Moving is unsettling. But sometimes, for clubs – it’s necessary. Division D Director, Roxanne Strutz, shares her experiences of changing club locations in the hopes it helps others.
I’m Roxanne, and I am a member of two clubs that recently have had to move….the short story first: Success Speaks needed to move because our host needed to change groups around to accommodate the needs of these groups. Moving involuntarily is extra-unsettling to some of our members; this is an old club that had been in its previous building about 5 or 6 years. But we did find a new location in a church, and are settling in.
The Word Weavers club was in its location for many years. But recently, the owner of the restaurant wanted the club to leave before 8 pm., but starting a meeting before 7 pm wouldn’t leave commuters time to arrive, order a meal, and participate in the meeting. As a larger group also wanted our meeting room and time, we decided we needed to change days or consider moving rather than continue losing members.
As we were losing members, we knew the time was coming to move, and the long search for a new location went on for months. We finally found a free room in a local church. We were accepted and moved the club, and held our first meeting at the church. We settled in rather well, but the visitors would come say they loved the meetings and members, then never come back. Some of our members started missing meetings. Something was not right.
Even visiting Toastmasters didn’t seem comfortable. What could be the issue…….what wasn’t right?
A candid discussion helped identify our problem: the meeting room was not set up for adults! The children’s classroom was cramped, and the music practice down the hall in the sanctuary was a disruption to some. A Moment of Truth meeting (read more HERE if your club needs to do this exercise!) brought the problem to a head. We needed to be in a neutral meeting space, not a church, and to do so as soon as possible – before we lost any more members.
Club members started looking in earnest, checking out restaurants, fast food establishments, fire stations, libraries, the YMCA – anywhere that could hold up to 25 people comfortably, and be within a price range we could afford.
About 6 months after later, we moved to Denny’s Restaurant on My Hwy. The move has proven successful: new members are joining, established members are revitalized, and we have 2 dedicated coaches. Our attendees are enough that we can cover the $125 fee for the banquet room. We have a chance to visit before and after meetings, and can extend meetings when that’s needed. We are now building a happy, healthy, vibrant club!
-Roxanne Strutz, Division D Director
If you’d like to visit either club and find out more about their “moving
experience, you’re welcome anytime:
Our Savior Lutheran Church – East Campus
11101 Bingham Ave E, Tacoma, Wa 98446
Regular meetings 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, with “First Tuesdays” for special events and training.
“First Tuesday” Sept 3rd, 7-9 PM, hosted by Area Director 43, Matthew Hartmann, will feature evaluations training similar to an evaluations contest. A target speaker and everyone will practice evaluations. Open to all, snacks provided.
Word Weavers (website)
20420 Mountain Highway East
Spanaway, WA 98387
1st & 3rd Thursday 7:30-8:30 pm