SOARING CLUB GROWTH
Morgan Hall
Central California Soaring Club

Tuesday, November 12, 13
FLIGHT PLAN
Background and Introduction
Operations
Retention
Challenges
Recruiting

Tuesday, November 12, 13
MY BACKGROUND
Started flying ultralights in 1991, hang gliders in 1993
and sailplanes in 2008
~650 hours in sailplanes
400+...
CLUB HISTORY
2008
~35 Members
~15 Active
3 private ships used regularly
2013
~60 Members
~50 Active
11 private ships used ...
C L O U D S M A R K I N G T H E R M A L S O N A S P R I N G D AY
Also indicative of a strong convergence line over the mou...
IT’S A BUSINESS
Does the club make money?
Why Not?
CCSC has about $15k in fixed costs
32 members to break even @ $40/mnth
I...
CHURN
10-15% churn seems pretty normal
Lose a few long time members every year
Gain new blood, new energy
Lose a few trial...
MEETINGS
Don’t have them
OK, have the minimum required
Have BBQs
Have Beer
Have educational sessions with coffee when the
...
TRANSPARENCY
Kill the insider deals, everyone pays the same
Get everything out in the open
Eliminate opportunity for animo...
J E L LY F I S H C L O U D
Notice how low cloudbase is in the background on the west side of the convergence.

Tuesday, No...
CLUBS ARE SOCIAL
Embrace the social nature of clubs
It won’t always be about flying
Some people will rarely fly, keep it fun...
SHARE THE LOAD
Many hands make small work
Clubs are volunteer, don’t expect commercial ops
Strive for Commercial Ops quali...
TECHNOLOGY
Digital Community - bring people together virtually
HGCGroup, Williams Today, Email lists

Publish Flight Repor...
SHARE KNOWLEDGE
Everyone can be a teacher at some level
Use two-place ships to foster XC
Show people what they can look fo...
PROVIDE INSTRUCTION

Provide a path to a Certificate
Help your instructors be efficient
Mentor new club members
Offload non-C...
O N O U R WAY T O 1 7 , 9 9 9
Pre-frontal wave out of Avenal, November 2010

Tuesday, November 12, 13
CHALLENGES
Change is painful
Volunteer orgs require a lot of work and energy
Negative people will try to drag you in to th...
ELIMINATE

Negativity. Naysaying
Waste and inefficiency, run it like a business
Sweating the small stuff
Commercial Expecta...
ITERATE AND IMPROVE

Resist the temptation to boil the ocean
Pick one thing to change. See that succeed
Change, Evaluate, ...
LEADERSHIP
Takes a lot of energy, it will take all you can give
You will burn out, find people to help
Acknowledge contribu...
20,000FT OVER MINDEN, NV
Sierra Wave day. Lift to 28,000+

Tuesday, November 12, 13
MYTHS
Youth Participation is Critical
Youth are a long game
Support youth programs, Treat it as a loss leader though
10-20...
CONVERSION RATE

# people who look versus join your club
5% is awesome, it feels terrible though
Reset your frame of refer...
FINDING NEW MEMBERS
Find people already passionate about flying
Power, Paraglider, Hang Glider, Model Airplane pilots

Make...
HARD ACTIONS
Buy a towplane
Buy a Duo/Arcus/DG1000/ASH25
Get your power license and learn to tow
Really Hard Action: Give ...
EASY ACTIONS
Club Business Cards - $5 for 250 cards
The Soaring Elevator Pitch.
Have your 30 second enthusiastic pitch abo...
Q&A

Thank You

Tuesday, November 12, 13
K A R L K U N Z F I N A L 1 3 AT AV E N A L

Tuesday, November 12, 13
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
SOARING CLUB
Private Airfield dedicated to soaring in Avenal, CA
~60 Members $40/monthly dues
Volunteer ...
8 0 0 0 O V E R T H E PA C I F I C F R O M S A N TA Y N E Z

Tuesday, November 12, 13
SANTA YNEZ
SBSoaring.com
New Operation replacing Windhaven
Rides and private Tows
2 pawnees, 1 L23 and 1 2-32
Winter therm...
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Soaring club growth morgan hall pasco 2013

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Slide deck from my talk on growing club membership for soaring clubs. Glider operations that are clubs or commercial can improve their membership, attrition and activity with some simple actions.

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Soaring club growth morgan hall pasco 2013

