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streamer23 01-23-2006 06:02 AM

WBCCI stats
 
For those that are interested.I have been compiling WBCCI stats for 10 years as part of a little hobby I have.Part of the breakdown of the stats is the amount of members per unit.

The information I use is what is published in the annual directory.This year,28 units increased membership,103 units decreased in membership and 10 units remained unchanged.

Total membership as per the 2006 Directory is 6913 members ,down from 7504 members last year.

To me,the numbers clearly show change is needed.There are some units that are growing.What are they doing right?To me,this is far more than just a name change issue.Why are so many new members not renewing?What is being done to find out why?How can the WBCCI website be improved?

Before joining the Sierra Nevada Unit this year I was a member at large for several years.Was this info passed on to my local unit to see if I was interested in joining?Stronger units in my opinion make a stronger club.So many questions.

It would be nice to see an action plan from the club to address some of these issues or at least informing the membership that they are aware of them.

I want the club to survive and have made my info available in the past to WBCCI so some focus could be given to help struggling units etc but as of yet.....

dwightdi 01-23-2006 07:25 AM

Changes
 
They did start issuing banners for those local chapters who met activity goals. This did seem to motivate some local leaders to hold more activities which hopefully would attract more new members.

National leadership did conduct survey to try to identify what changes are desired but it was not properly structured to identify what really might attract new members or keep younger members coming to the events. The survey was not given to possible prospective members so potential members ideas were not included. It was distributed only to current members and not members who had reccently dropped membership so It could not possibly identify the reasons why people drop their membership.

Therefore, the survey could not be used to identify what changes might be need to be made to grow the club or maintain membership.

The people who constructed the survey did not have any professional marketing experience and therefore you can not expect them to be able to really accomplish this type of strategic thinking.

The club should hire a professional person or team with corporate or non-profit experience with a proven track record of building an organization like ours. The club mission and goals must be established that will lead the organization into the future.

05ModPod 01-23-2006 08:37 AM

Streamer 23.

I hear your hobby goes well beyond a quick glance at the Directory as we travel down the many roads:) It really is quite amazing the hobby with the hobby you have had all these years.

I love statistics too - and the many ways in which you can "interpret" them.

If quesions such as in a Membership Survey are asked correctly - any Organization can get an excellent reading for their members past, present and yes even forsee the future.

But as dwightdi points out - the organization has to know what they are doing before any such survey can even come close to validating the questions it is trying to answer.

I belonged to an amatuer sport as their staff member for 15 years - with a Board, Executive regional structure of over 500 with well over 100 Associations and 15,000 members at the time.

It is inevitable that ever organization goes through transitions - and barometer readings need to be checked and double checked. Whether the Organization is young or old by Non-Profit standards.

The first thing our Board did was to ask themselves - if we want to do this right which is the best way to do it? And they hired a professional consulting firm to come in and perform the task.

This meant first defining all the facets of the sport and it's volunteers, staff and members. It was quite clear in order to critique - constrcutively - the organization and it's programs, activities goals and objectives that the same survey could not go out to the same people.

It would be impossible for a Volunteer say at the National level to look at the Organization the same way as a Unit President or a Paid Staff Member or even a first time member compared with a longstanding member. All these demographics were taken into consideration.

(using approximate numbers) Just a small observation of the recent survey - of the 8000+ members of which I assume include the total number of Officers in the organziation - only 1500 retruned the questionnaire. Of the 1500 68% 1020 reported that they were or had been officers of the Organization.

First with this staggering response - I would certainly hope that the tabulators were able to figure out if they were active officers or past officers. Because surely you would not allow such a high percentage critique the very programs they are providing to their membership:blink:

Another simple observation was over 50% of the respondents were over the age of 66 - dig a little deaper and 88% are over the age of 51.

Which would probably be correct to say that 95% of those respondents no longer work. So as dwightdi mentioned and Streamer23 - how can this member profile possibly give a barometer reading for the Organization and be the voice of all those new members with children, pets and still both work very much.


And lastely which I had brought up in another thread - there is the matter the second part of the questionnaire that apparently a 42 page comment book was compiled. But to date there has been nothing further mentioned of this.

I sure hope that this survey was the "sampling" survey - to let the organization know that they are in serious trouble - an that it was a starting point - for stage two of the Critique - and that a more thorough and accurate sampling of the membership will take place in the very near future.

Another small obeservation too - that we should not all be too quick to jump on statistic either..

Take a unit that is doing their bit - really well the members are happy and they have a great number of different members all satisfied - and yet their numbers are dropping consitently every year.

