Our 2016 AGM was held during our monthly club meeting on 14th January. As usual, all four of the committee provided a summary of activities during 2015, and these are outlined below. With no new nominations, all four were re-elected for another twelve month term.
The recruitment side of the club received particular emphasis during the AGM and there was a debate on how the club can attract new members. In particular younger and female members are a priority. The club prides itself on being open to all and having a number of younger members with a range of interests, but this can always be improved upon. If there are no new younger members coming into the hobby in general then in a matter of decades there will be no more hobby at all. A quick scan around any model show will confirm this and therefore it is the duty of all clubs and societies within the hobby to make building model kits attractive to a younger audience. At the AGM, the club agreed that a number of actions should be taken to try and boost recruitment for the club in 2016. Chief of these is a redesign of the club’s advertising and marketing material. New information cards have been drawn up and purchased, and a series of posters will be designed and displayed at local toy/hobby shops in Banbury and will join us at shows, along with the cards. The club will make efforts to attend events outside of the regular show circuit, including Geek Con Banbury on 30th January, our regular appearance at Bloxham Steam Rally in June, and other potential events still in the pipeline. Finally, running events with clubs such as the scouts has worked well in past years and there was agreement that this should be explored as a potential option again.
The AGM also presented an opportunity to run through the list of shows the club will attend in 2016. Currently the full list runs to approximately nine or ten shows meaning one of the busiest years in the club’s existence. Whilst attention has turned to new shows more further afield in the last couple of years – Poole and IPMS Avon’s show in Thornbury for example, there’s a desire to look north and look at the possibility of attending events in the Birmingham area as it’s something the club has yet to do.
Financially, the club remains in a healthy position with a strong regular group of members attending meetings, contributing to club funds and allowing for the hire of the Parish Meeting Rooms. Subs will remain unchanged at £3 per month.
The club’s online presence steadily grew over the course of 2015. The Facebook page had reached 558 likes by the time of the AGM and continues to grow, with followers of the page from all over the world. It is one of the most popular IPMS club pages on Facebook and the intention is to build on this with a greater frequency of shared photos and news to make the page even more attractive. The website saw fewer updates, but as can be seen here, plans for a refresh were in the pipeline and have since been made a reality, allowing for better communication with coordinated posts here and on Facebook, and also a generally more impressive, professional presence. In an area that is sorely lacking regarding the hobby as a whole, the club takes its online presence very seriously and as a key way to encourage new people into the hobby.
Therefore, going into 2016, IPMS Middleton Cheney finds itself in a healthy position with new faces, new plans and new shows to attend all at the forefront of what the club will do over the year. Here’s to another fun and exciting 12 months!