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disappointing news about the meeting


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A customer of mine just came in today and was talking about the meeting. he was very disappointed at the lack of friendly people (his words, not mine). He said no one there spoke to him and no one seemed to care.

 

He said he was suprised at the lack of professional curtesy with the guest speaker. People talking all over the shop yet others asking the speaker to speak up because they couldnt hear the speaker over the rest of the crowd.

 

Just thought i would forward the feedback to the general group, sounds like some forgot what they learned in grade school about talking while others are talking.

 

Maybe we need to stick to venues with multiple rooms, like the BBQ place, this worked better because folks could be outside talking if they werent interested in listening to the speaker.

 

I doubt they will be back, and I think this is very disappointing.

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Unfortunatly I agree, and have had the same experience, I did not feel welcome at all at the first meeting. I think one part of a fix is NAMETAGS! and second everyone knows that talking over someone thats giving a speech is rude. You know who you are! I do think nametags are in order... especially for new people.

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You know another idea.. just throwing this out there. When someone does show up the first time I think they should be introduced either by Jay/Stacey or by the person who invited them, also their tank should be described so we get an idea of what they are doin and may be interested in. I never know whos new because there is different people everytime. But I try to be as outgoing as possible, even if Im super quiet.

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It was the first time we'd been to a meeting. My first thought was that everyone should wear nametags, so the new people can learn who's who. The name tags should have the person's first name with their blog screenname under it (if they blog here), so we can put names with faces.

 

If only the new people have tags, they're at a disadvantage, because everyone can see THEIR names, but they have to ask the names of any regulars that come up to them. Plus, they have far more names to remember than the regs who all know each other. Maybe give blue-lined nametags to the regulars and red-lined ones for new people? That way the new people can see who else is new, too. ..Just a thought...

 

We spoke with several people, and everyone seemed very nice and friendly! We took the initiative and approached people. I think new folks should be greeted, but it also helps if they can take the initiative sometimes :D

 

PS Our kids had missed their naps and were making too much noise in the play area during the lecture, so I had to dart past the speaker a few times to go correct them. Sorry if that bothered anyone. We soon realized they just needed to go home and sleep, so we left. (We'd tried to get a sitter, but none were available.)

 

Wish we could've stayed longer. We weren't even there long enough to join. 'Do that next time.. (fish)

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Cant please everyone. Thats all Im gonna say. Thanks Ryan

While it is true that we can't please everyone, we can and should listen to their comments and suggestions and use them to improve our club. We've talked about name cards in the past, but it has never been completely implemented. Maybe the club could provide a name card when we renew our membership, or maybe our membership cards could also be name cards. I also felt bad for Andy having to talk over pumps etc. One thought that comes to mind is we could have every other meeting in a meeting room. There must be a school, church, restaurant, community center somewhere that would let us use a room.

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I think we should have name tags especially for the up coming Christmas party. Another thought might be when Jay does the intros for the officials and board members maybe he could also ask for a show of hands of all the new people and they could introduce themselves. Just a idea.... A PA is a great idea!!!! So is a meeting hall, school, etc.

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It's a tough situation with that large of a crowd in a small noisy venue. (the obnoxious gurgling wall by the toy area is too much) I may have had the same sort of feeling if I hadn't already met some nice folks from the tour de tanks and/or chat, and I'm a rather shy person at times, not as outspoken in large open group settings (including every holiday at my in-laws..it's a rather large crowd).

I went to the other PDX aquarium group's auction a few months back before hearing about pnwmas, and I felt the same way as Joel's customer and never joined; yet I have now paid my dues to join this club after 1 meeting. I think it had a lot to do with the settings and type of meeting that it was at the other group. There wasn't anything conducive to getting a "newbie" to really chat with anybody and get to know someone.

It was easier to talk with people the 2nd time at a PNWMAS meeting because the Tour de Tanks gave me an opportunity to get to know people better in a smaller setting, via the car.

-I like that idea of introducing a person and their tank if that falls within their comfort zone; I would suggest doing so towards the beginning of the meeting.

-Instead of calling these meetings, how about gatherings...sounds less intimidating to me.

-Come up with certain events that are more conducive to small talk and/or start an occasional meeting with small group interactions? Any ideas there for fish/reef lovers?

-Cheap sticky name tags with user name and real name would help immensely; I kept having to ask, "who's Michael 7979, Nu2Reefn", I wonder if so and so is here.... etc. etc. I know the names from this forum and the chat, and would have made it easier to say hi if I recognized their user name. I'm not one to just say hello to a stranger...heck, I was thinking some people there were customers and how stupid I'd feel introducing myself if they were.

-Have person in charge of an event, greet everyone at the door to tag them and find out if they've ever joined before. Introduce yourself and introduce them to someone who has has a tank their size for example. (keep a running list of common interests/location of known members..suggest carpools, phone # exchange to hook up for next events' drive)

-I wouldn't recommend having a gathering in a business unless there is an out of the way place to have it...sort of like how restaurants and library's have a meeting hall away from the general public.

At Sunday's meeting, I only noticed a couple of small groups talking in the back of the store, but they were as far away from the speaker as physically possible without stepping out into the rain. After awhile, I lost interest because the talk was too basic for me and chatted quietly in the back with someone who didn't want to listen because it was over their head, which is very understandable. (I'm not saying there was anything wrong with the speaker so please don't go there) Others might have wanted to chat because they wanted to be social and catch up with old friends. Some people talking just happened to be customers that can't be held accountable since we were there during business hours.

When I put on/led monthly gathering called "Theology on Tap" about 5 years ago, I always got people into small groups somehow throughout the night; being a time to share information that was discussed and their experiences and to just chat. The biggest success in keeping people coming back to the monthly groups and discussions was, we started the evening out with a potluck with tables people could sit down to eat. To facilitate everyone sitting down together, we didn't start eating until most everyone was there. It brought on conversations whether you were new or not. It was OK to not talk, a mouthful of food is a good excuse :). It was the best icebreaker we found and it kept the group strong in numbers...there's something about good grub that does it every time. Without the potluck, the numbers would dwindle so we made sure we stuck with food.

Not pushing church, but often they will let people use their meeting halls and/or kitchen, tables, etc. for free or a minimal donation. A good way for a connection to a free meeting hall of any sort, if someone belongs to the place. My old church in HIllsboro always let us use the facilities free of charge...even the gym for volleyball 2-3 x/week. Only commitment was, you left if the way you found it.

Sorry to ramble, just throwing out ideas; hopefully there will be more to come to help this club grow in a positive way...especially from those who haven't felt welcome in the past. Do speak up, if you don't feel comfortable here in the forum, at least send your thoughts, feeling, and/or ideas in a private message or e-mail to one of the board members and ask to keep your personal info confidential. Sucks having to hear the bad news coming from a store owner... I'll bet there are many people like myself who didn't have a clue that person felt that way, let alone know who they were to begin with. I did see some 1 week old "newbies" chatting with people, but I only had an idea who they were because I followed some of their forum threads. If Joel's customer is reading this thread, you're not alone I'm sure. If it was my first meeting, I would have likely felt the same way not knowing a single sole there, but hopefully you'll try again and come to future gatherings!

Heck, trade a frag or two; post something before the next meeting like somebody did Friday or Saturday; that's a low key icebreaker a shy guy like myself

could handle. That gives me one last idea before dusting the house, (as you can tell I'm putting it off); what if people brought a frag of some sort to give to newcomers at their first meeting. Make an inquiry in the forum a week or so before the event to see if/who is new, get some offered frags together from current members and share the names of giver and receiver so the new person can seek out their prize. I'd definitely bring some when my corals take off. This reminds me, a couple people gave me some frags to start me off at that Tour de Tanks, which just happened to be the first event I joined.

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After awhile' date=' I lost interest because the talk was too basic for me and chatted quietly in the back with someone who didn't want to listen because it was over their head, which is very understandable. (I'm not saying there was anything wrong with the speaker so please don't go there)[/quote']

 

I understand completely -- with a (semi-)technical topic like that, a speaker will always miss the mark for someone. Some people will know a lot more and won't be interested, some will have the material go right over their head, and some will find it right on. I hoped to minimize the size of the second and maximize the size of the third at the expense of the first group, and I think I hit my goal. Sorry you were a casualty, but somebody had to take the bullet (laugh)

 

Regarding the noise, while I was presenting I had to speak much more loudly than I'm used to (ended up blowing out my voice). At the time I didn't notice the source of the noise, I was focused on the material and just tried to adapt to the environment. I was ticked off afterwards when I had several people talk to me individually and complain about/apologize-for the group, seeing how I "...had to talk over all those people chatting." (actual quote) A PA system would be a great solution. That, and a stack of nerf balls ;) (brick)

 

As far as welcoming new members: Fortunately for me, one of my first meetings was the BBQ; there was a lot of mingling going on and I was able to wrangle a few introductions. I'm an introvert by nature, and breaking the ice can be pretty tough. I can definitely see how other introverts could come away from a meeting feeling ignored, and see the club as unfriendly... and expecting introverts to just suck it up and introduce themselves is completely unrealistic. I think a 'greeter' or two is a *great* idea; having someone to greet unfamiliar faces, learn a quick bit about them then perform a few friendly introductions would go a long way towards making the club a more welcoming place.

