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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The International Brotherhood of Magicians! » » Decrease in membership (23 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Skip Way
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Payne, every statement is true. When I took over as TVP, there was no plain English guide explaining my duties. Again, when I took over as the TVP coordinator, there was no guide outlining my duties. Over the past year I have been reaching out to TVPs and creating a clear set of operating instructions - including step-by-step instructions for creating a Google Pin Map showing the locations of every active and inactive I.B.M. Member within s given territory worldwide. This map shows where the Ring affiliated and the unaffiliated I.B.M. Members are located. The handbook is being presented to the Board of Trustees for approval next week.

As for the Youth Program, SYM is lightyears ahead of the I.B.M. Couldn't agree more. Not sure what to say about that since I'm on the I.B.M. Youth committee. I lead a very strong youth Ring operating in my hometown, but I personally have no idea how to take the concept national or international...beyond the columns I wrote for TLR. It is frustrating, at best. Active Ring support for my local youth program (i.e. Volunteer mentors) is spotty at best. Nationally, it is nearly nonexistent. Ah, bureaucracy at work, eh?

I hope, as a new outspoken Board Member to evoke change...if I survive the politics. I have a great love for the I.B.M. And for SAM. Both are historic treasures for our art. Phil Willmarth and Bill Spooner mentored me as a potential leader. I hope to use that confidence for the benefit of all members...present and future.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Payne
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Seattle
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Skip,
I congratulate you on your work and efforts. They are long overdue. I sincerely hope that it isn't too little too late.

Communication seems (at least for our little group) to be the IBM's main weakness. When our group affiliated itself with the IBM it took forever to be acknowledged and listed as a new and active ring in the magazine and on the website. As far as I know we never received any manuals or information from he home office on the IBM. We heard through the grape vine that such literature which contained the organizations by-laws, ceremonies and other useful information existed. But we were never sent them or told where they might be located or downloaded. Needless to say we felt isolated and on our own. Which is why our club has always had a faction that would like to go back to the old days and unaffiliate itself with the IBM.

But I applaud you for your efforts and urge you to keep up the good work. who knows, if things improve I might be encouraged to join Smile
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Skip Way
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Thank you, Payne. High praise coming from you and it is appreciated!

Sindie, the IBM Executive Secretary, works very hard at the home office. It can be daunting for her and her very small staff to keep up. I believe this is where the TVPN/RC Committee has failed and let her and the IBM membership down.

I believe that the TVP's should serve as a mid-level clearinghouse for requests and feedback for Rings and unaffiliated members in their areas. The TVPN/RC Committee should serve as the central clearinghouse for all TVPS and should forward requests to the home office and provide feedback to the TVPs.

The TVPN/RC Committee has traditionally been one person. I plan to change that by adding committee members responsible for TVP's in specific geographic regions and answerable to the chair...in this case...me. This can also help with language and cultural issues among our overseas TVPs.

This creates a clear and accountable chain of communication that keeps everyone connected. Instead of struggling with requests from 250 Rings and 90 TVPs, Sindie now has one focused source to relate to. So much easier!

To do this, I have to re-establish and distribute the specific duties and obligations for each TVP. I have to re-establish contact with all of our TVPs and get everyone back on the same track.

So the handbook is step three in my plan to revitalize the TVP network. Then, I need to identify those TVPs who are overwhelmed, burned out, or simply gliding along and ask them to either get on board or step aside for a fresher, more energetic leader. It's easy to burn out when you think no one cares. I Care!

We are making headway. The Board of Trustees has supported me every step of the way. Intl President Bill Wells and incoming Intl Pres Shawn Farquhar are both very supportive of this revitalization. I believe that the IBM is beginning to look to the future rather than living in past glory.

Don't count us out yet. If I can win YOU back as a member, I'd count that as a major coup. A new goal!

Thanks, Payne. Suggestions and concerns are always welcome as we push forward!
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Dave V
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For a while, I was appointed TVP in an inactive area, primarily because of my activity with Ring 2100, not the local members. I was inundated with books and manuals, but had nobody interested in reactivating the ring. Basically, I was there if they asked, but nobody did. Now I have no real ties with any magicians in my area, and although I try to keep up with things I have no idea who my new TVP is.

