IAGSDC will be holding 3 sessions about Recruitment of new dancers and Retention of existing clubs’ members at this year’s Convention in Seattle. We are expanding the number of sessions this year following the well-attended and energetic session at last year’s Palm Springs Convention where we barely scratched the surface on these topics. As further discussed below, these sessions are part of a larger new initiative we are launching. All interested people are highly encouraged to attend these sessions.
Please help get out the word to your fellow Club organizers about the following important and hopefully rewarding sessions:
Roundtable Discussion of Experiences Faced by Member Clubs Surrounding Their Recruiting and Retention Efforts, Challenges and Successes.
When and Where: Thursday, July 5, from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm (or so), Boren Room
Focus of this Session: This first meeting will provide a moderated though fairly open roundtable forum for participants to share their specific recruiting and retention-related experiences, particularly highlighting the issues, strategies, challenges and successes that they have specifically been facing in their home clubs. Different clubs should have different experiences to share based on their location, surrounding populations from which they can draw dancers, levels of local competition for people’s interest and time, and much more. This first session should generate a number of useful examples on which we can build in the following sessions below. Please come to this session if you have a relevant story to share or a relevant issue to introduce that you hope we can consider in more detail later. (See below if you can’t attend but have a story and/or point that you would like to share.)
Recruiting New Members: Getting New Dancers in the Door & on the Floor
When and Where: Friday, July 6, from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Boren Room
Focus of this Session: This moderated session will focus specifically on the various strategies, challenges and successes of recruiting new dancers. We hope to identify strategies that can be universally helpful. We also expect to delve more deeply into different issues based on clubs’ differing locations, demographics, and more, and from those issues we hope to specifically identify different strategies that may be most relevant for smaller and larger clubs in turn. We will describe the new IAGSDC Club Development grant program in more detail and encourage clubs’ more active use of these new monetary grants that are now available to member clubs for many recruiting & retention activities from IAGSDC via its partnership with All Join Hands. We are also about to launch a new online Recruiting & Retention discussion forum that will be formally introduced during Convention.
Retaining Existing Members: Motivating Existing Members to Maintain their Interest and Involvement
When and Where: Saturday, July 7, from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, Boren Room
Focus of this Session: The other half of the coin for any successful club is to find ways to motivate existing members to keep coming and participating. This moderated session will focus on the various strategies, challenges and successes of various clubs in maintaining their membership through the years as circumstances change (e.g., club callers changing, clubs being forced to switch long-time meeting locations, etc.). We hope to spend some time discussing the different issues involved in retaining relatively new dancers as they advance up to new levels and different issues involved in keeping long-time, highly skilled dancers engaged and open to participating in lower level classes which are key to helping fully integrate newer dancers. Again we will look to identify strategies that can be universally helpful, as well as other specific strategies that may be more successful for differently sized clubs. We will describe the new IAGSDC Club Development grant program in more detail (to the extent that questions remain after the previous day’s session) and encourage clubs’ more active use of these new monetary grants available to member clubs for recruiting & retention activities from IAGSDC via its partnership with All Join Hands. We are also about to launch a new online Recruiting & Retention discussion forum that will be formally announced during Convention.
Share Your Experiences and Input Even if You Cannot Attend. If you are unable to attend Convention this year but you have specific ideas, experiences and/or suggestions on these topics that you would like to share for us to consider during the sessions, then please email them to IAGSDC’s Club Liaison Officer, Brad Bruner, by June 24 at email@example.com. We will collect and share all responses with session participants (via printed &/or electronic copy) and will make them generally available later. If you are attending Convention but have specific experiences you would like to write down for inclusion in the collected materials that will be distributed, then you can go ahead and email me them to me as well by June 24.*
PART OF A BROADER INITIATIVE AND CHANCE FOR ONGOING PARTICIPATION ABOUT THESE TOPICS.
These sessions are all part of a broader new 3-year IAGSDC initiative to bolster IAGSDC’s Recruiting & Retention resources and tool-kit to aid member clubs. We will be formally introducing this initiative at this year’s Wednesday, July 4 IAGSDC Delegates Meeting in Seattle. As part of this larger effort, we are creating a new IAGSDC Officer-sponsored Subcommittee on Recruitment & Retention.
If you have a real passion about Recruitment & Retention-related issues, we want to invite you to volunteer to be considered for the Subcommittee. Being a Subcommittee member will mean a 3-year commitment and will involve some volunteer time throughout the year, participation in conference calls a few times each year, and hopefully live participation during subsequent Recruiting & Retention sessions at future years’ Conventions. If you don’t quite have the time for the responsibilities of full subcommittee membership but are generally interested in these topics, we can make sure you are a part of the online discussion forum where we will be posting updates about our progress and ideas. If you want to be considered for the Subcommittee on Recruitment & Retention, please email Brad Bruner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to the Seattle Convention Committee for generously providing us with the room space at Convention this year and for including these sessions in the published Convention Schedule. Also, sincere thanks to Thom Dang, who continues to be a very active booster for this initiative and whose participation we again heartily welcome during this year’s sessions as well as on the new IAGSDC Subcommittee on Recruitment & Retention moving forward.
Yellow rocks, and look forward to seeing everyone very soon in Seattle!
IAGSDC Liaison Officer
*If we happen to get more responses than can responsibly be printed in this new Green world of ours, we might have to make some judgment calls on what gets printed though everything should be able to be made available electronically.