Please do not rule out the known and sad fact that membership decrease can be attributed to death. You just have to look at the years where there was a tremendous increase in membership - and then add on the average span of longstanding members - then you can pin point the year or period of years that your membership numbers will drop in large numbers. Especially if the Member recruitment program has not been operating at full speed.

Very similar to sports - the year of and the following year of Olympics, Olympic sports registartions jumps - if the country does really well or the actual provincial/State contingent then the numbers go even higher.

....but then a professional company would be able to let WBCCI know these things and help them steer in the right direction.

:flowers:

streamer23 01-23-2006 09:12 AM

All good points Sharon.I truely believe a professional company is the way to go and in my opinion a better place to spend the money than a name change:sad:
Yes,stats can be interputed in many different ways.I can say that there are probably more new members added yearly than the amount of current members who pass away but still the number of members dwindle.As an example...1996 Directory membership total..10,300 members...2006 Directory total..6913 members.Back in the seventies at one point there were over 25,000 members.This decline is happenning at a time when the RV industry is booming and one would think membership should be too.

JStanley 01-23-2006 11:22 AM

This is a very informative new thread, in addition to several others on the Forum concerning the welfare of WBCCI. No one wants the organization to flounder and the Forum helps us identify areas the need improvement. I only hope that your observations, ideas, and suggestions will get summarized and presented to WBCCI HQ in Jackson Center. How do we get WBCCI's attention? Do they read the issues presented here?

streamer23 01-23-2006 11:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JStanley
This is a very informative new thread, in addition to several others on the Forum concerning the welfare of WBCCI. No one wants the organization to flounder and the Forum helps us identify areas the need improvement. I only hope that your observations, ideas, and suggestions will get summarized and presented to WBCCI HQ in Jackson Center. How do we get WBCCI's attention? Do they read the issues presented here?

I am in the process now of doing just that.It will take a little time.Previous attempts have failed but this time I have some help through other members of my unit to try to make our voices heard.Maybe some others could join in.An old saying goes..the squeaky wheel gets the grease:brows: .

05ModPod 01-23-2006 03:50 PM

Unfortunately - this is a difficult time for the membership to be heard. There are several issues on the table right now - that many are very passionate about - this can at times but an organization on the defensive - and force them to dig their heels in.

However the voice is and should continue to be with the membership. It is just a matter of communicating through the correct channels.

This forum however, is not an official anything - other than an official place for spontaneous thoughts to be expressed to fellow Airstreamers. It should always be a place where varying opinions can be voiced - without recourse.

The topic of WBCCI and its direction has led the way to some fiesty and passionate conversations.

I hope points for all sides will assist various members Across North America address like issues within their Unit - and promote open communication for all.

Many people here say Unit functions from the smallest Rally, or Lunch all the way to the longest Caravan and the International Rally are what you make of it yourselves.

If there are activities not offered then when you get their initiate them yourselves. Alot of our events are at Fairgrounds - so bring your bats, and gloves, or start a huge Crocket game - parents against kids. Or start that huge Pet contest yourselves. Most Units have a list of their members and most will let you know who is coming - so contact them and find out if there are other bring kids or pets or who maybe interested in what you are interested in.

A Rally schedule is always OPTIONAL to it participants!

I may sound tough sometimes and may be a pain on these forums with long posts. But my time will come when I can make a difference with the "Club" I have joined -what attracted me to this club was not what it is right now - but it's POTENTIAL to be my travel dreams of the future and to meet so many new friends "world wide".

Hope you all have a chance to have your voice heard at your Spring Rallies. if you can not attend - ask to cast your vote via phone, e-mail or by mail - You all have a right to Vote.

Speaking of which I am off to another voting stations - again - gees these Canadian Politicians - if the spent more time and effort improving this Country rather than slinging mud - hmmmm sound familiar:blink: :blink: :blink:

Alumaholic 01-23-2006 04:29 PM

The WBCCI Survey was Deeply Flawed
 
Having had some education in designing and evaluating surveys, it was easy to recognize a flawed survey when it was published in the Blue Beret.
The survey was better designed to provide affirmation to those already so heavily invested in the status quo than to provide ideas to transform and reinvigorate the club.

This may explain the demographics of the respondents. Those who like things the way they are probably enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the survey. Those who are frustrated and seek change probably saw no opportunity to express their viewpoint in the available responses to the survey's questions. Like me, they may have seen no reason to participate in an already biased survey.

