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Old 09-17-2012, 09:51 AM   #29
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Just as a point of information, under the WBCCI constitution the club's bylaws are exclusively the purview of the International Board of Trustees, consisting of the International officers and the twelve Region presidents. The IBT can change the bylaws whenever they want. If the members want them changed, they have to convince their region presidents to get the IBT to change them.

On the other hand, the WBCCI constitution is exclusively the purview of the voting members, by way of the annual Delegates Meeting. If the IBT wants to change the constitution they can file a motion at the Delegates Meeting, but it's up to the delegates whether it passes or not. (Which takes a 2/3 majority, a rather high barrier.)
.
I stand corrected. Nevertheless, being able to explain why the bylaws need to be changed, and offering a viable alternative to change to, is still necessary.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:02 PM   #30
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I didn't say what I meant in a previous post. My idea of having the dealer involved would be initiated by WBCCI. Every year there are many Airstreams sold and the new owners might be given (or might not be) a WBCCI packet. In addition, the new owner might (or might not be) contacted by WBCCI. If the WBCCI/Airstream/Dealer loop were more closely monitored and fostered it would be a win-win-win. Particlularly if the cost of membership were significantly offset by low cost campground opportunities.

As mentioned in another post... the existing committees are apparently not doing the job we would expect, or we're at least not getting the expected outcome.

Anything we can do to solicit and maintain new members is a step in the right direction.

I'm going on my tangent again - The 20 - 40 year olds that buy an RV fully expect organizations to be operating in the 21st century. If they see a packet from WBCCI that requires them to register with a piece of paper they probably won't do it. Okay, I know the first year registration can now be done online but that's only the first year.

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Old 09-17-2012, 03:01 PM   #31
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The Electronic Communications Committee is responsible for the club website and installed the pay on line feature in that site when we rewrote it this spring. Our results so far have been very good. We do not collect or analyse the demographics of the members as they sign up. We do know, those that previously signed up as Members at Large using the telephone number at Jackson Center had a much higher non-renewal rate that those that joined through the local clubs. A Drop out rate of 49%, after the first year. It does appear that members that associate with a local unit get greater value from their memberships and are more likely to be long term members. 84% renew the second year. The association with the local club and it's treasurer, when paying renewal dues, does lead to a higher renewal rate. We are trying to improve our local contacts with those members that sign up on line or via phone, so as to improve our renewal rates. We have installed pay on line features (on a trial basis) to some local websites to see its effect on renewal rates. However, many of the local units do not have websites and therefore will not be able to use this feature. We have had to add the processing cost of PayPal to the dues pricing for the local units and therefore signing up on line does cost more money. The usual unit dues are much lower than the International dues so the processing cost (as a percentage) is much higher for local dues. Some units only charge $1 to $5 dollars so it is not as easy to absorb the processing costs.

If you would like to contact the committee with you thoughts, we can be reached at ecc@wbcci.net.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:05 PM   #32
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- -- - - -%<
Anything we can do to solicit and maintain new members is a step in the right direction.
- - - - - -%<
If they see a packet from WBCCI that requires them to register with a piece of paper they probably won't do it. Okay, I know the first year registration can now be done online but that's only the first year.

Lucius
Lucius,

The Four Corners Unit has instituted on-line membership registration/renewals this year using PayPal for payment as an option to the "snail mail" method. It is set-up for new members, renewing members, and affiliate memberships. The member information goes electronically to the Unit Treasurer and the Unit Membership Chairman while PayPal notifies the Treasurer when the transaction is complete - e checks may take several days to clear. There is a "convenience charge" added to cover the PayPal transaction fees. After our Webmaster chased a few gremlins out of the system, it has been working just fine.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:56 AM   #33
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The ECC Committee used much of the 4CU code to develop a payment module for use on unit websites, we are testings it with a few units this fall and we hope to make it available to all units in the next few months.

But with many units having their own requirements we are going to make it as generic as possible and hope that units will embrace online payments.

