CAMRA's Greater Manchester Young Members Coordinator Plan
As the newly appointed CAMRA's Regional Young Member Coordinator for Greater Manchester, I am excited to share my plans and goals for the upcoming year. In this blog post, I will outline my strategic approach to engage university students, organize taproom tours, establish connections with university societies and groups, and highlight the cost savings of CAMRA membership.
To effectively reach out to the young demographic of CAMRA (18-30 years old), I will focus on university students in Greater Manchester. Recognizing their alignment with CAMRA's young member definition and their significant presence, even among non-drinkers, targeting this audience becomes crucial.
Having reflected on my own university experience, I understand the importance of aligning events and outreach activities with students' availability. Therefore, I have decided to plan my initial activities during periods when students have more free time after exams (from June onwards) and before or during the first few weeks of the academic term (September), where those who have gone home for the holidays should have returned back to Manchester. This conveniently coincides with the summer season, encouraging students to get out and about.
To create a welcoming environment and encourage interaction among young members, I have chosen to organize taproom tours as the first event rather than a "Young Members Get Together" at a pub since they offer the opportunity to listen to brewers, learn about beer, and enjoy a pint or two.
To initiate this, I am currently engaging with breweries, industry experts, and a taproom organizer to determine the best times, locations, and budget considerations for taproom tours during the summer. Ideally, the first tour will take place in June or July. However, due to other beer festivals happening in June and July, such as Stockport Beer & Cider Festival, Summer Beer Thing, and the Manchester Craft Beer Festival, which I will be working at and will be of interest to the same target audience, the first tour is likely to be scheduled for mid-late July.
For the first tour, I will invite the young members I have already connected with in Greater Manchester, likely relax the mention of CAMRA and the requirement of existing membership, and engage with university groups to kick-start the event. While I anticipate a modest turnout for the initial event, even a dozen attendees would be considered successful based on previous CAMRA branch events. This will also give me an opportunity to take some promotional pictures for advertising and future events.
In addition to taproom tours, I aim to establish links with university societies or groups within Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), the University of Manchester (UoM), and the University of Salford (UoS). This initiative aims to reach out to engaged students within each university who have or may be interested in forming a CAMRA-related society or social group centered around real ale and/or cider to get them involved.
To support my efforts in assisting in forming societies, if they do not exist yet, I can draw on my previous role as the Academic Representative of the MMU Student Union. This experience has equipped me with knowledge of the rules and procedures for forming student societies.
Once I am confident that I can assist Societies, my plan will be to create new young member flyers for university Welcome Week in September 2023. The focus of these flyers will be on the cost savings that can be achieved through CAMRA membership.
The key message will highlight that for just £20 a year, CAMRA members can enjoy average savings of £120+ along with immediate vouchers. The breakdown of these savings includes:
- £30: Real Ale Vouchers (e.g., Weatherspoons Vouchers).
- £52: Real Ale Discount Scheme, where most pubs and taprooms offer a 10% discount. By using this discount twice a week on average (promoting responsible drinking) at £5 per pint, significant savings can accumulate.
- £40: Taproom Tours. The exact figure is still being calculated, but if I can run them quarterly and save members £10 during each tour, I can confidently promote it as an accurate cost-saving opportunity.
- £??: Beer Festivals. CAMRA beer festivals typically offer discounted rates for members compared to non-members. A realistic average is yet to be calculated based on several factors.
It is important to note that the £20/year membership fee applies only to those under 26, which encompasses most university students. This detail will be clarified in a footnote on the flyers.
Throughout the implementation of the aforementioned initiatives, I am also working on writing a series of blog posts. Two posts have already been published, including this one and "Top 5 Manchester Pubs & Taprooms with CAMRA Member Discounts."
These blog posts serve as valuable resources to share with individuals I aim to attract as CAMRA members. For example, in a recent conversation with a new CAMRA young member, they expressed surprise upon discovering, through one of my blog posts, that Molly House was part of the Real Ale Discount Scheme. They visit Molly House regularly, and had they known about this benefit earlier, it would have been a compelling reason to join CAMRA.
To help promote CAMRA membership to young members even more, in addition to Taproom Tours, I plan to host other events, primarily at the inclusive pubs mentioned in my blog post above, to sell the benefits of the Real Ale Discount Scheme even more and, within the next couple of months, also promote the Summer of Pub CAMRA Campaign.
As the CAMRA Regional Young Member Coordinator for Greater Manchester, my primary goal is to expand CAMRA's presence among young members and university students. By organizing events, establishing connections with university societies and groups, and highlighting the cost savings of CAMRA membership, I aim to create an engaging and inclusive community. These plans are subject to evolve based on feedback and engagement with young members and university students in the coming months.