By the way, I'm 59 years old, love Airstreams, and really enjoy visiting places of great scenic beauty and meeting interesting people who share my interest in Airstreams. I have never been much interested in the ceremonies, meetings, and self-important regional, national, and international hierarchy of the WBCCI. "Camping" in a fairgrounds has never made sense to me, but then neither do berets and flag ceremonies.

bryanl 01-23-2006 05:47 PM

There is another 'barometer' out there and it is the Unit Award Program. I think it it quite a bit more rigorous than that survey but it suffers in that the idea of using it as a barometer is missing.

Any organization needs to measure its health on a regular basis and use that to generate feedback that guide future efforts. Statistics such as Mike's are one measure and the award program data are another but neither of these are used to provide regular feedback much less guide future action for WBCCI as far as I can see.

A good barometer is going to provide early indication of developing problems. That means it needs to measure the right things and the measures need to be interpreted by someone trained to understand them properly. An organization like the WBCCI should have thresholds and defined actions to take when these are crossed.

The way I see it, the local Unit is the entity that should be examined for WBCCI health on a regular basis. Regional officers should have some formal instrument to asses the health of every Unit in their realm on an annual basis. They should have guidelines and some training to detect potential problems and to assist in preventing them from becoming significant - even to the point of intervention under defined guidelines. This actually happens somewhat.

But, it appears to me, that officer positions in WBCCI are mostly for developing caravan and rally position experience. At the regional level it is for the International rally and at Unit level in the support of Unit activity.

Even the infrastructure to measure organization health doesn't seem to exist. My feeling is that is one reason why the name brouhaha got going.

As Sharon and Pete noted, these issues are not unknown and healthy and vibrant organizations have these kinds of measurement, training, and procedure processes as a matter of tradition and habit. WBCCI has a lot that can be done in this area.

streamer23 01-24-2006 05:49 AM

If there are any other WBCCI members out there who might be interested in seeing the 10 year membership numbers for their unit pm me and I will send them to you.Some of the numbers may be real eye openers for those involved.

streamer23 01-24-2006 04:45 PM

Knowledge is power and in this case,I hope the power to facilitate change for the better to build a stronger club to be enjoyed for many years to come.I have received quite a few responses to my offer and I hope some good comes out of it.That was my intention from the beginning.

streamer23 01-25-2006 06:18 AM

Here is an overview of the stats I have collected on WBCCI membership over the past 10+ years.

Of the original total of 176 units,a net total of 36 units NO LONGER EXIST.

Since 1996,WBCCI membership has fallen from 10,300 members to 6913 members.

There have been 20 units ,that over the past 10 years,have actually INCREASED their membership.


What have these 20 successful units been doing differently than the other original 156?

WBCCI has been aware for a number of years that increasing and retaining current members is of great importance and have tried to address this issue.Some of the attempts have been a free year of membership,merit awards and even awareness of the current members of the situation.I applaud WBCCI for their attempts but the numbers do not lie.Something else has to be done and the sooner the better.To state an overused cliche,WBCCI has to think outside the box.And maybe,outside the organization.

I am an ardent supporter of WBCCI.I'm 46 today and would like the club to be around in future years to enjoy.To stick with the status quo I fear will spell iminent disaster.But the winds of change blow slowly in WBCCI land if you know what I mean.I have met countless members who have tried and continue to try to facilitate some changes that are needed to turn the membership number around.DON'T GIVE UP.The fight has just begun.That's the fight for a strong and vibrant club for many years to come.

This is my opinion only and is not intended to offend anyone.If it has,I'm sorry.Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

05ModPod 01-25-2006 06:53 AM

Oh my gawd I think I'm in love.....:flowers:

Just kidding - had to say something - cause a little rule here says I have to give Karma to someonelse first before I lay some more on you mike:rolleyes:

That would consider to be a landslide drop in membership - if we just looked at the numbers - but we do have to look at all variables in society.

Aging being one, purchase of new and used rigs) and sociatle trends.

The issue I see here too - someone commented earlier - is "indifference".

For example a unit that takes in almost the same amount of new members as it looses each year - they become "indifferent". They are blinded by other factors such as running the same number of Rallies each year with approximately the same number attending the events each year. So to an Unit Executive they may be their barometer stick. And that 20% inflow and outflow of members is more than acceptable.

They just can not not see problems.

It will take strong minded members or non-members to make a difference. And as you say Streamer23 we must not give up - we must keep trying a little bit at a time.

Sometime "Statistics" can be an eye opener - can make an organization look in the mirror and start to ask questions.

