While the call of the water is timeless, the changes impacting the yacht clubs are as variable as the weather. For some that means high seas, others will enjoy perfect conditions. Here are trends you should be on the lookout for.
1. Ways to Empower Staff
You don’t have to read the “help wanted” signs everywhere to know that hiring great people is at a premium. Studies have shown that the main reason employees stay is not exclusively for the money but because they feel empowered and in control of their job. As staffs get leaner, providing the tools to better do their job and make decisions is critical. Technology can bridge many of the gaps you might have, from experience and knowledge about member preferences to time and step saving.
2. Increasing Engagement
Out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind in today’s always-connected world. You can’t wait until members arrive at the club to engage them – and you don’t have to. For example, look for opportunities to create experiences around events that start weeks before the actual date and extend well beyond it. Check out what a driveway to driveway experience might look like. Another example is making routine interactions exceptional with personal touches and insights you’ve collected about member preferences.
3. Digital Payments
This might seem overly technical but it’s not really. Everywhere outside the club is accepting various forms of digital payments, from food trucks to flea market vendors. Members, especially the younger generations, expect their club to be as technologically advanced as a food truck and to make payments as they would anywhere. The good news for clubs is the simplification of the process and the data and insights they’ll gather in the process.
4. Environmental Impact
Water is the most important and critical resource to our sports and recreation. But just saying that you care about water quality and its impact isn’t enough anymore. If you haven’t already, now is the time to outline your club’s beliefs, what you can do, and how you plan to act on those beliefs and goals. Our voices together have a much greater impact on the ears that need to hear the message, and it’s something more and more of the population expects you to have a voice on the positions you support.
5. Broadening Appeal
Recruiting and retaining members is critical to making clubs sustainable. While many hardcore members might have purist attitudes and insist that the sole focus of the club should be water-based activities, new members today are looking for more. This especially holds true for members and prospects with families, who are long-term, your most valuable members. When looking at renovation opportunities, consider including enhancements of casual dining offerings, wellness and fitness centers, spas, and pool area expansions. Build in programming for youth and ways to get the interested but inexperienced members of your community involved with your club in one way or another.
Leaving the Port
It’s always great to be on the water, but the future looks to be an exceptional time to be involved with yacht clubs. To see how the top yacht clubs are evolving to meet member expectations, check out the Essential Suite for Yacht Clubs.