- posted November 19, 2020
No one needs to tell us that 2020 was completely different than we expected. Even part way through 2020 we expected some sort of normalcy to return. Today isn’t much different from yesterday, except that we now have the hope for a vaccine to be tested, approved and available soon. That outcome helps us have hope to return to the things we love to do and do best, drive our cars on as many tours as we can with the people we enjoy being with. VMCCA members have developed a pattern of using a closing salutation in many of our personal communications, email messages and letters with the phrase “see ya down the road.” I believe the intent is to communicate the desire to see a person, or group of people, later or in the future. I have asked myself many times in 2020 a series of questions. What does down the road look like for The VMCCA? What can we do to better prepare ourselves for the road ahead? What could we have done earlier that would have made us better today? The Board of Governors has always had the responsibility to determine the direction of the road ahead.Of course, members’ suggestions are important, welcome, and considered in d e t e rmi n i n g our direction. Frankly, we have not always been good at implementing those suggestions.
I met with Bob Edelman at his home on September 25th. There is a sign at the approach to the sidewalk, “Caution Uneven Surfaces”. This is a warning that the sidewalk has separated with high and low spots. A trip hazard for sure. Our road ahead is likely to have uneven surfaces, bumps, and dips. We must invest the time and resources now to help us understand and anticipate the road surfaces we will face. When we take away a road analogy and put this in the context of The VMCCA, we must get better at implementing those good suggestions and we must get better at understanding the type of club our current and future members want to belong to. Membership growth is kind of a catchall category for topics we need to discuss. The question of how to attract younger members gets asked time after time in meeting after meeting. The recently approved Modified Car Acceptance Statement is believed to be a good step toward attracting members. One of our chapters asked for a copy of the statement this month. Are they planning to use that as part of their membership growth plan? Isn’t the statement part of our club’s overall marketing plan or at least part of our communication plan?
We just launched our new website. We approved the expense with the belief that a new dynamic website would accomplish several things, including attracting members. I firmly believe it will. I am also convinced that we must do more. If vintage car enthusiasts are looking for interesting places to drive their cars, we have to make it easy for them to find us‑to know about us. Perhaps we don’t know enough about what the vintage car enthusiast wants for activities. Shall we create a survey and then develop activities to satisfy the results? The list of questions goes on. The task of finding and defining our road is huge and will take some time. It is also difficult while it is delicate. We must always keep our long term ‘experienced’ members in mind. Membership growth has a membership retention component. How do we get there? Is it like driving instructions on a tour? Most likely not exactly like “go 1.2 mile to the next stop sign then turn right on Washington Avenue”. In some cases, it will be easier. We just don’t want to lose anyone along the way. I wrote earlier, that the Board of Governors has always had the responsibility to determine the direction of the road ahead. Additionally, it will take a number of dedicated members to determine where and how we navigate the road. Like all car enthusiast organizations, The VMCCA is led by volunteers at all levels and capacities. Now is the time to look for ways to help The VMCCA get through 2020 and into the future.
So, we can all say with certainty “See Ya Down The Road!”