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Old 07-28-2004, 05:17 PM   #241
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So are you coming to Jamaica. I'll bring my Bobby Marley CD collection.
yep. just need to book a site...didn't get a chance at work today. a little busy.
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Old 07-28-2004, 05:28 PM   #242
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Well this is VERY disappointing, as I think about it not surprising that someday SOB's will be allowed. If the current membership and administration what to keep their old folks retirement club, then thats the only solution to me. Not that that is necessarily bad, but not something I will want to participate in. At this point, the VAC rally is the only rally I'm attending/holds my interest this year - have dropped all the others.

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Old 07-28-2004, 08:59 PM   #243
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Why isn't there an AIRSTREAM OWNERS CLUB?????????
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Old 07-28-2004, 09:57 PM   #244
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I spoke to a WBCCI Caravan Leader who was also staying at Mill Creek Campground up in Mackinaw City at the time of our Midwest Forum Rally. He saw me at a store in town and asked my opinion of WBCCI. He got an earful from me. When I asked him if the results of the survey were discussed he noted that the powers in charge nodded their collective heads up and down while holding their hands over their ears. An obvious euphamism that they ignored what they read.

Obviously the comment about the results were statistically flawed or not a true measurement goes back to my original concern that the survey was preaching to the choir. They missed the mark in that those who are still in the organization are happy with its direction. Unfortunately those ranks are being diminished by death and other infirmities. Its the fact that they can't get new members to replenish the ranks or those who join leave after the first year.

The caravan leader told me that years ago, 50% of the new Airstream owners joined WBCCI. The statistics now are 15%. Considering they build between 1,200-1,500 new units a year a 15% join rate doesn't dent the fallout.

I guess I'll run over to the WBCCI site and stir the pot in their forum. Maybe we will learn something.

Regards,

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Old 07-29-2004, 08:50 AM   #245
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So let me ask a really dumb question. How are these people elected and by whom. I don't remember getting any ballots in the mail. I suspect, and it's just a wild mule guess, that the process favors the same types keeping control. Never got no nomination stuff, I promise to stuff, ect. Now I figure one of the problems is no one really wants the jobs except those who have been waiting around for 30 years for their turn. The whole thing seems to run like some secret society. Maybe there was more to that Ethopia and Egypt trip than meets the eye. Wasn't there something about coing out of the west in a silver carriott in Revelations? I mean they wouldn't knew aluminum.

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Old 07-29-2004, 09:39 AM   #246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
So let me ask a really dumb question. How are these people elected and by whom.
I'm pretty sure each unit sends delegates which do the voting while at the International. It's a track, once you enter into the lower end of the International Officers you progress one office each year. In most cases they have to recruit a secretary, treasurer, and and one VP each year (assuming no other VP's quit or die). The VP's are the ones who move to a higher office each year. Its really the same as how the local units work.

I was asked to run for 3rd VP in our unit but declined, I'm currently a Trustee on the unit board. My problem is that with work I do not have the time to do the functions required as you move up in the ranks. That's part of the problem in the organization which caters to the retired folks who have lots of free time to plan the pomp and circumstance and all the activities from breakfast, seminars, day trips, social hours, dinner, and of course games at night.

Now I did commit to do a rally for the unit in 2006. Change is in the air and the President for 2006 asked me to do it in Airstream Forums style. Hurray!

Jack
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Old 07-29-2004, 11:01 AM   #247
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The process of electing the international board is thus:

The nomination committee, a 3 person committee is charged with approaching members for nomination.

The members that are interested in the offices that will be open submit a resume of their qualifications to the committee with acceptance of the nomination. The nominees then send resumes to the unit Presidents with letters requesting support, this is the campaigning. The units will inform the delegates if there is a reason not to accept the persons that have been nominated so that the nomination can be voted up or down at the delegates meeting. Once the nominees have been picked then the resumes are published in the Blue Beret for the members to be notified. This is because many members to not attend rallies of their unit. The slate of nominees is officially elected at the meeting of the delegates attending International.

