Promotional RC Flight Instruction
A proactive approach
Go from this
LEADER TO LEADER
Membership Drive Reaction
by Jim Rice, Chairman Leader Member Committee
As I write this, it is a week before Christmas and the final membership numbers for 2009 are fresh in my mind ... Depressing but still in my mind. We had a membership drive. A well-thought-out, but poorly executed drive. The leg work was done at the HQ level and the advertising was done in Model Aviation and by word of mouth via most of the District VPs. Yet the grass roots level, where the newbie meets the member, it didn’t happen very well; seemingly no interest in the growth of the membership by the average modeler or club.
That should give all of us with a little concern about the future of our organization cause to reflect on why we aren’t growing or worse yet, why we are shrinking. Everyone who has been a member more than five years (and that is who this article is targeted toward) remembers when getting a new member started flying rejuvenated your own enthusiasm, which was then expressed and passed on to the newbie, resulting in his or her rapid infusion into this addictive sport. The newbie then brings friends and relatives to the field to try to get them addicted as well. It could snowball, it should snowball from there, but lately it hasn’t done that very well! We keep harping on bringing in more new members but don’t concentrate so hard on keeping the ones we already have. If your club brings in six new members this year but loses ten old ones we have a net loss. If every club in the AMA lost just three members, we would be down about 7,000 members before we ever started to recruit the new members! So why are we losing them as fast, if not faster, than we can recruit them? You may know better than I do but I have some ideas from personal experience and daily contact with clubs and members that are having problems with each other. Following is a list of issues I have seen: 1. Club dues are too high when coupled with initiation fees and AMA dues and perhaps holiday spending if the club has renewal at the first of the year. 2. Club meetings are stagnant, discussing the same old business with no flair of creativity to try to encourage the membership to be there for the fellowship, the modeling exchange, and the educational experience. 3. Cliquish groups that make it hard for a newcomer to become a part of the organization—If you can’t afford an XYZ don’t sit with us; If you can’t do a double whifferdill with a twist you don’t need to fly with us; If you didn’t use escapements and reeds you won’t be able to communicate with us, etc.
Why hobby shops are closing
"One of our biggest events for about 5 years running was having two booths in the Old Humble Oil Days. That was a downtown Humble, TX show of all kinds of stuff, booths lined back to back for 6 or more blocks down Main Street. Lots of folks coming by. We had all the things, models of all sizes, simulators, actual LARGE Trainer with Transmitter. and Buddy Cord for demonstrating how actual training worked. Lots of old magazines, with Club info inserted in, Club/Event Flyers for when, where,, contacts and about everything one could imagine for showing our fine facility on Club-Owned 50 acres with 5000 ft. shelter, and indoor rest facilities.
Each year, the CLUB AND A LHS DONATED AWARDS including a low cost electric trainer for a raffle at the show.
DID WE EVER GET A NEW MEMBER OUT OF THAT? NOT ONE! Therefore we shut the program down as the club could no longer invest the 3-500 Yankee dollars each year it cost us to show there with ZERO return on investment.
We have advertised and performed the AMA TAG program a number of times. In Sep. '09, we had a huge IMAC event. Sunday afternoon we ran a TAG program. Over 40 - I forget actual number - spectators received both simulator time and actual hands-on training by Club Intro. Pilots. Any new members? Not that I know of."
- Gary Fitch
to this in the first hour
The idea is that I could teach tech teachers how to use this teaching method within an hour or two, well enough to at least be able to give meaningful simulator instruction, even if the teacher had little or no previous model RC flight experience.
Imagine if every club and school had instructors able to literally instantly train their students to solo status. Results: mass and rapid growth. It is entirely possible.
I believe I can teach most anyone to learn how to use my promotional RC flight instruction technique within a few hours.
Hobby shop owners, industry members and school tech teachers will all but be guaranteed to learn enough to at least be able to give hands-on (test drive) simulator instruction/demonstration to customers.
How long does it take to learn? This one is very hard to answer because we all learn at different rates but based on our experience the quickest people have been in around 22 hours.
As opposed to 2-5 hours using my technique
"Yet the grass roots level, where the newbie meets the member, it didn’t happen very well; seemingly no interest in the growth of the membership by the average modeler or club."
Ad soon in Model Aviation
Promotional RC flight instruction
Hobby shop owners
Learn on average 8 sessions or less
This program is the solution to aero modeling's lack of growth problems.
Guaranteed to bring in many more repeat customers for the RC aero modeling industry.
Of those I've trained none had control reversal problems. They immediately moved the aileron stick in the correct direction.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence