Best Practice: USTA Member Appreciation Days

Best Practice: USTA Member Appreciation Days

Definition and Example:
A Member Appreciation Day (MAD) event provides an opportunity to extend quality hospitality to USTA members and their guests in order the enhance member benefits and encourage membership retention and recruitment. An example is the USTA Member Appreciation Day event that will be held for the tenth time in conjunction with the US Open.

Significance:
MAD events add a personal aspect to the USTA and it’s mission. If such an event is conducted to provide a warm, friendly and fun experience, it provides the member with an improved  image of the USTA and the many volunteers that contribute to the sport of tennis. Special hospitality is a membership benefit and the opportunity for those representing the USTA to put their best foot forward.
 
Benefits:
Quality hospitality at any level is a benefit to improved relations. MAD events are a membership benefit and always expressed as such by those that attend. These events provide the benefit of membership retention and recruitment. Since all sections receive funding based on membership, retention and recruitment is of major importance. There should be at least one MAD event in every district of the USTA.

Procedure:

  1. Establish a budget.
  2. Determine a date, time and place.
  3. Secure sponsors to enhance your budget.
  4. Publicize the event.
  5. Determine what is affordable in the way of refreshments, token gift for members, decorations, etc.
  6. Recruit volunteers with the ability to interact positively with the general public. Smiles and patience are essential prerequisites.
  7. Establish some type of uniform for volunteers. Consider providing a uniform shirt for volunteers to wear with their own khaki skirts or slacks and tennis shoes. Provide a visible name tag for all volunteers.
  8. Provide space for sponsors if possible. This is a good time to promote upcoming events, programs or even your Foundation.
  9. Determine a system for member and guest registration and re-entry.
  10. Recruit celebrities to appear such as sports or media personalities, USTA officers or staff, sectional or district elected officers, etc. to add interest to the event.
  11. After your event, write “thank you” notes to all that contributed time, talent or funds.

People Involved:
Volunteers, staff, persons of special interest, sponsors, media, volunteer photographer.

Timing:
Choose a time in conjunction with an event that draws general interest, such as a tennis tournament, Fleet Week, Community Festival, County Fair, US Open TV viewing party, Breakfast at Wimbledon Party, college tennis tournament or even a tennis party at the local Park & Recreation tennis courts.  Be imaginative!

Cost:
The cost can be very moderate but it depends on the location, the type of refreshments, token gift (if any) and other amenities afforded. Solicit sponsors. Funding may be available from USTA, the section, district or local CTA. Matching funds are normally in order.

Other Considerations:
If the event is in conjunction with a tournament, try to have the tournament trophy exhibited at your event. The volunteer photographer might use an instant print camera to provide a souvenir photo to those attending with visiting celebrities or with the trophy. Record the number of members and guests attending. Check USTA membership cards for expiration dates. Have memberships for sale on site (if possible) for guests to join. Include Spanish or other appropriate foreign language speaking volunteers present to ensure good communication for all.

Contact:
Elaine Freeman
Tel:     703/920-3772
Fax:     703/553-3985
E-mail: Ecfree@aol.com

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