 

I've been to several meetings now, and still only know about a half-dozen of y'all by sight. Combine that with my terrible name/face combination skills, and I'm desperate for nametags. I'm so desperate for them that I volunteer to create/track and distribute them. The idea of being able to do a quick eye-drop to the nametag then be able to address the person by name is powerful enough to overcome my usual work-avoiding instincts. I'll post more about this in a new thread -- boardmembers, if you wanna brush me off this let me know.

 

Anyways, hope I didn't get too negative -- this is a great group of people, we just have a few opportunities to be even more perfecter ;)

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Yes, name tags always make a big difference.

 

My wife, Constance, has always enjoys meeting everyone, and especially welcoming new people.

Unfortunately she had something to attend to Sunday, and was unable to attend the meeting.

She feels very bad about hearing that anyone did not feel welcome.

 

I feel that Jay has done a very good job of introductions in the past. Things get very hectic sometimes... thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Welcoming new guests and members is usually the first order of business (and should be!).

The club certainly wants everyone to have a good time and feel like returning again!

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We are also looking into getting an inexpensive pa system for speaches like Andy's.

 

yeah... something like a pignose amp would be awesome... then the speaker would be drowning out any one else talking in the room. :Dhttp://www.activemusician.com/item--MC.LILPA

 

http://www.nextag.com/Pignose-Lil-PA-Portable-78539289/prices-html

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I have not been to a meeting before. I'd like to but I am kind of a homebody down here in Eugene. Meeting all the people who give me advice would be nice but I just don'e get out of town these days. I hope you could get a south valley meeting to occur sometime in the new year. It seems that many active members are from our neck of the valley even though we are by no means a majority.

 

Perhaps micro-regional meetings could occur on occasion. This would cut down on the size of meetings and give us a chance to network with people we could meet up with in a 30 minute drive.

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I have not been to a meeting before. I'd like to but I am kind of a homebody down here in Eugene. Meeting all the people who give me advice would be nice but I just don'e get out of town these days. I hope you could get a south valley meeting to occur sometime in the new year. It seems that many active members are from our neck of the valley even though we are by no means a majority.

 

Perhaps micro-regional meetings could occur on occasion. This would cut down on the size of meetings and give us a chance to network with people we could meet up with in a 30 minute drive.

 

On the Agenda for 2007:

January 21st, 2:00PM at Advanced Aquarium in Salem.

April 15th is the Oregon Coast trip(Behind the Scenes Tours of Oregon Coast Aquarium and Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport).

June 24th in the Southern Tank Tour(Members' tanks south of Salem).

 

A meeting in Eugene sounds like something to consider when we schedule future meetings. :)

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gota be honest ryans right i only knew a few by face but i intro myself for the short time i was there name tags are great but you need to be somwhat forth coming and then if people put you off then you can [language filter] everyone i talk to was great and very freindly cant wait till next one i can make.

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I've been to 3 meetings now, 1 about a year ago @ someone's house that was very friendly and 2 @ local fish stores. I had that same feeling at both of the LFS meetings. It's hard to just walk up to people cold & start talking. Not to say I didn't meet anyone, I did have one nice conversation Sunday. Any activity that brings people together would be helpful (nametags, introductions, an around-the-room about yourself etc).

 

It would also be helpful if the leaders of the group made a point of talking to those people they don't recognize. To people who don't know anyone it makes the meeting feel less like they're on the outside of a clique.

 

That's just like, my opinion man.

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I can totally understand what you guys are all talking about. I am actually very very introverted. The very first meeting we went to, I think it was at Waves, I was pretty terrified as well as intimidated. But we just stuck with it and kept going. But yeah, name tags would be cool. And Jay did say that asking for the noobs was a good idea. Course, that would friggin' terrify me in itself back before I got to know the club! (laugh)

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