What to look and listen for as the Club Managers Association of America revives its own conference.
On Thursday, February 24 through Monday, February 28, club leaders, suppliers, manufacturers and students will gather in Orlando, Fla. for the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) World Conference, to participate in workshops, seminars, management clinics and roundtable discussions.
A concurrent Club Business Expo, with show floor hours on Saturday, February 25, from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday, February 26 from 9:30 AM to 3 PM, will give Conference attendees the opportunity to view new products and services for the club market. Featured categories will include:
- Architectural and Interior Design
- Spa and Fitness
(For C&RB’s suggestions of don’t-miss exhibits, visit the online listing of exhibitors at the end of our online 2011 conference preview here.
Conference Workshops and Education Sessions
On its own for the first time in four years, CMAA’s four-and-a-half-day World Conference will offer a wide array of learning opportunities and networking events. Here are some of C&RB’s suggestions for sessions to seek out:
- Creating the Family-Friendly Club(Feb. 24th) presented by Gregg Patterson, The Beach Club, Santa Monica, Calif. This all-day seminar will show attendees how to:
- Identify characteristics of the family-friendly club
- Identify characteristics of the kid-friendly general manager—and how to train one if necessary
- Persuade the “powers that be” to budget dollars for a youth program
- Hire a youth director to guide the program
- Build a management team that has kid-friendly characteristics
- Create a Youth Committee and establish and select a Youth Chairman for the Board of Directors
- Develop a public relations program to support and promote a club’s family-friendliness
- Plan a year-round, cost-effective “Pied Piper” youth program
- Plan a summer camp program
- Modify the clubhouse to provide kid-friendly dining and activities
- Food and Wine Pairing Workshop (Feb. 24th from 7:30 AM–3:30 PM) presented by Brian Koziel, Master Sommelier. The CMAA International Wine Society, along with Treasury Wine Estates, will be offering a one-day food and wine pairing.
- Membership Trends Are Changing: Learn What Is Selling and How to Sell It (Feb. 24th from 4:00– 5:30 PM) presented by Heidi Voss, Bauer Voss Consulting. Learn what prospective members are looking for in a club, how to attract new leads, incorporate the most cost-effective sales tools, and build a loyal membership that will be encouraged to participate in growing the club. Discussion will also explore how to strengthen communication with current members, highlight real-life pitfalls to avoid, and provide guidelines for developing a strong marketing plan for the club, both internally and externally.
- World Class Ideas From the 2010 Conference in San Diego (Feb. 25th from 8:45–11:45 AM) presented by Dick Kopplin & Kurt Kuebler, CCM, Kopplin & Kuebler, LLC. After attending or listening to all presentations from last year’s CMAA Conference, the facilitators of this program have compiled their “best ideas” recommendations, and will present them for review and discussion.
- Ninety-Minute Menu Tune-Up: Turning Trends Into Money Makers (Feb. 25th from 1:00–2:30 PM) presented by Nancy Kruse, The Kruse Company. This interactive forum will use major trends as the starting point for an interactive menu inspection process that will help club food-and-beverage executives identify standard features—the menu must-haves that will keep them competitive—along with the options and extras that will increase sales and boost margins.
- Membership Marketing: It’s All About Practice (Feb. 25th from 2:45– 4:15 PM) presented by Beth Meister, Club Marketing & Communication. This session will focus on some tried-and-true membership philosophies that are always good ideas, but need to be updated for the 21st century through new avenues, technology and strategies not traditionally used in membership sales.
- Financial Metrics: Comparing the Most and Least Profitable Clubs (Feb. 25th from 5:00–6:30 PM) presented by Ray Schmidgall, Ph.D., and Agnes De Franco, Michigan State University. From an analysis of the balance sheets and key operating numbers for 2009 of over 100 clubs, the 20 most profitable clubs (based on return on assets) will be compared with the 20 least profitable. The key operational areas of food, beverage and dues will be given special analysis, and clear differences based on initiation fees, dues, debt and assets will be discussed.
- Forget Those Matures, Boomers, Xers and Millennials Members! It’s All About Generation C! (Feb. 28th from 7:00–8:30 AM) presented by Bonnie Knutson, Ph.D., Michigan State University. It’s no longer membership marketing by age; it is now membership marketing by connectivity – i.e., Generation “C.” In this interactive session, attendees will learn the seven “Cs” of today’s club marketing that can be used to increase member loyalty and value.
The Impact of the Great Recession on Golf, and Suggested Solutions (Feb. 28th from 2:15–3:45 PM) presented by Laurence Hirsh, Golf Property Analysts and John Snyder, Esq., Saul, Ewing Law Firm. This seminar will examine the impact of the 2008-2010 recession on golf and clubs, focusing on the financial perspective, and suggest possible solutions. Areas of focus will be managing real estate tax assessments, realistic market analysis and positioning, market trends, objective facilities analysis and planning, and alternative methods of bridging financial gaps. Case studies will be presented, and time will be allotted for interactive discussion.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Feb. 25th from 7:00 –10:00 PM). The CMAA community will enjoy a private evening at The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM to stroll the streets of HogsmeadeTM and explore its wonders, including the rides and attractions that bring the adventures of Harry PotterTM and friends to life.
The 2011 Idea Fair. Entries will be on display from Thursday, February 24– Monday, February 28. (Details for many of the submitted ideas will be included in C&RB’s Fifth Annual Ideas Issue, in June 2011.)