Meeting Attendance

I guess it's the same everywhere.
Our club: 75 members
Our meetings: The same 13 to 15 people every month.
My guess is that these guys are number one,henpecked (wife won't let em'
leave the house).Number two,antisocial (don't want to be around people).
It would be an understatement to say our meetings are exciting.Far from
it. But Hey,an hour and a half once a month?? Come on!!!
My question is for the guys that absolutely refuse to attend meetings>>
Working shift work is no excuse for twelve months.
WHY?? Fill me in
Reply to
TX_QBALL
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| I guess it's the same everywhere. | Our club: 75 members | Our meetings: The same 13 to 15 people every month. | My guess is that these guys are number one,henpecked (wife won't let em' | leave the house).Number two,antisocial (don't want to be around people). | It would be an understatement to say our meetings are exciting.Far from | it. But Hey,an hour and a half once a month?? Come on!!!
But what benefit is there to attending the meetings?
At least at our meetings, there's no real need to attend. It's just something you can do to keep up on things, see other people's presentations, etc. | My question is for the guys that absolutely refuse to attend meetings>> | Working shift work is no excuse for twelve months.
Why not? | WHY?? Fill me in
Perhaps they'd rather fly than talk about flying?
What happens at the meeting that they need to see anyways?
Reply to
Doug McLaren
That's the society we live in. Do your own thing and be responible for nothing or any one. OTOH, I wish my club had some 10,000 that paid dues and never showed up. Air conditioned flight stations, helpers - "caddies" - to fuel, start, retrieve, clean up and some bikini cuties to serve the ice-tea all day and the better choices at early evening. Gonna' dream? Heck, dream well. (;-))
Reply to
CainHD
I guess it's the same everywhere. Our club: 75 members Our meetings: The same 13 to 15 people every month. My guess is that these guys are number one,henpecked (wife won't let em' leave the house).Number two,antisocial (don't want to be around people). It would be an understatement to say our meetings are exciting.Far from it. But Hey,an hour and a half once a month?? Come on!!!
My question is for the guys that absolutely refuse to attend meetings>> Working shift work is no excuse for twelve months.
WHY?? Fill me in ========================== Our club has35 current members. We had 9 at our May meeting, a few more in April. I didn't make it to our meeting tonight due to a plumbing emergency at the house. Only my second missed meeting in about two years. I have a 45 mile drive to the meeting place and I make more meetings than guys who live within 5 miles of it. I think the meetings are probably required by AMA, so we have them regardless of attendance.
Pretty much, the guys just want to come out, fly planes, and visit at the field. As you wrote, the meetings are far from exciting. We've tried simple 'show and tell', and technical demos, to spark interest but it hasn't helped.
Our May meeting was over in 20-25 minutes. I drove an hour getting out of Dallas during rush hour, ate at the meeting place, had the meeting, and drove 45 minutes to get home. About 3 hours elapsed time for about a half hour of meeting time.
Carrell
Reply to
Carrell
It has nothing to do with the society we live in. It is just a fact of life and has been the same ever since there have been model plane clubs. Some people are just interested in flying, others are interested in the politics.
I have been an officer in a couple of clubes I belonged to. There are clubs where I would not attend a meeting because there was no fun in it. That's why I am in the hobby. Fun.
-- Paul McIntosh
Reply to
Paul McIntosh
The same 10-15 that DO go to the meetings probably do all the work a
the club, too!!! That's the way at my club!!!
V
-- Viper Pilo
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Reply to
Viper Pilot
I'd suggest that the attendance, or lack of, at meetings rests on the shoulders of the club newsletter editor for the most part. If he's a good writer, humorous, interesting (the writing itself), and sparks some interest in things going on worth talking about, you'll get better attendence. You can also use gimmicks to attract more members to the meetings as well. Try things like raffles (prizes donated by local hobby shops?), "How-To" presentations done by the either the "best" builders in the club or by hobby shop reps (they'll do that in a heartbeat to get the goodwill). How-To workshops could be things like fiberglassing sheeted models or using Stits covering to cover fabric models. I can think of a ton of things that would qualify for How-To workshops. How about giving prizes (either club paid for or supplied by local hobbys shops) for the best "Model of the Month". You can also have a prize for the best Crash of the Month story and maybe for the best Building Tip of the month. It would also be fun to promote the use of (digital) camera's at the field if you gave a prize for the "Best Photo of the Month" (taken at the club flying field), and that would provide a number of great photo's that the newsletter editor could use in each issue which in turn would generate more interest in the meetings themselves. The list goes on. Prizes don't have to be either expensive or elaborate. A gallon of glo fuel, a hobby knife, a 2oz. bottle of CA adhesive, a roll of white Monocote, a container of balsa filler.... the list is endless, and for under $10 for any one prize, you're not talking about a lot of money, ESPECIALLY if you can talk local hobby shops into donating most of them.
