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Doug Adamavich
October 1st, 2008, 05:13 PM
One of the items we discussed at the Chairman's Workshop at Convention was a place where we could all get together and share ideas. Whether this is on a Discussion Group, the website, on a wiki, or any other format, this is necessary to disseminate information.

There is a lot of good stuff out there that we could share. The next step is a forum where we can share this with our counterparts. Should be secure too.

This is the first posting on this thread. I will gladly share my experiences (the good, bad, ugly, and non-starters) with others.

Talk to you fellow chairpeople soon!

NJMastR
November 1st, 2008, 11:46 PM
Doug,

Thanks for starting us off with the thread. Our first order of business in NJ is planning our Annual LMSC meeting. Thanks to some ideas from Convention, I feel that we will have greater success recruiting some volunteers for LMSC positions. Now I just need to work on improving our succession plans ... as far as other news, the Online USMS registration for 2009 works like a charm, so we will be heavily publicizing it as a most convenient option for our members. We had 715 members for 2008, which is a new membership high for our LMSC. Looking forward to making 2009 another successful recruting and retention year!

- Chris McGiffin
NJ LMSC Chair

Doug Adamavich
February 5th, 2009, 02:52 PM
BTW, we were able to compile an updated list of all the pools in Arizona, get a list of state media contacts, and create a list of prospective teams for less than $500. We hired a virtual assistant (in our case a stay at home mom) to do the work for us. It got done, the quality was great, and we now have a longer queue of tasks for her.

Imagine that, hire somebody, give 'em a task, and it gets done. Funny what financial incentives do...

Chris Stevenson
February 9th, 2009, 12:15 PM
I have a question for Doug or anyone who reads this (it doesn't seem like a busy thread... :))

At our last LMSC meeting, we kicked around the idea of either eliminating or reducing the LMSC fee for 18-24 yo swimmers as a way to "hook" them on masters swimming at a young age. (If even a fairly small fraction of them remain lifelong USMS members, it would be a good investment I think.) Many of these people might be swimming on a club college team as undergraduate or graduate students; there are about 40 such people here at the U of Richmond, for example; I know of several other colleges that have active club teams as well.

My question is about implementation. If one registers online, it appears to me that the LMSC fee is unchangeable. That leaves either the option of a rebate of some kind, or registering by mail.

The first option would be a pretty big hassle and perhaps not worth the effort. The second option isn't too bad, but I would imagine most young folk would be more accustomed to online registration.

But maybe there is something I missed. Have any of you done something like this in your LMSC?

MPohlmann
February 9th, 2009, 05:42 PM
The Ozark LMSC waives the LMSC fee for full-time students ages 18-25 and senior citizens 75 and over. In order to obtain this discount, they must register by snail mail using a paper registration form.

Wish there was a way to do it online, but at present I don't think it's possible.

lisalou
February 17th, 2009, 02:05 PM
Our LMSC (Georgia) does something similar in that we offer USMS 'scholarships' for full time college students. When we first implemented this, we had a couple of students who had already registered, so we simply refunded their registration fee. Now, they basically can register for free- and yes, it does need to be a paper registration.
But I agree with the intent- it's a great way to get young swimmers interested, since they probably wouldn't join otherwise, due to lack of money to afford to join.

LISA WATSON (Georgia LMSC Chair)

Doug Adamavich
February 23rd, 2009, 11:18 AM
The Ozark LMSC waives the LMSC fee for full-time students ages 18-25 and senior citizens 75 and over. In order to obtain this discount, they must register by snail mail using a paper registration form.

Have you noticed any increase in membership because of these programs? That sounds like a good idea but want to know how many take advantage of that. Heck, for a college student $20 is several happy hours :chug:

Gdavis
March 1st, 2009, 11:55 AM
Can I repeat a suggestion for the movers and shakers to consider which was the subject of this other thread:

Decathlon? - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums

These types of event are good, fun ways to encourage participation in a wider range of events and create fun competition between the age groups.

Chris Stevenson
March 25th, 2009, 11:10 AM
I'm sure many -- most? -- LMSCs regularly send out emails to their membership. To date, Virginia has been indifferent to this but I would like to change it. Our LMSC has about 1000 members.

I know that Club Assistant allows one to send out emails to the membership (to those that provide a valid email address when they register, at any rate). But I wonder if there are better alternatives out there.

I considered using Wiggio (http://www.wiggio.com) for this purpose but -- although it is free to use -- email list management is sorely lacking (I do like it for smaller groups, like LMSC officers or coaches).

