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Center for Club Education

Request an NCA speaker for your next event

The National Club Association is proud to introduce our Center for Club Education, a dynamic new registry of programs that our expert speakers are able to present to clubs—through in-person events and online as part of our new webinar series. These programs offer general managers, board members and other club leaders answers and information concerning the most important issues of the club industry today. To arrange for one of our speakers to present to your local chapter or board, please call 800-625-6221.

Program Topics:

Governance Programs

Defining the Club through Bylaws and Other Governing Documents
The bylaws of a private club are not only a key governance document—they also help to define the club. In line with NCA’s forthcoming release of a newly updated "Private Club Model Bylaws," this program will highlight the ever-timely challenges of bylaws for clubs and their boards. Failure to update, follow or implement bylaws can have serious consequences. The program will provide strategies for keeping bylaws up to date with members’ needs, evolving changes in the club environment and state statutes. Also addressed will be methods for gaining approval of bylaw changes and best practices for assuring compliance.

Strategic Planning: Setting the Direction to Guide the Club
No element of club oversight is more critical to ensuring a club’s future success than an effective and comprehensive strategic plan. Implementation of such a plan is essential to making the club’s vision a reality and providing a road map to guide the club in years to come. This program covers the most important elements of the planning process and also summarizes crucial trends that could affect a club’s planning decisions and strategic initiatives, including information on best practices in key areas of club operations.

Protecting a Club’s Private and Tax-Exempt Status: What Every Club Leader Should Know
Without its private status, not only could a club lose its Constitutional protections and exemptions from many federal laws, but its tax-exempt status could also be jeopardized. Legal cases, societal change, and economic pressures have made this a challenging issue for many clubs. This program will look at exactly what makes your club truly private and how to keep it that way. Specific areas covered include the impact of nonmember business activities, guest policies and reciprocal arrangements, the importance of selectivity in evaluating prospective members and bylaw provisions to protect private status.

Building Effective Club Boards and Committees
Boards and committees contribute to organizations in a wide variety of ways and bring an equally wide range of backgrounds and expertise. Knowing and understanding key characteristics of volunteers can help clubs encourage visionary leadership that will enrich the quality of the facility. This program's areas of focus include: structure and practices of effective boards, enhancing leadership skills of volunteers, fostering a culture that encourages growth and creativity, and establishing clear boundaries between management and governance.

Legal and Government Relations Programs

Legislative and Regulatory Updates for the Private Club Industry:  A 2013 Outlook
We all scratch our heads and sigh when thinking about the decisions being made by politicians in Washington, D.C. The legislative process is often slow and its impact seems remote. However, the policies being put in place in our nation’s capital often have a significant impact on your club’s operations and success. As the voice of the private club industry, NCA is actively engaged in protecting and defending the interests and well-being of the private club industry with leaders in Washington. This presentation will provide an insider’s guide to what’s going on in Congress and how those on Capitol Hill are directly impacting your club’s day-to-day operations. This session will also look at what our industry can expect in the year ahead as a result of the 2012 elections.

The Legal Landscape for Private Clubs: Areas of Liability and Exposure
From employee grievances to termination questions to the clubhouse pool, today’s club managers feel like they have to be both a manager and a lawyer to succeed in their job. This program will analyze developments in HR and employment law as well as the many potential liability areas that can arise from club operations. It will also explain proactive measures clubs can take to protect themselves, and it will provide policies clubs can use to minimize legal exposure for managers and boards.

Members Behaving Badly: Dos and Don’ts of Membership Discipline
Every club has one: The member who is a little too demanding in the Grill or the one who spends too much time at the bar. Enforcing the club’s conduct standards may seem like an easy task, but at times it can lead to significant legal issues being raised. Compliance with the Uniform Non-Profit Corporation Code, state laws and the club’s bylaws are imperative when disciplining a member. This program examines the problems with, and the procedures for, an effective resolution to a membership discipline issue. If done correctly, the club will always be successful. If not, the sanctioning of a member, or his removal, could cause more problems than the member had.

The Balancing Act of Membership Development and the Admissions Process: A Balancing Act for the 21st Century Private Club
The admission of a new member is one of the most important decisions at a private club, yet the economic pressures that many clubs face today lead them to consider policies and procedures that undermine the legal protections that privacy affords. This program covers the broad spectrum of issues that can arise in the admission process of a truly private club and offers some practical guidelines for addressing them. Highlights include the impact that “easing” your club’s admissions process will have on its private status and the importance of member engagement in increasing membership rolls.

