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Old 12-12-2013, 05:59 AM   #61
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This forum (AIRforums) IS the reason for WBCCI membership going down. Not because of the perceived bashing, but the benefit!! You don't need to endure things you don't want to do or like to get the benefits. I support the forum ($$) because of the benefits I get from the information available, the comrade and the fact that I can get it anytime, anywhere and don't have to suffer through all the rig amoral to get it!
I know you didn't mean it as a pun, but that misspelling of "rigamarole" as "rig amoral" cracked me up! Much rigamarole is amoral!

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So Vernon, when is the Vicksburg Aloha shirt invitational Luau? Noticed how I used "invitational" to give it perceived membership benefits.
That's an idea I can definitely support! If it coincides with a Federal holiday (or Mardi Gras weekend— March 1st through 4th in 2014) I'm there! I'll buy an Aloha shirt and crash the party even if I don't get an invitation. Grilled ham and pineapple, and fruity drinks with umbrellas in them, sounds like just the thing to shake off the last remnants of winter chill! And if it's still cold then, well, tiki torches make good smudge pots, too!
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:40 AM   #62
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Remember that what we're after is suggestions for improvement, not just criticism. Personally, I don't have any interest at all in stories of perceived or real abuses of the past. That's just dead stuff, and dead stuff stinks to high heaven. Let's forge ahead with new ideas!


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Old 12-12-2013, 08:23 AM   #63
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Remember that what we're after is suggestions for improvement, not just criticism. Personally, I don't have any interest at all in stories of perceived or real abuses of the past. That's just dead stuff, and dead stuff stinks to high heaven. Let's forge ahead with new ideas!
In that case, two suggestions, both on the electronic front…

1 - An online store, so that WBCCI members can quickly and easily order official WBCCI stuff (berets, unit flags, replacement numbers, badges, whatever). At present, there's not even a good accessible listing of the merchandise and supplies that are available at any given time. Although one can get unauthorized (no royalyies paid for use of the trademarked WBCCI logo) WBCCI merchandise through CafePress. Why shouldn't WBCCI be selling that stuff online themselves?

2 - An iPhone and Android app for WBCCI. On my 10" tablet, using a web browser to access the WBCCI website is fine, but on a dinky smartphone screen, not so fine.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:32 AM   #64
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I agree with Eubank, the past is the past and it's time to look forward. I know the WBCCI is different now, then it was when I joined 5 years ago. Like any large club, there are good local Units and bad local Units. Try to not judge the entire club based on a bad experience with a local Unit.

The WBCCI is a big ship, and it is taking time to change directions, but it is changing, just not as a fast as some people would like.

Members really need to talk with their Region Presidents, they are the ones who vote for the Region, and who should be voting as the Units want them to vote.

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Old 12-12-2013, 10:50 AM   #65
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One of the things we learned as members for 2 years is that rallies are intended to raise money for the unit, chapter, etc., that is hosting the rally.

They are fund raisers, not just get togethers that are meant to break even financially. This accounts for some of the high cost.

If this is not the case at this time, someone will surely correct me.

Maggie
I did get an email, correcting this as to at least unit and chapter rallies, that they are intended to be "break even" events.

What about the International? Are they break even events?


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Old 12-12-2013, 11:22 AM   #66
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The finances for the International Rally are included with the budget reports at the IBT meetings. But yes they "try" to break even, and most come close.

What most members don't know is the WBCCI has two budgets. One for the operations of the club, this is where your members dues goes. And another just for the International Rally. So any gain or loss at International only effects that budget and not the overall club.

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I did get an email, correcting this as to at least unit and chapter rallies, that they are intended to be "break even" events.

What about the International? Are they break even events?


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Old 12-12-2013, 02:22 PM   #67
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Some thoughts from a Newbie

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I think the point that everyone is missing is the basis that "new" airstreamers exist by technology. Not Young, or old but new. They for the most part are techno savvy, adventurous, and looking to live life, not exist....
I am not a member of the WBCCI but if I am not out of line, I will tell you what benefits would make me join. First off I am 33, live with my girlfriend of 5 years and have no children. We both work quite a bit but get out on trips as often as possible.

1. The number one thing that would benefit me is the camraderie of meeting and learning with others who have the similar shared experience of owning an Airstream.

