Chris Smith

Editor’s Note: The following column by Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) Executive Director Chris Smith appears in the latest (June) issue of the newly redesigned and renamed FAMILYRVing magazine tracks the ongoing resurgence of the Cincinnati-based RV owners club. 

FMCA has been growing at a rate not seen in quite some time. Much like the RV industry in general, FMCA membership is on the upswing. Many factors are contributing to the membership surge. For one, FMCA has introduced some very nice member benefits over the past year.

FMCA can help you stay connected. Tech Connect + provides members access to an unlimited Sprint mobile data plan for $49.99 per month. A handful of other tech discounts come with enrollment in Tech Connect +. In addition, Verizon has teamed with FMCA to offer a 25GB high-speed mobile data plan for $49.99 per month.

FMCA can provide you peace of mind, and save you money. FMCA Roadside Rescue provides the best roadside assistance plan in the RV industry for an unbeatable price of $69 per year. FMCA offers special member-only tire prices through Michelin and Continental. And there is comfort in knowing that you have coverage under the FMCAssist Medical Emergency and Travel Assistance Program, even though we hope you never have to use it. Valued at an annual rate of $109 per family, this wonderful benefit is included with member dues.

FMCA supplies need-to-know information. Also included with member dues is a subscription to FMCA’s official monthly publication — the top resource for RV-related information — with its fresh new look and new name, Family RVing.

To view the full listing of what your membership provides for you on the benefits side, please visit https://site.fmca.com/fmca-membership-benefits. Our goal is to make your membership value the best we can.

Other factors also are contributing to FMCA’s success. The vote of the membership this past fall to invite owners of all self-contained RVs to join FMCA has had a positive impact on FMCA membership figures. We have welcomed them to the family with open arms, and the response has been great.

Our marketing efforts also have expanded. In the past two years, FMCA has gone from barely having a digital presence to making it a priority. The results show. A lot of time and effort went into completely revamping FMCA’s website — FMCA.com — this year. FMCA’s social media presence on Facebook, RVillage, Instagram, and other platforms has grown tremendously. FMCA has also begun to advertise on Facebook, Google, Bing, and RVillage. Again, the results have been very favorable.

While the focus has been on strengthening these efforts, one key area leads the way in member recruitment. That is current FMCA members recruiting new members. When we survey new members, it is amazing to see how many come into the association this way. Everyone at FMCA really appreciates this effort, and we want to help this trend continue.

Our goal is to have 90,000 member families by the end of FMCA’s 2019 fiscal year. Membership currently sits around 76,000, so there is a lot of work to be done between now and the end of September 2019. Consider, though, that if every member recruited just one other member family, FMCA membership would double!

Currently, we do offer recruitment rewards for signing up new members. For every member you sign up, you automatically receive a $10 voucher. This voucher can be used in a couple different ways. It can go toward paying your FMCA dues, or to help pay registration fees for international conventions and area rallies. You also can use the voucher to buy items from the FMCA Store or to order FMCA business cards. There is no limit to how many vouchers you can earn. Recruiting five members can pay your dues for a year!

Members who recruit five new members between May 1 and October 1, 2018, will receive an additional reward: a free copy of the 9th edition of the FMCA Road Atlas and Travel Guide. And if you recruit more than five members, you’ll also receive an official FMCA RVer’s Log Book. (Volunteers working RV shows who have their parking paid by FMCA are not eligible to participate.)

We are looking at some other possible incentives, so stay tuned.

We are also working on ways to help FMCA members with their recruiting efforts. The FMCA.com website now has membership enrollment forms, member benefit highlights fliers, and detailed benefits brochures in an easy to download and print PDF format. For more information about incentives and to find brochures you can share with other RVers you meet in your travels, please visit https://site.fmca.com/recruit-new-members-earn-rewards.

Did you know members also can earn rewards for recruiting their favorite campground as a commercial member? We’d love to expand the network of campgrounds that offer discounts to FMCA members. And FMCA families are in a great position to help us with that. The web page listed above also has a commercial member enrollment form you can print and share. Or you can simply point the campground manager to FMCA.com, and he or she can sign up online. FMCA commercial membership provides campgrounds and other companies a listing in FMCA’s RV Marketplace online and in the January issue, among other benefits.

Another great recruitment opportunity for family members is to spread the word about FMCA to the service providers and retailers you think other members should know about. That could be the RV repair center that took good care of you and your home on wheels, the dealership where you purchased your RV, or a component or accessory supplier that offered great service. You’ll receive the same $10 voucher for recruiting commercial members as you do for recruiting RV families.

I’d be remiss if I did not remind you that you are “Wanted In Wyoming” for FMCA’s 98th International Convention and RV Expo at the CAM-PLEX Multi-Event Facilities in Gillette. You can register online at FMCA.com; call the Events staff at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622; or fax or mail the form that appears in this issue of the magazine. Be sure to look me up while you’re there and say hello.