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RE: [bbshop] Growing Membership (was Ed Hinkley's no subject)

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  • Sammonds, Steve
    ... Total number of new guests was about 15. This was our first year. ... Every one that I know of just doesn t have the time to commit. They were happy to do
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 1, 2002
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      > Super. That's a fun recruiting program. What was the
      >total count of "new" guests during that time? 12, 15, 60...

      Total number of new guests was about 15. This was our first year.

      >and, most important, what happened to the guys who did
      >NOT join the chapter? If they didn't meet your standards,
      >that's OK. If your chapter didn't meet their emotional needs,
      >you better take another look at the recruiting plan.

      Every one that I know of just doesn't have the time to commit. They were happy to do a short five-week stint with the holiday chorus but either had work, family, or other choral commitments. The fact that we converted about 50% of the guests we did get into members to me was a huge success. Especially since the primary purpose of the Holiday Chorus is not membership, but providing an opportunity for men in the community to get together and sing holiday music.

      > Many of our chapters expend great effort to get prospects
      >to walk in the door, only to have them vanish for no apparent
      >reason. If the prospects are good singers, chances are mighty
      >good that the "real" reason they didn't join is either: A.) We
      >didn't sing up to their standards, (Shame on us!) or B.) We
      >didn't give them a compelling reason to replace their current
      >time commitment with a commitment to barbershop harmony.
      >(Double shame on us!)

      I don't agree with this. First, clearly barbershop is not for everyone, so even if some men enjoy singing the holiday music with us we can't expect every one of them to leave their classical singing group and join barbershop. Ditto for family or work commitments. On the side of if we're not good enough for them, well every chorus and chapter is different. When we run into a case of someone coming in below our standards or they feel they are above ours, we certainly let them know where other barbershop groups are meeting in the area that might fill that need. For the most part, though, these men simply are looking for something other than babershop. And that's okay. I'd rather find that out initially then six months in and the poor guy is just not enjoying himself or causing other "trouble" in the group because it's not a good fit.

      > One of the great advantages of new members is that
      >(unlike many "old" members) they have no idea that "it is
      >impossible to recruit new members." So, IF we tell them
      >that they are Epected to bring more good singers, they
      >probably will.

      > Does your chapter understand that attracting and retaining
      >members is not a "once-in-a-while, gotta do it 'cuz the MVP
      >is on a rampage" activity?

      Actually the music director (moi) was on a rampage. :c) But yes, they are starting to get the idea that membership is a continual process. Still for me, though, the music is the bottom line. I tell them their job is to get them in the door. After that it's my job and the music team's to make them want to stay.

      In harmony,
      Steve Sammonds
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