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Discussion in 'General WCHA Business' started by ken.kelly, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. ken.kelly

    ken.kelly LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Reaching out to Forum participants because you are many of our most involved and dedicated WCHA members.

    I need your help. And your enthusiasm for sharing the fun of the WCHA.

    As you know, we have a goal to reach 2000 members for our 35th need about 300 new people to join.
    We've asked every member to contribute by recruiting one new member.

    I'm starting this thread to ask you to share the story of how you got yours to join - so others can get ideas and consider trying something similar.

    Please use this thread to post anything you think might help others recruit their one new member.

    Thanks in advance.
    We have a lot of good times in our WCHA activites. Let's get more people to share the good times with.

    Photo is of Jerry Ford in my White this weekend and the rainbows we caught and enjoyed for dinner. Jerry has been a WCHA member for about 2 weeks.

    Attached Files:

  2. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Geez Ken,
    I just joined up, no one paddled me around on a guided fishing trip and gave me cigars and beer. No wonder you are so successful at signing up new members. All we do is shove applications at potential new members at shows....;)
  3. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    I initially joined the WCHA when I bought my first wooden canoe and a friend said, "now you have to join the WCHA-- you can't just read my old journals." So I joined.

    I still have one canoe to sell (it's in the classifieds, listed as a pre-1900 UFO) and plan to vigorously market it locally, and include a membership with its sale. My thought is that anyone who buys a wooden canoe and gets a free membership would likely continue their membership... for generations.
  4. OP

    ken.kelly LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Andre - Just sharing good times in a wooden canoe...all part of being a good WCHA ambassador. Also a good recruitment idea to share...put it to good use!
  5. OP

    ken.kelly LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Great idea Kathy to include a gift membership as part of the selling price for your wooden canoe.

    And a good point that you had to join to get your own copy of WC magazine - Wooden Canoe is usually the first thing mentioned when we ask members what 'value' or benefits they like most in 'return' for their annual dues.

    We think Wooden Canoe magazine presents our organization so well that we are sending each member an extra copy of the December issue. The idea is to give it to someone you think is a good new-member candidate so it helps them agree to join. Or lend it out to a few of your friends it might help to close the new-member deal with.

    Please share other ideas you have. Thanks again.
  6. OP

    ken.kelly LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Sure would like to see some success case it helps other members get ideas on what will work for them.

    Below is an example of the email I sent to a few friends. Please use a variation of this if it helps you.

    I've sent to good friends that are aware of my strong canoe interest...either neighbors that help me load them onto the truck, friends I paddle with (most of them don't do wood yet), friends that 'like' my canoe photos on facebook...etc. None have a wooden canoe - but all appreciate their beauty

    My new member recruits have all paid their own way - though gift memberships work ok too. They were all happy to help me out.

    I've used my $40 bonus (for getting 3 new members) to buy 2014 calendars and sent one to each of my newbies as an extra Thank You. (This time of year we can buy 10 calendar bundles for $ consider doing this too).

    "I'd like to recruit a couple new WCHA members during our campaign to get 300 more by next July (our 35th Anniversary). It would be great if you'd help me and do it. The club mag would look good on the coffee table - or pass it on to your kids so we are seeding interest by the next generation.

    $40...Easy and fast on-line:
    or just call Annie our Executive Director and do it by phone: 603 323 8992

    The WCHA is 501c3 too.
  7. robin

    robin LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hi Ken,

    This Saturday, 1/25/2014 I will setting up a small display representing the WCHA at Connecticut's first "Paddling Expo" at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut. It is a free event upstairs from the large boat show going on in the main center.
    Unfortunatley, I only became aware of this event a few days ago and I was lucky to find an open space. Steve Lapey is sending me a WCHA banner and some hand outs, and he convinced me my old, somewhat beat up Chestnuts will be fine on display.

    My only concern will be what to say to the folks who stop by. I'll have some tools and material used in restorations on hand, I can explain that part of it. I'll have some old paddles, old canoe packs, and even some pictures from the Wooden Canoe to catch peoples attention.

    What I need is some ideas on how to convince folks to consider joining the Association. I guess what I need is what the politicians call "talking points". Any ideas?

    Robin Lauer
  8. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Ken may not be able to get back to you in time so let me offer some suggestions. Your willingness to help support the organization in this way is much appreciated. My experience at similar shows is that most people will be happy to talk to you about canoes and probably won't ask many questions that you can't answer. Feel free to direct them to this forum (or contact one of us) if you do get a question that you aren't sure about. The general "talking point" is that canoes made of wood feel different in use from other materials. Some people will 'get it' and want to learn more about wooden canoes as well as to connect with other people who like them too. Many won't so don't feel that you need to be an evangelist. Good luck,

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  9. OP

    ken.kelly LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for asking Robin - and for helping to answer with good advice Benson!

