The Prez Sez
Last month we had our first chance at a mall show at Oaks Mall. It was a one-day only event and I think it was good experience for our first attempt. We did learn what to do better next year. First, it has to be bigger. Three small tables of models gets lost in that large space and we will need to make a bigger statement to attract more attention. This is something we can work on in the coming year.
We have been kicking around the idea to develop our ABC program yet this year. As you know, we are looking for ways to attract new members, young and old. We are hoping that this kind of program will attract those members. We are also looking at hosting a Model Clinic at Hobbytown. The Phoenix IPMS chapter is doing one, and I will see how that works out for them. We can pick their brains and see what they learned from the experience.
I can hear some groaning going on out there. Hey, I just signed up to join a model club. What’s with all this extra stuff you keep talking about. It sounds like I’m expected to get involved in these club events, and all I want to do is enjoy my hobby, come to a meeting once a month and talk model talk with other modelers.
Well how nice for you. Clubs do not just appear out of thin air you know. A few members who think it would be fun to share modeling experiences are usually how clubs are started. However, if they do not grow over time, they eventually disappear when the original group loses interest. Successful clubs require a bit of work by the members to make the meetings interesting and fun.
Now I know not every club member is going to jump into every project someone dreams up. Fortunately, there are usually a few hard-core members who will carry the water for the rest of the club, for a while. That is why it is so important for a club to grow its membership. The larger the club grows the bigger the talent pool becomes. It doesn’t take a lot to contribute something; even an article for the newsletter would be a great start. How about an update on your current project, a new product you discovered or a museum or airshow you attended. Inquiring minds want to know.
Growing a club these days is considerably more difficult that it was in years past. Difficult, but not impossible, as evidenced by the newest chapter here in Florida. The FAST group, a model car club located in Ocala, has grown rapidly, over 30 members in less than a year, and draws it members from as far as Tampa and Orlando. They must be doing something right.
Our club is rather small and will remain small unless we get some exposure. In my opinion, the best way to do that is by creating events that create an interest in our club and our activities. We are fortunate in having some good model talent and a good relationship with Hobbytown. This is an advantage many clubs do not enjoy. Eric will help us in any way he can in promoting any event we want to create. This is definitely a big leg up, and we really need to take advantage if this opportunity. So if this club’s success means anything to you, then you need to get involved and support the club’s efforts to grow whenever you can. If you have any ideas you think can help us achieve growth do not hesitate to share them.
The Nationals at Orlando is just around the corner. Bet you thought you would have more time to get that project ready, but here it comes already. I’ve known guys who were finishing up their entries in the car on the way to the contest or in their rooms trying to get it done before they closed the registration desk.
See you at the meeting...