BMW News

View from the Driver’s Seat – August 2013

Late summer in Washington is an absolutely stunning time of year. That also goes for all the beautiful cars I’ve seen at the spring and summer car shows, tours and social gatherings. I’ve said several times that I’ve met some of my closest friends at Club activities. It is the common bond we all start with in this Club and magical things happen from there. We are not always about cars, but the enthusiasm we have for them brings us together. I personally had the opportunity to attend the Red Mountain Wine tour and it was stunning to see all the attendees driving up and own Sunset road where many smiles and waves were exchanged.

In 2010, we hired a group of consultants to help us evaluate our value proposition, goals of what we defined as services, and how to market Club offerings to our members. We have referred to this as our 2020 Strategic Vision. Below I’ve provided an update to benchmark where we targeted to be in 2013. In membership, we are not hitting our five percent growth target, which we anticipated in 2011, 2012 and 2013, but this year isn’t over yet. With the introduction of new car models and styles, there is a need to expand our offerings to appeal to each audience. We are getting there slowly, but we can’t do it without your help and suggestions, as we’d prefer guidance, which would hopefully contribute to greater member participation.  We can host member events, but if we don’t increase participation or add more types of options, we aren’t serving the membership to the fullest. Does this make sense? If yes, please let any board member hear your suggestions or RSVP to attend a board meeting to see what we have up our sleeves for the Club before it is communicated in the Zündfolge or on the website. If you don’t want to attend a board meeting, email me at president@bmwpugetsound.com for suggestions.

Communication with the membership is a hot topic and to stay current there are new avenues for announcements to the members of the Club.  We’ve adopted the changes recommended by the 2020 Strategic Vision document including reduced print of the Zündfolge magazines, increasing participation with Facebook, Twitter and an email called Around the Sound. Who knew that almost two years ago, we’d be inviting you to opt-in or opt-out of receiving the Zündfolge via email, rather than ‘snail mail?’ We have gone beyond this and are now announcing the PDF version of Zündfolge is available to read weeks before it lands in your mail box. There is still a value to the print magazine, however we are finding ‘just in time’ communication via the Around the Sound and Facebook advertising are proving very successful ways to tell you about Club events. With this information the Zündfolge committee is evaluating the content and shelf stability of each issue and would welcome feedback, positive or constructive, to help hone in our print publication as a premier Club magazine. Please send suggestions to Zundfolge@bmwpugetsound.com.

Now, that I’ve talked about the print magazine how do you think the new media stuff is working? It has been rewarding to see the main website continue to increase in unique users and longer staying times, per stats from our New Media Coordinator. The forum has had reduced interest over time, but still has a place in our Club. For instance, the classified ads in the magazine have moved over to the forum ‘For Sale’ section. Have a car you want to sell? The Forum is the place for you. Want to find out when the board meetings or High Performance Driving Days are? The main website is for you. Take that .vbb extension bookmark out of your favorites and head over to www.bmwpugetsound.com. You’ll find a sliding graphic with upcoming events on the top of the page and on the right the upcoming events with an icon legend that will be sure to strike your fancy.

The Strategy/Implementation portion of the 2020 Strategic Vision is a little easier said than executed. That part is coupled in a term called Volunteerism. Each member of the Board is a non-paid position and I’ve commented on this before—events can’t be done without volunteers. Question is how do we gain more volunteers or open up the door to invite more people to help us expand the organizational muscle and insight to reflect on accomplishments or improve for future productions? I am inviting YOU to participate and help the board make this the best Club it can be. I’m going to create a distribution list for volunteers and if you are willing to help from time to time and are available, you can respond and an event chair will gladly utilize your support to help ensure the event is successful. Please send your email information to president@bmwpugetsound.com. I promise this list will remain private and used within reason.

In closing, I was thrilled to see all the gorgeous cars at our premier car show, the Concours d’Elegance, in Renton and would love to see this event grow. It provides that common thread of parked cars and the ability for you to socialize with your neighboring car owners or talk to an owner of a car you dream of having. All that talk leads to friendships and lasting ones. This Club is for the members, by the members, of the members. Thank you for your continued support and membership. Now let’s see you get out of the garage and keep driving those beauties around.

From the driver’s seat,

de-Anna Martin, President