Thought Leadership Discussion with Austin Johnston of AKJOHNSTON Group

Private Club Marketing and AKJOHNSTON have partnered to talk through how clubs can bring people together, social distancing style; through out of the box event ideas.

AKJOHNSTON has worked with some of the most exclusive clubs like Shady Canyon Golf Club, Pelican Hill and many others to execute one of a kind member events. 

Join us for our Thought Leadership Discussion: ‘Driving Member Usage and Creating Memorable Member Events In The COVID19 Era', with Austin to hear his expert opinions on how to provide activities for your members and guests so the season can still be enjoyed, but in a healthy and safe manner as well as ideas on how to prepare now for the holiday season.

 

Register to View and Listen to our Discussion with AKJ

Grassroots efforts to urge policy makers to allow golf to resume

As some states begin to re-open golf courses other states  have yet to follow suit. Here is a great initiative by a Pennsylvania club, Indian Valley Country Club, to engage with their policy-makers and show their membership they are being proactive in getting golf to resume in a safe and responsible manner.

General Manager, Eric Beck, CCM; put together a template for you to “share this effort with your membership, give them an outlet to express their opinions, and show what your club is doing to get golf going again”!

**Can be modified for all states

If your state has re-opened, as Pennsylvania recently has, check out these tips that Private Club Marketing has put together to help with Gaining Members during your Club Re-Opening

How to Retain Members During COVID-19

What Membership Directors and your Team can do to engage your membership during this time of social distancing and strategies you can put into place to increase membership retention rates.

There are so many unknowns of what is going to happen at your club within the next couple months. One thing that you can control is what you are doing at this time to stay connected with your membership.

Keeping your members happy is hard enough when they are at the club; now we have to think of ways to take the club to them as well as adapt to the new normal of so many restrictions. More than ever, it is important to retain each and every member.

Keeping your current members engaged virtually is something we are not use to; but it is the most essential thing you can do as a management team. Think outside of the box and give your members value add other than takeout and email updates during this pandemic. Refusing to change the way we do business can lead to the downfall of an organization; don’t let that be your club. Check out this quick inspirational video to help get you and your team get inspired to reinvent yourself and your clubs’ operations  These Are Not Unprecedented Times | Simon Sinek.

Be creative; empower all department leads to come up with ideas to send out to the membership. Here are some examples of what your team can be working on to keep your members engaged and reminding them why their membership to their club is so valuable.

Showcase your exceptional staff.

Have your golf pros create short video segments on golf tips and tricks, how to practice in your home, golf exercises, etc. Your golf staff can also create virtual brackets for tournaments ie: virtual bracket for the TaylorMade Driving Relief Skins Game.

Your fitness instructors can stream their classes to do in the comfort of your homes (good to get staff to take the classes as well).

The culinary department can be doing video cooking tips from their personal kitchens or even live Q&A’s with the Executive Chef, sharing their favorite or healthy recipes to the membership, writing nutrition plans, creating meal kits for pickup and even setting up a shopping market at the club.

This time even allows for our Superintendents to get involved! Most of your members have a lot more time on their hands to be working in their yards or gardens. Any tips on how to grow grass, planting tips, trimming of trees etc. would be great information to share! ADDED benefit: if your club has the ability to do soil testing, have the membership bring in soil samples to give suggestions on fertilizer applications or other lawn treatment plans; it’s that time of the year!

Have your beverage team organize mixology classes and/or virtual wine tastings with your sommelier.

Arrange each “club within the club” to continue as scheduled using virtual chat rooms to organize the meetings, like Zoom, (might even be a good time to start new clubs; like a book club)!

Host social events virtually for the membership; like a trivia night.

Get your Club Historian or a long-time member to host Fireside chats and tell your clubs story and engage your membership in the rich history of your club.

Most importantly don’t forget about the kids! They miss their “club” friends as much as their parents. Create a Spring packet with games, scavenger hunts, coloring contest, photo contests, etc. to mail out to those members who have children and have them post on your social media outlets or mail back to the club.

Preparing to re-open.

Organize your member database. Now more than ever is the time to do the tedious chore of going through member by member to make sure the correct information is collected. Click Here for a sample survey of what demographic information you should be collecting for each family. This information will then be used to create segmented communication lists for the members!

Connect with the membership; break up your membership list and have your managers call the members to check in on how they and their families are doing during this pandemic. Have talking points for your managers so a unified message is being communicated. Tell them what the Club’s plan is to stay connected with the membership. Take the time to ask them for feedback and what they would like to see in 2020. But, most importantly make sure to tell them how much they mean to the club and how excited the Team is to see them once you re-open.

A Strategic Approach to Membership Growth When Re-Opening Your Club after COVID-19

10 Tips to Gain Members during your Club Re-Opening

Make no mistake: The world of private clubs will never be the same again. Just as 9/11 changed how the world flys, the COVID -19 pandemic will change how members enjoy their leisure time. These changes will extend to how individuals commute, enter your club, interact with others, manage tasks, and more. In a post COVID-19 world, private clubs not only have to be safe, it has to be “clean and assured.”

We have identified ten broad topics that clubs and other organizations can use to grow their membership and usage as they re-open for business:

  1. Take Advantage of the Itch

Everyone is itching to get out and golf. Now more than ever your members will be out taking advantage of the beautiful weather and the ability to golf at their club. They will be more inclined to bring their friends who do not have a club to go to on their own. This is a perfect opportunity to interact and gather information of the potential member(s).

  1. Communicate to your Neighbors

It is a good time to reach out to your neighbors. Your external outreach to those who reside around the club that you may have had paused since March should be back up and in full force. Now is the best time to let them know why being a part of your club is the best choice for them and their family.

  1. Pull out from the archives – Member Referral Plan

Have a membership referral plan that is your ACE? Now is the time to use it! Your members miss their friends and family who are most always their golfing buddies. Use it to your advantage!

  1. Engage with the Membership

Remind your members why they love their course so much. Do something a little extra to show them you miss them just as much; nothing says that better than a complimentary transfusion station at the turn!

  1. Internal Communications

It is vital to stay connected to your members and let them know your revised plans for “golfing with precaution”. If they know what to expect before they get to the course there will be less confusion and unhappy members in the golf shop.

  1. A United Message

Come together as a team and create the message that you want to portray to the membership. This is where upbeat optimism is needed. Remember as a club you want to be the place your members go to escape reality “pandemic” don’t make it the topic of conversation.

  1. Operations Plan

Although you may be running on a tightened budget or not have as many staff members as you normally would; come up with a strategic plan to make sure there are no holes in your operations.

  1. Retention

Believe it or not, how you react in these next couple months are going to directly affect your retention rates. Anything you do to enhance the member experience during this time will be talked about for years to come… so will what you don’t do as well!

  1. Follow The Golf & Heath Project, supported by the World Golf Foundation safety guidelines for Clubs and players:

Coronavirus [COVID-19] Update | Golf & Health

Message to Golf Clubs and Management

·    Organize online booking to reduce congregation around the Clubhouse

·    Allow shoes to be changed in the car park

·    Follow general hygiene advice and e.g. make hand sanitizers available in the clubhouse

·    Golf buggies should be used by single individuals and cleaned afterwards

·    Take drinking fonts and ball cleaners out of play.

·    Close air pressure cleaners for cleaning shoes following the round

  1. Smile

Be the light in their day. They are doing something they love and have been longing to do. Make sure to enhance their experience as much as possible. Everyone is going through a tough time right now. Be the smile that makes a difference to your membership!