MJC
Reply to
MJC
And, being a past newsletter editor for several years, I suggest not.
Your other suggestions are all good, and all have been tried in the clubs I've been a member of. They don't work. Oh, you may see a couple of new faces for a couple of months, but then it peters out again. Simply said, some will NEVER come, no matter what. Dr.1 Driver "There's a Hun in the sun!"
Reply to
Dr1Driver
NOT!! AMA does not require your club to have meetings. Only your club requires it to hold meetings.
If you don't get people to your meetings, you need to consider:
1. What is the purpose of the meeting? Is it a special project or just a plain old monthly meeting. Don't have meetings just to have meetings. Allow your membership to have a say in the frequency and subject. (Although they are telling you already by not attending!)
2. What is the member benefit derived from the meeting? If it is a rehash of the same old stuff, don't blame them for not showing up. If you have something interesting to present, maybe you will get a few more members to show.
3. What is the meeting frequency? Maybe you have too many meetings. Consider shrinking the frequency and increasing the content.
4. What is the meeting location in relation to the field or the fliers? If it is too far, many won't show up.
My old club had monthly meetings. Way too often. In the winter the attendance was pretty good 10 to 15 out of 70. In the summer, it was less until they were held at the field. Then you got the bulk of the fliers. They had a good excuse to go to the field...they "had" to attend the meeting!
My current club only has 2 scheduled meetings. 1 to nominate officers and 1 to vote on the nominations. Officers meet whenever they like or as issues arise. Many items handled by e-mail and phone contact.
Personally, I like club meetings. But if they don't have a purpose, don't blame folks for not showing up. Fix the problem not the blame.
I'd rather build something or fly something than meet about it!
FredD
Reply to
RedFred1
And THAT'S the attitude that keeps the members away from YOUR meetings.
MJC
Reply to
MJC
people).
meetings>>
What do you _do_ at a club meeting?
Reply to
AAAlias
It's not an attitude, dummy, it's a FACT. OK, YOU come to my club and try to get people to come. Dr.1 Driver "There's a Hun in the sun!"
Reply to
Dr1Driver
Dear
Don't forget to throw in free food and drinks, club auctions, videos, interesting speakers, swap shop, estate liquidations (lots of model stuff), free magazines after you have read them. If you are club President plan on doing most of the organizing of these things yourself as volunteers seem to have their hands CAed to their chairs. If you are lucky enough to end up also as club newsletter editor (no one else would take the job) you can hit them with dynamite newsletters, color photos of events attended (you are probably one of the few that ever go to them from your club). Product reviews and demos tend to keep meeting attendees awake, at least 10% of them that actually build from kits or scratch. You can put the ARF contingent to sleep immediately by a rousing lecture on the use of carbon fiber in structures.
Try assigning in rotation a club member to come up with a program for ONE meeting every 5 years (about what it would come to for club with 60 members). This will get you about the same response as trying to get something for the newsletter from each member in about the same period. You can put a 4 page newsletter together every month, but expecting submittals of pictures, stories, building/flying ideas will tax most of your members beyond their ability except for their ability to ignore/forget/too busy/sick/out of town/couldn't think of anything - their assigned submittal period. Sooner or later you burn out and refuse another term as President and same for the newsletter editor - this could take 10 years or so if you have a reasonable tolerance for frustration. Of course this leaves the club with the ugly chore of electing new officers once in a while. An activity that scares away attendees in droves once they discover they won't be elected to office if the don't show up.
As for the Newsletter editor sparking some interest - Lots of luck! Our club's newsletter was (as we were told by a many non-club recipients) one of the best they ever seen. Awards at club meetings for the mystery plane carried each month in the newsletter petered out quickly as the same guy would win every month. Then we had a special Veterans edition where pictures of as many club members that served (about 20 we could dig up pictures for) were featured with a prize offered (at the club meeting) to the person that could identify the names with the pictures - this got about the same participation as the mystery plane thing. One of club members with planes from their early modeling days got no better response. Out of the 15 attendees about 3 bothered to turn in their entries. Our monthly feature with lots of pictures (taken by the newsletter editor) of Departures and Arrivals covered new models and the demise of others was fairly popular, but did bring some criticism, "How come we see the same people in these pictures all the time?" I guess it had something to do with this being the same 15% of the club members (not necessarily the same that attended the meetings) that showed up at the field and flew occasionally.
