You may remember some of my emails from last year around this time which came to you from a conference in Nashville. The Association of Club Catering Professionals hosts their annual conference at the end of August. 2017 marks their 6th year. There could not be a more perfect spot for club catering and F&B professionals to expand their knowledge than in Napa, CA.
We stayed at the Silverado Resort & Spa. Once participants checked in, they interacted with the top vendors and creative partners in the industry, learning about new products and trends to help them plan extraordinary events in their clubs. After our opening session with motivational speaker Patrick Snow, we networked and renewed friendships at the welcome party. This was held in the in Silverado’s Grove, out under the trees. The party offered great ideas for utilizing tucked away spaces on the grounds and setting up intimate seating arrangements outdoors.
Hurricane Matthew is headed toward the East Coast. A few clubs have been posting that they are closed or will be closing. Please make an effort to continue updating your social media accounts and your club’s website to keep members informed. Here’s a quick emergency communication protocol to follow:
1. Assign people to social accounts and the website for frequent updates. It is best to assign one person per channel. Make sure the crisis communication team has login information and each other’s contact information so that they can update platforms and stay in touch with each other. Once they arrive in a safe location, they should plan to keep members informed frequently.
2. Identify local resources who are providing information. You can share or re-tweet the information from these accounts. For example, local fire, police and news stations. Think about the Weather Channel and even FEMA. Your state and local government offices should be posting information online too. Even is all you are doing is re-posting this information, it is enough. So long as you are doing so with consistency and frequency. Every 2 hours for example.
3. Make sure that your accounts are not connected to each other so that every time to post to Facebook it Tweets. This will be super confusing for your members. Disconnect the accounts. Post authentically and in real-time. Look to pause or delete scheduled posts about events and non-essential information.
4. Continue to post information that is helpful to your members. Serve as a resource.
5. When the storm clears, continue with regular updates about club closings, special hours of operation, damage to the club or courses/courts… be informative. If you receive phone calls, refer them to the online channels for frequent updates.
During a time of crisis like this, the last thing you want to do is go silent. Be of value to your members and provide them helpful information. Serve as a resource. When the skies are blue again they will appreciate that their club was on top of the news and information and served as a helpful resource during a scary time.
It is a pleasure to represent Private Clubs Online and serve as a speaker at the CMAA 89th World Conference on Club Management & Club Business Expo February 21 – 25, 2016 in my lovely town of San Diego!
Happy New Year! I hope 2016 is off to a great start for you! I’m sure the holiday season was all hustle and bustle with plenty of member activities and parties. I hope you caught some time to rest and recharge so you could kick off the New Year in style!
Private clubs are facing a fork in the road with member communication. Many clubs hold a firm and traditional belief that, “We are an exclusive club and what happens at our club is private.” Some clubs maintain a more progressive view of, “We need to better inform our members about club programs and benefits.” There is certain hesitation for many clubs to activate online and social media accounts, yet an understanding that the world is communicating online, including our members. It’s an internal struggle I often hear in conversation with club management.