to watch a new member's attitude change from apprehension to enthusiastiasm. It's hard to not renew once they find out how much fun it can be ... despite what's going on at the Internatinal level. It's all about the Unit.

Also, it's been our experience that very very few folks who come to a 4CU rally as a guest don't join. Relaxing the "rules" for allowing guests would be a good move. Coupled with that is making sure that the culture of the unit is inclusive and welcoming. There is nothing worse for membership growth than for a guest or a new member to feel left out, ignored, or — in the worse scenerio — unwelcome. Why would anyone want to join or remain a member under those circumstances?
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
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I agree with TBRich. We joined the Charter Oak unit (sight unseen on purchase of our Cloud) and immediately went to a rally they held together with the New England unit. GREAT folks - we felt welcomed immediately and enjoyed our second rally with the New England folks as well. That part of it is awesome. The political BS that infects all organizations to one degree or another is a complete turnoff. I have enough politics in my "real" life - don't need it when I'm trying to decompress from that and enjoy life! :-)
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:32 PM   #3
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TB, It's obvious why the 4CU is so successful after reading your post. It is also obvious that too few other units are doing the same.

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Old 07-01-2013, 11:52 PM   #4
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TBRich is dead on. We were invited to a rally by our soon-to-be unit a few months after bringing "Shiny" home. They invited us as guests to try out a WBCCI event. We thoroughly enjoyed the event and joined immediately after. If that offer is actually "against the rules" then the WBCCI is out of touch and in serious trouble.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:18 AM   #5
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TBRich is dead on. We were invited to a rally by our soon-to-be unit a few months after bringing "Shiny" home. They invited us as guests to try out a WBCCI event. We thoroughly enjoyed the event and joined immediately after. If that offer is actually "against the rules" then the WBCCI is out of touch and in serious trouble.
Inviting new owners as guests is strongly encouraged by all WBCCI Units, it is definitely not against the rules. Most units welcome visitors with a "free" rally and they don't pay the rally fee. The rally fee pays for the meals provided by the rally hosts. Each rally has "hosts" (normally a couple of couples) who plan the rally activities and prepare/provide the meals.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:55 PM   #6
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WBCCI needs to update the activities they offer to be valuable to a younger generation. They need a lot less pomp, which is not attractive to the new generation owners. That is my personal observation after being a member for 19 years.

It likely means, WBCCI needs to spend less money and manpower running month long caravans, that young working people do not have the time and opportunity to participate in. WBCCI also must trim their overhead cost per year, to reflect the lower number of current members. This would allow them to reduce the annual dues to a more affordable level. Current HQ overhead is $35/yr/member.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
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"It likely means, WBCCI needs to spend less money and manpower running month long caravans,"



It is the Wally Byrum Caravan Club, Inc


Many of the caravans stay pretty full so far. Most of the effort of the caravans is the volunteer leaders effort. Most of the leaders cost is deducted from the caravan kitty. If you are trying to boost membership starting by reducing the attraction for the group of people who have the time, money, and interest to fully participate in the club seems to me to be a poor way to proceed.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:29 PM   #8
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[QUOTE
I belong to all of the above mentioned. I also am a member of the Escapees club and a life member of Good Sam.. Also belong to Passport America but that probably wouldn't count as a club.
Each organization provides different options[/QUOTE]

i think most of us belong to other organizations [not really 'clubs'] in addition to the WBCCI. i too belong to Good Sam, Passport America; and also AARP, AAA, Nat'l Parks, etc.

the difference is that WBCCI is a primary club/org. and the others are secondary clubs/orgs. that people would not need/join unless they already belongs to a primary. this holds true for the many RV clubs geared towards other maskes of RV.

i prefer that the WBCCI remain a primary club and not become a secondary club.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:46 PM   #9
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chicken/egg/chicken/egg/chicken/egg/chicken/egg salad/chicken salad

dwightdi -
bill m -

both valid points. it seems that the WBCCI might eventually split into a caravan division and a rally division.

the header above refers to whether people who buy Airstreams first join the WBCCI and then look for a local club to join; or; do people with Airstreams find a local AS group they like and join the WBCCI in order to join the local group.

in my case, the latter. i have no interest long caravans, in pomp or formality. i just like to camp along with fellow AS'ers and have fun.

also - the costs involved in most of the caravans and some of the 'sponsored' events are just way over my head!

