Survey / Questionaire

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Train Spotter
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Survey / Questionaire

Post by Train Spotter » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:24 pm

Is the management committee trying to side track older members?????

In recent months they are offering Free membership if you join during 2018 to celebrate 90 years of the society...

Now they've sent a questionaire to younger members.... But we older members seem to be getting sidelined Why?????

MisterC
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Re: Survey / Questionaire

Post by MisterC » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:46 pm

If the Society is to survive to its 100th year then it needs to attract new and younger members. Ideally the Management Committee should be surveying young enthusiasts who are not members, but surveying young members is the next best thing.

Surveying older members will only result in more of the same and a continued decline. If existing members want to see that 100th anniversary then they should support any efforts by the Management Committee to broaden the Society's appeal to 21st century enthusiasts.

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pdeaves
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Re: Survey / Questionaire

Post by pdeaves » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:13 am

There is no sense in asking people 'just like you' for information that you already know. Evidently the committee is formed from older people who can already answer on behalf of older people. To find out what younger people want or how younger people think involves asking them.

Now, if the committee was made up of mainly younger people (which would be great!), it may be necessary to survey the older people.

In both cases, of course, who you ask depends on what information the committee needs to find out.

Train Spotter
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Re: Survey / Questionaire

Post by Train Spotter » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:29 am

pdeaves wrote:There is no sense in asking people 'just like you' for information that you already know. Evidently the committee is formed from older people who can already answer on behalf of older people. To find out what younger people want or how younger people think involves asking them.

Now, if the committee was made up of mainly younger people (which would be great!), it may be necessary to survey the older people.

In both cases, of course, who you ask depends on what information the committee needs to find out.
How can the committee know what i'm thinking they've not asked me what i'm thinking.......

Train Spotter
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Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:33 pm

Re: Survey / Questionaire

Post by Train Spotter » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:41 am

MisterC wrote:If the Society is to survive to its 100th year then it needs to attract new and younger members. Ideally the Management Committee should be surveying young enthusiasts who are not members, but surveying young members is the next best thing.

Surveying older members will only result in more of the same and a continued decline. If existing members want to see that 100th anniversary then they should support any efforts by the Management Committee to broaden the Society's appeal to 21st century enthusiasts.

I agree if its to survive to 100 years its got to attract younger members..... The problem is that the majority of young people who are interested in Railways are not interested in going to meetings or joining societies like the RCTS unless they've got an interest in certain subjects & are quiet happy to pay a couple of pounds to attend meetings.........

prentonmember
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Re: Survey / Questionaire

Post by prentonmember » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:35 pm

This development is news to me and is quite disconcerting.

Something is going on in the upper echelons of the society which needs explanation.

A national survey should be to every member. Branches occasionally do their own surveys and that is fine.

There appears to be a panic that 2028 will not see the light of day for the RCTS.

Branch officers are, so I gather, being invited to send their responses to the MC regarding their views on involving the 500+ new freebie members. Branches it seems will get blamed for not involving new members if they do not renew their subscriptions at the turn of the year.

Prenton Member

Peter Hall
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Re: Survey / Questionaire

Post by Peter Hall » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:04 pm

[quote="Train Spotter} I agree if its to survive to 100 years its got to attract younger members..... The problem is that the majority of young people who are interested in Railways are not interested in going to meetings or joining societies like the RCTS unless they've got an interest in certain subjects & are quiet happy to pay a couple of pounds to attend meetings.........[/quote]

Before my overthrow as Sheffield Branch Chairman I had an on going question of my constituents which occasionally got an answer from one of them. The question was "Why are you a member of the RCTS?" A follow on question would often be "Why dis you join in the first place?" When an answer was forthcoming the answer was along the lines of that at the time the RCTS offered what I wanted that was not available elsewhere or the RCTS did it better than others. Most members would probably answer that question along those lines.

I joined in the mid 1970's primarily for the RO because at the tine the RO covered Locomotive and Coaching Stock changes and associated information better than any other publication I was aware of. This was probably the reason why many others joined at the time. Older members often say they joined for the 'Shed Bashing' trips which the RCTS progressively turned their back on in the 1970s. Young enthusiasts in the 1970s were more likely to join Dalescroft, Inter-City, NCTS or Worcester Loco for shed bashing trips then as the word on the platform was they were the market leaders in that and that was what they wanted.

