With over 1,600 responses the recent BMC club survey provides a useful insight into what people think. What could your club learn from the results?
The majority of those who responded to the survey were already members of a club, with 415 of respondants not currently club members.
Walking was by far the most participated in activity amongst repsondents, with 90% of club members and 92% of non club members saying that they headed out into the hills. It's possible that some of these people may identify themselves as climbers and walk when the weather makes it neccessary, but the message to clubs is clear: ignore walking and risk losing out on potential new members.
Over 80% of those surveyed stated that they would prefer to be communicated with via email. Clubs can potentially increase engagement by sending regular emails to all interested parties, including those who have expressed an interest in joining.
What's attractive to potential new members?
Repondants who are not currently members of a club rated 'meeting people to participate in activities with' as their main reason to potentially join, followed closely by access to club huts, learning skills from more experienced club members, sharing transport, a friendly social scene and an active meets programme.
Those interested in joining a club want to find other people to get out walking and climbing with. Clubs should take note of this when attempting to attract new members, emphasising how active they are. Those who own huts should make this well known.
And why people don't join a club...
We asked people if they had ever sampled a club and chosen not to join, or have left a club in the past. After a change in location or personal circumstances by far the greatest reason given was that clubs were cliquey or unwelcoming. Do you think that your club can fall into this trap? If you want to attract new members then consider how you would welcome someone new to the club in a friendly, inclusive manner.
The good news
Of those non club members surveyed 55% said that they were potentially interested in joining a club. Whilst this may be skewed to positive responses as perhaps people who are interested in clubs are more likely to answer a club survey, it does show that there is a potential audience for clubs to recruit from.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey. Rebecca Ellis from Sheffield was randomly selected as winner of the £50 Cotswold Outdoor Voucher, British Mountain map and BMC guidebook.
For more information about how you can join a club or to find out how the BMC can support your club see the Clubs homepage on out website.
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