2. Secondly, as wxbuoy stated, we are a generation of technology and internet users and that goes doubly for the generation after me. I have some ideas that would make the lives of all Airstreamers happier, I believe.

a. I understand that you publish a magazine. Why not move this effort to the web so that it could be read on Kindles and iPads. You could have links to more info on topics and more galleries of pics. This would also save you any kind of printing costs and it could be accessible to anyone anywhere.

b. I know I would love a website or app for routing individual trips. Sure we can use Google Maps but that tells me nothing about the places I am traveling through and what to expect, see or do. The biggest problem I have now that I own an Airstream is traveling. I choose campgrounds and roadtrips based on no experience and nothing is worse than spending your hard earned money and time off at a terrible campground or a cheesy attraction. All of you have such experiences that could be shared to help the individual's trips be better planned. That would be a huge benefit to the new Airstreamer. Having that all wrapped up in an app would make it accessible everywhere, anytime.

3. Deep discounts at campgrounds across the US would definitely be an attracting factor for me to join. Traveling is expensive as it is so anyway to save a dime would be great.

Caravans: Being that we both work fulltime, it would be impossible for us to attend any of the caravans. They sound amazing but are just not possible. We are the kind of people that attend local weekend rallies and meetups as well as our own week long vacations with just the 2 of us.

Hope that some of these ideas are helpful.

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Old 12-12-2013, 07:30 PM   #68
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. I understand that you publish a magazine. Why not move this effort to the web so that it could be read on Kindles and iPads. You could have links to more info on topics and more galleries of pics. This would also save you any kind of printing costs and it could be accessible to anyone anywhere.


I would let you know that the "Blue Beret" the newsletter of WBCCI, is in web form, and you can subscribe either entirely by web, by print or by both. The rest of the move to electronic is coming, but oh so slow. Once it reaches a certain point, it will move much faster, but it all takes time. I am tired of waiting, but have decided there is enough benefit for me to hang one while the old ship turns around and sets a new course.
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:55 PM   #69
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Just a note before we continue to "look forward" (which is the thrust of the thread) ... As I read recent posts about the reasons folks haven't liked their experiences with WBCCI when they tried (or assumed they would not like them, so never tried) ... a suggestion: please look around at different units to find you niche. There can be vast differences between units, even in the same areas. Our unit, for instance, is forward thinking, internet and technology driven, no boring meetings, no luncheons, all focused on camping and we have very fun rallies (ask anyone who's been to one) ... and I dare say, attractive/appealing to all ages, even younger members. We are 20-somethings to 70-somethings and we sit around the same campfire and have a blast together. And there are other units like ours. Don't give up. Now on to the future.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:50 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubank View Post
Remember that what we're after is suggestions for improvement, not just criticism. Personally, I don't have any interest at all in stories of perceived or real abuses of the past. That's just dead stuff, and dead stuff stinks to high heaven. Let's forge ahead with new ideas!


Lynn
I apologize if it seemed like I was bashing, I was merely trying to express what would improve the club. I am a member after all. I believe in the club or I wouldn't send in my money (which I was able to do with pay pal this year; although the check book I got just so I could pay dues the last few years feels neglected in the drawer now).

We need to LOOK at and REALIZE what most think is not great about it and improve it.

You can't just make it a Sham Wow commercial and promises members discounts to stay and expect any real growth. You have to INSPIRE them, LEAD them, and make them feel VALUED. You can only do that if you see things as they are with a vision of what they could be.

This isn't some mumbo jumbo this is fact. Look at the worlds greatest leaders. They never promised a chicken in every pot. They spoke of the intangible. They gave a vision.

Lincoln:
....But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.......... that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Dr King:
We have come to this hallowed spot to remind
America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to
in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

Kennedy:
"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

Airstream Inc:
#live riveted


Doesn't matter how great your product is if you cant sell it. And Airstream can sell it!!!

As I have tried to point out (poorly I admit ), you can not suggest improvements if you don't know your audience. Ask any successful business, they listen to their customers. They model their business after their target audience. Look at AirStream!!! No, really look at them, look at what they have done, look at the way the inspire people.... we need to do that!

I don't have the answers, but know the way to find them.

So, here is what needs to be done (as others have suggested as well).

FIRST embrace technology. REALLY embrace it! If there aint an APP for it it don't exist.

Second, survey the current membership and speak with air-stream corp marketing team to explore what the perceived market is and will be. Be ready for the answer, it may be diametrically opposed to what the WBCCI is...

Then from least expensive and easiest....

Develop a smartphone/ipad/kindle app for the club. It must have:
A way to update membership info.
A way to pay dues online
A membership IM/private message function (like here)

Do the IBT in January over Ustream live. I will even BUY the first month membership so they can do it commercial free.... All they need is a webcam. I am in the directory, they can email me, give me their Paypal info and I will have the $$ to them in minutes or even set up an account for them. Heck, I will even send them a high end webcam that can handle it.

