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Association Canadienne de Vol Libre
 
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Retaining and growing membership, Outreach programs.

 
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Fred Wilson
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Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 02:48 pm    Post subject: Retaining and growing membership, Outreach programs. Reply with quote

Robert Samplonius wrote:
Why is the attrition rate so high? Why does attrition happen so rapidly?


One of the things we are doing in the Okanagan is an outreach program - an attempt to be as inclusive as possible with all regional pilots.

Our clubs each keep a list of paid members, but on our website, we try to maintian an accurate and current contact list of all local pilots.
See: http://www.flyok.ca/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=8

One of the best tools in our arsenal is the HPAC Database's "Administer a Club or School" function.
A designated local director obtains permission from the HPAC WebTeam to "administer" the list of who is an insured member in their region.
The link is generated from the live HPAC database and comes up at: http://www.hpac.ca/pub/fnc/clubAdmin.asp
- by sorting the list which comes up by "city" it becomes a snap to check off all the insured pilots in your catchment area.
- We repeat the process every 3 months or so in order to identify more and new pilots in the region.

The results come up at "Club Stats" http://www.hpac.ca/pub/?pid=225
When you then click on the "number" of pilots in your catchment area, the list of names comes up.
Sorted by "City" this becomes a very, very useful tool to watch for new insured and obviously active pilots in your region. OSA's Insured Membership List here.

We then use the HPAC Email Sender system to contact new pilots to obtain permission to post their contact information and to inform them of club activities and websites.

When pilots flying activity drops out or they retire from the sport, we contact them to ensure they want to retain their contact information on our contact list. Maintaining contact and promoting local activities and events has produced a higher retention rate, with the result that the Okanagan / Kamloops pilot population has tripled in the past 5 years.

I encourage other clubs to take advantage of this useful function built into the HPAC database.

PS #1:
Click Here: to Add your club or school if it is not listed on the HPAC Website.

PS #2: The HPAC Database can identify Members with any and as many clubs and schools as they want. Thus pilots identified as within your catchment area need not necessarily be dues paying club members, which is the point I am trying to make here. (Clubs keep their own list of who is a paid member.)

On our "Wish List" is for the HPAC's bulk email process to become functional. (It is reportedly broken now, even for the HPAC Business Administrator.) Thus a designated club director (administrator of this function) could batch email business and event notifications to insured members in their catchment area.


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Fred Wilson
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Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 03:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A proactive way to manage Club meetings.

Richard Visscher implemented a very innovative and proactive way to manage the atmosphere at Club meetings.
(All too often these become mired in bickering and administrative business, which is a turnoff to the general members.)

1. He instituted a club rule that all business will be handled promptly and expeditiously at the beginning of the meeting. Typically allocating ± 15 minutes:
a) with the instruction: "Speak in point form or do not speak at all."
b) with contentious issues handled "in camera" by the executive who bring the summary to the meeting. (Thus not usually presented by the initiator - who may be passionate or long winded on the subject.) Thus the ISC meetings are a very friendly get together, with the resulting exponential growth in their membership.

2. The club designated one specific location, day of the month and time for all club meetings. This is advertized locally, held "religiously" each month with the result that at every club meeting in recent memory, people have turned up wanting to get lessons and learn about the sport. One of the reasons the Kelowna club has grown so remarkably.

Look at all the regions without viable, active and proactive clubs and you will see persistent difficulties in contacting one another and stagnant growth.


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Fred Wilson
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Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Outreach programs, retaining membership. Reply with quote

Robert Samplonius wrote:
Why is the attrition rate so high? Why does attrition happen so rapidly?

The Instructor's Advisory Council is looking into adopting Club Coaches and Mentor Programs used by other national associations.

Examples:
1. USHGA Mentor Programs

2. BHPA Club Coaches and Senior Coaches See Section 4 in the BHPA Technical Manual.
a) Club Coach License Application. and How to set up a two day BHPA Club Coach course.
- "All BHPA clubs have official Coaches tasked to help improving pilots develop safely and get more out of their flying."

3. HGFA Duty Pilot Program. See their Operations Manual, Section 5.4.3 - for particularly busy sites, or where conflict with general aviation is an issue.
- Go fly Point of the Mountain (or Torrey Pines etc) where there are enormous numbers of pilots flying at any one time and with no one in control. Frightening, even for very experienced pilots. Sites where it is possible for this to become an issue should have a duty pilot program ready to step into operation, which will go a long way towards making novice and intermediate pilots feel welcome and comfortable.


4. BHPA Flyability Program "to promote and provide opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in the sport of hang gliding, paragliding."
See also: Foundation for Free Flight Helps ABLE Pilot move forward!

5. Gender Programs.

6. Cas Wolan's idea of a Native Persons program should be persued.


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Fred Wilson
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Posts: 45
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 06:31 am    Post subject: Re: Outreach programs, retaining membership. Reply with quote

How about having the HPAC implement the BHPA Red Ribbon Program?
Where novice pilots or pilots who are uncomfortable flying in close proximity to other pilots at busy sites are encouraged to fly with a long Red flagging tape streamer attached to their harness to identify themselves to other pilots, who would then give them the additional space they need to be comfortable in crowded air.

"It encourages inexperienced and experienced pilots to make contact with each other and give advice when necessary."


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Fred Wilson
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 05:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ratings Endorsements have been adopted by most other National Associations.
This is an obvious way to ensure that locals will be more comfortable shoving new pilots and visitors off their precious sites.

Tow Endorsements etc. have been on the cards here in Canada for a decade. The June 2010 issue of AIR stated that our Instructors Advisory Council is assessing this program. Please provide input to your local Senior Instructor. (They were suppposed to be in place in 2000, and the log books issued that year (and from then on?) had them built in, ready for check off.)

The USHPA has a considerable list of Ratings and Special Skills Endorsements in place.
See also Page 131 on... in the BHPA Technical Manual: Environment Endorsements.

HGFA Operations Manual, Section 7.4.3 Ground Tow Endorsement and Section 7.4.4 Aerotow Endorsement
HGFA Operations Manual, Section 7.7.5 Tugmaster Endorsement

Bonus: These are a good revenue stream for Schools and Instructors.


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Fred Wilson
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Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The FAI Hang Gliding and Paragliding Commission has established Paragliding Accuracy Competitions. It has proved very popular in Europe with the sub-set of pilots that like the challenge of competing but are not comfortable in crowded and / or turbulent air and / or who are not committed XC fanatics.

Bonus:
1. It is a novel idea which gets our sport high visibility in highly populated areas.
2. This could increase the stream of students to our schools.


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Fred Wilson
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Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 02:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question:

1. Is the APPI being promoted among instructors here in Canada?
. . a ) Is there any Hang Gliding equivalent in the works?

What about establishing annual Instructor's Professional Development Conferences?
- Above and beyond professional development, these conferences can include a wide variety of focus meetings that can generate wide ranging input into an equally wide range of topic areas.

Andrew Vanis wrote:
Getting the right instructor is key. Wouldn’t it be cool if the HPAC site had a place where folks could rate the instructors? Like Amazon or Angie’s list, 1-5 stars and a place for comments. It would help keep the instructors honest and give insight to newbie’s that is now more-or-less unobtainable. The good instructors will see their numbers increase and use this marketing tool. The bad ones will grumble about it and eventually go away to the benefit of our sport.


If we don't start doing something about retaining membership, with a view to growth we are doing NOTHING (I repeat, Nothing...) but shooting ourselves in the foot.
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