19 Dec

Maximizing Your Club Activities

Supplemental Programs that Increase Membership Value

The private club industry has experienced significant changes in the last several years in response to evolving lifestyles and demographic shifts. A private club membership is a significant investment, so members want to know that they can maximize the value of their dues and investment by spending their time either at home or at the club—making it a true home away from home.

It is important, then, to offer members with as many opportunities to use their club as possible, during as many months of the year as possible—a true perennial club experience. So when the months are cold or the weather is less than ideal or someone is looking for a fun activity on any ol’ Wednesday evening, how can we continue to encourage members to visit the club? Here, we’ve compiled a list of some specific programs that can help do just that!

Speaker Series

Hosting a speaker series at your club is a great opportunity for members with varying interests to gain valuable insights into a multitude of topics and subjects. These speakers could include authors, motivational speakers, local business professionals, non-profit leaders, and more—a great way to provide more reasons for adults of all ages and interests to spend time at the club and socialize with fellow members on a weeknight or during the off-season! You can also use these events as an opportunity to be creative with menu choices for the evening. Your Chef will love the chance to try something fun and different, and it may even lead to a new item on your rotating dinner menu!



Take your speaker series a step further by hosting an Artist-in-Residence program, ranging from artists to curators to musicians. Host a gallery event or intimate live music event as a way to increase utilization during your traditional “down time” at the Club. If your members are interested, you could even further enhance the program by offering an Artist’s Workshop where members can draw, paint and create alongside the local artist while sipping a glass of wine and having fun with friends. This not only provides your members with a unique experience, but also helps involve your Club in the community and gives the artist an opportunity for greater exposure.


Cooking Classes

Members love to interact with their Club Chef, so why not extend this interaction past having a quick conversation in the dining room? Hosting cooking classes is a great way to help members get to know their Chef better while learning something new in the process and getting to socialize with friends! It’s also a great way to involve the whole family, teaching children the basics for specific culinary skills and providing fun, hands-on lessons in a comfortable social environment. Giving families the opportunity to explore ingredients and culinary tools together offers them a unique opportunity to spend quality time and work together to learn and create something new.


Member Mixers

Private clubs are all about community and camaraderie. Where else can you spontaneously walk into a dining room or pub on any given day and bump into a group of your friends? Or join a group of three on the golf course and make three great new friends in the course of a few hours? While private clubs are a perfect place to socialize, club leaders can make it even easier by hosting dedicated functions to help encourage members to get to know one another. Whether these events are targeted by age group or interest, offering members an organized opportunity to meet new people will encourage them to step outside of their normal group of friends and help strengthen the community in your club walls.


IntraClubs and Interest Groups

Club memberships are comprised of individuals with diverse interests and backgrounds. Intraclubs—or ‘clubs within a club’—have proven to be successful ways to encourage socialization, foster a sense of community within the Club, and enhance the social value of a membership. Conduct a quick pulse survey to understand your members’ interests and see which Intraclubs may resonate more than others. Would they appreciate a Wine Society? Book Club? Travel Club? Garden Club? Click here to learn more!


Junior Committees

We know that our youngest members are the future of our clubs, and there are so many opportunities to help integrate them into club life with targeted programs and facilities. And while it is important to hire the right staff to help develop these programs, why not ask the kids directly what they’d like to obtain from their club experience?

Birmingham Athletic Club (BAC) in Michigan has created a dedicated Kid’s Committee made up of… you guessed it…kids! “We thought this would be a great way to get firsthand insight into what our young members wanted,” says general manager Paul Spencer. “We had 15 children who were very enthusiastic and excited to be involved. It gives them a platform to express the type of activities and experiences they want the Club to provide for them. When they see their voice has been heard and they can make a difference, it has a huge impact.” This type of involvement helps children get excited about spending their time at the club, while giving them responsibility and helping them develop leadership skills.


The Goal—Keep Members Involved

The bottom line is that members want to be at the club. All we have to do is give them a reason to be! Brainstorm ideas at your next staff meeting or poll the members as you see them around the club. Find out what interests them and what else they would like to see offered to increase their utilization. After all, it is their club!


What kinds of unique social activities does your club offer? Share below…We’d love to hear about them!

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