Ahoy, Club X! I’ve had the distinct pleasure of being voted onto the Board of Directors (BoD) by YOU in February, and subsequently voted into the President’s seat by the other Board Members at the Monthly BoD meeting on March 3rd. The BoD held an Executive Board Meeting this weekend and established a great baseline of knowledge and expectation, which is especially important with so many new faces coming to the BoD at once. As part of our plan for the year, we have identified a number of immediate goals that we hope will improve our great Club over the next 12 months, and I wanted to take some time to share them with you; specifically:
- New Venues for Workshops and Play Parties
- Increased Community Interaction
- Comprehensive Technology Update
- Better Financial Solvency
- Increased Communication and Transparency
Let me take a moment to try and detail each of these for you, so that you can better understand what our aim is for each.
1) New Venues for Workshops and Parties.
The Club has experienced a lot of growth over the past couple of years, and our Play Parties and workshops are outgrowing some of their current locations. Some of our BasiX and Shibari 101 events are maxing out the capacity of their venue, and you’re probably already aware that we had to cap the Open Play Parties (next one: This Saturday March 12!) at 130 attendees. We think it’s great that our events are so popular, but it’s frustrating when you can’t find a bit of floor space for some rope play, or when you have to wait 30 minutes for a particular piece of equipment. We will continue to seek new and larger venues that will allow us to accommodate workshops with minimal restriction, and party venues that let us do ALL the things. If you see a place that you feel might meet our needs for a rental venue, don’t hesitate to let one of the Board Members know!
2) Increased Community Interaction
Not every member attends every Club X event, and that’s a good thing. Our venue issue would be a LOT worse if we had almost 400 people showing up to everything. However, we want to remind you that Club X is part of a larger community within the San Diego Kink/Leather scene, and that many other organizations are hosting amazing events that would likely appeal to you if you knew more about them. The recent Leather Fetish Ball was a great example of a Leather Cocktail Party with performances and entertainment, and Club X was a proud financial sponsor of that event. However, we could have done more to encourage higher attendance from the Membership. The upcoming San Diego Leather Pride weekend and the associated Mr/Ms San Diego Leather and San Diego Boot Black contests are a great chance to meet many of the leaders in the San Diego Kink/Leather scene, watch an entertaining contest, and to learn more about Leather Titles, Title Holders, and conferences. Other local events are frequently hosted by organizations like the Imperial Court, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, San Diego Drag Kings, Fetishmen San Diego, San Diego girls of Leather and a bevy of others. Our intention is to get you more information about these cross-community events so that you can expand your knowledge, learn from others, be more involved, and to have a lot of fun doing it.
3) Comprehensive Technology Update
Thanks to a previous BoD, the Club X website got a major overhaul and was brought up to date in terms of coding and visuals. Unfortunately, we’ve not done well to make it a compelling and dynamic portal for your information needs about the Club’s history, events, and education. We have relied very heavily on Fetlife and its associated events and messaging systems, as have many other organizations. While Fetlife is a good social media platform for kinksters, Club X has a responsibility to provide a certain level of online experience for its members, and this goes beyond what Fetlife can provide. In addition to an rss-style feed of kink-related news, we intend to explore options to bring you the ability to manage your membership through a secure portal, including renewals, address changes, event ticket purchasing, and more. (Note: New memberships will still be verified in person. No one will become a member of Club X until we verify a valid gov’t issued ID showing an age of 18 or older.)
4) Better Financial Solvency.
Club X has been providing almost a dozen education and social events each month for at least the past few years, and yet our party and membership rates have remained consistently low compared to other similar organizations. This has been great for the membership, myself included. Unfortunately, the nature of inflation combined with the fact that we haven’t raised rates in roughly 5 years has left us in a position where we are barely breaking even from month to month. Additionally, one of the realities of our growing group is that to support the larger venues, more community sponsorship, and technology upgrades we need to grow all cost money. As I mentioned at the Town Hall meeting in February, I intend to push for rate increases across the board, with a particular focus on increases to the non-member surcharges for party tickets. My goal is to encourage membership, increase revenue to fund Club growth, and ultimately provide us all with a better Club education, social, and party experience. I have already submitted an initial proposal to the Board of Directors, all the final information will be put to membership once there has been thorough discussion and voting in accordance with Club directives. I know that increased costs aren’t a popular move, but I believe that for the Club to thrive, it is a necessary step. Existing members will have a 30-day window to pre-purchase renewal memberships at existing rates prior to ANY increase, so you will have the option to lock in your rate for as many years as you wish.
5) Increased Communication and Transparency:
When I was on the BoD previously, I could feel the pulse of the Club at any given moment. I knew what events were coming up, what workshops were happening, and what the other Board Members were trying to accomplish within their realms of responsibility. When my term was completed, the almost total vacuum of information was immediate and palpable, and I realized that this near silence is what the average member’s experience is. Unless I was actively browsing Fetlife event posts, checking in on Facebook (I usually don’t), or talking to someone on the BoD, I had very little real-time info about what was happening in the Club or why. I want us to do better, beginning with myself. How will I do this? Well, I’ve got a few initial ideas. First, I will be employing a better email distribution system. The BoD previously voted to utilize a service with MailChimp for distribution of email to the members. While this effort was done in good faith, the reality is that many of the messages are getting dumped into your spam folder, resulting in the word not getting out. Second, the rest of the BoD and I will strive to be more visible and available at Club events. While we might not be wearing a neon sign identifying ourselves, we intend to make sure that you know who the BoD members are, and more importantly, to be approachable. Not all of us are extroverts, but we’re in service to the Members of this Club because we all wanted to give back in some way. If you have questions, please approach one of us and ask! Finally, I’m hoping to make this Message to the Membership a regular occurrence, and I will be encouraging the other Officers to drop you a line from time to time as well. Sure, you could read the published minutes to find out what happens at the BoD meetings (1st Thursday monthly @7PM, if you want to attend), but I hope that by putting a more personal voice behind the inner workings of Club X, you’ll feel more connected to the organization and we can work to build OUR Club together.
I want Club X to not just be something you go to from time to time, but to be something you feel proud of, something that you feel invested in, something that satisfies you.
I hope this message finds you happy, healthy, and very, very kinky.