I came across a description of the top 10 email marketing vendors for 2009 (I can't attach the file b/c it exceeds the size limit). Some of these are not appropriate for our purposes but others look promising. Advantages of these email marketing software include: good email list management tools, response tracking (including bounce-back), ability to allow members to opt out, ability to allow non-members to subscribe, and others.

A friend of mine runs a summer-league club and uses VerticalResponse (http://www.verticalresponse.com/) (one of the top ten) for this purpose.

Do any of you have experience with such solutions? Or have positive things to report about using Club Assistant for this? Or use some other method to send out mass emails?

Added: I found a link that compares some of the top services for bulk email:

http://email-marketing-service-review.toptenreviews.com/

Anthony Thompson
March 30th, 2009, 04:25 PM
Meet Scheduling and Managment Topics:

First, we are a small LMSC over large geography which might make our situation different, but wonder what others did or are doing with meeting scheduling and meet management. Over a few years, we went from 2-3 sanctioned events to 9 one calendar year. Our 2-3 had good attendence, but the few highly competitive swimmers in the area enjoyed the large number of events to prepare to travel to other larger events. We are moving back to have less events for numerous reasons.

1. How many "local" events do you have a year (or a season SCY, SCM, LCM) ?

2. a. How many different meet directors do you have ?
b. What succession planning to you have to train new meet directors ?

3. How far in advance are your meets scheduled ?

4. Do you require advance registration or frequently allow deck entries with local meets ?

I'd like to hear what other small, medium and large LMSC might be doing.

Anthony Thompson, Missouri Valley (MOVY) Masters

Michael Heather
September 5th, 2009, 08:28 PM
Meet Scheduling and Managment Topics:

First, we are a small LMSC over large geography which might make our situation different, but wonder what others did or are doing with meeting scheduling and meet management. Over a few years, we went from 2-3 sanctioned events to 9 one calendar year. Our 2-3 had good attendence, but the few highly competitive swimmers in the area enjoyed the large number of events to prepare to travel to other larger events. We are moving back to have less events for numerous reasons.

1. How many "local" events do you have a year (or a season SCY, SCM, LCM) ?

SPMA is a large population, but also has a large area covered. We have 6 or more SCY, 5 LCM and 5 SCM meets, as well as open water swims all summer long. These are not including recognized or dual sanctioned meets.


2. a. How many different meet directors do you have ?

One each for each meet, usually

b. What succession planning to you have to train new meet directors ?

It is up to the meet hosts or the pool administration.


3. How far in advance are your meets scheduled ?

6 months to a year


4. Do you require advance registration or frequently allow deck entries with local meets ?

Allowing deck entries often doubles the size of the meet.



I'd like to hear what other small, medium and large LMSC might be doing.

Anthony Thompson, Missouri Valley (MOVY) Masters

nandestafney
September 22nd, 2009, 08:10 AM
Hi Doug,

Nan here, Chair of Southeastern. I think this may be the best way to communicate and even though the needs and issues are different for each LMSC, there are plenty of Chairman that have been involved long enough to mentor those of us that are new.

nandestafney
September 22nd, 2009, 08:13 AM
Why do you want to have fewer meets?
Nan SE

A Thompson
September 22nd, 2009, 03:55 PM
Many of our local event were only getting 10-15 entries making a lot of work to conduct a competition for a few people. With less events, we are getting 35-50 people at them - making it more meanful and better use of our time.

lisalou
September 28th, 2009, 02:28 PM
Following along with this topic, in our Georgia LMSC we typically have about 2-3 big regional meets per year (called Category II meets- provide electronic timing, times count for Top Ten & Records). We also have 4-5 developmental meets as well during the year (Category I- do not count for Top Ten or records), which are used to get practice times and provide a low-key setting to appeal to swimmers just starting Masters or returning after an absence in addition to the ones who just want to get some practice times. We try to spread our meets out to various locations to appeal to as many swimmers as we can. Deck entries are absolutely essential to the developmental meets in terms of increasing participation. For the bigger meets, there is either an absolute deadline or a hefty surcharge attached to a late entry. Our attendance at meets has been increasing over the past months- most likely due to the fact that we'll be hosting Nationals for 2010 SC.
LISA WATSON- Georgia LMSC Chair

nandestafney
September 29th, 2009, 07:36 AM
Howdy neighbor!

You know, I swam in one of those developmental meets this Sunday though it was not called that; not sanctioned or recognized, and no officials. I was thinking it could be developed into a "real" swim meet. You've given me a better idea! Just calling it a developmental meet put a whole new spin on this. Please explain how you define a developmental meet and why you don't sanction/recognize them. (I guess that's why we can't find them advertized on the USMS web site). Do you have officials? This is a great idea. Tell me more.

Nan
Chair
Southeastern