After three months of surveying members, lapsed-members and non-members the results of the biennial RYA Membership survey are now in.
"The membership survey provides us with a crucial insight into what the boating community feels about RYA membership, members' attitudes towards membership and potential ideas for the future, all of which contribute towards shaping the RYA membership offer and help us develop plans for membership growth", explained Conor Swift, RYA Membership Development Manager.
Why we joined
Of the thousands of survey respondents 41% stated the main reason they joined the RYA was due to the RYA's globally recognised training, certification, personal and professional qualifications, followed by almost a quarter (24%) stating they joined to add their voice to the existing 102,000 members to ensure legislators, regulators and other authorities understand, and take account of, recreational boating activity.
When asked what the single most valuable benefit of RYA membership was 25% of respondents stated access to advice, information and knowledge from RYA experts, followed by relevant training, personal and professional qualifications (22%) and being able to add their voice to ensure legislators and regulators take account of recreational boaters interests (16%); with just 9% of members joining to take advantage of the additional benefits and rewards programme.
Most utilised reward partners
With 50 member reward partners, RYA members have access to a whole host of personal, boating and travel and event benefits. The Southampton Boat Show was the most utilised member reward partner offer with some 55% of members stating they took advantage of this offer, followed by 49% taking advantage of London Boat Show benefits and 43% utilising the reward benefit offered by Gill.
Respondents were also asked what other reward benefits they would like to see in the future from RYA membership that is not currently available. The top three responses were; discounts at marinas, outdoor clothing discounts and better promotion and easier access to member benefits.
The one big thing!
When asked if the RYA could do one big thing to help your boating what would it be the results were extremely varied and interesting, from just keep doing what you're doing to controlling the weather! Other responses included offering more support and easier access to funding for clubs, provide somewhere for beginners to ask 'stupid questions', as well as more services available via mobile apps, keeping legislation to a minimum and more opportunities to meet RYA staff.
Encouragingly, 8 out of 10 people stated they would recommend RYA membership to friends and family.
"Firstly thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey" Conor added. "The results have been very interesting and have given us some real food for thought as we look towards developing the membership offer and look at ways to best cater for the needs of our existing members while making it appealing to future members.
"One interesting statistic was that 87% of respondents stated that their preferred option of communication was via email, so we will be looking closely at how we communicate with our members, perhaps members would also like to receive the RYA magazine electronically? But, better promotion and communication, and easier access to member benefits is going to be at the forefront of what we do over the next year so that Members and potential Members can see the value of the membership package.
"One aspect of the survey that was slightly concerning however was that a number of the survey participants indicated that they thought they were a member of the RYA automatically due to being a member of an RYA affiliated club. This is not the case, RYA membership is personal to the individual, so it is apparent that we still have some work to do in communicating that message to club members."
Our prize draw winner
Everyone who took part in the RYA Membership Survey 2014 was also automatically entered in to a free prize draw to win an iPad Air. From the thousands of survey participants Richard Longbone from Hull was picked as the winner.
To find out more about RYA membership click here.