Roadshow series present details of plan overview

Following the appointment last year of Lesley Robinson as CEO of British Marine, the UK’s recreational trade body, a new strategic plan has been developed to take the organisation into the future. The plans have been discussed at a series of roadshows held in different areas of the country.

At the roadshow, Robinson presented the key objectives of this new vision for the association and the industry it represents. She comments: “We are delighted to update you on the British Marine Strategic Plan, which combines views and actions from members and the experienced team at Marine House [BM’s headquarters].”

The plan has been approved by the BM board and council. “This isn’t just a plan to stick on a shelf,” Robinson adds. “This is a strategy that covers the whole organisation and we are now implementing it. It is assertive but evolutionary, moving at an appropriate pace. We intend to take our members with us every step of the way.

“Going forward, members must be front and centre of our work,” she continues. “We will concentrate on the areas of British Marine that have the most impact for members, ensuring there is quality in everything we do and provide for them. This will create a better service for them and will also raise the overall standards of the industry.”

Robinson points out that: “The vision that sits across our strategy is a thriving industry delivering amazing on-water experiences for everyone. It recognises that our industry will not thrive without a new generation of customers. We must link growing the marine industry’s consumer base to our member services and products going forward, such as by stimulating innovation based on consumer and demographic trends.

She points out: “One of the key pillars to our new strategy is the National Agenda, which identifies five areas that members have said they want us to focus on. We will announce the first actions on these areas by the autumn.”

The five key pillars are:

  • Skills and People
  • Representation
  • Environment (sustainability)
  • Participation (through experiences, smart marketing and sales) and
  • Innovation and Technology

“Another substantial area tackled in the strategy is membership fees, services and benefits. Members raised issues over value for money, the quality of communications, and accessibility of information. Several new initiatives will be in place no later than July 1, 2019 for existing members, including:

  • an updated website
  • improved industry and membership marketing and communication
  • a digital forum for members

“Current members,” Robinson continues, “will receive immediately enhanced value this year with no change to their current membership packages. To manage the complex membership tariff, benefit price-point and lengthy enrolment process, a pilot scheme will test concepts in the year ahead.

“From the beginning of July, new members will be recruited through a much more efficient digital sign-up process with self-certification. We’ll also be trialing a new tiered system with banded access and usage packages for services, resources and associations that are tailored to the size of the business and its membership fee. Assuming the trial works, we’ll adapt any lessons from it and introduce this new structure for our existing members in July 2020.”

Robinson made it known that another key issue will be addressed at the Southampton International Boat Show, sponsored by Borrow-a-Boat, in September. Robinson said: “The theme for this year’s show will be focused on getting new people into boating by promoting accessibility, flexibility and affordability. The new title sponsor ‘Borrow A Boat’ is the perfect partner to promote our show theme at a time when we are focused the new ways that people are wanting to experience boating.”