You are correct in your assumption that there are folks that want the job, the members that go through the ranks are supporters of the club. This has a tendency to maintain the status quo,. There is no way a that a mover and shaker can jump into the Presidency of the club.

The club is not a top down organization. The club is a bottom up one. The strength of the whole club lies in the strength of the local units. If the club is not doing something that you want to see done having 50-100 members of a unit make noise on the issue will be heard.


What I am trying to say is that the most action is in having a vibrant unit, with local leadership that is willing to stand up and say that they want change. One member is not going to be able to do much, but get a bunch together and you have to be listened too/dealt with.
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Old 07-29-2004, 11:09 AM   #248
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I have been a HOG (Harley Owners Group) member for over 5 yrs, was a member of the s.o.b. Casita Club (forum-based) for the 2 yrs we owned one, & a member of the WBCCI. So far I've been very active with WBCCI & see many, many problems (& some, few, good points) with it. NOTHING like our other FUN groups. Change can only come from within, unless the whole thing implodes before that!!
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:13 AM   #249
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I just got my Blue Beret yesterday and read the article posted regarding the survey. First it was interesting to note that a high percentage of the respondees have internet access. The question was raised as to how to make available the 75 pages of comments to the membership. My suggestion is to build the comments as PDF files and place a link from the WBCCI site. Cost would be minimal and those who wanted to print it could, and others could just read.

A few other thoughts. Two big items caught my eye. First was the breakdown of age groups responsiding to the survey. The lack of response from younger folks was quite evident. Second, the lack of response from members belonging 4 years or less.

Those who read my original post about the survey remember my "preaching to the choir" concern. Obviously long time members are probably happier with the organization the way it is today. Our concerns should have been with those who joined and then left.

I would hope that there was additional analysis of the responses from the younger age groups and those who have been members in the 4 years or less catagory. The answers to the survey from these core groups will tell leadership as to where the issues are and what direction is needed. This group is the future of the organization.

Jack
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:34 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by jcanavera
I would hope that there was additional analysis of the responses from the younger age groups and those who have been members in the 4 years or less catagory. The answers to the survey from these core groups will tell leadership as to where the issues are and what direction is needed. This group is the future of the organization.

Jack
I couldn't have said it better if I had tried and could not agree more.
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:41 AM   #251
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Thumbs down

I'm at the Region 1 Rally in Woodstock CT. What caught my eye is how many of the officers are in the Bus type Thor (Airstream) MH. I think there may be a culture shift here. For me Airstream is classic style not brand name. Sorry. I think the use of the Airstream name by Thor for bus like MH resulted in a major change in the WBCCI culture. I wonder when they will put the name on something else that's square.
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:44 AM   #252
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Jack,

We never read the Blue Beret, but for some odd reason I flipped through it yesterday before tossing it into the recycle pile.

I glanced through that survey as well--and found several major shortcomings. First, by putting it in the magazine, they limited its distribution to folks who actually read it--and logically, if they are missing their membership targets, then the people they really need to survey are the folks who don't read it and the folks who don't join. This would have be better served by a random sample of members and non-members. Additionally, the survey on first glance failed to ask questions aimed at anything except self-validation. Finally, they didn't effectively analyze the results to see how responses varied by characteristic populations. An example of this might kind of analysis might involve calculating how many of the folks who don't attend rallies read the magazine?

From a marketing perspective, WBCCI would be better served by addressing this strategically. They can still use this survey to capture a profile of their high participation/loyal membership. Then they need to identify the issues and concerns of the low and non-participants. A plan for the non-participants might involve contacting Thor for the profile of current customers, then having a neutral group conduct focus groups with them. Finally, they can aim at the low participants by selecting a group of members that have not attended national rallies and have not responded to the survey and focus grouping them.

All of this will take money and effort--but they do need to put resources into this area if they want to build up appeal to the group they are failing to attract at the current time.

Mary
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:44 AM   #253
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<---- Not yet members, but just mailed our check today. Might be some value in an exit interview for members that don't renew?
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Old 08-06-2004, 09:00 AM   #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
Jack,

We never read the Blue Beret, but for some odd reason I flipped through it yesterday before tossing it into the recycle pile.
Talk about lack of participation......


Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
I glanced through that survey as well--and found several major shortcomings. First, by putting it in the magazine, they limited its distribution to folks who actually read it--and logically, if they are missing their membership targets, then the people they really need to survey are the folks who don't read it and the folks who don't join. This would have be better served by a random sample of members and non-members.
Did you reply to survey?, You did say you never read the BB, didnt you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
Additionally, the survey on first glance failed to ask questions aimed at anything except self-validation. Finally, they didn't effectively analyze the results to see how responses varied by characteristic populations. An example of this might kind of analysis might involve calculating how many of the folks who don't attend rallies read the magazine?
From a marketing perspective, WBCCI would be better served by addressing this strategically. They can still use this survey to capture a profile of their high participation/loyal membership. Then they need to identify the issues and concerns of the low and non-participants. A plan for the non-participants might involve contacting Thor for the profile of current customers, then having a neutral group conduct focus groups with them. Finally, they can aim at the low participants by selecting a group of members that have not attended national rallies and have not responded to the survey and focus grouping them.
I think the WBCCI could use some direction, you seem knowledgable in surveys, would you volunteer your assistance as ALL other WBCCI efforts are voluntary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
All of this will take money and effort--but they do need to put resources into this area if they want to build up appeal to the group they are failing to attract at the current time.Mary
Mary, I respect your comments but it always come down to opinions of how it should be done. Please help our efforts and write your suggestions to the WBCCI and maybe even lend a helping hand.
I hope you are motivated to be an active member and assist in pursuing our goals.

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Old 08-06-2004, 09:16 AM   #255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
I'm at the Region 1 Rally in Woodstock CT. What caught my eye is how many of the officers are in the Bus type Thor (Airstream) MH. I think there may be a culture shift here. For me Airstream is classic style not brand name. Sorry. I think the use of the Airstream name by Thor for bus like MH resulted in a major change in the WBCCI culture. I wonder when they will put the name on something else that's square.

The club and the product have to compete. The classic bodied motorhome was not competing against the lower cost box styles so Airstream brought them out. Many of the officers live full time in their coach. I cannot imagine trying to full time in a classic motorhome, when compared to the storage that a bus style motorhome offers. Especially with the slide outs, etc.

There has been a shift in the culture of the club due to the Motorhomes period. There are many die hards that do not even consider the classic motorhome as a eligible product because Wally himself felt that the Motorhome was not the direction to go for RV based travels. IMHO if it were not for the Motorhomes, and their owners, the club would not be here at all. The members that are active in the club and many in the officer positions want to have the space and comfort that a motorhome offers. If you ask, I would bet that 90% of them did have trailers, and I know of some that had classic Motorhomes too.

Airstream has a unique product that they are working to perpetuate, but from a business standpoint they still have to compete with the Winnebago's of the world for the same buyers. If they did not have a product to offer then we could all be discussing on the forum how sad the demise of the company was, since they failed to compete in the marketplace, ala Spartan, or Avion, or Award, or Revcon, All were good products that were unique, but they did not consistently compete with the other manufacturers out there at the time, and now they are gone.

Is purity of product worth loss of longevity? If the company were to ever discontinue the classic shaped trailers I would say that it would be the beginning of it's demise, but I do not see them killing off an American Icon.
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Old 08-06-2004, 09:40 AM   #256
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Is purity of product worth loss of longevity? If the company were to ever discontinue the classic shaped trailers I would say that it would be the beginning of it's demise, but I do not see them killing off an American Icon.
I firmly believe that they should bring back the classic motorhome. Perhaps as a niche market segment. To have phased them out and only have the box units is a shame. Heck, Wally didn't like a bunch of things...it made it not right or wrong...just his opinion and vision of the future.

I'd have to agree, to caputre more of the market, Airstream couldn't not offer a box type trailer, yet I still feel that they should bring back the classics. I feel that there has been a void since their departure.