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Lucius,

The Four Corners Unit has instituted on-line membership registration/renewals this year using PayPal for payment as an option to the "snail mail" method. It is set-up for new members, renewing members, and affiliate memberships. The member information goes electronically to the Unit Treasurer and the Unit Membership Chairman while PayPal notifies the Treasurer when the transaction is complete - e checks may take several days to clear. There is a "convenience charge" added to cover the PayPal transaction fees. After our Webmaster chased a few gremlins out of the system, it has been working just fine.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:28 PM   #34
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Back to Lynn's idea—

1. Any discount to make joining any club desirable is only going to be effective if it exceeds the usual discounts available for AAA, AARP, every other senior, Good Sam and for asking. These usually run around 10%, but can be more or less (I've seen a range of about 7% to 20%). The only people who don't get a discount at any type of lodging are those who don't ask for it; they pay MSRP for their cars too.

2. What percent of campers stay long enough at a park to make a discount sensible for the thrifty camper—Lynn said about 4 days, but it would be more days if the discount were less. Will that camper be staying at another participating park to make up the difference and will there be enough participating parks to make sense to Mr. Thrifty?

3. How many campgrounds can afford a 50% discount? It has been stated on other threads that some of the Passport America CG's are run down, while other posts say they are fine. Is a 50% discount a sign of desperation, poor campgrounds or good marketing?

4. How many campgrounds are so committed to the WBCCI that it makes sense to them to offer such a large discount? Lynn and Maria are more committed than most plus they have a very nice campground (unnamed, of course). That may be exceptional.

5. It seems there would have to be a pretty large group of campgrounds offering a significant discount before this program would be big enough to attract the attention of Airstreamers who would then look for this benefit.

6. The WBCCI already has a bylaws provision enabling this sort of program. It is drafted loosely enough to authorize action on it, and perhaps there was once such a program. But the Club has ignored that bylaw. Some changing of minds is necessary and then some volunteers and budget to run the program. Would non-members of the IBT be allowed on this committee? Is there even such a committee active now?

7. Such a big discount may scare people away. If I am shopping for an item and the average price is $50, I ask if the $100 one is worth twice as much? Is usually isn't. I wonder if the $25 one is priced too cheap and is a piece of junk. It often is. This rule is not true in every case (Lynn and Maria's unnamed campground being the notable example of half price does not mean cheap junk in every case), but how many campers will think the discount indicates a crap campground?

8. How long will it take to get this going so that there are enough campgrounds to sell a program of international (US and Canada) discounts? Lynn and Maria have an Airstream and they have an emotional interest in promoting the organization. How many other campground owners feel the same way?

9. This proposal counts on prospective members being lured by discounts, and that is nice, but there has to be more than that. Campers have to be sold on whether the WBCCI is worth more than an occasional discount. A lot of people have been turned off by the Club or don't care because they have other alternatives, so they are unlikely to be sold on this. That leaves a group of those who are on the edge of joining or non joining, or never heard of the Club. This seems to be a fairly small group.

10. Any program has to show more benefit than cost and doing an objective analysis of that is beyond me. My gut feeling is that there may be better ways to go for members and so far, the Club has been ineffective at that. How they would do better with little change in leadership is problematical. This does not mean to give up, but simply to be aware it is a steep climb.

Being Devil's advocate is easy. I applaud Lynn and Maria for their commitment, their good campground (it is not hard to figure out where it is) and their desire to improve the Club. I think the IBT should resign and be replaced by the Four Corners Unit leaders (and Lynn) since that unit has grown geometrically in its short existence (I know that's not going to happen).

To get such a program going will require answering a bunch of questions and developing a detailed plan. It should be part of a comprehensive membership strategy run by different people since the ones in power have failed. And this idea may spur change and that's a good thing. Proof of several other campgrounds willing to offer major discounts would be helpful to promoting this.

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Old 09-18-2012, 12:41 PM   #35
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Oh, I don't necessarily think that campgrounds have to have a commitment to the WBCCI in order to offer a 50% discount through the club. If they did, you'd have to ask why these same campgrounds offer 50% via Passport America (PA).

The basic premise behind PA is to fill spaces that would not otherwise be filled. You can see from their site that campgrounds are also free to set whatever they restrictions they please, usually involving their high season or holiday period. Enchanted Trails in ABQ, for example, excludes Balloon Fiesta. (Why offer to fill empty spaces at 50% when there are no empty spaces in a given season or holiday period?)

Again, I doubt that more than just a very few of the PA campgrounds have people who are involved with the WBCCI.


