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Club membership (not OMC)

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by b12mick, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. I'll be upfront with you, I'm the President of a small social/touring club. We currently have 15 full members (non riding spouses/partners/children are associate members) and at our recent AGM we discussed 'growing' the club and we got to talking about what attracted us to our club and what keeps us there.

    Now, I was wondering why you would or wouldn't join a club. What would attract you to a club or conversely what would turn you off a club?

  2. Hi Mick, Larger clubs always become more difficult to manage. I would say the important things are:
    1: People, ask the moaners and complainers to leave.
    2: Communication, let your club members know what is going on, rides, social events, things in their lives that other members are willing to share.
    3: Group activities, not only rides but have a meal together, see a film etc.
    4: Try and span the range of activities to your varied age groups.

    All I can think of for now, good luck with it. :)
  3. Thanks for that. I hear you on the size thing. I've always found that when it comes to social/sporting groups (lets face it most non 1% bike groups are just social groups) small is generally better.

    We are mostly doing what you suggest. I already have some ideas as to why we do struggle to get more numbers, but I'd like to get other peoples ideas of what attracts them (or otherwise) to clubs.
  4. A clubhouse, with workshop space would attract me - if there was a bar, I might never leave...
    Apart from that, club-organised events like track-days, poker-runs etc would be another attraction - I can organise a "ride" here, but could never get enough people to, say, book Eastern Creek out...
  5. Beer and poker is a win for me, rides are bonus.

    Communication is probably a key factor too, people like to be involved.
  6. Thanks mate. As much as I'd love to have a clubhouse, we lack the funds. Time and distance are a problem for 'track days'.
  7. i reckon if we give a couple months notice for people to get their shit together we could


    maximum 40 spots? great way for some of netrider's more experienced riders (namely one's whom have tackled the track previously) to coach the fresh meat and everyone to just get together and have a good day

    i'll have to have a ponder about this now..i have been considering buying a track bike lately..

    edit - apologies to op for getting off topic there.
  8. Regular emails about upcoming rides and meetings etc???
  9. Really.. for me its the members. it is a social group after all.. if the people aren't social or willing to let new people in and give them a chance then its going to be really hard to grow.

    I joined a similar thing to do with salt water tropical aquariums.. the monthly catch ups were awkward.. no one really wanted to "make a new friend" and therefore it was just a bunch of people with a common interest not talking to each other.. ?? The only time people spoke was when they had to, and even then it was "oh yeah.. i put my hand up for that job last month.. yeah.. haven't done anything about that"

    If you have a club with 15 regulars.. a majority of those regulars need to be open to allowing new people in, or the new members are going to lose interest really quickly.
  10. We are doing pretty much what you have suggested so far. Maybe we need to work on our interpersonal skills a bit more.

    How would you like rides to be organised and run?

    At the moment we take it in turns to organise the rides (we don't advertise the ride as such publicly due to liability issues). But the members are kept up to date via email and/or text.

    On the ride itself we have no formal structure. It's run along the lines of mates going for a ride. Most of us have ridden with other clubs that have a very strict structure with quite a few "Thou shalt not ......." rules and we didn't enjoy it much hence our "Ride your own ride", "We're going to insert name of town we'll meet you there" mentality.

    Maybe, this is what we have to change. But if we change this, what will the existing members do? I've already been told by a few members that if we introduce 'ride rules' they're out of there.

    Oh and one more question (for now anyway). What would you think would be a reasonable membership fee for a small local bike club?
  11. Well my mate is a member of (insert one of the many OMCs) and he pays 50bucks a week for 'dues'
    Maybe have a weekly or monthly membership fee of say 10bucks a week (goes into a like super saver account for future events etc.) or 50bucks a month etc.

    Just a suggestion :) + am quite intrigued with your social club if only i lived anywhere near wagga hahaha
  12. Yeah, just keep people in the loop of whats going on, don't over do it (spam), but show people your serious by having regular events and by notifying them of said events.

  13. I have been a member of a few surf clubs big and small over the years and i usually see the problem with all the work is left to a few hard workers with most members happy to turn upp and use the facitilites but go AWOL when there is work to be done.

    I left one surf club as the President was an absolute dictator. Even changed the club charter so that he could never be voted out at an AGM.

    I guess with a bike club then obviously you want a variety of rides to keep people interested. Spanner days and BBQ's to have members and their families around.
    Maybe get involved supporting a charity that is close to the members hearts, actually feel like you are doing something over just hangin out.
    Just a few suggestions.
  14. We send out a newsletter once a month, plus the person organising the ride/event or the president (me) sends an email about the ride during the week prior, other members get a text because by their own admission don't often check their emails.

    Emails/texts go out on the weekend before a meeting and we have a facebook page.

    But, how do we attract new members?

    We've been around for 12 years, had as many as 40 members, but it become cliquey. We've maintained around 20 members since then, with maybe 10 longer term members forming the core group.

    In Wagga there are a number of bike clubs. As well as us there's the Ulysses, HOGies, a group called RDV (not a club as such - facebook group), a classics bike club, Diggers MMC, Patriots MMC, SYLF, Finks and I think the Rebels have a presence here (they used to have a chapter based here). There's also a couple of other informal groups around as well.

    Maybe we (Wagga) has reached the 'saturation point'.
  15. With having so many clubs in the area I guess you could do a comparative study...nothing too technical of course.

    1. Just what size are the other clubs? You might find you are about average in numbers.

    2. What do the other clubs do that you don't? Could this be what attracts people to them and aides with retention?

    3. You have some fairly specific groups there also which would attract people for spefic reasons. HOGies for example. And the Military associated clubs with tend to attract those folks with bikes and military in common. Can be hard to compete sometimes.
  16. I'm the secretary of a local motorcycle club down here on the Mornington Peninsula. We're a new club that was founded in May and currently have 28 members (and growing well). The aim of the club is fundraising for medical research. I'll explain more once our registration to become a Charitable Institution has been approved. We are in the same postition as you guys in the fact that we want our club to grow.
    Probably the most important thing is that the club has to have a focus. What is it all about? What are your aims? Where would you like to see the club in five years time? I know that sounds a bit wanky but if you don't ask the questions then welcome to groundhog day.
    One of the major issues that will stop growth dead in its tracks is the dreaded six letter word.....clique. Once a clique forms you can kiss any new members goodbye.
    Other things that are important are good communication (too easy now days with email and texting), keeping the club fun for everyone, strong leadership and reasonable membership fees.
    When it comes to ride ettiquette we have three simple guidelines.1.Do not pass the ride leader. 2.Ride in staggered formation. 3.No overtaking in the same lane. Too easy.
    Good luck and I hope it goes well for you.
  17. Well, being an outlaw bikey club is advantageous.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. We are one of the smallest (if not smallest) these days.

    To be honest, I don't know. I was kind of involved with the HOGies (my wife worked for the local HD dealer) and quite frankly other than they have more rules it wasn't a whole lot different, in fact there were a couple of people who were members of the HOGies as well as us (Redback Tourers).

    The MMC's have bitten in to our membership a bit. We started out mainly as a group of RAAFies (and ex RAAFies) nearly 12 years ago when the only other alternatives locally were the Ulysses and HOGies (not including the OMC's or OMC feeder club), now I'm the only one of the original group left.

    The thing that originally attracted people to us was the lack of rules and regulations. But, since then RDV came on the scene and they don't require membership or any real commitment. It's run/organised by 3 blokes, everyone else just shows up pays their money for the event and has fun.
  19. advertise free beer...