I will say one thing our local Units drop in membership is consistent with the total Unit drop - approximately 20% But the International drop is 10% higher overall at 33%.

This could actually be the driving force behind the Name Change from the Top Down - a desparate measure for desparate times. I sympathize - but whole heartedly disagree. Units like our own has to own up to the members leaving every year - and find out why - ask what it would take to keep you as a member - and get it done.

Keeping in mind - some just don't like any type of club and that should be respected.

What is your Units statistics - and how do you deal with membership new and or those who do not renuew???

dwightdi 01-25-2006 07:27 AM

Many local units are in reality social clubs. They are the same old group of friends getting together to camp at given spot to talk and eat or they may just have lunch at a local spot. Social clubs in the US are mostly on a down slide (Amercan Legion, VFW,Knights of Columbus, etc). Some locals own excellant campgrounds and offer camping cheap or even full time residential lots cheap. Other locals are doing new things and going new places. These are the ones that will survive. InterNational WBCCI leadership can not dictate exactly how a local must operate. Local conditions vary considerably and local politics may be well ingrained with a few leaders which circulate the offices over and over till they die. The national leadership needs to find out what potential memberships want to get from a club, to convince them to join. They then must work to provide those benefits to the members at the lowest possible cost. They should also identify what is causing members (that still own Airstreams) to quit the club. They then must work to eliminate those local or national actions which are causing people to quit. My own personal survey (very small) found people did not think they were getting a good value for their money and did not like what they saw when they came to some currently provided events. After the survey when I was president of the local, I changed those things which I could and got some pretty good turnout. To stop the downward spiral, the national organization has to take the same approach. Changing the name will not be signifigant in fixing what needs to be fixed.

Rivetedude 01-25-2006 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by streamer23
For those that are interested.I have been compiling WBCCI stats for 10 years as part of a little hobby I have.Part of the breakdown of the stats is the amount of members per unit.

The information I use is what is published in the annual directory.This year,28 units increased membership,103 units decreased in membership and 10 units remained unchanged.

Total membership as per the 2006 Directory is 6913 members ,down from 7504 members last year.

To me,the numbers clearly show change is needed.There are some units that are growing.What are they doing right?To me,this is far more than just a name change issue.Why are so many new members not renewing?What is being done to find out why?How can the WBCCI website be improved?

Before joining the Sierra Nevada Unit this year I was a member at large for several years.Was this info passed on to my local unit to see if I was interested in joining?Stronger units in my opinion make a stronger club.So many questions.

It would be nice to see an action plan from the club to address some of these issues or at least informing the membership that they are aware of them.

I want the club to survive and have made my info available in the past to WBCCI so some focus could be given to help struggling units etc but as of yet.....

The problem is the bull-headedness of WBCCI itself. Looking at WBCCI's problems is the same as looking at Airstream's problems. They are remarkable similar. Airstream however is turning the curve in they're direction by changing whereas WBCCI refuses to accept change.

As a FORMER RV Sales Rep and not a CURRENT one, I can now say that Airstream's problem was that they're clientel was dying off. That was the reason Airstream saw a huge decline in sales. They decided to turn they're marketing in the direction of a younger well-to-do crowd and now they're flourishing once again. You have only to look at the CCD, the Basecamp, or the Quiksilver editions to see the changes. Now let's bounce back to WBCCI.

WBCCI isn't planning on allowing Basecamp owners into the club. Why the @!^$ not? In a market where the cheapest product wins (Wal-Mart is the largest company in the world and they sell junk), why would the WBCCI not want those large numbers pouring in? They've also been rumored to shun children from various activities and rallies. I had a customer who said a WBCCI cabinet member told his 11-yo daughter that she was not a member. He's having serious doubts as to whether or not he will continue his subscription.

Simply put, WBCCI can not continue to resist change or it will canabolize itself.

jcanavera 01-25-2006 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rivetedude
WBCCI isn't planning on allowing Basecamp owners into the club. Why the @!^$ not? In a market where the cheapest product wins (Wal-Mart is the largest company in the world and they sell junk), why would the WBCCI not want those large numbers pouring in? They've also been rumored to shun children from various activities and rallies. I had a customer who said a WBCCI cabinet member told his 11-yo daughter that she was not a member. He's having serious doubts as to whether or not he will continue his subscription.

Simply put, WBCCI can not continue to resist change or it will canabolize itself.