Financial Oversight and Planning

Club Financial Trends: A 2013 Outlook
Given the crucial presidential election and tenuous initial signs of economic recovery, 2013 will be a pivotal year in the long-term financial prosperity of the private club industry. Much of a club's success depends on the available discretionary fund of members and potential members. Yet, recent economic turmoil has led to an industry-wide weakening of consumer confidence. How are clubs staying financially healthy in these uncertain times? This presentation will examine how the dramatic economic impact of the 2012 election (regardless of the results) as well as the gradual beginnings of economic rebound will affect clubs in the short term and into the future.

Club Trends and Membership Marketing

Club Industry Trends & Outlook
Changing lifestyles are creating competing demands for time and availability. Shifts in demographics are affecting club members and the workforce. This program covers changing population demographics likely to affect the club’s membership and workforce; evolving lifestyles imposing new demands on club services, including food and beverage; expanding services for key market segments, such as women and luxury markets; employment trends affecting the ability to maintain and manage a club’s workforce; and, the growing impact of technology on the club and its operations. The presentation also provides the latest forecasts for the club industry, what today’s club members want from the club experience, and new ideas for programs and services that will help to attract and keep new members.

Essentials of Club Marketing: Successful Strategies for Long-Term Viability
The recession is “technically” over, and clubs have done a great job at reducing costs. Now, it’s time to focus on growth. Private club recruitment, retention and member engagement are changing significantly. Today’s club members have more choices than ever before and expect more from their clubs in terms of programs and services. This session will focus on effective ways to create and communicate value, and to ensure that your club has positive levels of member satisfaction and engagement--which is essential to building and maintaining an active and satisfied club membership.

Club Communications

Effective Communications Strategies: Keys to Engaging Members
The world has experienced a sea change in communication techniques and strategies in recent years, and many clubs have taken advantage of the opportunities to expand member engagement. This program addresses key aspects of a well-rounded communications plan, which is critical to club efforts for maintaining active members and building awareness and use of a club’s services. It also covers ways to build and manage a communications strategy through development of targeted content, interactive communications tools and lifestyle marketing, to help your club increase member awareness and satisfaction, as well as ongoing member retention.

Social Media: Platforms & Privacy
Social media seems like a double-edged sword to many in our industry. It can help clubs engage with their members, increase club use, and expand the member experience beyond the club’s physical borders, but it can also create a host of administrative hassles and introduce a new range of concerns for clubs to consider. Learn about the pros and cons of various kinds of social media platforms and how your club can connect with members while cutting down on risks.

Internal Communications & Employee Engagement
Excellent employees are the cornerstones of thriving clubs, and employee engagement is critical to club success. Employee engagement begins with a strong employee communications plan. A comprehensive internal communications plan should be more than simply a vehicle for club rules and regulations; it should be a two-way mechanism for employees to engage with the club. Learn how your club can use new communications technologies to drive employee interactions, integrate employee communications channels, and help employees to better serve members.

Leveraging Your Club Website: The Comprehensive Club Experience
As technology permeates members’ lives, adapting your club’s website to best appeal to member preferences can further engage them in the club lifestyle, drive member participation, and increase member satisfaction and involvement. Learn how creating a true mobile site, integrating interactive features, and incorporating a social element can help the club connect with current members and prepare it to welcome and engage with the next generation.

Employee Communications, Education and Technology
Technology has had an incredible impact on the way that the next generation of employees engages with the world around them: when they want to “talk to their friends,” they send an IM or start a G-Chat. As a result, sometimes their in-person communications skills have suffered. Programs that help employees recognize basic conversational scripts, develop confidence in handling member requests, memorize member names and preferences, establish an understanding of the service-oriented mindset, and learn the basics of providing high-quality hospitality services are critical to properly socializing young employees within the club environment. Learn how to use new software and programs (young employees’ preferred media) to seamlessly train young employees and effectively prepare them for member interactions and club employment.

Club Technology

Strategic IT Planning
This program covers the most important steps your club should take to keep pace with the ever-evolving world of IT, including: basic IT Maintenance to serve as the foundation upon which IT strategy is built, including five-year IT budgeting, hardware obsolescence planning, core software application replacement scheduling and user skills enhancement; alignment of IT strategy with your club’s overall business plan to compliment the club’s big-picture planning, featuring strategic IT positioning, capital improvements, new amenities and services, and enhancements to policies and procedures; and, discovery of cutting-edge technologies, highlighting the latest innovations and the newest tools to improve the member experience, reduce costs, increase revenues and introduce efficiencies.

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