Thinking of running a meet to attract new members to you club? Follow these handy hints for success.
New members meets are a great way for clubs to breathe life into their latest recruitment drive. They can be equally effective whether you are looking to attract experienced walkers and climbers, or hoping to cater for novices looking to make the move outside.
Have a designated meet leader who will make sure that things run smoothly.
Choose a venue and activity to suit potential participants with different levels of experience.
Make sure that club members are easily identifyable. If climbing at a crag consider asking club members to wear a club T-Shirt. The BMC could help to fund these.
Be as welcoming as possible. In the recent BMC Club Survey cliquey-ness was identified by a number of respondents as the reason why they had chosen not to join or had left a club.
Consider buddying-up newcomers with friendly and welcoming experienced club members - at least for their first few meets.
Make sure that a representative cross section of your club turn out to the meet- it's good for potential new members to see that there are people in the club 'like them'.
Consider including a cafe or pub stop in your days activities. People join clubs for the social opportunities they present as well as a way to meet people to walk and climb with.
Advertise the event widely. The BMC can help you to do this via its website, Facebook page and Twitter feed. Contact your local Regional Development Officer to make this happen.
Provide clear information about meeting places, including if this will alter in poor weather, and let people know if plans are changed.
If welcoming novices, give information about the type of equipment and clothing that attendees will need.
Dont forget to follow things up. Don't let keen potential members escape! A friendly email in the weeks following an event reminding participants of other opportunitites to get involved goes a long way to making people feel welcome.
Don't forget that there are BMC grants available to help clubs with advertising and to support novice members through professional instruction and pooled equipment.
The Training Novice Members weekend takes place at Plas Y Brenin each year, providing club members with training in the skills needed to introduce novices to the outdoors. It is open to all BMC affiliated club members.
Watch the Rucksack Club Gogarth meet on BMC TV:
Watch the training novice club members workshop on BMC TV:
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