The H. Chambers Company

Archive for the ‘The Club Experience’ Category

Shifting Perspectives:
How Clubs are Becoming More Female-Friendly


When you think of a private club…what do you envision? High-level executives closing deals on the golf course? A group of “old guys” exchanging witty banter in a smoke-filled cigar lounge? Facilities that offer a wide range of amenities to men, women and children, embracing the family unit as a whole? We hope you answered the latter… But if not, you aren’t alone.

For decades—and in some cases, for more than a century—private clubs have been known as a place where members can enjoy unique, exclusive and memorable experiences. Traditionally, however, they have also been generally regarded as male-oriented and male-dominated.

Today, women play a vastly different role in society than they did 20, 30 or 50 years ago. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center (2017), women make up about 44% of the overall labor force—36% of which hold mid-level managerial roles, and 25% in executive or senior-level roles. Now, as clubs continue to adapt and evolve to remain relevant in today’s society, they are becoming much more age diverse and gender neutral. From club-wide activities, to committees, to leadership roles, the female authority is becoming more and more common across the industry—and it would be foolish to ignore it.


Designing Ahead:
10 Must-Haves in Facilities Planning


Today’s members use private club facilities much differently than in decades past. Members are looking for family-friendly amenities and casual dining spaces that encourage spontaneity, while also providing breathtaking views of the outdoors and club surrounds. As utilization trends shift to cater to the new wants and needs of younger members, many private club facilities do not properly respond to today’s membership.

Here, we’ve summarized some of the biggest trends we have incorporated into our last 25 facility master plans—and we don’t see these trends going anywhere anytime soon! Be sure to consider these top ten “must-haves” when planning for the future and longevity of your club.


Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce

In the private clubs of today, it is possible to see as many as five generations of individuals in one membership. For managers and club leaders, this makes delivering a cross-generational member experience not only important, but necessary. On the flip side, many club managers may also be overseeing employees aging anywhere from 17 to 70. That’s a lot of generations in the mix—and a lot to juggle! So how can club leaders offer a consistent and exceptional experience with so many different variables involved?

We spoke with Dr. Joseph Michelli, Chief Experience Officer at The Michelli Experience, who speaks frequently on the topic advises that while this “multi-generational workforce” presents its own unique set of challenges, it also provides great opportunity for things like reciprocal mentoring, collaboration and team building. An international speaker and New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with companies all over the world—including private clubs—to help them deliver relevant and engaging service experiences.


Designing for Diversity:
Interior Design for an Enhanced Club Experience

The phrase “club interior design” often spurs a very distinct set of images in one’s mind: subdued colors, classic stripe and plaid patterns, dark woods, etc. In the past, this traditional style was pervasive among private clubs. But as the importance of enticing younger demographics increases to keep the dues flowing, clubs are beginning to look towards alternative styles for their interiors.

“Club design is far more stratified than it used to be. Many clubs are starting to become more exploratory in their interiors and embracing the idea of ‘transitional design,’ which isn’t a hundred percent traditional or contemporary,” says Chambers’ Vice President and Director of Interior Design Charlie Turner. While it’s important to keep in mind that every club is different, in today’s market, few clubs can successfully don the more formal designs of yesteryear.

Instead, clubs are embracing the kinds of interiors that today’s (and tomorrow’s) diverse memberships enjoy. These forward-thinking private club interior…


Perception is Everything
Part II: The Road to Implementing Brand – Forging a memorable club experience

Private Club Marketing

Think about how many of today’s top performing companies have built their empires on stand out branding: Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola…just to name a few. Private clubs are a world away from corporations, but they both have one essential thing in common: They rely on distinctive branding for true success.  In part one of our branding series, we discussed how to identify how your members and the community view your club through focus groups, surveys, consulting past club leaders, and more. Why is this vital for private clubs? Because in this industry, perception is brand.

Distilling perceptions into a marketable image is challenging, which is precisely the reason why many private clubs struggle with even the most essential marketing efforts. But now that you’ve put your finger on what makes your club shine, you can put those qualities front and center in everything you do.


Perception is Everything
Part I: Defining Brand – Identifying what sets your club apart

Private Club Branding

The word “brand” gets thrown around a lot these days. Whether you’re discussing a company’s brand, your favorite brand, your personal brand – the buzz around branding seems never-ending.

Chambers is no exception to this rule. We drive home the importance of branding because it is an essential component for club prosperity and plays a surprisingly large part in planning for a club’s future. After all, a well-defined brand provides a guiding light for every decision you and your Board will make. Even more importantly, it allows you to develop a reason for your members to continue returning to the club year after year.

This two-part series will dive into the fundamentals of successfully recognizing and executing your club’s brand. In part one, we will explore the numerous ways to pinpoint what your club does best. Though many clubs have already established a kind of “brand” that is deeply rooted in their storied histories, further defining this brand provides a distinct guideline for future decisions. It can also reveal when a club should consider revamping an outdated brand and adapt to an ever-changing market.