Posted: Jun 24, 2014 12:32 pm
Oh, I need to add: When I did ask for a roster of members in my area, I got no response.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Skip Way
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I hear you, Dave. Your work with Ring 2100 has always been exceptional. Thank you.

Your issue comes back to communication which has long been an issue. The most current materials I could find were created by Tom Vorjohan - who did an excellent job. His materials are the foundation of this new handbook and comm chain. I thank him for his early work.

Hopefully, Ring 2100 will serve as a key instrument in re-establishing these vital communication links. With the help of The Linking Ring, Ring 2100, the IBM Website, and Facebook, we will get the word out to every member who their personal contact is and how to reach them. We will also insure that future requests for support and information will NOT go without a response. That's the goal.

What was was...Good riddance! Please keep in mind that everything I've discussed here is a plan. None of this has yet been approved for implementation by the Board of Trustees. Nevertheless, we understand that one key to reducing our declining membership is to keep or recover valued members like yourself. we're working towards resolving some of the issues that drive those like yourself away.

Pushing forward to a brighter future!
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
mfrisbee
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Ok. Now my two cents worth. I am relatively new to the IBM (3 yrs). Also, to my local club Ring 112. We are a small group of of dedicated magician and friends. I was elected president of the club this year and the only reason I knew about the ring and IBM was because of my years (20+ years) of going to the local brick and mortar magic shop. I never considered joining because I didn't see "a need" in it. It was just more money to spend when I could use that money for the newest trick on the market. Video (VHS) made it possible for me (at the time) to learn and not socialize with others. Over time, I could get what I was looking for via the internet. I then decided to try it one month to see if there was anything I could get from a "club". I found out it was refreshing to be able to talk to others about "magic". Here are some of the issues I see:

Local level:
1. The decline of the brick and mortar has made a decline in people knowing we are out here. We as a group need to find more innovative ways to let people know that clubs are out here.
2. We have to drop the attitude that "If we build it, they will come". The local club needs to promote local. Get out there!!
3. Make the meeting worth wild! If it is boring, I will not go.
4. People are people and old turmoil between previous members have caused a rip in membership. This needs to be buried with the past.

National level:
1. Who has contacted me (a new president) to ask what we need to get members or help organizing meetings, etc. NO ONE! Not even an email?
2. Are we advertising on a national level about the IBM? I have not seen it in my area.
3. More focus on helping the locals. If you don't help how can you grow on a national level?

I am not bashing by no means. I want to see our local club grow and then that will let the rest of the organization to grow. The dues is an issue too. Between the organization dues and local club dues ( which is 1/4 the cost), who has the funds to do more on the local level. In the end, it is still about the local level being the foot soldiers to make things happen. When your top heavy, the tower will fall. You have to have a great foundation for the tower to stand. How is your foundation?

Don't hate on me to bad.
Skip Way
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Frisbee,

No hate! I think you stated a very clear and rational opinion. A couple of clarifications on your National comments, if I may.

1) You're exactly right and this is one of the things I'm hoping to fix by creating a more cohesive communication network among the TVPs and national. Every new Ring officer should be contacted and congratulated by their TVP. In fact, if possible, the new Ring officers should be sworn in by their TVP. Sadly, this isn't always feasible for reasons explained below.

On the other hand, aside from the few stipulations within the Standing Rules, the I.B.M. does not dictate how a Ring runs their meetings. That is something determined by each individual Ring. As long as a Ring is operating within the Standing Rules, no TVP should interfere in the operation of a local Ring unless asked to do so as a mediator or advisor.

2) The I.B.M. promotes itself through the top magic magazines and websites. I'm not aware of any national advertising or marketing outside of this. The I.B.M. does not have the money to market itself in the 30+ international markets we are part of. Promoting your Ring locally is as easy as creating Press Releases and submitting them to local media outlets - especially during peak news events like Houdini's birthday, Halloween, National Magic Week, Harry Potter film fests, etc.