Better presence on here and facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/movingWBCCIforward

Make an APP for the Member guide. If I can do banking through an app we can design one were people will feel their info is safe. If not, don't include them in it! Don't punish the fast moving digitally enabled...

Keep the caravans ( I want to do them when I retire!) but add short term high adventure stuff that we can enjoy now while we still can! save the chairs around the campfire for night time when we are exhausted and worn out from a days adventure.

Revamp the program at international to have a least one item everyday for the young and young at heart; hiking, biking, 5K/10K,. It really should be like summer camp for adults (and their kids)!

Do away with early parking for international to save money and invest it into lower fees. BRING back 3 amp camping and add boon docking as well! It will open up a whole new list of places we can meet.

Evaluate admin staff really needed, not necessarily number of people, but job skills. In a real business it is either learn or leave. I am not talking about the Jackson Center folks alone!! If you want to do a job, or fill a position, you need to have the skill!

I do not see the value in partnering with FMCA or what ever to get a break on Passport america...at this time. We have no leverage. Most of us have PA and good sam and the other stuff we each think is valuable. I can't imagine the board who are having a hard time running the WBCCI trying to determine what is valuable to the average member. Heck, what is the average member??? You ask any company that is profitable and they can tell you exactly what the average customer is!

Again, money or savings for most is not the end all reason for things. If it was we wouldn't buy airstreams, camp, go on trips and generally have fun. We weigh the coast with the perceived fun value (PFV), So if $ is =<PFV it is a go. However if $ is > PCV forget it and stay home or go else where.

Just my opinion..... Again, I in no way want to offend anyone. I merely am passionate about this. I am passionate about airstreams. Why else would some one buy a new trailer for what you can by 4 sob trailers for or a used one that you will spend more $ and 1000's of man hours rehabbing with the full knowledge you will NEVER get your money back.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:48 PM   #71
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They never promised a chicken in every pot.
Huey Long did!

Anyway, the simple fact is that in addition to being a club, WBCCI is a non-profit organization, and some things cannot be changed due to the rules and regulations associated with managing a non-profit organization.

But that still leaves a huge potential for improvement in other areas.

Quote:
I do not see the value in partnering with FMCA or what ever to get a break on Passport america...at this time. We have no leverage.
I mentioned the need for a WBCCI app earlier, and others have echoed that sentiment. But to amplify that, one of the great— and greatly under-utilized— benefits of WBCCI is one provided by the members themselves, not by the organization. Namely, courtesy parking. An Allstays-styled app that allows one to easily find courtesy parking while on the road from a smart-phone, without having to pull out a dog-eared paper directory, would be just the ticket.

Courtesy parking is already a better deal than Good Sam OR Passport America, especially since it's free. If you can find it when and where you need it. So make it easier to find.
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:35 AM   #72
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A lot of talk about an app.... I agree an WBCCI app would be great... Any WBCCI member want to step up and write it? For Iphone and Android? If so please contact me and get can get the ball rolling as the IBT is in a few weeks and we would need to get approval.

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Old 12-13-2013, 09:08 AM   #73
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I mentioned the need for a WBCCI app earlier, and others have echoed that sentiment. But to amplify that, one of the great— and greatly under-utilized— benefits of WBCCI is one provided by the members themselves, not by the organization. Namely, courtesy parking. An Allstays-styled app that allows one to easily find courtesy parking while on the road from a smart-phone, without having to pull out a dog-eared paper directory, would be just the ticket.
As a result of off-line discussion, I've come up with an alteration of my suggestion.

Don't make a smartphone app for courtesy parking. There are significant problems with making personal information available online through an app.

Instead, make it a "Point of Interest" file for GPS. I know that Garmin GPS units let you install custom POI files; I'm pretty sure others do, too.

Using a POI file instead of a smartphone app makes it accessible to members who don't yet use smartphones or tablets. You don't have to be online to access it, and if you're a host, your contact info doesn't appear online, either. You don't even have to be online to obtain it. You could request it from WBCCI, and have it mailed to you on whatever media works best for updating your GPS, either CD, micro-SD, or flash drive. One would expect that you'd have to pay postage and the cost of the media, of course.

The POI database for courtesy parking could even be inserted into the annual directory issue of Blue Beret; I've received issues of Construction Specifier magazine that had a flash drive glued to a bound-in card, and computer magazines insert CDs and DVDs into their magazines all the time. This would have the effect of limiting distribution of the POI database to those people who are on the distribution list for Blue Beret already.

That one issue of Blue Beret each year would cost a bit more to produce because of the insert and the need to plastic-wrap it to keep the inserted media from coming out, but by the same token, a plastic-wrapped directory issue would help keep your directory from getting damaged in transit before you ever receive it.

