NYMC Conference 2017 – Nine to Five Club, Warwickshire

NYMCC 2017 was hosted by the Nine to Five Clubs, Warwickshire and was attended by 96 representatives of new and young mason’s clubs and reflected 33 Provincial Grand Lodges. The theme for this conference was Building and Maintaining the Foundations. 

After the formal welcome, the conference team formed the four groups, and each separately focused on a specific core topic:

James Tyrell of the Essex Cornerstone Club with Warwick Wakefield and Colin Bennett of the Five of Nine Club explored, ‘How do Clubs gain, sustain or increase their membership, what methods are used to enrol new members, and how can merchandise help your club stand out from the crowd and raise capital?’

Nick Turner of The Holywell Club with Sean Phillips of the Five of Nine Club analysed, ‘How do Clubs gain, sustain or increase their membership, what methods are used to enrol new members, and how can merchandise help your club stand out from the crowd and raise capital?’

Sam Mayer of the Adair Club with Carey Burke of the Five of Nine Club reviewed, ‘How do you positively promote the Club within Freemasonry and to the wider public? Do you have a brand or image and can this help with marketing?‘

Finally, Oliver Wannell of the Colonnade Club with Dan Norman and Carl Foster of the Five of Nine Club examined, ‘What type of events do you hold, Which have the greatest attendance, Have you considered taking your NYMC out into the community, How can Events build relationships and create shared experiences?

The Committee of the Five of Nine Club were delighted at how the day progressed. We saw and heard from some amazing brethren sharing their ideas and experiences from clubs across the development spectrum that in turn has given other brethren an awful lot to go back to their respective clubs and discuss.

Key Considerations

1. SUSTAINABILITY 1.1 As a minimum membership packs should/could include: Welcome letter from PGM or Chairman, Membership Certificate, Membership Card, Club Tie, Club Lapel. 1.2 Offering a ‘buddy-system’ for new club members or initiates, and or creating opportunities for human-interaction may increase retention and participation. 1.3 Merchandise and branding increases the status of NYMCs and adds a sense of identity, supports self-sustainability and generates a surplus income.

2. GOVERNANCE 2.1 Clubs with clearly defined structures, roles and responsibilities, with the addition of a flexible constitutional framework tend to perform better than those that do not. 2.2 Strive to build better relationships with province based on mutual trust; the inclusion of the Provincial Executive on the board or other various positions within the club may add value. 2.3 Agreed access to or partial data from Adelphi data increases planning, marketing and overall effectiveness of NYMCs.

3. MARKETING 3.1 Use technology to increase online engagement and share messages. Social Media is a cyclical driver of online and offline engagement and should encourage interaction amongst members. 3.2 It is essential to build bonds and relationships with new members face-to-face to strengthen ties and increase participation. 3.3 Clubs are encouraged to work in partnerships with other local charities or community groups in order promote the positive values of Freemasonry in general.

4. ORGANISING EVENTS 4.1 When planning events less is more, and although the price-point is important, club should not be afraid of planning quality events. 4.2 Clubs with large geographical areas are encouraged to work in partnerships with other NYMCs; the Provincial office, charities or community groups in order increase their reach. 4.3 Greater emphasis should be placed on providing ‘friends and family’ friendly events, in order to practice what preach and as a gateway into the Craft.