EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S CORNER
2011 MEMBERSHIP DRIVE UNDERWAY, VISION SHARED …
By Jonathan Banks
This month, I’d like to address a few of the most important aspects of your membership in Sail America, as well as share our vision for the future AND some exciting renewal incentives!
First, however, I’d like to personally thank you for your support of Sail America. We rely on each and every one of our members to keep our association healthy and viable. Your support continues to make a difference in our success.
Second, I’d like to ask for your continued commitment. We need your support and active engagement to continue the level of programming and membership benefits that are designed to positively impact your business.
With your support, we provide:
- Educational Programs to Help You Better Manage Your Business: The recently held Sailing Industry Conference, in Annapolis, Maryland, is a prime example of how Sail America’s business education initiatives can help your company operate better in today’s market. Whether it was a concrete lesson about management, insights on social marketing, useful data about sailing participation and financing, or a better practice in sales, there was a lot to take away from the Sailing Industry Conference that could immediately impact your business.
In addition, we publish regular issues of Waypoints, our educational e-newsletter that is tailored to the needs of the sailing industry. Each issue is chock-full of relevant editorial covering topics that will benefit your business. Our interviews with top industry leaders, colleagues and outside peers and business experts provide useful tips and techniques covering a broad range of topics and trends.
- Market Intelligence to Help You Make Informed Business Decisions: Through the ongoing Market Segment Focus Groups, Sail America is bringing together marine businesses to analyze their own corner of the sailing market. Competitors are coming together to share trade knowledge in an effort to help grow the sailing market! We’re learning a lot about market trends and what Sail America can do to better serve each segment. Along the way we’re finding more people getting involved with Sail America with the belief that, as an industry, we are the sum of our parts. You can – and should – be actively engaged in this productive initiative!
In addition, Sail America provides market information and statistics, including regular data about used-boat sales and new data on participation in sailing, to help you make informed business decisions.
- Targeted Sales Opportunities to Help You Sell More Products/Services: The boat show model is changing, and Sail America is changing with it. For example, we adapted to a changing environment in Oakland and put on the most successful Strictly Sail Pacific show there in years! We continue to work in new markets via partnerships with other show producers (e.g. NMMA, Show Management, United States Yacht Shows, etc.) to bring a stronger sailing presence to their shows. Our goal is to deliver as many qualified buyers as possible to help you sell more products and/or services.
- Marketing Outreach that Helps Grow the Sailing Market: Despite a limited marketing budget, Sail America continues to introduce new people to sailing through its successful Discover Sailing program. In fact, this past year more than 2,000 people signed up for a free sail at a Discover Sailing event – an all-time record! We continue to promote sailing through our active involvement in the Grow Boating and Discover Sailing industry initiatives.
A key membership benefit is FREE access to a qualified list of over 50,000 Discover Sailing prospects that you can use to promote YOUR business!
While these are some of the key initiatives we undertake, our broader vision is to build a stronger market for sailing. For example, this past year we represented our member’s interests as the “collective voice” of sailing to NMMA and other organizations tied to the business of sailing; we provided ongoing industry communication through Sail America News and other channels to keep members informed; and delivered more research to Sail America members than before.
And here’s more good news! Collectively, we turned around Sail America’s financials and made a profit for the first time in several years. The only way we can achieve our mission to promote the business of sailing is to operate from a sound financial position.
While all of this represents many of our achievements as your trade association, we’re not content to rest on our laurels. We realize that our mission is to promote the health and growth of sailing. With this in mind, we continue to look to the future and have established plans to further our mission in the following ways:
- Develop a comprehensive sailing website that will become a major portal for consumers to connect with the sailing industry.
- Become the single best source of market data and industry information.
- Increase sailing’s presence at boat shows.
- Continue to build our database of sailing consumers.
- Provide ongoing education to our members.
- Do a better job communicating Sail America’s role and membership benefits.
- Grow our membership base to ensure we are representing all sailing businesses.
I hope you recognize the dedication, passion and commitment we have made to support and grow the sailing market. But we need your support to continue our good work and fulfill our mission.
Please take action today by renewing your membership with Sail America. As a special incentive, we’re offering a 5% discount if your membership dues are paid in full by August 20, 2010, or you can opt to pay 50% of your dues by August 20 and the balance by Nov. 1, 2010.
In closing, I hope we can count on your continued support. In addition, please provide me with your feedback on our membership benefits and how we can improve the value we offer our members. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (401) 841-0900 extension #12 at anytime. I would love to hear from you!