April 2017 President’s Message
A big question today in almost any club is how to increase membership. As a group, we have talked about this often and like other clubs nobody seems to know “the” answer. Perhaps one big answer is elusive because one big answer does not exist. I have thought about this, perhaps there are lots of little answers to that big question of membership. Looking for lots of small avenues to increase membership seems a likely alternative approach. Undoubtedly little answers will look much different and will be easier to accomplish. I thought maybe we could run a survey, at some local car shows. My less than scientific observations suggest the young crowd is into the hot rods and rat rods. I have talked to a few of these car enthusiasts – most can’t afford to drive them anywhere except to local car shows. Some have said they don’t have time. Most seem to believe anything older than a mid-1960’s vehicle should be in a museum. In my own opinion, anything newer than a 1970’s model should be a daily driver, but don’t get your feathers flustered, that’s just my opinion – you know what is true of opinions.
For sure younger and even tenured enthusiasts do not know much about the AACA. Most assuredly the Mon Valley Region is unknown. That would bring up the question again, with this reality staring us in the face, how do we increase our membership? As a club, failure to successfully address membership will liken our fate to that Titanic’s first voyage. We are great talkers. We need to turn that into “auto evangelism.” Bring up the AACA and the Mon Valley Region in conversation. Invite acquaintances to our meetings, one of our picnics, or invite them on a tour. Guests have always been welcome to attend any of our functions in the 10 years I have belonged to the club. Bring a new face to a meeting. New members will need to be courted.
Something else you can do is to pass on your Antique magazines to people that have an interest in antique cars, or leave a few issues at your doctor’s office, at the tire shop. Make sure MVR contact info and website are prominently visible by writing it in. Let folks know you belong to the AACA and the MVR can be as easy as a window sign. A few years ago, Floyd had magnetic signs for the side of our cars made. We need to have more made and display them at places we stop. These are subtle things we can do that can only help. I hope thinking a little smaller will help make the problem seem a little less daunting so coming up with ways to interest people is an easier task to achieve.