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Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines

How do you attract new members to your club?


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  #1  
Old 05-07-2015, 02:16:38 PM
Pete LaBelle Pete LaBelle is offline
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Default How do you attract new members to your club?

I am part of a small tractor club who's membership numbers are steadily going down, and need to help grow our club some to continue the quality of our annual show. We don't need to swell the ranks with people for the numbers, but do need people to help with the many tasks at a show.

Speaking to the smaller shows, what techniques do you do to attract and keep new members in your organization ? Just curious to hear what others have been successfully doing.

Thanks !

Pete
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:26:23 PM
MPierce MPierce is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

I hope you get some answers! We have the same problem. The older guys are getting too old. A couple younger members, but not near enough to make up for losses.
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Old 05-07-2015, 05:09:12 PM
Daniel Craig Daniel Craig is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

I think the problem is younger people just dont care anymore every things handed to them so they dont take interest and they are lazy not to mention common sense or lack of. Its very sad to see things changing for the worst its the same trying to get someone to do manual labor where one good man could do the job you have to hire five boys I have this trouble all to often now this is speaking for about 90% the other 10% are hard to find because they are working there a$$ off keeping the other 90% up
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:35:35 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

Only one observation, seen this happen to some extent. Sometimes you have to look at the current leadership in the club. Have they done things to run members off? Is location a factor, or a date conflicting with another show? Has the club trended more toward flea market items over engines and tractors? I do realize young folks are not flocking to join but it's most of the time, the 40+ ers who are enticed to follow. No real good answer but sometimes people, dates, show items, and locations need to be addressed.
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:03:23 PM
chrsbrbnk chrsbrbnk is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

If your talking people without engines or tractors getting them on a traction engine or tractor, if their standing around looking at it for any amount of time then they might like a ride. there is sometimes a tendency for people to be pretty focused on their tractor time and opportunity's are missed to hook the newbie in.
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:22:52 PM
Daniel Craig Daniel Craig is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

A friend and I took his Baker to a show last weekend and they wouldnt let use run it around the show I bet a 100 people asked if they could see us drive it around but all we could do is watch the flywheel turn I'm sure this didnt do much for the club so in other words try to have as much action as possible to keep peoples interest maybe it will help draw in more of that 10% I was ranting about
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:06:59 PM
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Tim Colwell Tim Colwell is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

I started getting seriously interested in this stuff about 4 years ago. I was 13 at the time. Usually I go through phases but this one stuck and now I'm hooked due to a number of reasons.

1. There are a lot of nice people, very seldomly have I found awful people. Most are always willing to answer questions and visit.

2. Leting people start\drive\ride the equipment or machinery. I don't know the mans name. I wish I did. I hope he's on here. He operates Vic Wendzels 20 Avance Rumely at Rice county. Anyways he let me drive it a number of times. I was hooked!! Another time was last year I met Dave Preuhs from Le Sueur. He let me start and drive his eagle. That was amazing and I'm absoulty hooked on this old stuff thanks to these guys.

Being a youngster and living in between 3 shows I get asked at every show to join. I just don't know which to join. I'm pretty partial to Le Sueur I've been going all my life. I see tons of kids around here participating. Maybe something is different here or perhaps Less Sueur is a big show.

If my grandpa didn't drag me to auctions and Pioneer Power when I was little, there would be no chance I'd be here today.

Hope a perspective from from a 17 year old that lives in town helps. I do have ties to the farm tho.

Tim
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:18:59 PM
Fairmontman Fairmontman is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

I agree, I am 15 and every one is so willing to help you with anything and willing to talk to you and are so welcoming. I have been showing engines for 3 years now and everybody recognizes me and want to sit down and talk. I like being around the old stuff but the problems I face is the expense of just getting to the show. many of my friends want to be interested in engines and tractors but it is the cost of stuff these days.
just a perspective from a younger person

Tristan Scott
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:05:56 PM
Jerry Christiansen Jerry Christiansen is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

New people (it doesn't matter if they are young or old) have to be given the chance to DO. At times a job could get done quicker, and maybe better, if I just took the wrench out of their hand and did it. But we have to coach the new person how to DO and let them DO. I am sure I am guilty of not letting a new person DO at times. In those cases I very well may have chased a new person away.

If we treat people that come up to our exhibit as if they are bothering us and they should know the answer to the question they just asked, we are not being very fair. How many of us knew what we know now the first time we looked at an engine or what ever our display is? None of us were born with that knowledge. Someone answered our 'stupid questions' patiently and politely. Then that person may have taken us under their wing and shared their knowledge. That person probably let us turn the wrench and make decisions about fixing something.

If all we let new people do is grunt work like punching flues and scraping gunk off the engine until they have ‘paid their dues’, they probably won’t stick around. A new person needs to be able to do the fun things like run the throttle, steer and blow the whistle.

Being polite, answering questions and letting people DO may not be the full answer, I believe it is a big part of the answer.

Later,
Jerry Christiansen
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:56:48 PM
LundMachineWorks LundMachineWorks is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Christiansen View Post
New people (it doesn't matter if they are young or old) have to be given the chance to DO. At times a job could get done quicker, and maybe better, if I just took the wrench out of their hand and did it. But we have to coach the new person how to DO and let them DO. I am sure I am guilty of not letting a new person DO at times. In those cases I very well may have chased a new person away.

If we treat people that come up to our exhibit as if they are bothering us and they should know the answer to the question they just asked, we are not being very fair. How many of us knew what we know now the first time we looked at an engine or what ever our display is? None of us were born with that knowledge. Someone answered our 'stupid questions' patiently and politely. Then that person may have taken us under their wing and shared their knowledge. That person probably let us turn the wrench and make decisions about fixing something.

If all we let new people do is grunt work like punching flues and scraping gunk off the engine until they have ‘paid their dues’, they probably won’t stick around. A new person needs to be able to do the fun things like run the throttle, steer and blow the whistle.

Being polite, answering questions and letting people DO may not be the full answer, I believe it is a big part of the answer.

Later,
Jerry Christiansen

I have noticed this from the parent side, it is very hard to "cut the shirt tails" and let them learn the lessons they need to on their own. An example of this is belting up to something.
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2015, 12:07:50 AM
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George White George White is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

I agree with Jerry..BUT .... I guess sometimes its rather hard to let people that may not understand just how dangerous things can be. The open crankshaft that has about 1/4 inch of room between it and the throttle really worries me sometimes. I am very selective of who and when someone does get to operate. It also comes up the issue of liabilities etc in this world today. That is just a bad consequence of the way things are anymore. With that being said some shouldn't be around equipment and others are willing and able to learn and should be encouraged. Also I think people have busied themselves to a greater degree now days with sports, etc, etc. Its hard to fit everything in and when it involves work it may not be the first priority anymore. One can only hope that a lot of these shows will continue for many more years but it is very uncertain... even more so for the smaller shows.
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:45:04 AM
Jim Mead Jim Mead is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

Great to hear the comments from some current young folks who haven't been put off by running into those sour old types who insist that everything and everyone will never be as good as it or they once were....

That type of thinking has probably been going on for hundreds of years...

Kudos to Jeff for admitting one of the hard truths of parenting...
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:01:58 AM
Averyjoe Averyjoe is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

I have been going to a show in Minnesota for most my life. My father and grandfather brought me up on the knowledge of old machinery and techniques of the past. Going to this show I would come across members and discussions on old machinery and members would see me at a young age (not as much anymore) and think I was to young to know of what they were talking about. This has caused me to not join because of the way I was treated. As members of these clubs you need to see everyone has value to your club, that next member could be the next generation to carry the legacy on for the future. A club that fails to grow withers and dies.
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:29:13 AM
Pedro Pedro is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club ?

Ok is what your clubs, do interesting to the public?, don't ask club members ask the public.
Club personalities can be a sticking point, not every one has people skills, keep the grumpy ones away from the newbies.
Club politics, not easy to keep low key, but there is nothing quicker to kill off new members than a couple of older members having a fude.
Is there enough diversity in what your club does and shows, 20 Ferguson's parked in a row may be interesting to an aficionado, but just watch the publics eyes glaze over.
Have part of your display so kids can interact with it, get a bit of grease on their hands, and maybe learn some thing.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:57:28 AM
wmusta wmusta is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club?

Getting kids interested in old iron is not first on most clubs list. Try to put the kids and hobby first.
Clubs are great for baby seals and golf.

When and where is your show/club?

Last edited by wmusta; 05-08-2015 at 09:15:46 AM.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:21:50 AM
KevinJ KevinJ is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmusta View Post

When and where is your show/club?
Allendale, MI July 16-18.

look up riverbendshow.com
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:35:58 AM
wmusta wmusta is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club?

Seems like boy/girl scouts, school sports and academic programs require or encourage community volunteering. Would be worth making some calls. Kids can help with a lot of show responsibilities.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:10:34 AM
GreasyIron GreasyIron is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club?

I don't know whether it has paid dividends on membership yet, but we make a donation to the local FFA every year and get a group of FFA to students come help at the show.

They help with set-up and all sorts of miscellanious things. I really like getting them on the bundle wagon, though I haven't had any feedback after they're all dusty...

Sure glad to see some young "old iron fans" posting in this thread!
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:44:55 PM
30-90 Russell 30-90 Russell is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club?

Active displays and Hooter Girls!!!!
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:28:35 PM
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AndyG AndyG is offline
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Default Re: How do you attract new members to your club?

INCLUDE THEM! How often do we see the new guy standing off by himself at club meetings or shows? Introduce yourself at a meeting and have them sit with you. When you go to lunch during work day take the new person with you. Invite the new person to help with show set up or sawing, threshing.....demonstrations. We don't join clubs for the antique equipment. We join clubs for fellowship with other antique equipment nuts. If you don't have any tractor club buddies then there isn't much point to it.
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