Improving Work Party attendance
Does your club struggle to attract members along to work parties? If you’re reading this then the answer is probably yes!
We speak to fishing clubs day in, day out and when the topic of work parties comes up, we are frequently asked – how do other clubs improve member attendance?
This comes up so often that we thought we’d dedicate a blog post to the most commonly used and generally successful tactics. Most will seem pretty obvious but will hopefully give you something to think about. And if you’ve got any other ideas that have worked for your club then please share them in the comments below.
In no particular order:
Engage with your members
We’ve touched on this in a previous post – keeping members engaged & aware of whats going on at the club will significantly improve the likelihood of them helping their club. If a member feels that the club provides them with more than just a days fishing, they will be far more likely to trade their time to help. If they only hear from the club when there’s a problem or when its time to cough up money – then guess what? They wont turn up.
So start engaging with members on a regular basis, ask for feedback, encourage input, keep them informed of decisions and help them feel involved.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Probably the most effective tactic to increasing attendance is a really simple one. Make sure they know when the work party is and remind them! We live in a busy world and its unreasonable to expect members to plan their entire month or even year around the clubs work parties. To encourage spontaneous attendance, make sure you remind members of when the work party is and where to meet. And don’t just use one form of communication – remind them via email, text, social media, your website, wherever you can!
Gain buy-in at renewal time
When members join or renew, ask them if they are happy for you to contact them about upcoming work parties. If they say yes, then you’re already half way there. They’ve already bought in to the idea that they will help out, its now down to you to make sure that they know when.
Reward / incentivise
Offering an incentive is a widely used tactic. Some clubs offer a discounted membership if a member attends a work party however this tactic seen some pretty mixed results. By placing a cash value on attending a work party, you might get the odd member turn up who may be short of cash but does it encourage a culture of community engagement?
That’s not to say that rewards don’t work.
We’ve seen one club experience tremendous results. But instead of offering a cash incentive they reward their members with a free club t-shirt instead. This has proven very popular with members, has increased attendance (only attendees are able to get the ‘exclusive’ t-shirt) and it actually saves the club money as the t-shirts are cheaper than the cash incentive.
In reality, not all members are willing to attend a work party. So rather than get frustrated by the lack of attendance, why not accept it and give members the opportunity to pay a little extra each year instead? This way you know exactly who wont be attending and can use the extra revenue to spend on professional contractors to the job instead.
Keep it social
Make your work parties more than just hard work. Encourage a social gathering, provide refreshments, light up the BBQ, invite friends and family too. The more enjoyable it is, the more likely members will turn up at the next one.