The only functional difference between the POI file and the courtesy parking listing in the directory is that the location would show up on your GPS map display when you're close enough, and allow you to use the GPS to get directions. The POI file would not contain any other information that's not already in the directory.

Of course, one would expect that all WBCCI members have the common courtesy not to just show up on a host's doorstep unannounced as a result of an icon popping up on their GPS. A GPS icon for courtesy parking would not constitute invitation or permission any more than a GPS campground icon constitutes a reservation.

All that would be necessary to implement the POI file would be a comma-delineated database of courtesy parking providers, with correct addresses and contact info, and a simple WBCCI icon that would pop up on the GPS screen for each host. Such as the Wally smiley that we already have:
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:35 AM   #74
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It is very easy to make your own POI file if you have the time to locate all those addresses and determine the coordinates. I make many of my own files for specific trips.
A good source of how to info as well as many useful POI files can be found at POI Factory | new & interesting places for your GPS. Since they are basically .csv files they can also be read on most any device without a dedicated AP
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:47 PM   #75
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It doesn't seem all that hard to use the map we already have.
http://wbcci.org/club-information/co...sy-parking-map
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:13 PM   #76
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Can you search that map on a phone app while driving? If not, it seems that you might be the type of person who would say, "Why use TV? Radio works perfectly." Technology moves so quick, and if you don't keep up, you get left behind. That applies to WBCCI as well...
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Old 12-14-2013, 04:24 AM   #77
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Can you search that map on a phone app while driving? If not, it seems that you might be the type of person who would say, "Why use TV? Radio works perfectly." Technology moves so quick, and if you don't keep up, you get left behind. That applies to WBCCI as well...
I hope no one is searching any phone app while driving
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:36 AM   #78
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If keeping up with technology is the only problem that the WBCCI and the other major RV clubs need to solve in order to deal with falling membership, then I guess there's nothing more to discuss!

No, while the tech committee is making progress in just this area, I kind of doubt that fixing it up will suddenly cause hordes of people to join who wouldn't otherwise do so. This is just one of a series of additions we need to consider for the club.


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Old 12-14-2013, 08:17 AM   #79
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Humm. Ok, so more weekend and local orientation. Of course, one could ask units to put on more weekend stuff (though I suspect that a fair number of them already are weekend events). If events are longer, then they should at least include a weekend and should make a point of accepting those members who arrive Friday night/Saturday morning. Regionally, we could ask that each region have at least (say) four region rallies through the year, each one a weekend event, and each one at a different geographic location within the region (very important especially for our very large regions in the west). Do you think that kind of thing would help? Lynn
I would concur on shorter caravans. We are working Airstreamers (young is a state of mind for us these days). We owned our trailer for several years before we joined WBCCI. We did not see any value in joining. We could not participate in the long caravans, we could not go to Regional or Unit events (like lunch meetings due to location during work week)... We attended the Florida State Rally our first year of owning an AS and the "pomp" and rules (no wine/alcohol at dinner) put us off the club. What we enjoyed was meeting other Airstreamers. We ultimately joined a Unit and they hold a good number of rally weekends per year. We have yet to attend a regional rally. What would attract more members: value for membership, and I realize that varies - among individuals and age groups and socio- and economic situations. I think they do need to get more technically progressive (better web tools for camping, caravaning and info sharing....think: there's an app for that!). Reducing the "pomp"...uniforms and dinner prayer, would help. Someone mentioned polling for feedback. Personal reach out might help - conduct forums at the bigger rallies, regional rallies to introduce the club, and request input. Other than my Unit officers, I have never met a national level officer. We have been to Alumapalooza 3 times and never got the sense that the club's office building was open, welcoming or acknowledged there were hundreds of members and potential members just down the road. I don't recall a national level officer standing out to me...could have been in attendance, but how would I know? I don't think the price point is bad, but it's what do we get for that price that concerns us. We see the value in the Unit membership, not the National or Regional level.
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Old 12-14-2013, 08:21 AM   #80
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If keeping up with technology is the only problem that the WBCCI and the other major RV clubs need to solve in order to deal with falling membership, then I guess there's nothing more to discuss!

No, while the tech committee is making progress in just this area, I kind of doubt that fixing it up will suddenly cause hordes of people to join who wouldn't otherwise do so. This is just one of a series of additions we need to consider for the club.


Lynn
I think the tech committee has done an outstanding job in the last couple years.
If I were not a member I probably would not join just based on that, but it has made doing things much easier and I look forward to on line renewal.

Compared to the club of even 5 years ago much progress has been made in many areas.
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