As previously reported, I just bought an IC-207 dual-band rig. It’s a great rig, but for the first two days I didn’t make a single contact on the local repeater. I was not, of course, monitoring the whole time, but you’d think I could raise someone on a Friday or Saturday night. Maybe not, though. I guess the other hams in the area have a life. :)
I did finally manage a contact Saturday night with a fellow who was on his way to Detroit. We had a nice chat, and I found out that he’s a local guy who’d just gotten his license in June. The interesting thing is that despite living in Ann Arbor for the last four years (as a University of Michigan student), he was not familiar with our club, nor of the fact that we owned and operated the repeater we were using.
Of course, I took the opportunity to invite him to our meeting this Wednesday (for more details, see our website), and I think there’s a good chance he’ll show up. I had a similar experience last month. On my way to the club meeting, I had a QSO with a fellow ham, and I mentioned that I was on the way to the meeting, we’d love to have him attend, too. He replied that he’d been meaning to come to a meeting and join, but for one reason or another, just never got around to it. I pressed the point, and he actually did show up. In fact, he brought his checkbook along and paid his dues as well.
My point is that one of the best ways to promote your club is to monitor your local repeater and talk up your club and its activities at every opportunity. Invite people to attend your meetings. Invite them to check in to your nets. If you don’t have a net, start one. If you do some of these things, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.