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Old 09-18-2012, 01:39 PM   #36
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2. What percent of campers stay long enough at a park to make a discount sensible for the thrifty camper—Lynn said about 4 days, but it would be more days if the discount were less. Will that camper be staying at another participating park to make up the difference and will there be enough participating parks to make sense to Mr. Thrifty?
It would help if the campgrounds are "destination" campgrounds and not "waypoint" campgrounds where you only stop overnight en route to the real fun.

Quote:
3. How many campgrounds can afford a 50% discount? It has been stated on other threads that some of the Passport America CG's are run down, while other posts say they are fine. Is a 50% discount a sign of desperation, poor campgrounds or good marketing?
A perusal of the Passport America directory shows that many PA-networked campgrounds offer the discount only for the first night, and exclude weekends and holidays. If they only offer the discount for the first night, then they're more likely to be "waypoint" campgrounds with few amenities to draw in longer-duration campers.

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4. How many campgrounds are so committed to the WBCCI that it makes sense to them to offer such a large discount? Lynn and Maria are more committed than most plus they have a very nice campground (unnamed, of course). That may be exceptional.
Campgrounds committed to serving WBCCI fall into one of maybe four categories:
A - owner is a present or former WBCCI member;
B - park is already Airstream-only;
C - park has hosted a rally before;
D - park was a stopover location along a caravan before.
Otherwise, good luck finding parks that even know what WBCCI is. There's nothing in the WBCCI name to even indicate it's an Airstream club, if you don't know who Wally Byam was.

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5. It seems there would have to be a pretty large group of campgrounds offering a significant discount before this program would be big enough to attract the attention of Airstreamers who would then look for this benefit.
Certainly true for me. I don't plan my trips by flipping through a directory and asking, "Where can I use my discount today?" I pick the destination first, and then figure out which discount will work best for me, not the other way around.

Quote:
7. Such a big discount may scare people away. If I am shopping for an item and the average price is $50, I ask if the $100 one is worth twice as much? Is usually isn't. I wonder if the $25 one is priced too cheap and is a piece of junk. It often is. This rule is not true in every case (Lynn and Maria's unnamed campground being the notable example of half price does not mean cheap junk in every case), but how many campers will think the discount indicates a crap campground?
A rating system, with consistent rating methodology and kept up-to-date, coupled with unbiased reviews from them as have stayed there, would be the only way to know that the campsite is worth even half price. Sadly, WBCCI is resource-poor when it comes to things like this.

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9. This proposal counts on prospective members being lured by discounts, and that is nice, but there has to be more than that. Campers have to be sold on whether the WBCCI is worth more than an occasional discount. A lot of people have been turned off by the Club or don't care because they have other alternatives, so they are unlikely to be sold on this. That leaves a group of those who are on the edge of joining or non joining, or never heard of the Club. This seems to be a fairly small group.
Not helped by the fact that WBCCI membership already costs you three times as much as, say, a Good Sam membership that nets you vastly greater benefits. Having joined WBCCI less than a year ago, I can tell you that, to a prospective member, the only thing you seem to get for your membership, that doesn't cost you extra, is the Blue Beret nine times a year. Given what you pay for basic membership, that's one expensive magazine, far more expensive than its clearly amateur quality would justify. From the point of view of a prospective member, there are lots of RV clubs one could join instead that are more worthwhile in terms of benefits vs. cost to the member.

Quote:
10. Any program has to show more benefit than cost and doing an objective analysis of that is beyond me.
It has to show more benefit than cost to the club, and more benefit than cost to the individual members. The only way to do both is to get companies and groups to offer incentives at no or little cost. Happens all the time in the corporate world, as in, "Reserve this many hotel rooms and we'll throw in the conference room for free." Campground discounts could start out the same way… "Bring us a rally with xx number of participants, and we'll give every attendee a 15% discount on their rate for the duration of the rally." May not be exactly what Lynn proposed, but it would at least be a start. And it's something that the mysteriously silent RV Parks Standing Committee could actually do, if we could ever find a real committee member.

Quote:
I think the IBT should resign and be replaced by the Four Corners Unit leaders (and Lynn) since that unit has grown geometrically in its short existence (I know that's not going to happen).
Given that the IBT appears to have things set up so that it's to their own personal benefit to keep things the way they are, even though the status quo is clearly not to the club's benefit, I'm inclined to agree with you. If the trustees are not putting the club's best interests ahead of their own, they're violating the very meaning of the word "trustee."