  1. 1. SOARING CLUB GROWTH Morgan Hall Central California Soaring Club Tuesday, November 12, 13
  2. 2. FLIGHT PLAN Background and Introduction Operations Retention Challenges Recruiting Tuesday, November 12, 13
  3. 3. MY BACKGROUND Started flying ultralights in 1991, hang gliders in 1993 and sailplanes in 2008 ~650 hours in sailplanes 400+ hours in the Duo, coaching. Current President of the CCSC in Avenal Tuesday, November 12, 13
  4. 4. CLUB HISTORY 2008 ~35 Members ~15 Active 3 private ships used regularly 2013 ~60 Members ~50 Active 11 private ships used regularly 2 glider hangars built 4 private glider partnerships Tuesday, November 12, 13
  5. 5. C L O U D S M A R K I N G T H E R M A L S O N A S P R I N G D AY Also indicative of a strong convergence line over the mountains Tuesday, November 12, 13
  6. 6. IT’S A BUSINESS Does the club make money? Why Not? CCSC has about $15k in fixed costs 32 members to break even @ $40/mnth If you don’t have any unexpected expenses You will have unexpected expenses Recurring revenue is key Tuesday, November 12, 13
  7. 7. CHURN 10-15% churn seems pretty normal Lose a few long time members every year Gain new blood, new energy Lose a few trial members Embrace churn, structure for it. Collect dues up front Tuesday, November 12, 13
  8. 8. MEETINGS Don’t have them OK, have the minimum required Have BBQs Have Beer Have educational sessions with coffee when the weather sucks Have FUN! Tuesday, November 12, 13
  9. 9. TRANSPARENCY Kill the insider deals, everyone pays the same Get everything out in the open Eliminate opportunity for animosity Everyone gets an opinion Each opinion isn’t weighted the same Someone has to own the decisions Tuesday, November 12, 13
  10. 10. J E L LY F I S H C L O U D Notice how low cloudbase is in the background on the west side of the convergence. Tuesday, November 12, 13
  11. 11. CLUBS ARE SOCIAL Embrace the social nature of clubs It won’t always be about flying Some people will rarely fly, keep it fun for them Work days, training days, auto tows, winch launches, water balloon drops Have someone coordinate social activities Tuesday, November 12, 13
  12. 12. SHARE THE LOAD Many hands make small work Clubs are volunteer, don’t expect commercial ops Strive for Commercial Ops quality This is the hardest part of a culture to shift We are still working on this one. Tuesday, November 12, 13
  13. 13. TECHNOLOGY Digital Community - bring people together virtually HGCGroup, Williams Today, Email lists Publish Flight Reports, Weather Forecasts, Activities Blog based website. Update it! Show activity. Install webcams at the field Leverage cloud tech like Google Docs to share and collaborate. Tuesday, November 12, 13
  14. 14. SHARE KNOWLEDGE Everyone can be a teacher at some level Use two-place ships to foster XC Show people what they can look forward to Reignite passions for experienced pilots Weather education XC Soaring Checkride Preparation Tuesday, November 12, 13
  15. 15. PROVIDE INSTRUCTION Provide a path to a Certificate Help your instructors be efficient Mentor new club members Offload non-CFIG tasks to other members Keep instruction affordable Offer scholarships Tuesday, November 12, 13
  16. 16. O N O U R WAY T O 1 7 , 9 9 9 Pre-frontal wave out of Avenal, November 2010 Tuesday, November 12, 13
  17. 17. CHALLENGES Change is painful Volunteer orgs require a lot of work and energy Negative people will try to drag you in to their world Airplanes break, get damaged. Downtime sucks. You may have to change directions multiple times Always be looking for new members, new instructors Tuesday, November 12, 13
  18. 18. ELIMINATE Negativity. Naysaying Waste and inefficiency, run it like a business Sweating the small stuff Commercial Expectations Tuesday, November 12, 13
  19. 19. ITERATE AND IMPROVE Resist the temptation to boil the ocean Pick one thing to change. See that succeed Change, Evaluate, Learn, repeat Eliminate the drag around having fun Tuesday, November 12, 13
  20. 20. LEADERSHIP Takes a lot of energy, it will take all you can give You will burn out, find people to help Acknowledge contributions and contributors Lead by example Accept failures Expect casualties - you will lose members due to changes Tuesday, November 12, 13
  21. 21. 20,000FT OVER MINDEN, NV Sierra Wave day. Lift to 28,000+ Tuesday, November 12, 13
  22. 22. MYTHS Youth Participation is Critical Youth are a long game Support youth programs, Treat it as a loss leader though 10-20 years before they are likely to be active members Start with a kid, hook a parent Soaring is Very Expensive Nonsense, it’s just pretty damn expensive Soaring is a cheap fix by general aviation standards Soaring is in Decline Not at Avenal or Santa Ynez Lot’s of power pilots looking to keep flying or have more fun flying. Tuesday, November 12, 13
  23. 23. CONVERSION RATE # people who look versus join your club 5% is awesome, it feels terrible though Reset your frame of reference Set low expectations for events like “airport days” or airshows. You’ll feel better and have more fun. Tuesday, November 12, 13
  24. 24. FINDING NEW MEMBERS Find people already passionate about flying Power, Paraglider, Hang Glider, Model Airplane pilots Make it easy to get a demo Be available, priced reasonable, welcoming Find people with disposable income Give talks at groups not associated with aviation 4H, Scout, Rotary and Service Clubs Tuesday, November 12, 13
  25. 25. HARD ACTIONS Buy a towplane Buy a Duo/Arcus/DG1000/ASH25 Get your power license and learn to tow Really Hard Action: Give up a day of soaring to tow Get your instructor rating and teach people to fly Drive change in your club to promote growth Tuesday, November 12, 13
  26. 26. EASY ACTIONS Club Business Cards - $5 for 250 cards The Soaring Elevator Pitch. Have your 30 second enthusiastic pitch about soaring. Invite people to come out and fly with you. Take a 2000ft morning tow before you go XC and introduce a friend to a glider. Tuesday, November 12, 13
  27. 27. Q&A Thank You Tuesday, November 12, 13
  28. 28. K A R L K U N Z F I N A L 1 3 AT AV E N A L Tuesday, November 12, 13
  29. 29. CENTRAL CALIFORNIA SOARING CLUB Private Airfield dedicated to soaring in Avenal, CA ~60 Members $40/monthly dues Volunteer tow pilot corps using a Cessna 150/150 Instructions, demo flights, tow pilot checkouts Year round soaring, great atmosphere, inexpensive membership Aerotow, Auto-tow and (soon) Winch Launches Tuesday, November 12, 13
  30. 30. 8 0 0 0 O V E R T H E PA C I F I C F R O M S A N TA Y N E Z Tuesday, November 12, 13
  31. 31. SANTA YNEZ SBSoaring.com New Operation replacing Windhaven Rides and private Tows 2 pawnees, 1 L23 and 1 2-32 Winter thermals, summer convergence, Wave, get your diamond below 18000! Currently Operating Weekends Tuesday, November 12, 13

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