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Why participation is down

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1 Why participation is down on Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:34 pm

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I see members still musing in other posts about the low turkey shoot participation and what can be done about it. This, after we have literally hammered this issue into the ground at our meetings.

To rehash, after taking lots of time to do the questionnaire about this very issue several months ago and after talking with many members, it all comes down to a very simple reason: not enough members can or want to do the turkey shoots. The reasons for low turnout have very little to do with how we are doing them. They are cheap and with many different dates and days of the week now that we have full and mini turkey shoots.

Most cannot come simply due to job or family commitments, while others cannot afford the longer trips.

So, what to do about it? This too has been beat into the ground at meetings. One obvious thing we can do is grow our club. More members means more who will want to fish our events. Simple math. How do we do that? I have asked at every single club meeting since February for volunteers to help us do a membership drive. Total volunteers to date: one (thanks Ryan for distributing our flyers).

While this may sound somewhat harsh to some, I think the club is getting what it deserves in terms of invested effort.

This will be a great topic for the new board of directors to discuss and noodle on, but for now I think the best thing we can do is go back to doing all our turkey shoots at Folsom starting in August. It's local and cheap. If we finish by noon the rec boat traffic isn't too bad.

Of course, it's all about what the membership wants. If you have an interest in the outcome feel free to make your voice heard here. And we still need more members to volunteer to be nominated for a board position before we have a club-wide vote for our first board of directors group at our July 7 meeting.


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2 Better Description of membership drive tasks on Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:33 pm

I agree for the most part with you Chris. I think if we had a plan with specific ways to increase membership, like place ads in magazines, newspapers, post fliers,and other ways and get some smaller commitments of specific times. I believe that many do not volunteer for fear of committing too much time with unknown task requirements equaling no participation. No one desires to do club building instead of fishing. I think we get exactly what we plan for and non specific planning is the results we have planned to accomplish. Dave Very Happy

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3 Re: Why participation is down on Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:00 pm

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davidroper wrote:...if we had a plan with specific ways to increase membership, like place ads in magazines, newspapers, post fliers,...

Excellent start David. Okay, here's a first crack at a list of things we can do. I'll update it as more ideas roll in:

1. Buying ads in bass magazines
2. Buying banner ads on popular bass websites
3. Buying ads in local or regional newspapers
4. Posting club flyers at local tackle shops
5. Setting up a club info table with a club member to recruit and answer questions at:
local tackle shops
sports/fishing shows
selected fishing tournaments
6. Periodic promotional posts on NorCal bass fishing forums
7. Periodic promotional posts on Craigslist (Ryan has done this a number of times)


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4 Turn Out on Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:12 pm

Chris,

I think that moving all club turkey shoot events to Folsom is a great idea until more boats are signing up on a regular basis. Like you stated it is close and as cheap as it gets. We as a club need to do as much as we can to get the word out about the club. Right now we have 47 paid members with an approximate average of 5 boats per event. Doing the math that is roughly 11% perticipation. We would need to double the paid members to at least 94 paid members to theorectically get an average of 10 boats per event. Just my 2 cents.

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5 Re: Why participation is down on Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:05 am

To me the low turkey shoot turnout means that the membership isn't necessarily all that interested in the competition aspect of the club.

It would be interesting to see just WHY each member joined. It is my observation that new members come to club meetings and hear all this emphasis on the turkey shoots and they get a little turned off to the club because many of them joined to learn how to bass fish (afterall it is called the "School of Bass" fishing club). Since they have already commited their membership dues they appear as active members on the roster but they may never come to another meeting or attend any turkey shoots. Thus the actual number of participating members is much fewer than the roster would suggest.

My suggestion is to build on the commaraderie and teaching aspects of the club and participation will gradually increase at the shoots as people feel more comfortable with each other and with the prospect of competing.

I advocate for more social outings and learning opportunities and see how the turnout is for those events. My bet is the turkey shoots will grow once people are comfortable with their developing skills.

Specifically, I intend to organize a bbq and reel cleaning day at my house sometime this fall. I will even let people practice some techniques in my pool for those people who want to see certain lure actions up close and maybe a club member would step up and teach some of us how to pitch and flip in my yard. I'll set up some targets and we can make a mini competition with a bag of senkos for a prize...okay maybe we'll need a couple bbq's to do all these ideas! I'll post a date when I figure out when to hold the first one.

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6 Why participation is down on Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:25 am

Chris,

I couldn't agree with you more. I think your analysis is right on point. The whole BBQ thing where we spend the whole day together as friends, not competitors, is the direction I think the club should take. Once those friendships are established I think the meeting attendance will increase exponentially, not because we're talking about turkey shoots, but because it gives us an opportunity to get together with our friends.

I see the club now as one dimensional, TURKEY SHOOTS. I think it could be so much more: BBQ's, lure making, rod building, annual dinner, fishouts, guest speakers, tackle deals, electronic how-to's, annual swap meet, AND TURKEY SHOOTS. Chris B. has busted his butt putting this whole thing together, but it seems we've reached that proverbial "bump in the road" that we can't seem to get over.

I would also like to see some sort of mentorship program established. I think a lot of the members of the club are newbies and maybe joined the club to learn more about bass fishing. I remember how the whole intimidation thing works where you get embarrassed because you don't know what in the world is going on and you're afraid to ask questions. If we had a program where an established angler (or in my case a "talks a good game, but doesn't know squat" angler) were to take the new guy under his wing for a while and teach him some of the basics, an occasional phone call or fishing trip, etc., would go a long way.

Mentorship = friendship = excitement = involvement = greater membership = more boats at turkey shoots.

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7 Turn Out on Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:18 pm

I think Denny has some great ideas. The School of Bass already has a Tips and Techniques class as well as guest speakers once a month in two seperate forums for people to talk about and learn new bodies of water, tips, and techniques. I think that the stance that the fishing club might want to take is to expand on the newly gained knowledge from the other two above mentioned forms monthly by having turkey shoots for the hands on part. I wonder what the Tips and Techniques class participation has been? Maybe you could combine the tips/techniques class up with the Fishing Club meeting the same night a month. That way we could draw people in who like one or the other or both?

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8 A step forward on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:07 am

Last night we agreed on a board of directors (assuming the volunteer-but-not-in-attendance nominee agrees). A small committee with a focused assignment can move forward much faster than a team-of-the-whole. Many great suggestions are presented above. Now we have board to winnow those down. Most probably, none of us will be 100 percent happy with the final board proposals, but I'll bet most of us will be at least 90 percent happy Very Happy .

I look forward to the future meetings, to the turkey shoots, and the get togethers (whatever they may be.

Thanks, Chris, for hanging in there.

Jerry

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