Doing all these things with enthusiasm and creativity you should boost your attendance to approximately 15% of the membership (on a good night).
Red S.
Reply to
Red Scholefield
...our club has a monthly raffle at our meetings: plane kit, tools, even a Futaba radio once. The better the raffle item, the better the turn out...
Red Scholefield wrote:
Reply to
slk
All the ideas in this part of the thread are excellent to pump up attendance. Unfortunately, it is the long time members (those in the club over 15 years) who put a damper on the meetings as well as progress/development of our club's potential. They tend to be the "tribal elders" that new members look to for an indication of which way the wind is blowing at the meetings. They are not interested in change or increasing the scope of the club's function. They just want a quiet private field where they can fly their models any time they arrive, even if it means that the field is empty six days a week. They always run for office to keep control of the club (and get voted in due to poor attendance at the meetings). It is very frustrating for new members who come to the meetings with enthusiasm, only to be turned off by the established few.
After several years of this, a group of us got so fed up that we took money out of our own pockets, bought materials, brought in tractors, a roller, a bob-cat, and revamped the whole flying site (all to the tune of $8,000 in cash and kind). We are still advancing the work. The leadership's response has been puzzlement and, at times veiled contempt. The members have responded with delight and financial support. Go to the meetings though, and the same old (and few) faces stare back at you. This club started in the 70's as one kind of club and never changed with the bulk of the membership. The long time members do not grasp the concept of how the club should interface with new hobbyists, or the community.
You might look into the "cluture" of your club to see if this might be responsible for the lack of interest too. We plan to activley campain for a whole new board of officers in the fall. We have proven our ability on the ground to improve the club for the benefit of all members. Now we have to convince the non-attending members to participate in the election next fall.
Tom
Reply to
Tom Johnson
I guess my club is in the minority. We have a great bunch of guys who are supportive and generous with each other Our meetings are fun, informative and well attended. We keep politics to a minimum, we have raffles, static contests and we meet for pizza and beer one night a month, have an annual barbeque and we even got the old timers to be more foward thinking. Guys who come to our club from other clubs tell us horror stories about their old clubs Jeff Staten Island RC Modelers
Reply to
RCFlyerNYC
I guess ours is not normal. We have about 150 members, have a meeting once a month and a local diner, and it's standing room only every month (I'd guess about 75 people show up). I think the interest is because our club has been around for 42 years and a lot of the club members have been involved for decades and there's a huge social aspect to the meetings. We also have raffles that I think draw some of the people because we get good contributions from local shops (having an OS 46FX engine or Hobbico field charger among the items each month isn't all that unusual). We've also got a lot of issues to work:
Monthly fun flys, warbirds, giant scale meets, heli heat waves, etc to be organized. Maintenance/expansion of the field All the recent safety stuff from the AMA is taking a lot of time for discussion Long term financial stability of the club Etc. etc. etc.
Personally, I rarely go to the meetings. Standing room only crowd heavy with smokers is what keeps me away. Obviously if it's standing room only it's probably just as well that the other half of the club doesn't show up. But, we've got a great newsletter editor who does a fantastic job of keeping everyone informed of what's going on, and doesn't hesitate to send out an e-mail to everyone if an urgent issue needs to be worked, so I don't feel I'm missing a whole lot by not going to the meetings.
Jim
Reply to
Joe Bill
Fantastic report. Where is this great club? And where in the US is there a restaurant that still allows smoking?
-- Red Scholefield AMA 951 Flying Gators Inc., GNV FL
Reply to
Red Scholefield
This shows there is hope. Any club that can survive and flourish on Long Island has to be blessed. Where do you fly? -- Red Scholefield AMA 951 Flying Gators Inc., GNV FL
Reply to
Red Scholefield
Dont forget the occasional visit from Bobby Flay to man the barbeque. Your fantasy seems perfect - with the exception of the bikini girls. You dont want that kinda distraction while trying to fly... or more appropriatley, the pressure of trying not to crash in front of a bunch of hotties.
The bikini girls should be serving Bloody Marys poolside afterwards - but not visible from the flightline. Or to bobby flay for that matter, you dont want those ribs overcooked.
Also, dont forget the golfer. Ya gotta have a stuntman dressed as a snooty old golfer out on your field (wearing protective clothing of course) to torment and dive-bomb.
Oh, and a John Deere Gator would be perfect for retrieving your plane.
Reply to
MikeF

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