Author Topic: Thoughts on handling longterm guests  (Read 4296 times)

Offline brohamert

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Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« on: November 29, 2012, 05:12:06 PM »
Hello all,

I'm hoping some of you can provide some insight on how you handle meeting guests, after they've been attending multiple meetings?  We have not run into this problem before, but we currently have a guest, which guests are encouraged to attend, but he has now been to 3 meetings without joining the club!  You kind of have to call it as it is... it appears he's just there for free beer. 

I assume other clubs have had a free-loader or two to deal with, so I'm looking for some advice.  How many times do you let a guest attend a meeting before politely letting them know they either need to join, or quit coming?  And how do you approach that conversation?  Are your actions supported by anything in your by-laws?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Tom

Online euge

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Re: Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2012, 05:28:49 PM »
Maybe the guy is just feeling out the territory and unsure as to whether joining a "group" is right for him. Don't discount the man. He may not just be an opportunistic freeloader. Sound him out and engage him in some light conversation and see where he stands. Don't be aggressive.

This person may end up being your strongest asset.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2012, 05:50:53 PM »
First meeting is free, then you join. It has been stated that it is a homebrew club, not a drinking club,
Jeff Rankert
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Offline brohamert

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Re: Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2012, 05:57:15 PM »
Maybe the guy is just feeling out the territory and unsure as to whether joining a "group" is right for him. Don't discount the man. He may not just be an opportunistic freeloader. Sound him out and engage him in some light conversation and see where he stands. Don't be aggressive.

This person may end up being your strongest asset.

While I agree that getting "agressive" is not the best course of action, one would think that by the time you have attended 3 meetings, you'd have more than felt out the territory.

I do appreciate your statement about him possibly being the strongest asset down the road, but it seems there should be a limit to free.  IMHO

Offline brohamert

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Re: Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2012, 05:58:36 PM »
First meeting is free, then you join. It has been stated that it is a homebrew club, not a drinking club,

Can you shed some light on how you go about enforcing this?  That's what I'm looking for.

Cheers,
Tom

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2012, 06:08:31 PM »
It is stated at the meetings. A list is published on who has paid dues, every now and then. There is always the part of the meeting where it is asked who is there for the first time, and they are asked to raise hands. It is also asked how long have you been brewing.

I don't know of any strong arm enforcers. More the honor system.

Edit - dues are prorated for the calendar year.
Jeff Rankert
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline smkranz

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Re: Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2012, 08:38:43 PM »
First meeting is free, then you join. It has been stated that it is a homebrew club, not a drinking club,

Can you shed some light on how you go about enforcing this?  That's what I'm looking for.

Cheers,
Tom

Our treasurer is a dear lady, but she is also not shy.  We had a new guy attend a few meetings/events to check us out...we have 80+ members, but there is no missing a newcomer.  The new guy started making member-like comments and suggestions at the third or so meeting, and during a break Madam Treasurer politely but matter-of-factly asked if had paid dues, knowing that he hadn't.  He paid that night and has been an active member ever since.
Steve Kranz
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http://www.midnighthomebrewers.org

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2012, 10:20:24 PM »
Our treasurer is this man - the Brewgyver


He's very capable of subtlety suggesting you join.

For the most we don't worry about it but we also have a number of members I've never met.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2012, 01:04:32 AM »
In the one club I'm in that charges dues we tell people up front that they can either join after three meetings or stop coming.  Then we remind them if they don't volunteer to do so, in a friendly way.

Another club I'm in has no dues.  You join by going to the meetings and saying you want to join.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline realbeerguy

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Re: Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2012, 07:14:29 AM »
My old club allowed newbies a pass on the first meeting.  Allowed to tasted after the paid members were served.  After the first meeting only allowed to participate if dues were paid.  Stopped the moochers.

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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2012, 07:22:32 AM »
We don't have that problem since we charge by the meeting ($1), not year. I agree that three is a good limit on free meetings. I'd just talk to him on the side at the next meeting.
 
Be matter of fact and tell him
 
  • You've been to X meetings and seem to enjoy yourself
  • Everyone here has paid dues
  • If you're going to attend more meetings then you need to join.
Any reasonable person should understand that.  If you're dues are on the calendar year, I'd give him December and tell him to just pay dues for next year.
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Offline bobby_m

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Re: Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2013, 01:11:28 PM »
People that want to show up to check out the club usually email our info address prior to showing up the first time and they are informed that they can attend one meeting with no strings attached. 99% of first time guests ask for a membership application and pay dues at the following meeting.  If they show up again with no intentions to join, they get a talking to. We're all adults with reasonable communication skills. .. at least for the first half of the night.

Offline Pinski

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Re: Thoughts on handling longterm guests
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2013, 01:19:59 PM »
OBC is a really big club so our treasurer checks folks off a list as they come in.  Guests are not allowed to attend out meetings hosted by local brewpubs.
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