Even when I wasn't an Airstreamer and knew little of the product, I recall seeing my first boxy Airstream and thinking to myself, what happened. I am sure that knee jerk reaction was similar eleswhere. I recall as a kid, the story of how Airstream would not make a motorhome when the Winnebegos were the motorhome icon on the road. I remember very clearly how I felt when I saw the first classic Airstream motorhome, but words can't describe that feeling. It was a beautiful sight to say the least and I don't mean to sound sappy about it. It was a very cool sight to see.

I think they can have it both ways. I only hope the rumors are correct about the classic designs returning. Just my .02
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:00 AM   #257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I firmly believe that they should bring back the classic motorhome. Perhaps as a niche market segment. To have phased them out and only have the box units is a shame. Heck, Wally didn't like a bunch of things...it made it not right or wrong...just his opinion and vision of the future.
I have it from a reliable source that the prelim designs are in the pipeline. When it will be released is not a solid date, but it is coming. I think it is time, more people are aware of the Airstream style. Look at the popularity of the Mini Cooper, etc. there are buyers, they just need to pony up and the product will stay available. If they buyers don't buy, the product will fade away just like the previous ones did.
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Old 08-06-2004, 01:07 PM   #258
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I do not actually work in marketing (although I have in the past), but I have been involved closely with another membership organization facing a similar decline in participation. However, by market analysis, proactive leadership, sale of property, and development of new organizational products/services, that group is now in a growth position.

The keystone of this effort in my other organization was to understand what our existing members liked/disliked, to become aware of what non members would want from the organization if they joined, and to come up with a new institutional concept that would appeal to the widest range of members and non members.

When organization like WBCCI is decline in a time of expanding membership potential, then there is a significant problem (as indeed, the summary in Blue Beret states). Members and potential members are consumers--so an organization has to find what those consumers want, especially the consumers that aren't buying the product. Blaming poor sales on the lost or disaffected customer is not an effective growth strategy.

I suggest that it would be a wise use of the institutional budget to understand objectively what strategic elements are hampering growth. That doesn't appear to be addressed by the effort reflected in this survey, since it hasn't profiled anyone except the existing faithful.

The comments made regarding my participation or readership are irrellevant to this discussion of survey results. Your statements employ faulty reasoning, are of a personal nature and are not germain. I continue to limit my own comments to the survey results, which I did read (so, no, I didn't respond, but that fact does highlight the methodological shortcomings of the survey).

Your other statement appears to state that outside my own personal activities, all other institutional WBCCI efforts are voluntary. This overall statement lacks logical cohesion and is incorrect. WBCCI is a fee collecting organization, has a budget and is not, as such, a purely voluntary organization.

Mary



Quote:
Originally Posted by smily
Talk about lack of participation......

Did you reply to survey?, You did say you never read the BB, didnt you?

I think the WBCCI could use some direction, you seem knowledgable in surveys, would you volunteer your assistance as ALL other WBCCI efforts are voluntary.

Mary, I respect your comments but it always come down to opinions of how it should be done. Please help our efforts and write your suggestions to the WBCCI and maybe even lend a helping hand.
I hope you are motivated to be an active member and assist in pursuing our goals.

Smily
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Old 08-08-2004, 06:00 AM   #259
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When you walk around the Region One Rally what you see is alot of retired people. If it were not for them there would be no rally. There are younger people acitve in Charter Oak but clearly the majority of participants and I suspect "workers" are the older crowd. We met some forum members and others and had a good time. The vintage open house turned into a block party and there must have been 100 people through our trailer.
Unfortunately they had Ham again for Rally dinner. I don't understand this fetish with ham heated in water. Nest year Region One is in Quebec. Maybe they'll have something different.
My biggest grip is the cafeteria food. And yes I would gladly help out to improve it.
Did you notice that 5% of the survey population was 50 years or younger. That means 95% was over 50.
Does Airstream give new buyers WBCCI introduction packetts?
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Old 08-08-2004, 06:46 AM   #260
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Going back to the original subject matter (Blue Beret survey), has anybody else seen the results published in the most recent issue? Our copy arrived yesterday. Seems that those who voted were not too hot on the pomp and circumstance of WBCCI, either.

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