(Close Window)
Topic: Ideas on expanding youth membership?
Message: Posted by: magringo (Sep 11, 2013 05:02AM)
Hi everyone ... I'm vp for Ring 50 in Washington, DC. Our youth group has two or sometimes three members and we're trying to grow that group. I've tried social media, local bulletin boards, fliers at our annual magic show and still we cannot seem to grow. Any ideas out there? Maybe we can all share ... my fear is we won't have a future without new, younger members.

Message: Posted by: IBM Youth (Sep 11, 2013 07:58AM)
1. Host a free or benefit magic showcase at a local theater followed by hands-on workshops afterwards. Use your press releases to gain area-wide notice and attention.

2. Use your press releases to get your best adult and youth performers onto the morning TV and Radio Talk Shows - especially during National Magic Week (Oct 25-31).

3. Write pro-youth magic feature articles for your local Parent, Entertainment, and Community magazines.

4. Create an exclusive Youth Page on your club website. (http://www.raleighmagicclub.org/Magic_Youth_Raleigh.html)

5. Print colorful business cards promoting the Youth program and webpage handed out by your members.

6. Generate a monthly Magic Youth Newsletter. Have business cards promoting the Newsletter printed and handed out by your members.

7. Promote a free Saturday Magic Youth Workshop in the center court of your largest malls.

8. Print program flyers for distribution through the local Y's, Boys/Girls Clubs, Community Centers, Scout Council Office, etc.

9. Create a Youth Speaker's Bureau training your current youth members and adult mentors to speak to PTA and Church groups on the benefits of magic as a hobby.

10. Create and man a National Magic Week (Oct 25-31) interactive display at your local libraries.

11. Donate popular beginner magic books (available at wholesale bulk rates) to your local library system with a press-covered Showcase. Don't forget to insert "Donated By..." Bookplates listing your club's website and contact information into each book.

12. Create a series of fun Magic Youth and Hobby videos and post them to YouTube. Promote these video on your flyers, website, and newsletter.

13. Encourage your Ring members and local magic shops to promote the youth club to all interested young magicians they meet.

14. Offer a complimentary one-hour magic lesson to local Scout, homeschool, and After-School groups. Use common household items that the group members supply.

15. Run a 6-month Membership Drive with the youth member bringing the most guests to club sessions receiving a REALLY nice magic prize.

16. Once you attract them, keep them coming back for each meeting. We give each new youth member a white suitcase box (Uline S-3273) and a blue (for IBM) Close-Up Mat (DRobbins C18103). The box has a full page color label (Avery 30605) attached to the lid of the box listing the club name, club logo, IBM Logo, Magician's Oath, and a space for the student's name. Each youth member then receives at least one new magic item to add to their personal magic kit and that item becomes the subject of the night's lesson. Members must attend the session to receive their item. Our annual youth membership fee and periodic fundraisers cover the cost of these materials. We also provide a copy of Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic to them at our wholesale cost and we use this as our textbook. Every Book has our club Bookplate and a place for the student's name. The students are required to bring their box to each lesson so that previously received items can be included in the lessons. If they forget "loaners" are provided but must be returned at the end of class. Guests are given "loaner" books and props for the lesson but must return them at the end of the lesson - unless they join. They ALWAYS join on the spot!

17. Parents are ALWAYS welcome to observe and participate. Parents make great practice buddies. Non-Ring Member parents are also invited to attend all Ring lectures and workshops free of charge with the paid admission of their child as escorts.

18. Anytime a big name magic act comes to town, arrange VIP seating for the adult and youth club members (and parents) and a backstage visit with the star after the show. This is often a newsworthy event that the show's PR folks will be happy to help you set up. Ask for permission to set up a Magic Youth recruiting display in the lobby of the theater. Some acts will allow this and some won't. Never hurts to ask!

19. Ask the celebrity to make a 60-second video endorsement for your youth program surrounded by the kids and ask for permission to post it to your club website.

20. Ask touring lecturers to host a one-hour hands-on youth workshop for your young magicians prior to the club lecture as part of their lecture package. Get a 60-second video endorsement from them with permission to post it to your club website.
Message: Posted by: IBM Youth (Sep 11, 2013 08:57AM)
The most important point in attracting and keeping young (and young-at-heart) members is to keep your meetings FUN and HASSLE FREE! Keep business to a minimum. Keep meetings fun, active, fun, supportive, fun, entertaining, and FUN! Keep politics OUT! Keep gossip OUT! Keep all things negative OUT! Do this consistently and your adult and youth clubs will continue to grow and prosper.
Message: Posted by: magringo (Sep 11, 2013 08:17PM)
These are wonderful suggestions and I'm going to ask the president to form a youth committee. I can do the PR and media outreach...but doing it all will be a lot for me alone.

Thanks again!!!
Message: Posted by: Vick (Mar 2, 2014 11:11PM)
Get that really cool Illusions by Vick guy to come in :firedevil:
Message: Posted by: MisterDanny (Sep 12, 2014 09:56PM)
I run the IBM Ring 43 youth program (We call them "Youth 43"). One of the coolest things we've started doing is having special meetings before lectures for the youth members only. The lecturers come and show the youth members something special outside of their lecture, and then the youth attend the regular lectures. The lecturers are usually really into performing for the kids, and the kids usually learn something really cool. I recommend giving this a try.