Completely as an aside, why does the couple-thousand-strong WBCCI need to have two or three vice-presidents, when the whole 320-million-person US of A only needs one?
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:31 PM   #37
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It would help if the campgrounds are "destination" campgrounds and not "waypoint" campgrounds where you only stop overnight en route to the real fun.
I'm not sure it makes much difference. A good discount is a good discount.

Quote:
A perusal of the Passport America directory shows that many PA-networked campgrounds offer the discount only for the first night, and exclude weekends and holidays. If they only offer the discount for the first night, then they're more likely to be "waypoint" campgrounds with few amenities to draw in longer-duration campers.
In general, folks offer a discount off the daily rate, not off of weekly or monthly rates, which are already discounted. Even so, 50% of the daily rate is often cheaper than the weekly, but often more expensive than the monthly.
Quote:
Campgrounds committed to serving WBCCI fall into one of maybe four categories (deleted).. Otherwise, good luck finding parks that even know what WBCCI is. There's nothing in the WBCCI name to even indicate it's an Airstream club, if you don't know who Wally Byam was.
I'm not sure that's a great concern. One often refers to it, especially in external promotional materials, as the "WBCCI, the Airstream Association."

Quote:
A rating system, with consistent rating methodology and kept up-to-date, coupled with unbiased reviews from them as have stayed there, would be the only way to know that the campsite is worth even half price. Sadly, WBCCI is resource-poor when it comes to things like this.
Again, I don't think we should involve ourselves with ratings, just as Passport America does not. As it stands, there are plenty of independent ratings available out there.

Quote:
Not helped by the fact that WBCCI membership already costs you three times as much as, say, a Good Sam membership that nets you vastly greater benefits. Having joined WBCCI less than a year ago, I can tell you that, to a prospective member, the only thing you seem to get for your membership, that doesn't cost you extra, is the Blue Beret nine times a year. Given what you pay for basic membership, that's one expensive magazine, far more expensive than its clearly amateur quality would justify. From the point of view of a prospective member, there are lots of RV clubs one could join instead that are more worthwhile in terms of benefits vs. cost to the member.
From the view of a prospective member, then, we do need something more that what is currently offered. From the view of many current members, however, the rallies and caravans offer quite a lot of enrichment that is not easily available elsewhere. (I think Gene, having attended at least one cool rally, would certainly agree with that!) My idea is to sweeten the brew significantly for both groups.


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Old 09-18-2012, 03:39 PM   #38
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From the view of a prospective member, then, we do need something more that what is currently offered. From the view of many current members, however, the rallies and caravans offer quite a lot of enrichment that is not easily available elsewhere. (I think Gene, having attended at least one cool rally, would certainly agree with that!) My idea is to sweeten the brew significantly for both groups.


Lynn
Lynn, A qualified yes to a "cool rally", that is, the Balloon Fiesta. We actually went to a very small and informal one about 4 years ago near Leadville and showed up at Heron Lake SP a couple of years ago a day after a rally because Rodney (Boondocker) was there (2 others had stayed over too) and we were nearby anyway. All were cool in their own ways. They were all 4CU rallies. Not all rallies appear to be "cool" according to what I've read on the Forum.

A wholehearted yes to offering something more, especially since I said it several posts ago. What does something more consist of? Discounts are one way, but governance issues also need solutions since that is a major issue often discussed on the Forum. Another is how to direct prospective members to a unit that fits them, something that is never discussed in terms of a solution. People join a unit and find it is for a certain subgroup and never renew. Some units seem stuck in another era, run like the military or reflecting a very different culture than I want to be involved in (we live in a county which seems stuck in the past and we don't need to join a Club stuck in that same place). Yes, the culture wars affect the WBCCI too.

I think Lynn's proposal is a serious and good attempt to help the Club. Maybe this isn't the thread to discuss thorough reform of the WBCCI, but I think there should be acknowledgement there's a lot more to be done in the name of reform. I've been following the WBCCI debate for 5 years and it is in the same place as it has been since 2008 (and maybe for a lot longer) and I really don't see anything has changed.