Ben,
Is the Basecamp statement fact? I know this was brought up in a vote at our unit rally (along with the name change:brows: ) last spring. We had a spirited discussion on it with myself and others reminding the naysayers who claimed that the Basecamp didn't meet the self contained rules, that some vintage Airstreams do not comply either. We also reminded them that they excluded Argosy's and motorhomes at one time. Bottom line we noted that if you exclude the Basecamps now, you are potentially cutting off the source of future membership if they move up into the trailers. At that point we voted for approval and we instructed our delegate to vote for inclusion of the Basecamp at the IBT.

As far as the kids comment, be aware that in any organization there are those who I just consider jerks. Just like the group from Kansas who told me at a regional rally that next time I come back to a regional, I better have my numbers on my trailer......Not!:mad: Personally I won't throw the baby out with the bath water at this point just because of a few who are anal in their views.

Jack

05ModPod 01-25-2006 08:41 AM

Excellent points Rivitdude

I was just trying to put myself in the shoes of the Corporate Sales Person - in a canny effort to try and understand the issue of "Name Change"

It is a tough pill to swallow - when you send so many new members towards a WBCCI Unit - and then the same number if not more leave the club. Would make it pretty hard for the After Sales Process.

Sending new purchasers - to a "Dying Club" time after time year after year. What comes to mind is "Dissassociation" It would be far easier than helping the club to change now wouldn't it. This is the first real fuel I have seen on the pro side of a name change. But it is still superficial and not justification.

Now if the base camp is not getting back to the initial roots - or design of the Airstream I do not know what is. Listening to theVap cast with Wally's interview;) the other day I noted his 5th Avenue comment - this( motorhomes and triple axels) would be his top end of the spectrum with the Basecamp being the initial starting point of the spectrum.

05ModPod 01-25-2006 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcanavera
Ben,
........ naysayers who claimed that the Basecamp didn't meet the self contained rules, that some vintage Airstreams do not comply either. We also reminded them that they excluded Argosy's and motorhomes at one time.........
Jack

A smart political move was to ammend Article VI Sec 1. "Adult Onwers of units manufactured by Airstream, Inc prior to 1975 shall also be eligible.

However a newer ammendment should be put into motion this year and nip this us/them mentality in the bud once and for all.

The Article as written is restrictive and contradicts Article III Objectives of the International Club

If I can I would like to put a motion forth at our Spring Rally to replace Article VI Sec.1 with.....Any adult who owns a recreational vehicle manufactured by Airstream Inc. (Division of Thor) shall be eligible for Membership.

jcanavera 01-25-2006 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GT6921
If I can I would like to put a motion forth at our Spring Rally to replace Article VI Sec.1 with.....Any adult who owns a recreational vehicle manufactured by Airstream Inc. (Division of Thor) shall be eligible for Membership.

Thanks for that tidbit. I wasn't aware that they closed that loophole regarding the vintage units.

Unless I'm corrected by others, I think that your motion above was pretty verbatim of what was proposed last year. The Basecamp was talked about since it was the first new vehicle that didn't meet the self contained rule. Maybe some of the folks who were so detailed about the name change issue can chime in as to what happened to this motion. It should have been on the winter IBT agenda as a voting item.

Jack

bryanl 01-25-2006 10:42 AM

"WBCCI isn't planning on allowing Basecamp owners into the club. Why the @!^$ not? In a market where the cheapest product wins"

"The Article as written is restrictive and contradicts Article III Objectives of the International Club"

For Airstream RV the issue is brand dillution. The idea that the 'cheapest product wins' is also missing the Airstream RV, and many other quality oriented brands, market positioning. When people hear Airstream RV, what image comes to mind? Is Airstream RV building and strengthening this or is it weakening it?

The contradictions in WBCCI bylaws and policies is an example of the same kind of confusion that brand dillution illustrates. The basic purpose of WBCCI is shared with many other RV organizations. The question is about what makes it unique and different and special with its own identity.

You can see people searching for this identity in how they choose to participate. You can see it in terms of vitality and growth as compared to those units that have degenerated into social clubs with minimal or no growth.

IMHO, both Airstream and WBCCI have resorted to gimmicks and tricks to paint over ills rather than address the fundamental issues behind their problems. If you look, you can see these fundamental issues crying to be heard. The CCD isn't a 'compete on cost' product and is easily identified as an Airstream. The VAC is saying something to WBCCI. too. So are the vigorous units.

I don't think the message is about catering and pandering to those who don't have time to do much with their RV. It isn't financial benefit of belonging to WBCCI. But maybe it just might have something to do with Wally's idea of adventure centered on a unique type and style of RV.


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