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 Post subject: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Wed 04, 2020 2:05 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 18, 2020 5:56 am
Posts: 5
Location: Olathe, KS
All,

Background
A few year ago I acquired my brother's radio collection after he passed.
We had stared collecting radios 40+ years ago, but gave/sold my collection to him shortly after I went of to college.
Anyway, upon being thrust into the stewardship of these antiquities, I joined a local radio club in the Kansas City metropolitan area (Mid-America Antique Radio Collectors - MAARC),
The club has around 100+ members.

Problem - Most members of the club are in the seasoned citizen age range and we only have a few people under that age of 35 that attend the events.

Ideally, we/I don't want this knowledge to be lost as we all age out existence :) .
We have some ideas to get the word/message out and attract certain age groups and demographics, but we are interested to learn what other clubs are doing to solve this problem.

If possible, please share some of your club's experiences (both successful and unsuccessful), so that we can focus our energy on the best strategy going forward.

Have a Great Day!

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“A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake.”


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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Wed 04, 2020 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sun 23, 2020 5:44 am
Posts: 47
Location: SF Bay Area
I say this as a 43 year old who's got some old man habits like playing cribbage and collecting/tinkering with vintage audio gear.

Younger people are into mid century modern designs, playing vinyl and digital music on vintage sets and will often value cabinet style over the quality/rarity of the internal components. A young person is going to want to use an old radio to play podcasts/streaming music from their phone and will rarely/never listen to AM/FM terrestrial radio. So, courses around future proofing old radios and adding headphone input jacks/Bluetooth connections would widen the audience. It's not that young people dislike old radios, it's that the medium has shifted and they don't know what to use them for.

Younger people are into saving the environment...so if you can make them feel warm & fuzzy about keeping electronic components out of landfills you'll widen your audience.

Younger people are into upcycling, re-purposing and DIY projects, that's why so many old sets end up being gutted and turned into things like liquor cabinets and doghouses. I don't support this practice but it's something to be aware of.

Is your club active on Facebook or Instagram? Can you deputize a younger, tech savvy, member to boost your social media presence?

In my opinion, there is a tendency for more seasoned hobbyists to look down their nose and, in some cases, crap on gear (like stereo consoles) that are solid state not tubes, are "too big" and don't "seem old" to them because they can remember back to the days when it was new. This guy is in your area...https://www.consolestereorescue.com/ if there is anyway to embrace/cooperate with what he's doing you guys might attract a younger crowd.


Last edited by Brettzky99 on Nov Thu 05, 2020 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Wed 04, 2020 10:46 pm 
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Location: alameda,CA
We're the same age. The problems we have at the museum are several. For the longest time we had an issue with socializing with newer folks and the young alike. Most of the guys there are former engineers and sort of set in their ways. Its sort of like an electronics good ole' boy's club. Prior to the pandemic we were trying to reach out to younger people. Actually our Number one attraction for new, younger members was the antique shows because the radios and stuff we brought would get a lot of eyeballs. There is definitely an interest in younger folks when it comes to old things in general. My take is that the things we buy today are either so boring and plain and that many seldom last for a few years its nice to see items with actual care put into the design. And given that electronics were so expensive back then people paid to keep them running.

Before the lockdown we had succeeded in having around 8-10 younger aged people coming in every Saturday. It was a good mix of people. I felt like that we had more or less become a family and every Saturday was more about socializing rather than digging into old electronics. I think when this is over I will be so glad to be able to do those things again.


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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Thu 05, 2020 1:24 am 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
It seems we could help them understand the level of efforts of all sort and risk involved with the original making of radios. The devices themselves are just part of the story.

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many of my radios http://s269.photobucket.com/user/FSteph ... t=3&page=1


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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Thu 05, 2020 2:00 am 
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Location: Tucson, Arizona U.S.A.
Is there a maker group in your area? If so, you could join it and do some of your restoration work there. Chances are some people would ask what you are doing. Perhaps one would be interested. This has the advantage of being a group of people who are interested in doing things rather than just random people who don't know that it is possible to do more than paint a room.

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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Thu 05, 2020 6:16 am 
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Well I'm 19 and I think one of the best ways to attract my generation (GEN Z) is by posting to social media. YouTube is what helped sparked my interest. I was in 1st grade when my interest in records came about, so one day I decided to look up record players on YouTube. Then from many hours of watching videos on phonographs and record players I finally came across vintage electronics. I was in 2nd or 3rd grade when I came across shango066, bandersentv, joernone, and a few more. Then from there my interest in vintage electronics grew.


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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Thu 05, 2020 7:31 am 
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TQGIBTNGO wrote:
Well I'm 19 and I think one of the best ways to attract my generation (GEN Z) is by posting to social media.

