Shame on you!

By Brian Marcus

If you don’t have a New Member Orientation conducted by YOU; the GM, shame on you! When Mrs. Smith dyes her hair in the locker room sink or Mr. Jones wears his flip flops into the lobby and when Mr. Davis stops you in the restaurant and asks what the Board of Directors is; all could have been prevented if you had a New Member Orientation.

For Clubs that do have a New Member Orientation, NMO (we love acronyms in the Club Business) have reported fewer rules violations, increased knowledge about the Club and better involvement in the Club. Why should you the GM do the orientation and not the Membership Manager? You are the boss and the Members should know that. You want the messaging on your terms and what is important to you will become important to them. Notwithstanding, have your senior department heads involved to cover their areas; for the same reasons.

What makes up a great NMO, well, we had a pretty great one at the last Club I worked for. The introduction, Club history, governance, the Board and Committee structure and how the Club works is a great way to start. We covered the House Rules and other “important to know” tidbits in the opening as well. A key takeaway is a takeaway; give them a thumb drive with the rules on it to take home. 

From there let them have some fun. Have your department heads present informational and marketing slides about their areas. What better than the F&B Director presenting the offerings in each of the restaurants, upcoming promotions or the Golf Superintendent talking about the turf and speed of play. The new Members will love it, become more informed and most importantly involved in their Club. Remember one of the best sources of new Members are new Members; it’s just like buying a new BMW. To punctuate the NMO we served GREAT nibbles, beer and wine for the evening sessions and breakfast bites and Bloody Marys’ and Mimosas for the morning sessions.

One of our very switched on restaurant managers came in for one evening session and offered anyone a complementary drink that came to his restaurant for dinner after the orientation…70% went upstairs. 

Go forward and orientate your new members. If you have had great feedback or results from your NMO I would love to hear about it; hit me up on email!

Brian Marcus is one of our executive recruiters specializing in private clubs and hospitality. Brian has over 10 years of club experience and 25 years of hotel, restaurant and F&B experience in numerous countries. For more information contact Brian at 626-836-1222 or brian@globalhospitality.com