Lynn's idea is something new and I think that is hopeful.

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Old 09-18-2012, 05:01 PM   #39
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I'm not sure it makes much difference. A good discount is a good discount.
Where it makes a difference is, if only your first night is discounted, as it is with many campgrounds in the Passport America network, then where's the incentive to stay more than one night? So, a "waypoint" campground, not a "destination" campground.

Quote:
In general, folks offer a discount off the daily rate, not off of weekly or monthly rates, which are already discounted. Even so, 50% of the daily rate is often cheaper than the weekly, but often more expensive than the monthly.
If it's 50% off multiple nights, then yes, it's a great deal. But 50% off just the first night (as with quite a few PA campgrounds) is a declining discount; stay two nights, and it has become just 25% off your total stay. Stay five nights, and it's only 10% off the total stay.

And if the discount doesn't apply to weekends and holidays, when the folks who still work for a living will be out camping, then offering a discount doesn't help that particular camper at all.

That's one reason why out of the five camping trips I've taken this year, four of them have been to Louisiana state parks or to CoE campgrounds, where they take the America the Beautiful Access Pass and Senior Pass. 50% off, anytime— including weekends and holidays— is the best deal I've gotten anywhere.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:06 PM   #40
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Because we're thinking about joining PA (as individuals, not as a park), I wanted to investigate how common the one-night restriction is. Below are the findings for our state (admittedly a small sample, but all I plan to do).
  1. P.A. discount is valid for one night
  2. P.A. discount is valid for 2 nights only. P.A. discount is not valid during October and Balloon Fiesta.
  3. P.A. discount is valid for seven days. Not valid during holidays and from October 1st-15th.
  4. (no restriction)
  5. P.A. discount is valid for one night.
  6. (no restriction)
  7. P.A. discount is valid for 2 weeks
  8. P.A. discount is valid for 3 nights
  9. From Oct thru April, PA is valid for 2 nights. From May thru Sept, PA is valid for 4 nights.
  10. P.A. discount is not valid during "Old Timers Festival".
  11. P.A. discount is valid for 1 night
  12. Passport discount allowed Monday through Thursday only, no holidays. Valid up to 3 nights per stay.
  13. P.A. discount is valid Monday through Thursday only.
  14. (no restriction)
  15. (no restriction)
  16. (no restriction)
  17. P.A. discount is valid 7 days. P.A. discount is not valid October 1 through October 15th.
  18. P.A. discount good November 1st through March 1st only. P.A. discount good for four nights.
  19. P.A. discount is valid 7 days. P.A. discount is not valid October 1st through October 15th.
  20. P.A. discount is valid for one night.
  21. (no restriction)
  22. (no restriction)
  23. PA is valid for 7 nights.
  24. (no restriction)
  25. P.A. discount is valid from November 1st through April 1st. P.A. discount is valid for two days.
  26. P.A. discount is valid for one night.
  27. P.A. discount is valid for 1 night.
  28. P.A. discount is valid for 3 nights maximum. P.A. discount is not valid Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day weekends
  29. Minimum stay of three nights required.
  30. PA is valid for two nights.
  31. (no restriction)
  32. (no restriction)
  33. (no restriction)
The survey indicates that 10 of the 33 parks restrict the stay to one or two nights. However, the survey also indicates that 11 of them have no restriction whatsoever. The remaining have some kind of restriction, though not necessarily such a short one.

Probably not a bad deal for $44 per year (PA membership)! May not be a bad deal if we could get a good number of them to give us a discount as well.


Lynn
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:25 PM   #41
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What we really need is an AS VISA card where you earn points just like the airlines. You can get free days,weeks or months depending on how much you use your card. AS itself could make this work and have the WBCCI dues a part of the annual card. One could add vehicle insurance, personal insurance, towing, etc. Why get left out??

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Old 09-23-2012, 08:50 PM   #42
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Airstream (Division of Thor Industries INC) has no business relationship with WBCCI other that they supply gifts to the Region and International Rallies and buy advertising space in the club's magazine. WBCCI is a non-profit organization which are normally do not get involved with issuing Credit Cards. Good Sam (Afinity) (a for profit commercial company) is allowed to own an insurance company and a bank, which is allowed to issue credit cards.
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