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davenport49

Outreach for New Members?

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I read the editorial letter from IPMS/Washington DC with great interest.  And then it occurred to me; I see ads in the Journal from all kinds of modelling- related businesses, how come I never see anything on their web pages about IPMS?  I regularly shop sites such as Squadron, Scale Hobbyist, Hobbylinc, Victory Models, etc.  What would it take to have them include a link on their home page to IPMS/USA?  I remember a comment some time ago about having small flyers inserted by manufacturers into kits in the past  - I remember those.  So maybe that's no possible anymore.  But surely online retailers would be willing to point customers to the society; it would be mutually beneficial.

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Not sure they'd do it for free.....but perhaps for a nominal fee, or in exchange for reduced ad rates in the Journal? Their response would be: "what's it in for me"? If we can give them a solid answer to that question, then I think a deal could be worked to have the IPMSUSA logo and a link on their web page(s).

As to general outreach.....I think IPMS needs to do some deep thinking and analysis as to identifying those most likely to be "joiners". After all, for the entire history of plastic modeling, only a very small minority have been outgoing enough, social enough, or "serious" enough to be interested in IPMS; even back when IPMS was almost the ONLY modeling group available. Only a small slice of the model buying public has ever thought of joining IPMSUSA or even a local club.

Now we have to add in the complications and competition from on-line modeling "clubs" and pages. The social interaction that used to only be available at local meetings and shows is now readily available on-line. True...it's not face to face....but THAT may suit an even larger slice of the model buying public; the ones who weren't going to drive to meetings or shows in the first place. Heck, all of the manufacturing info, modeling material, and model pics on those pages, as well as all of the building tips available on You Tube and elsewhere have seriously devalued the Journal as a source for those things. In short; our "relevance" and benefit to modelers has been reduced. We not only have a limited interest to a minority of the model buying public, but even THOSE people have reason to ask "what can IPMSUSA give me that I don't already have"?

The obvious answer is: local clubs and shows. However, THOSE are double edged swords....We're all familiar with the many stories of new visitors and members being scoffed at and derided at meetings and shows. We all know that IPMS has a reputation (not totally undeserved) of being a group of nit-pickers, accuracy freaks, and color Nazis. I believe that IPMS has made GREAT strides in the last 10-20 years to overcome those and other misnomers (like our not liking cars and sci-fi, etc.). But they ARE still out there, and I think if they are not addressed in a campaign from the TOP, they will continue to persist.

That's the main reason why I support GSB as the future for our contests. I want to DE-EMPHASIZE competition, and in so doing cut way back on the nit-picking. I support the recent move by the Eboard to incorporate display space at EVERY Nats as a part of that. I also think someone needs to design a program that is given to every chapter that tells them why they need to take greater pains and make more effort to welcome ALL modelers of every genre, as well as to de-emphasize criticism, especially concerning accuracy. In short, IPMS should be sure all chapters are emphasizing the FUN of building, whatever that is to each individual member.

As for why to join IPMSUSA? Well, once you have a local member, they're more likely to understand that their chapter is dependent to a degree on IPMSUSA, if only for insurance. Second, most all of them can recognize that the Journal IS one of the best modeling magazines around, especially for the money. It may or may not be a recruiting tool on its own, but it IS another solid benefit of being an IPMSUSA member. And third, most local members do recognize the need to be supportive of their club and and its parent organization just out of loyalty. If the club puts an active emphasis on joining IPMSUSA (but short of demanding it), then I think we'll get a higher percentage of the locals than we have now.

Blindly reaching out to the modeling public is generally what we've always done, and it's never really worked. I estimate that only 20%-40% of most local club members are also IPMSUSA members. What if we could simply double that? That's where I'd start!

 

GIL :cool:

 

 

Edited by ghodges

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Every time I get something from Victory Models, they include a card offering a promotion from an on-line wine merchant.  What are the prospects of doing something similar thru on-line retailers?  Perhaps that could be the modern day equivalent of a flyer in the model kit box.

Edited by davenport49

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Have recently had a couple of chapter/club member queries asking for a concise list of the benefits of national membership, especially any collateral business/merchandise discounts that may be offered. Is there a list of those published anywhere? Did not find it on this website. Might also be a good piece of filler for *every* issue of the IPMS-USA Journal. Maybe a coupon, or online discount code-of-the-month?

Am aware of some bid'nesses that offer an IPMS member discount, but ya sorta have to stumble across it, in their literature.

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