The ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to spread across the country and the club industry with the majority of clubs being forced to cancel events, cease on-site dining operations or even close their doors temporarily.
In times of unease and anxiety, being a part of the club community can help relieve stress and bring a sense of normalcy and comfort when so much is off in your members’ daily routines. Members may not be able to physically come to the club for the time being, but they still crave the social engagement they get from their club community.
What Can You Do?
The National Club Association in partnership with Strategic Club Solutions presented a webinar on March 24th titled “How to Bring The Club to Your Members”. As a Clubessential Product Manager, our job is to fall in love with the problems that our users are experiencing and then create products that solve them. Right now this is the problem: bringing the club to the members.
Members are stuck at home, their regular routines are impossible, but they still need to eat and stay active. I really love how Strategic Club Solutions broke down the basic needs of everyone and the five categories where clubs can have an impact, keeping members “Active, Fed, Entertained, Positive, and Productive”. Throughout your club departments, there are many creative ways of interacting with members, solving these problems for them and preparing the club for reopening.
Active – Join us on Zoom
The reason that members join clubs is to stay active and engaged. Fortunately, the technology exists to make both things possible and safe. The fitness department can take a cue from the boutique fitness space that has switched to online virtual classes while gyms are closed. Encourage sign up on the Club Calendar, and send out the Zoom link to all registrants via email before the class. Workout challenges are a great way to keep members physically active, engaged, and in shape! It could be as simple as walking, push-ups or lifting everyday household items. Let members know what they will need in order to complete the workout at home – and have them share pics or videos to prove it!
Fed – What’s For Dinner?
After entertaining and homeschooling kids, trying to work from home, and attempting to avoid grocery stores, having meals available for members to pick up safely helps solve the daily “What’s for Dinner?” headache going on in so many households. In addition to a Curbside or To Go menu that you may be offering, members will love meals that are Ready to Cook or Ready to Serve. Many clubs have previously offered a prepared Easter or Mother's Day brunch or dinner that members could pre-order, that’s an especially timely offer now.
Other ideas are to open up a Community Pantry or Commissary where members can purchase goods that might be difficult to otherwise locate, like meats, bread, eggs, milk, wine, and beer (if permitted), and the ever-elusive toilet paper! That can help your inventory and your members. And get the Chef involved too! You can send out a recipe for members to try at home or even live-stream a “cooking show” where the members can watch or even join the Chef in preparing a recipe or cocktail. How about a special quarantine cocktail – Quaran-tini anyone?
Entertainment – Watch This!
It’s no secret that for a lot of clubs, everything follows golf. Many golf courses may be permitted to stay open as long as social distancing guidelines are being followed. These might include increasing their tee sheets to 15 minute time intervals, walking play only, raising cups, and not removing flagsticks and more.
Regardless of whether the course is open, golf pros can build engagement by streaming lessons or tips to members using technology like Zoom and Facebook Live. This could be a good time to lead a webinar going over the rules of golf, new score posting requirements, or perhaps teaching a Golf 101 class for beginners or kids. The same goes for any of your in-house experts. From tennis pros to chefs to the resident sommelier, have them teach members about areas and topics that they may not be familiar with yet. And reach out to members – tap into their expertise to lead advanced show and tell sessions for their fellow members too.
Positive – Send a Smile
Keeping mentally active is key to a positive outlook. Clubs can lead members to take advantage of Zoom or Google Hangouts and host book clubs, happy hours, virtual trivia, bingo, card games, or any number of things. Making those face to face connections by computer, or hearing someone’s voice can help lift their mood. Just like you would greet members physically arriving at the club, your virtual outreach now will help you stay engaged and connected with your members.
Productive - Better Every Day
Everyone has areas where they can learn, share and improve. Technology is one area where many don’t take the time to unlock the full potential available to them. Clubs could teach members about using their iPhones, the Club App, or other technology to make their days better.
For club staff, it’s also an excellent time to be productive and proactive thinking about the Club’s Grand Re-Opening. When this ordeal is over, members will have pent up demand to come back to the club. They will be more likely to stay close to home and enjoy the safe harbor and amenities that the club can offer. Take advantage of this time to plan for your re-opening and to re-invent any areas of the club that may need a facelift. Perhaps a formal dining room needs to shift to accommodate more casual dining opportunities? Figure out areas where you want to re-train or technology you may be able to update or start to leverage. Clubessential will continue to partner with you to help you solve these problems that your members and staff are facing, and we look forward to helping you physically welcome your members back to the Club when the time comes.
We're Here to Help
We've collected a variety of resources related to COVID-19 and published them on this page. As always, if you have any questions please reach out and follow us on social for the latest updates.