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As I said to another anonymous poster I would be surprised, considering how long you have been a member, if we have not met. Maybe we have?
Thank you for supporting the Resolution that Martin and I submitted to the AGM. I chatted to as many people as possible after the meeting and was pleased when several said they gone with an open mind and came away in support of our suggestion. It is a pity that when we make suggestions about improving the member experience some people still think that non-member events have a big impact on our subscriptions.
Reading the ‘chat’ that took place during the AGM on Zoom shows how much the misconception continues particularly with the people who chose not to come to the meeting.
We were anxious to stress the difference between events promoted by non-members and events, such as parties, promoted by members. You say that you used to host parties but started to look elsewhere because of the cost. My wife and I hosted two wedding anniversary parties and found the expense of decorating the rooms excessive if added to the price of hiring them. It can be less costly to hire somewhere else that needs less doing to it to stop it looking ‘functional’.
When Martin was speaking he showed some suggestions as to how the rooms could be redecorated. They were unashamedly copied from pictures of other venues and certainly not intended to be the only way forward. This is the folder he worked from:-
Now is not the place to challenge Richard Rawlinson’s figures in detail. However, I am sure that if the area looked more appealing it would be used much more. Using the Palm Court and Quadrangle we could have a decent sized Bar and Brasserie operating seven days a week. If they served good food and drink at reasonable prices, in an attractive ambience, I am sure members would flock to them.
Richard will argue that member f&b makes no money. Other clubs find a compromise between affordable subs and reliably good f&b at a fair price. Why can’t Hurlingham with its reputation and closed waiting list of eight thousand find a solution? Are we shackled by people like the lady in the ‘chat’ who says “I do not want subscriptions increased”?
If we turned the Broomhouse and Mulgrave into rooms in which you could host a party without being forced to redecorate I am sure they would be in demand. Yes, we would need staff with banqueting expertise, but we would not need to pay for a sales team chasing bookings from outsiders.
It is interesting that in the Zoom chat there are still folk who claim these non-member events enhance the club’s reputation with the locals. People who live nearby say the opposite and find them intrusive, particularly late at night.
A time will come when the local authority will seek to further restrict the traffic to these events in the same way that they are concerned about the number of parking spaces. I’m told that when a big outside event is taking place Hurlingham Road and Napier Avenue turn in an Uber cab stacking system. Members holding their own parties, many of whom probably live locally, would not create the same problem.
Thank you again for supporting our Resolution. We support your ambition of seeing more members host parties at their club.