3) The TVPs exist to help local Rings. TVPs are generally long-time members of the I.B.M. with a vast wealth of experience and knowledge. What a local TVP may lack is readily available through a request to the TVPN/RCC or the home office. In the recent past, TVP's have largely been passive observers - there to help if called upon. My goal as TVPN/RCC is to make them more proactive. Your plea is received and understood!

Please keep in mind that the I.B.M. is a not-for-profit organization managed by volunteers. The only paid employees are the 2 or 3 office staff members at the home office and they work hard. Everyone else from the International President down is an unpaid volunteer. We all pay out-of-pocket to attend the semi-annual board meetings - and several of our executives travel from Europe, Asia, South America, and beyond.

This also means that we all have full and busy careers outside of the I.B.M.. I think that shows a great deal of dedication from the International President down to the art of magic and this remarkable organization that started 92 years ago by three magic pen pals.

Your $60.00 national fees go to fund The Linking Ring magazine, the I.B.M. Web Portal, the star-studded national conventions, the home office, basic marketing and membership materials, and the basic expenses of running an organization the size and scope of ours. We simply don't have the resources to support individual Rings. Ring's are left to earn and maintain their own treasuries on a local level and there are lots of ways to do this.

We do our best to respond to requests in a timely manner, but sometimes our "real" lives get in the way. We are here for you and every member - we ask simply that you be there for us. It does take a full team working together! I look forward to working with you!

Thanks for your input, Fris! Well said!
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
mfrisbee
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Skip,
Thank you for lending an ear and giving some insight. I know for us to grow, you have to take the bull by the horns and it doesn't happen overnight. For every 20 people you talk to, you might have one interested enough to sample a meeting. That is where we need to focus on making our meetings fun.
Thank you again!
Mowee
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I must say I agree with Payne and mfrisbee. So far the IBM has done nothing for our Ring in Dallas. I have been in touch with Sindie, and I know she is swamped, to try to find dues paying members in our region who are not associated with the local Ring. There was no joy there. I have even spoken with a former president of the Ft. Worth ring who several years ago went through the same thing. No data on members. It was so bad, in fact, when I was trying to find out who in our club was a member of IBM so they could run for office, I found out that last tear's president was not listed as a member of our ring. It turned out that when he joined IBM he did not affiliate with us. I was able to correct that but I still wonder how many members are in the area who don't know we exist. If IBM provided us with a list of members ( and I am working with the current president of the Ft Worth ring to try to get the list and considering our TVP is a member of that club) we still are having problems.

I will say that the SAM is sponsoring the Magic Sumit in November which is designed to help clubs gain and attract more members. Skip I hope some of this can be addressed at the meeting during the convention next week.
Skip Way
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Mowee, I'm working with Sindie to make my committee the central clearinghouse for requests like yours. Please check with me next week and I may be in a better position to get this info to your area TVP and through them, to the Rings. That's the goal. To restore and revamp the TVP communication network to get info and ideas flowing in both directions again. Big BIG changes are coming to the I.B.M..

Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Folks around here have Ring 129 which is quite active and diverse.

I've been more active in Church and haven't been to a local meeting or lecture in a while.
It is a top notch group.


Harris
Still too old to know it all
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Calvin Tong
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Skip,

I am President for IBM Ring 216 in San Jose, CA. Our membership has grown steadily for the past few years through word of mouth, our new website, monthly email newseltters, and with our facebook presence. I think the combination of all these communication methods are enabling the effectiveness of our communications and it also enables magic seekers to more easily find us. Our new membership is becoming a good mixture of all ages. Lately, more teenagers interested in magic have been reaching out to me looking for assistance and advice in setting up an organization. My Ring 216 meetings are too late for them to attend, they don't have a means for transportation, and the benefits for being a "youth member" of national IBM is not easy for them to financially justify to their parents. I would love to hear more "out of box thinking" that would help youth groups succeed, things to be careful of, etc...
Cal Tong
President Emeritus
IBM Ring 216 Silicon Valley
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