when i was working, it was a way to get away for long weekends. since now retired, i can stretch these outings out a bit. and this does not mean it has be at an AS event.

just spent 6 weeks on the road doing FL - ME and back. will soon spend 7 days at the 2014 Canopener - where over 70 AS's will be gathering in an informal non-rally.

so, let the caravanners do their wandering; let the ralliers [rallyers?, rallyites?] gather in their groups. but let us keep it as an Airstream Club.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:18 PM   #10
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It likely means, WBCCI needs to spend less money and manpower running month long caravans, that young working people do not have the time and opportunity to participate in.
We were on the two week Fly/Drive Alaska caravan back in August. We wished it could've been longer. We were happy to see many younger WBCCI members. We were surprised it didn't sell out.

I hope the MOHO issue is dead.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:06 AM   #11
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I found out about WBCCI after I placed the order from the UK for the first trailer. It seemed natural to join as I was a Life member of "HOG" because of the Harley motorcycles plus the GoldWing group and a BMW group and AOPA for flying. While most of these organizations were brand specific, one was not disparaged if they showed up on a different bike, but one really felt out of place. The leadership showed up on the brand specific ride even if they owned other brands. I belong to a non-specific brand old timers riding group and the majority of the bikes are Harley. I thinned my herd to one BMW and one GoldWing, so I ride what I have.

It seems to me that WBCCI is for Airstream labeled trailers and Airstream labeled motor coaches. That is the thread that binds the folks together. It is supposedly focused only on Airstream branded products.

I want to go to activities where the discussions center around Airsteams, not "other" brands as I do not have "other" brands.

Even though I have Life status in HOG, I no longer go to their activities as I moved to a GoldWing and at GoldWing activities want to hear about issues and solutions for GoldWings.

If the senior brass WBCCI members want to buy bigger and newer motorhomes, that is their right. But at ANY Airstream function, they need to suit up and show up in an Airstream branded product if they are in a leadership position. Otherwise, quit WBCCI and join the group specific to their new toy.

YMMV
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:02 AM   #12
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The club closed the issue of non-Airstream membership this past summer.

The other issues discussed here are the real issues the club must address. I believe a growing number of leaders are in tune with the Forums approach.

It is important to remember that the club formed so the Caravan friendships could be shared beyond long trips. Short caravans and rallies are all we working folks can manage. ALL are important to the club.

Work in progress. Help us Move WBCCI Forward!
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:20 AM   #13
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It is important to remember that the club formed so the Caravan friendships could be shared beyond long trips. Short caravans and rallies are all we working folks can manage. ALL are important to the club.
Historically your point is correct. 50 years ago those owning Airstreams where for the most part individuals that could afford to commit the time to long caravans and the following celebrations of the friendships made on them was a foundation for the Club. Times and the demography of ownership have now changed. The Leadership needs to recognize that and direct it's attention to a younger membership or ride off into the sunset while the Club dissolves. Unfortunately our society in general has evolved into one of self gratification. With very few exceptions across our society Leadership is a lost art. Leadership more often than not now is used for exploitation rather than the improvement of society. The Leadership of the Club is no exception to the general trend.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:53 AM   #14
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You know, rather than taking swipes at the WBCCI and/or its leadership, I think we need to concentrate on a more general phenomenon: The downward trend in membership across all of the major RVing clubs, not just the WBCCI.

One corollary to this way of viewing things is that while matters like length of caravans may not have made some members too happy, matters that relate specifically to the WBCCI (as opposed to other RVing clubs) are probably not those that pinpoint the decline more centrally.

And so the question is this: What is it that all of the major clubs are doing that do not attract new members? Put differently, what can all of the major clubs offer that would attract new members?

BTW, the idea of allowing in non-AS motorhomes is not a novel idea. Similar ideas have been proposed and debated in clubs like the FMCA (also in steep decline).

My own take, as if it were relevant, is that one might propose something like this: If an AS-owning member of, say, the FMCA wants to join the WBCCI, he/she may do so as a somewhat reduced rate, provided that the arrangement between clubs is reciprocal; crucially, in no case would any club be required to accept members who do not otherwise qualify (i.e., AS ownership for WBCCI; moho ownership for FMCA).

For what it's worth, it might be worthwhile to explore other mutually-beneficial ways of cooperating with clubs like the FMCA. Can anybody suggest specifics here?


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