    My expereince at shows like this matches well with Benson's suggestions. As far a talking points to get someone to join the WCHA, besides sharing your enthusiasm for how wooden canoes handle on the water and how good they look... Consider why you joined the WCHA and what you like about being a member...your story should be the most natural for you to tell and likely the most convincing to those you talk with too.

    I'd suggest having copies of Wooden Canoe to show them - and make sure they know they receive 6 issues a year if they join. Tell them about the local wooden canoe activities you are involved in and how they could particpate in those if they wanted. Tell them about the Assembly in July and show them photos of past Assemblies in Wooden Canoe magazine. Suggest they visit the website home page and see the topics the organization is involved with...and maybe suggest they read some of the local chapter newsletters posted there.

    The main thing is sharing your enthusiasm and asking them to please consider joining because you'd like to have them share the fun you have as a member of the WCHA.

    Another thing to prepare for - Many people I've met at shows have asked me about the value of their wooden canoe or how I think they should advertise it for sale. Part of your advise in this area may want to be visiting our website classified ads - to see photos of other wooden canoes and other peoples asking well as showing them a good place to sell.

    Have fun and post again after to tell us how it went. Thanks again for doing this for the WCHA!!
  10. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    To add a few more possible talking points to what Benson Said --

    The Association is a source of information (about canoes, where to canoe, how to repair/restore, etc.) and contact with other canoeists -- through the web site, the journal Wooden Canoe, the Assembly, and local chapters through their meetings, trips, and other events.

  11. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Probably the No. 1 question you will get is, "How did you get the fiberglass so smooth?":rolleyes: Next folks will be surprised by the lack of weight. I spend a lot of time debunking myths about canvas and durability and weight. Weight vs. Royalex etc. Repairability.

    Robin - you will have no trouble at all!
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  12. robin

    robin LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for the feedback, I love my wood canvas canoes, and now I'm pretty well prepared to confront the folks who are interested but uninformed.
    Thanks to Steve Lapey for getting the WCHA Banner and hand outs to me on time, and also his encouragement.
    My canoes and canoe rack should be impressive, I spent the last two days building a nice portable rack where one canoe on the bottom shows it's profile (Chestnut Chum) and the other canoe(Chestnut Pal) on top is tilted to show
    it's interior. Both bottoms of each canoe need some attention from past trips, well, I was waiting for spring too clean them up, but that won't be visible, so all is good.
    The interiors of both canoes have those narrow Chestnut ribs, they should look good. I will no doubt have the only wood canoes at the show and hope to use that to draw attention.
    I'm loading the canoes at 6am tomorrow, heading down to Hartford to free the uninformed.....

    Thanks for the support.
  13. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Have fun, I love doing shows like that.

  14. robin

    robin LOVES Wooden Canoes

    The boat show display went well. I was in the lobby, and on the way to the rest room,:rolleyes: so I got alot of traffic. I don't think I won any new members over, well, maybe, but I did give out the magazines to folks who looked like they might be interested down the road. The handouts also went.
    Lots of really nice people who liked talking "Canoe", and it seemed everyone started with a Grumman or their Dads Old Town .
    I met one, maybe two members, some folks with WC canoes out back or in the garage, and one guy who insisted fiberglass was better than canvas and then he wanted to know how to replace some broken ribs...I told him remove the fiberglass and start over. HaHa
    I had planned to hang the banner above the canoes via 2 1"x2"s attached to the back of the rack, but I wasn't allowed to cover that smoke alarm (?) on the wall, so I hung it in the canoe which worked.
    My canoes are not really display canoes, they show plenty of wear from use, but those narrow rib Chestnuts are impressive at a quick glance to the average boat person. Some folks mentioned the wear and where happy to see mine where users, scratches on the paint and well used Duluth packs sitting in the Chum.
    Thanks again to Steve Lapey for getting the banner/handouts to me so fast, and to all those who offered encouragement.
    I will do it again in a heatbeat, I'm even getting a bumper sticker..."Will Display Wood Canoes for Beer"

  15. OP

    ken.kelly LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Robin, Thanks for the report and I'm glad it went well. The display looks great and I'm sure you helped the WCHA with this exposure and your friendly conversations with attendees. Hope others will consider your experience if they have similar opportuities.

    In Grand Rapids, the local Antique Classic Boat Society chapter has display space at our big Boat Show (all modern craft except for the ACBS exhibit). They've asked the Mich Chapter to bring many canoes this year to be part of their display. During the 5 day event we have many conversations with attendees similar to what you experienced.

    Here is a photo from last year when my Kingsbury was the only wooden canoe included in the display. Also the year before with my Ted Shea. I couldn't be there the entire time, so left back issues of Wooden Canoe and Rack Cards in my canoe for people to take...also put some of my business cards in case they had a questions I could help with. It is always fun.

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