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Merry Christmas from The MN Wine Club & Dennis & Ellen

From: DennisandEllen
Sent on: Sunday, December 16, 2012 6:18 PM

It is this time of year we think of both the past & future. So we thought it a great time to wish you the best for being part of our great year and talk about some of our plans for next year.

First the Past: This year we visited 12 wineries and had 10 house parties. Saying which was the best time is kinda like saying which kid you like the most, they were all great.

Next year: The MN Wine Club is just the type of club we wanted to have and the people we like being around, so we do not expect any major changes.

Ellen & I were at party last week where people complained about their aliments and were politically corrected. Upon leaving the party, we realized how blessed we are in having our group of friends in the Wine club.

There are a few things people have talked about that we thought we’d put in a letter to end/start the year.

Size of our events: Ellen & I have looked at the size of our events and have come up with 50 as an optimum size group for our events. Fifty is about as many people as Ellen and I can each personally talk to in the two hours our events are, which is important to us. We have been to events hosted by others that we never get to talk to or even see the organizer; it’s not our style.

Also Ellen and I were bored the other night and made personalized wine charms for the regulars… we came up with 32, so 50 seems about right for the events.

Signing up multiple times for an event: Please, please, please, only sign-up once for any event. Do not sign-up under The MN Wine Club AND TC Couples or Boomertyme. It fills events prematurely, we have to do math, we print too many labels and fills the event so others cannot attend. In the future if we see that, we will remove one of your RSVP’s, so others can attend. We know who our regulars are. We want to keep as many slots open as possible. At this January’s party that means 8 more people can attend. We do not remove our regulars from any of our three groups.

Size of the group: Most of us are aware of groups with thousands of members, MOST of which have been members for years and never attended an event. That is not the type of group we want.

There are several reasons: First we like having a smaller group of regulars who we can know better. Second it’s better for the group to know the people and issues to keep the drama to the minimum. Third: huge groups create competition to get a place at events, something we don’t want.

So we are the only group in Meet-up that is actively trying to become smaller. Why smaller? We have the belief if you haven’t attended an event in a year, perhaps we are not a good fit for you and we are removing you. There are a few exceptions, as regulars can have issues, but for the most part if you go a year without attending an event we are going to remove you.

RSVP’s: Why they are important? Few things upset us more then people that RSVP for an event and then never show. It means they are taking a spot someone else could have had. We RARELY remove anyone for any reason other then never attending any events or being a no-show. It only takes a minute to change your RSVP. And repeatedly signing up with no intent of attending and changing your mind at the 11th hour is not much better. We have about a 20 percent no-show rate about HALF what the rest of Meet-up has and DOUBLE what we’d like. Hey we know things happen, and we are very forgiving for regulars.

New People: At the wineries we visit, Ellen & I spend about half our time talking to new people, not in group, to invite them. Also spending time with the new people in the group. We can’t say enough about those that have welcomed the newbees, you all do a GREAT job at that! We have had some GREAT additions to the group this year.

Venues: Because of our members and how we run the group we are becoming VERY well known in the area. Recently at St Croix Vineyards the Winery Organizer welcomed us to their place and asked what type of wine we liked and THEY bought the first bottle.

TC Couples and Boomertyme: Ellen and I own and pay for THREE Meetup groups: The MN Wine Club, TC Couples and Boomertyme. Wine events are always under the Wine Group. Non-wine events: Brewery tours, Adult nights out, festivals and other events are under Boomertyme.

We took over the TC Couples group two years ago. It’s a great story if you haven’t heard it! ALL MN Wine Club & Boomertyme events are also listed under TC Couples.  Last year we had ONE TC Couples only event, we had 5 people there… we hope that group will take off but three quarters of the 250 couples in the group have either never attended an event or it’s been over a year.  Since TC Couples is copied on The Wine Club & Boomertyme if you want to reduce your email you can leave the other groups and still get the invites.

That’s about it for now!
We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
See you next year.

Dennis & Ellen
The MN Wine Club
[address removed]

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