March 2019 Tuesday Tips
One of the things I love about visiting clubs is learning about their history. You all have a story to tell! For the Capital City Club, the club was born from the fact that four friends couldn’t get a pool table and decided to create a club of their own. From the website, “Several men, among them Bartow M. Blount, Archibald and Joseph T. Orme, and Lewis Redwine, decided to form a social club, partly inspired by a need to escape the crowded conditions in the billiard room of the Kimball House.”
What’s your club’s story? How often do you tell it? Does every employee know the history? Do they know who the key people are who willed the club into existence? How about your members? How do they continue traditions the founders of the club enjoyed? What seems like a very simply story – four dudes wanted to play pool and had to start their own club because everyplace else is crowded – is actually very charming all of these years later. It’s the foundation of the club, camaraderie and friendship, and it’s a story everyone should be proud to tell.
Yesterday, I booked a ticket to Hong Kong. For work. I am super excited to consult with the Hong Kong Golf Club and then present my Member Communication Workshop with attendees of the CMAA, Asian Club Managers Conference in Hong Kong. How did this come to be? Believe it or not, it’s because I took a risk in 2002. I left my career to go teach English in Japan. Had I not had that experience, I would not have kept in touch with the gentleman who became my General Manager for the hotel group in Hanoi, Vietnam. He left Club Corp about the same time and worked in a few countries before landing in Hanoi. And when I took a risk and made a solo trip to SE Asia in 2008, I reconnected with him and his family, which set in motion my stint as the Sales & Marketing Director for the hotel group.
Had I not taken a financial risk to have a booth at the Expo of the CMAA World Conference in San Francisco last year, I would not have reconnected with my former GM, who is now running a club in Hong Kong. So, I would not have met the Hong Kong contingency of GM’s at the conference, including one gentleman who was the GM of a a club in Los Angeles, around the same time I was at City Club LA, and who is now the GM of the Hong Kong Golf Club.
Had I not taken a risk in 2002, I would not have enjoyed 8 years of life and professional experience in Japan and SE Asia. I would not understand the region as well as I do now. I might not have the qualifications to consult and educate private club professionals in Asia.
Take risks, my friends. It may be something as grand as shaking up your life to move somewhere new, but it might also be enough to risk making a change to the Easter Brunch menu (gasp!), or creating a new event at the club, renovating a space, parking golf carts in a different location, or even refreshing the format of your email! Risks of all sizes bring great rewards. Take the risk!
Spring is almost here! It’s next week, in fact, on March 20th. Spend a few minutes now to plan and prepare for how you and your members can celebrate this much welcomed season. Are the groundskeepers starting or finishing a special project? What new flowers might the gardeners be planting? If you are still under snow, what tips can your
crew give to members for tending to their home gardens? These tips and advice will play well on social media.
If you don’t already have an event on the calendar, throw together a “Spring has Sprung” Happy Hour in the lounge and serve some festive and colorful cocktails. It’s a good occasion to bring members out of the winter slumber and refresh the habit of coming to the club. You could also have Chef host a pop up event and do a short demo with seasonal ingredients.
The change of seasons are a big deal, and it is likely that your members are eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring. Tap into that and share their enthusiasm!
Last week I shared a Harvard Business Review article which gave advice on how you could personalize your out-of-office email reply. That really resonated with you. When I sent out the quarterly newsletter on Friday, I was pleased to see how some of you put the advice into action. Here are a couple of my favorite OOO replies from Friday:
- “Good day! I will be out of the office on Friday, March 1, 2019 to enjoy family visiting from out of state.”
- “I am out enjoying some Florida sunshine and will return on Monday, March 4th.”
- A polite way to start any OOO reply is, “Thank you for your email.”
- And finally, “I am out of town and will return to the Club on Wednesday, March 6th. Below are few resources that may be helpful to to you while I’m away.” Following were a few sections of information like “Membership Management” and “Sponsor a New Member.”
I’m so glad you found the article helpful and are taking active steps to improve and personalize your OOO. I can’t wait to see what lands in my inbox today. I’ll move on from this topic next week, but may share your stellar examples in the future.