Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What are you doing to make your membership more interactive?

One of the greatest benefits of being a member in the “golden years” of Country Clubs was the networking opportunities afforded to those who were smart enough to seize the opportunity.  Of course, back in those days, members were much more interactive in person than today because...well, what choice did they really have?  Without Facebook, Twitter, text messages, instant emails on their mobile phones, or phones themselves connected 24/7 to the individual, people had to meet in person to get anything done.  

The reality is, todays member is much more transient than fifty years ago.  His time is much more compressed and more instantly demanded.  Think about the last time you saw several members congregated together, sharing a cigar and after round drink, just talking about life? 

I am not suggesting that these “old customs” can be easily brought back or forced, but when you think about it, how many of your members really know their fellow members?  

Since few clubs have formal initiation programs, have adopted very relaxed admission standards, and/or make little effort to introduce new people to current members, how do new people or older members for that matter “plug-in” with one another?

Have you ever considered creating an on-line directory for your members? 

“...I don’t know how one would be received?  Many members I know wish to remain private and just want to play golf and leave”.  

With the proliferation of sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, I think the opposite is true.  I believe since few interact in person like they did fifty years ago, an on-line directory would be a welcome addition to your membership.

Wouldn’t it be helpful to know that John Thompson sells insurance and since he is a member at the club, wouldn’t you want to support him before you would a random stranger in the yellow pages?

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that Larry Smith has three children and two actively play golf...and they just happen to be the same age as your children?

Wouldn’t it be great to know that Jerry Baker’s wife is an avid Tennis enthusiast?  

With more and more people trying to buy local and support those in their immediate community, I can’t think of a better way to facilitate positive interaction with fellow members (today) than the creation of such a directory.