Frequently Asked Questions.
What is the Globetrotters Club ?
Globetrotters exists to provide an opportunity for like minded people to meet or communicate to exchange ideas, information and experiences on independent travel. The club is run as a not for profit organisation and is run by volunteers from within the membership. Certain members offer hospitality in their locality and show visitors around. The club is not allied to any commercial enterprise and does not act as a travel agent.
Why should I start a new branch ?
Starting any club is a lot of fun but can also be hard work. It requires a certain amount of organisational skills – and help – and access to e-mail, a telephone, printer and so on. However, if you decide to start a branch of Globetrotters, we hope you will find it a very rewarding experience. This can often provide a tremendous opportunity to meet new people and make a whole new set of friends – people you know that you have something in common with.
The core aim of the Globetrotters Club is to meet with other people interested in travel and being a part of the club provides the chance to do this and can open doors to interesting people that you may never otherwise have come across.
How much work is required ?
This is up to you and depends on the frequency and degree of formality of your local branch meetings. The London meetings are held once a month and the Ontario meetings are held approximately every quarter. The idea behind the Globetrotters Club is that it is an exchange of information, ideas and hospitality. You may decide to meet on an ad hoc basis for a barbecue or a picnic, if you felt that that was all you had time to organise or that that was all that people wanted.
As a starter, you could test the water by asking around your friends and see if they would be interested in joining the club and what they would like – a more structured meeting with speakers – this could be monthly, quarterly or whenever you like! Or you could start fairly informal and may find that people are happy to be fairly relaxed and meet in someone’s home and you could start by showing member’s slides.
The more formal and frequent the meetings, the more work is involved. You will have to consider a venue, obtaining speakers etc. But don’t let this put you off – it is not impossible – there are people out there who want to help you! You are not alone!
What we would ask though, is that members are encouraged to join the main Globetrotters Club and so can receive the newsletter and the membership listing and we can act as one large club.
Who could help me ?
If you are already a Globetrotter member, you could contact other members listed as being in your area for their ideas and suggestions. You ask for help and support from the Globetrotter Chair. In addition, Dick Curtis is the London Meeting Organiser and he can assist you with ideas for speakers. .
As far as publicity for your new branch is concerned this must take place locally through your own efforts, though the main Globetrotters Club can assist too. The best publicity is often just word of mouth through your network of friends and there are local schools and Universities, notice boards at work places etc. This can be a lot of work but the main Globetrotters Club will try and help and support you as much as possible through the exchange of ideas etc.
The Globetrotter Club has links with other organisations, such as Frommer in the US, (Arthur Frommer is a former President of the Globetrotters Club), Wanderlust magazine in the UK and we can advertise details on the main club website, in the Globe Magazine which is published quarterly in colour, the monthly electronic newsletter and announcements can be made at other Globetrotter branch meetings.
Can I contact existing Globetrotters members registered in my area ?
Unfortunately due to the Data Protection Act in the UK, we are not allowed to pass on the details of other members in your area to non members. To obtain this information, all you have to do is join the Globetrotters Club, and you will receive a membership listing of all Globetrotter members all around the world.
The listing indicates the degree of help Globetrotter members are willing to offer, and there is a category showing those people interested in forming a branch. These people could be very useful when enlisting help.
Is any investment required ?
The aim is for all branches to be self-supporting. The main item of expenditure will be hire of venue. This should be paid for out of the meeting dues. If you need any equipment, such as a projector or screen, these should be borrowed and only bought if they cannot be borrowed long term or purchased when there are sufficient funds in the club bank account.
Start up funding can be provided by the GT Committee on a case by case basis, depending on their approval on any such proposal submitted.
How much should we charge for attending a local branch meeting ?
If you do get speakers for the first meeting, then perhaps a charge should be made to cover costs. How much is up to you – the charge in the UK for attending the London branch meeting is £2.50 for members and £5 for non-members. If you decide to have a first get together to test the water and see if there is sufficient interest, then maybe you don’t charge and find a free venue.
How do I choose where to hold the branch meeting ?
There is no reason why several clubs cannot be started in one country. However, when it comes to the starting a branch in the United States, a little care may be needed to identify the best initial location. Using Texas as an example, it is a large state and there are several centres of population such as Austin, San Antonio and Dallas. Choosing the best location to have your meetings may require some thought and may depend on where the other existing Globetrotter members live and what venues are available and transport links etc. There is no reason why several branches may not be started in a large state of the United States. You are in the best position to know where the best location would be.
Where would the branch meet ?
Depending on how formal or informal you have decided to make your branch, you will need a meeting venue. If you have decided to make the branch meetings informal, then someone’s home may be a possibility.
If you have decided to go down the larger branch route, you will need to look for some premises capable of holding, say, initially up to 40 or 50 people. Bear in mind that this must not be expensive, as they will have to be paid for out of the entrance fee for the meeting – and preferably free!! You or your friend may already have contacts who can help with this.
What do we do at branch meetings ?
There is no set format. Local branches are encouraged to do what they feel local members want. This can be an informal get together with members showing their holiday slides, or it could be a professional speaker – again, this is entirely up to you and what you feel attendees want. If you decide to go down the more formal route, you will need to consider getting hold of some speakers.
The following is an example to show what we do in London – you do not have to follow the same format. There is a general introduction (by Dick Curtis) followed by announcements for mutual aid or special offers to shows or books, then a speaker with a slide show. We then break for half an hour for tea, coffee and biscuits and members are encouraged to go and speak to non members (the latter can be identified by giving them little stickers to wear). The second half consists of another speaker also with a slide show. Our London meetings last about 3 hours and consist of two parts. Each speaker usually takes around 40 minutes and has around 80 slides. Afterwards, usually a group of people continue on to the pub and after that to a local restaurant!
What kind of people make good speakers ?
The kind of people who make good speakers include: tour leaders, people who develop tours, travel writers, travel guide writers, photographers, journalists, doctors and nurses with knowledge of what is needed for protection for overseas travel, archaeologists, overseas voluntary workers, private individuals who are good at public speaking and have interesting slides to show, naturalists, academics, student expeditions, canoe/trekking/cycling enthusiasts, aid charities, environmental groups, explorers, round the world yachtsmen, adventure challenge people, (I’m thinking of Camel Trophy), the odd person who travels around the world with some unusual purpose in mind; for example, in London, we are having a speaker next month who is circumnavigating the world without using any mechanical power whatsoever! Of course, members may make good speakers too!
We only pay nominal amounts to speakers – in London, we might pay a train fare to London, for example.
Dick Curtis, the London Meeting Organiser has a lot of ideas and many contacts who could give you some pointers.
What equipment do I need ?
If your speakers give a slide show presentation, you may need a projector and screen. Initially, you will have to borrow these and perhaps in the longer term the local branch will have built up enough reserves that this equipment can be purchased. However, if you do have sufficient funds to purchase equipment, you also have to consider where to store it.
Do we need to have a club bank account?
If you do start regular monthly meetings, and you are making a charge for admission, you will need to open a bank account to bank the takings and also so that you can write cheques to pay expenses such as hire of venue, speakers, and important things like refreshments! Movements on this bank account should be advised to Paul Woodward, the Globetrotter Treasurer.
Do I need to form a branch Committee?
As time goes on, and you start to build up your meeting attendances, if you have a regular core of more than 20 attendees, you will need to appoint a Committee. One of the roles of the Committee is to consider how to market and promote the club. One of the things we are currently do in the UK is obtain discounts at various stores for members and on items such as travel magazines or travel books or equipment. Really, the club is as big as you have the time and energy to make it!
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