What then does the RCTS offer that young enthusiasts of today want and is the market leader in? I can't think of anything, can anyone else? Clearly though BLS/PLEG, Freightmaster and wnxx offer what these enthusiasts want or they would not be as successful as they currently are. I am sure regular poster Ian Prince will elaborate on this.

Going back to the 1970s, and it is just as true today, it is that market leaders don't need to promote themselves to gain members. Copies of the RO in enthusiast hands or one spotter telling another what they had seen on a NCTS shed bash was all that was needed. Today the shop window for BLS/PLEG is the fully booked visits and exotic haulage they promote whilst the wnxx website is their shop window.

MisterC
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Re: Survey / Questionaire

Post by MisterC » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:46 am

prentonmember wrote:This development is news to me and is quite disconcerting.

Something is going on in the upper echelons of the society which needs explanation.

A national survey should be to every member. Branches occasionally do their own surveys and that is fine.

There appears to be a panic that 2028 will not see the light of day for the RCTS.

Branch officers are, so I gather, being invited to send their responses to the MC regarding their views on involving the 500+ new freebie members. Branches it seems will get blamed for not involving new members if they do not renew their subscriptions at the turn of the year.

Prenton Member
A branch survey is for members of a specified region, this is a survey for members of a specified age. Both are equally valid.

Branches should always be trying to engage with new members, and many do. There's nothing suspicious about making an extra effort for the "freebie" members, though I would have expected a consultation with branch officers to have taken place before the launch of the freebie scheme, not afterwards. But better late than never.

MisterC
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:51 pm

Re: Survey / Questionaire

Post by MisterC » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:08 pm

[quote="Train Spotter} I agree if its to survive to 100 years its got to attract younger members..... The problem is that the majority of young people who are interested in Railways are not interested in going to meetings or joining societies like the RCTS unless they've got an interest in certain subjects & are quiet happy to pay a couple of pounds to attend meetings.........[/quote]
Peter Hall wrote:What then does the RCTS offer that young enthusiasts of today want and is the market leader in? I can't think of anything, can anyone else? Clearly though BLS/PLEG, Freightmaster and wnxx offer what these enthusiasts want or they would not be as successful as they currently are. I am sure regular poster Ian Prince will elaborate on this.

Going back to the 1970s, and it is just as true today, it is that market leaders don't need to promote themselves to gain members. Copies of the RO in enthusiast hands or one spotter telling another what they had seen on a NCTS shed bash was all that was needed. Today the shop window for BLS/PLEG is the fully booked visits and exotic haulage they promote whilst the wnxx website is their shop window.
If RCTS does not offer what young enthusiasts of today want then it is doomed to decline.

The RCTS is market leader in many ways: size, resources, history, meetings, archives and more. All of these can still be relevant to young enthusiasts.

But the shop window for young enthusiasts is internet based. News is immediate and shared by social media, not a month old and passed from hand to hand in a paper publication. To survive, the Society must recognise that the website is the prime publication, not the RO, and prioritise accordingly.

What's going on now in retail with High Street v internet is a stark example of what could happen. Are we John Lewis or BHS?

sean136
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:04 pm

Re: Survey / Questionaire

Post by sean136 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:31 pm

All valid points and I can see where the committee is coming from. The society needs new blood. The big problem is though, that Rail Enthusiasm isn't a hip thing to do. When I started spotting in the mid 80's I was only one of 4 in the whole school of 1000 pupils. It wasn't fashionable back then and it certainly isn't now.
Apart from computer games, kids don't have hobbies anymore. When I go spotting I'm usually the youngest on the platform and I'm 48 now!
I do occasionally see younger enthusiasts, but its such a rare occurrence that it sticks in the memory.
The one comment about tours and site visits is a good one. I think if RCTS could do more of these it would attract more members. RCTS as the oldest society should be leading the way. To get access to somewhere you can't normally go would be an attraction. BLS seem to have no problem getting visits to signal boxes etc so why can't RCTS?
I'm sorry to say that the only thing that attracted me to the AGM was the visit to Bournemouth Depot but then that was cancelled. I know it takes a lot of organising and volunteers but if that attraction isn't there then new members aren't going to join. If organised trips to the likes of Toton, Doncaster, Crewe etc could be made then I'm sure more people would join.
My local branch hasn't got any meetings listed at all yet, again I know it takes someone to use their spare time to organise them, but if a potential new member is looking at what RCTS can offer them, then it doesn't look good if the page is blank.

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