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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week I tried a new tactic for recruiting new members for my local plant club - a Craigslist ad: http://sacramento.craigslist.org/zip/855652717.html, the ad reads as follows:
Aquatic Plants for Aquarium - FREE (Sacramento)

The Sacramento Aquatic Plants Society has meetings most months, with everyone who can bringing cuttings of their plants to be given to who ever wants them. Everyone at the meetings goes away with what ever plants they want, free. If you have an aquarium and want some beautiful aquatic plants growing in it, go to
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sacaquaticplant/ and sign up (no cost) as members, in order to learn about the dates, times and locations of these meetings. You will be very welcome at the meetings.
In 5 days I got 13 new members from that ad! And, many of those are people who have been in the hobby for several years, wishing there was a local club they could go to for conversations about aquatic plant growing. It was successful beyond my wildest dreams.

If you have a local aquatic plant club in need of more members, or are just starting one, this seems to be a universally applicable way to attract members. I should also give credit to Tom Barr for suggesting trying this in a brief conversation last month.
 

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Great idea! That's awesome that you had such good results. I think I'll do the same if I don't end up moving...to start a club in the Abilene, TX area.

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
People wanting more plants will search on Craigslist for "aquatic plants", so an ad like this will stand out. It is such a simple and obvious idea it is embarrassing that it took me 18 months to do it.
 

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Oh this is the best idea Hoppy ever had!!!

...and the cantilevered light too...

It's a great thing to have a brain, I don't know how it feels..

We as a club will certainly try the craigslist thing. Do you mind if I copy/paste your text for our local ulterior purposes? (Because I'm lazy too.)

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh this is the best idea Hoppy ever had!!!

...and the cantilevered light too...

It's a great thing to have a brain, I don't know how it feels..

We as a club will certainly try the craigslist thing. Do you mind if I copy/paste your text for our local ulterior purposes? (Because I'm lazy too.)

--Nikolay
Go ahead and copy my ad. I didn't copyright it!:rolleyes: But, if you leave my website on it I may get new members from all over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would love to find a club in my area - Olympic Peninsula
it really isn't hard to start a group, if you are in an urban area that is 30 miles or so in radius. You can set up a Yahoo group free, and it works very well. Then put the ad in craigslist and get as many people as you can to meet in a pizza place some night. Most people like just being able to talk to others who have planted tanks. If there are LFS in the area you can get them to let you leave flyers advertising your meetings there. Slowly the group will grow.
 

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Hoppy, thank you very much. El Exorcisto, myself and Grim very much appreciate the ideas. For now our group, Capital District Aquatic Plant Society is getting together to help each other out with our tanks.

Your idea for attracting new members is great!

Thank you!
 

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BTW, when getting a forum and online presence do you think its better to have a forum administered by the club on their own website (financially hosting is cheap, like $50/yr at some places) or at a larger site that you can sign up for a subforum on (like here?).
I'd like a blog to go along with it for news and to post articles.
 

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BTW, when getting a forum and online presence do you think its better to have a forum administered by the club on their own website (financially hosting is cheap, like $50/yr at some places) or at a larger site that you can sign up for a subforum on (like here?).
I'd like a blog to go along with it for news and to post articles.
I think they both have their merits. APC has a much larger member base and can be seen by more people in the hobby. SWOAPE has had a forum here for probably 3 years now and recruited lots of new members. However, having your own site gives you more flexibility to add your own content and keep things a bit more organized than a single large forum.

Hoppy, another excellent idea, thanks for sharing! I put an add up on Craig's List for SWOAPE today and will let you know how it works for us. Man, why can't I ever think of these things :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We live in a world where people are almost always busy. Busy people have a hard time finding time for things like meetings. That is a prelude to reporting that even though our plant club picked up about 17 new members in the last month, our meeting last night drew only 6 of us. We had a ton of plants to give away, but only 3 of the people there were relatively new to the hobby, and one still hadn't set up a tank. So, most of the plants will end up in the garbage.

Last year, which was our first year as a plant club, we did much better with attendance, even though our membership was in the 20's most of that time and it is 67 now. One problem is that people want something from meetings, and that is usually a "presentation" of some kind that they can learn from. So, if 4 people come to a meeting and learn from a presentation they will probably return for another meeting. But, the effort that is needed for such a presentation is hard to put forth for such a small audience, and the audience won't be there next time if you don't put forth the effort, etc.

I'm still at a loss for how to get "active" members, people who like to come to and participate in meetings. This club thing isn't rocket science, but it sure isn't kindergarten level stuff either.
 

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www.faas.info

I hope that link is helpful.

For me, when it comes to learning and researching and getting the best level of knowledge - I come to APC.

When I finally want to build something, get my hands wet and learn something from someone else in the hobby - I love club meetings. Someone else always has a new idea or a different way of doing things. I love it.

When clubs get too large, or it becomes about having meetings or getting paperwork done - then you need someone whose kids have grown up and moved out so that at least one adult has the time to dedicate to 'the club'.

Or if you have some college aged younguns that are full of energy and time, let them go at it.

My local salt water club is well, not necessarily harmonious. But they are local. My local freshwater group and club is about fun and getting tanks done.

I can't wait to help Rainer build a fish room for someone, anyone. Rainer is a handy type guy. I am not. But I would love to learn. After all, when we eventually move (if we do) I want to know exactly what to look for in a house wherever I am for the perfect fishroom or how I want them throughout the house. And of course it has to be an Energy Star House.

Keep the ideas coming.

I want to grow the Freshwater Aquatic Plant Hobby in my region!
 

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Great idea! I live in modesto...about an hour or so south of sac. I'd like to come to one of your meetings eventually.

Nate
 
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