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Re: OT: Breathing New Life Into An Old Club

Patrick, it sounds like your group is very active and vibrant. I certainly would enjoy membership in your club.

A couple of other things that our club does that haven't been mentioned yet, though, are: Local garden tours for our own membership - its a way to treat ourselves to a fun day enjoying each other's gardens without all the planning and work that goes with a regional or national tour. We usually start off in one garden with a continental type breakfast that the club pays for, do a car caravan to each garden on the tour, have a picnic lunch in one of the gardens and sometimes a pot luck that evening. It all is very casual, and people can do only part of the day if they want, and there is a lot of socializing among our members, as well as plenty of iris talk, information, etc. Our only stipulation is that you have to do the tour in the order its organized so that all the garden owners can do the tour as well. There are no fees, and if a club member wants to bring a friend or prospective new member, they are welcome too.
Also, we are lucky to have 2 professional auctioneers in our membership. And they bring a great deal of entertainment value to our annual iris auctions. We have the live auction in conjunction with our annual rhizome sale, and have gotten some great new members that started out sitting in on the auction. But, it really helps to have auctioneers who know how to work the crowd, keeping them interested and entertained. We have people coming to our sales just to sit in on the auction (and many end up buying irises as well). Our regular members greatly enjoy the auction every year, whether or not they are buying anything.

Another thing that I think would help at any club meeting (whether it is a slide show, speaker, or demonstration) is to try to make them interactive with the audience. We are working on this one, and have a ways to go sometimes; but the very best programs are when there is a good deal of "audience" participation. And finally... humor always helps.

By the way, I wondered whether this subject line should actually be on-topic, but didn't really see a subject tag that fit, so left it as is.
Gary White, zone 4/5
Lincoln Nebraska

Patrick Orr wrote:

Some great ideas here below.

As for my club, we have had some terrific programs, slideshows, we have had a
display garden at the Valley Garden Center for years, we have participated in
joint gardening ventures, matter of fact, we were just at the HOME & GARDEN
show at the state fairgrounds this past FRI, SAT, & SUN and had a couple
reblooming iris there thanks to the member who brought them. We've had good
speakers too, and have Terry Aitken coming on Feb. 1st.

As far as all mentioned, we are doing them, and things are going well.

I am just trying to exercise my noodle for more and/or new things that I can
present to keep things lively.

Patrick Orr
Phoenix, AZ  Zone 9

B.W. wrote, Programs, films, and speakers?

--- Original Message -----
 From: Robt R Pries<mailto:rpries@sbcglobal.net>
 To: iris@hort.net<mailto:iris@hort.net>
 Sent: Friday, January 21, 2005 6:54 AM
 Subject: Re: [iris] OT: Breathing New Life Into An Old Club

 Patrick: It is hard to give advice when each situation is different. I would
suggest that sometimes a project that the club feels is worthwhile and which
most can participate can stimulate interest. It is important that it not be so
big that it takes too much energy. Creating a display garden at a botanical
garden, putting on an iris show especially in conjunction with a larger flower
show may get new members and allow old ones to show off. Certainly anything
that involves new activities will spark interest some negative some positive,
one always hopes for more of the latter. I think bringing speakers from other
parts of the country can bring new ideas. I can think of lots of things I
think would be nice but everybody is different.

 Patrick Orr <irisdude@msn.com<mailto:irisdude@msn.com>> wrote:How do you
breath new life into an old club besides increasing membership? We
 are now into our 36th year.

 Patrick Orr
 Phoenix, AZ Zone 9

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