Are You Making This Mistake on Your Monthly Calendars?

Just about every organization with members has them. If you have activities going on, it’s the best way to let your members know about them, right? Yes… if it’s still 1995. The Monthly Activity Calendar is a throw-back to the past that is still alive and kicking today. Why? That’s a good question.

To understand how effective the calendar is we must first know the goal of the calendar. Most managers, staff and even members would say the goal of the calendar is to let the members know about all the activities going on that month. That’s important - after all, Awareness is the first pillar of Member Engagement. But the calendar can’t list all the activities each month - it’s simply not possible.

Sure, any club-wide activity can be added to the calendar but what about Mr. Smith’s weekly golf game, or Mrs. Jones’ weekly canasta game? There’s a significant amount of activities that the staff simply won’t, and shouldn’t, know about. These member-run groups are the lifeblood of most clubs and associations, yet often they are not included in the monthly calendar. You might be thinking, “but we do include the golf and canasta games in our calendar". I can assure you that there are many activities you’re not aware of - they might be small, like a chess club, a fly-fishing group, or a walking group. But your members are organizing their own activities and inviting their friends. And these activities might be of interest to many others. So before it’s even sent out, the calendar is failing in at least a part of its mission. Consider that when you think about how many hours each month go into the creation of the calendar.

The fact is, we train our members not to read the calendars. Let me explain. When a new member joins and receives their first calendar, you can bet they are going through it very closely. They want to see what’s going on, what’s available to do, what sounds fun. When they get their second calendar the following month they are looking at it a bit differently. Yes, they still want to see what’s going on, and to see what looks fun. But they are also noticing what’s different from the previous month… and what’s the same. If much of the calendar doesn’t change from month to month, guess what’s going to happen - your members will stop reading it. Sure, your golfers will check out the tournaments each month and your tennis players will look at the clinics. But for most people, only 15-20% of the calendar actually pertains to them or their interests. So as time goes on, the calendar is read less and less.

We live in an era of personalization. People expect to see things that are of interest to them. If they don’t golf, it’s actually a turn-off to see a lot of golf activities. Instead of providing a club-wide calendar that tries to show everything (or at least in addition to it), give your members what they want - a highly personalized experience that is tailored to each individual. Give them GroupValet. Learn more at