General Category > Homebrew Clubs

Do other clubs have this problem?

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tcanova:
Our brew club is turning 21 this year and we are planning a big party!  I joined the first year but wasn't an original member and we have ebbed and flowed over the years.  When we started there were 9 of us and there are still 5 of those originals around. 

We have seen a huge increase in interest in the last 3 years, I'm sure related to the explosion of the craft beer scene, and will now have 50 to 60 attend a meeting.  We have kept our dues low as well ($25) and we have tried to encourage new membership as much as we can.  A bunch of us donated old equipment to the club that the club loans out so someone who is wanting to try and brew can without the equipment expense. 

We did go through a period where the membership waned but it just took getting some new people in to generate more interest.

kramerog:
In the last 5 years, one of the clubs I am in basically doubled in size, another was created and is thriving, and a third was born and collapsed a few months later.  You should be seeing new faces at your meetings.  If not maybe there is a new club in your area that you don't know?  Are you seeing new faces at your meeting but they are not sticking around?

Bruce B:
One way to stir the pot a bit is to champion an event like a public brew session.  Work with the local homebrew shop to do a brew day for beginners, leave the club out of it.  Club members will eventually get wind of it by seeing advertisement at the homebrew shop and some might show up just to check it out.  The idea behind this approach is to find others in your community that are into homebrewing but not necessarily attending your club meetings, as well as a few other interested brewers from your club.  Keep doing the public brew sessions every few months and see where it goes. 

Alewyfe:
Guido,
You said the club officers are doing stuff...events, education, discounts, etc.
Sounds like they ARE doing something.

Perhaps the by laws need to specify that to remain a club member in good standing, you have to host or assist with at least one event, tech session or what ever each year. 

Set a limit, like two visits as a guest, then you must pay dues and join.

It generally seems to be that no matter the club size, 20% of the membership do the lions share of the work to keep the club going. Acknowledge the folks who do, do what you can, and plan events that reward those who participate.

We have around 40 members. 20 show for meetings and about 4-5 people volunteer to do stuff when asked. As a result, I don't ask as much as I "assign" tasks. People are learning that if they don't step up, they can't complain, and they might get leaned on. A good set of officers makes for a good club, but sometimes a dictatorship is a useful temporary solution. 

Jimmy K:

--- Quote from: Alewyfe on May 08, 2013, 01:49:12 AM ---It generally seems to be that no matter the club size, 20% of the membership do the lions share of the work to keep the club going. Acknowledge the folks who do, do what you can, and plan events that reward those who participate.

We have around 40 members. 20 show for meetings and about 4-5 people volunteer to do stuff when asked.

--- End quote ---
Those percentages sound about correct - if not high, for brewing and non-brewing activities I'm involved in.
As for getting people to rejoin - most people react to reward the best. Plan something early in the year that members must be renewed to participate in - like a spring BBQ or brewery tour.  Punishments, like threatening to drop status, doesn't work as well. And if it does, it only works if members care about the threat. So think about it from their perspective - What is the reward for renewing? If there is no reward, then it's always something that they can do "later".

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