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Aquarium clubs

>>Just seeking some input from people who have participated in aquarium 
>>clubs, what did you like and dislike about them? 


To be really honest and tacky - Fear - yes, fear was/is the greatest
obstacle for participation for me.  I am a regular person with a very
busy life and schedule and before my first "meeting" the single factor
that kept me from ever attending was FEAR that I would be bombarded by
a bunch of geekoid fanatics that had no life other than arguing subtle 
little technicalities.

Ok ok ... you didn't ask the "what kept you for giving the club a try"
question, but I think it is important that when trying to recruit
that you understand the "message" that potential candidates are

What got me to my first "aquarium society" meeting was a local
who supported the club and conducted himself professionally.  I then
comfortable that it might be an acceptable place to go.  So when I saw a

"fish auction" advertised on my birthday, I suggested to my wife that we

attend as my "birthday present".

Every organization that I have remained actively involved in has
a social component to it.  My wife is the president of several
organizations and I usually take on the training coordinator role for
groups.  Two things my wife and I think are critical - a social hour to
people an opportunity to network and share experiences, and something of
"Value" that they can leave with (generally training or knowledge) and
no, I don't mean giving away goldfish (although that is a GREAT way to
recruit a LOT of "Associate" members aka kids.

Which leads me to my last suggestion and thought to encourage you to
consider.  I would STRONGLY suggest that you develop a kids component to

your club (no I don't have kids, but I do have grandchildren).  Most
clubs have auctions twice a year, I would suggest that you have "Kids
Day" twice a
year with lots of emphasis on small starter aquariums, goldfish, and
guppies.  I think you will find that there are a lot of young adults
with families that don't have the time to participate in activities that
can't include their children at least periodically.  What better way to
the hobby to future "Club Members"!  What better way to create
that generates sales volume and activity for your LFS's.

Just my five pennies worth or so!

Greg aka Newsletter.