Welcome to the board, and I think that that's an excellent suggestion! Unfortunately many of us, myself included, aren't really hep to the doings of Facebook, Instagram, Myspace, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Thu 05, 2020 9:17 am 
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"MySpace"

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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Fri 06, 2020 1:16 am 
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Joined: Feb Sat 08, 2020 5:20 pm
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Location: Ballard. washington 98103
Add bluetooth and show you can improve fidelity with an older radio but stream modern content. Imagining my concert grand at half throttle playing dubstep drops. Guaranteed to blow away any kid today. Whats dubstep? not for everybody but a funny intro https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Kod1q39ddE


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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Fri 06, 2020 1:44 am 
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Location: Katy, Texas
expand the interest. When this radio collecting thing blossomed about the only thing vintage electronics that was in reach of someone with that disposition was Vintage radios. Today there is all manor of vintage electronics and Radios are a subset of what would be a broader subject matter.

"younger folk" may not even know how cool old radios are but they may have in interest in vintage Sony Walkman and 70s color TVs and see an ad for a Antique radio club or convention and may not think its something they are interested in. Expand the subject to include all manor of vintage electronics and you will attract more people. Then once engaged they might also discover how cool old radios.

You also have to face up to the fact in most markets there isn't anything on AM worth listening too. Not every tube AM radio made is an historic piece there is nothing wrong with modding common sets, if it attracts more folks into the overall subject matter. Heck its getting to the point in in some places decent restorable (but common) radios go begging for someone to want them.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Sat 07, 2020 1:01 am 
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Location: Carmel, Indiana
When I started collecting, the AM band was full of music, disc jockys, contests, and many stations reflected their own local communities. In other words, there was a great broadcasting medium to help support and reward the collecting and restoring of antique radios. Today, there's not much for the younger generation to listen to on AM except for news/talk, religious, political and sports shows so why would they even care to collect old radios at this point. I probably wouldn't have if I grew up as part of the Millennial generation.

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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Sat 07, 2020 2:31 am 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
There are many music stations on southern California.

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many of my radios http://s269.photobucket.com/user/FSteph ... t=3&page=1


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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Sat 07, 2020 4:18 am 
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FStephenMasek wrote:
There are many music stations on southern California.

Yes, but almost all ethnic, and located above 1200 Kc.

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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Sat 07, 2020 4:25 am 
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Except 790. Yes, it is Mandarin, but good music is good music.

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many of my radios http://s269.photobucket.com/user/FSteph ... t=3&page=1


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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Sat 07, 2020 6:24 am 
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Why does it have to be radios? Records are becoming popular with younger people. Why not interest them in record players? An operating record changer is interesting to watch and nothing like that is available new today. So if they want one, it will have to be vintage. If you are in a place where people can see it (and what's the purpose if they can't) and your changer can do it, it sounds like a good idea to intermix different size records. The changer knows what to do and there is no microprocessor in sight.

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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Sat 07, 2020 8:32 am 
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Jim Mueller wrote:
Why does it have to be radios? Records are becoming popular with younger people. Why not interest them in record players? An operating record changer is interesting to watch and nothing like that is available new today. So if they want one, it will have to be vintage. If you are in a place where people can see it (and what's the purpose if they can't) and your changer can do it, it sounds like a good idea to intermix different size records. The changer knows what to do and there is no microprocessor in sight.


Quote:
Well I'm 19 and I think one of the best ways to attract my generation (GEN Z) is by posting to social media. YouTube is what helped sparked my interest. I was in 1st grade when my interest in records came about, so one day I decided to look up record players on YouTube. Then from many hours of watching videos on phonographs and record players I finally came across vintage electronics. I was in 2nd or 3rd grade when I came across shango066, bandersentv, joernone, and a few more. Then from there my interest in vintage electronics grew.


Quote:
"younger folk" may not even know how cool old radios are but they may have in interest in vintage Sony Walkman and 70s color TVs and see an ad for a Antique radio club or convention and may not think its something they are interested in. Expand the subject to include all manor of vintage electronics and you will attract more people. Then once engaged they might also discover how cool old radios.


With the over popularity of "Gamer's Choice" television sets, there almost certainly is a path to Old Radios. Ebay may list vintage electronics, and they might take interest. Mid Century Modern's popularity is another way to learning about tube radios. Facebook Marketplace is a good way to attract folks. I learned about Antique radios from learning about vacuum tubes. I learned about vacuum tubes when I was reading a book, and found out they were the predecessor of the transistor, did some research, and here I am.

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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Sat 07, 2020 9:47 pm 
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Mr. Highlander wrote:
Facebook Marketplace is a good way to attract folks. I learned about Antique radios from learning about vacuum tubes. I learned about vacuum tubes when I was reading a book, and found out they were the predecessor of the transistor, did some research, and here I am.

A lot of us oldsters though are not on social media, and even if we were, our intentions might not hold water for the younger set.
I guess the hobby particularly needs younger members already involved, to engage in the distribution of the attraction old electronics hold, in radio's, TV sets, record players, etc. on those platforms.

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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Sun 08, 2020 6:49 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 18, 2020 5:56 am
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Location: Olathe, KS
All - Thank you for all your replies and suggestions.

Just like any 'real' problem - there isn't a simple/single solution.

Several streams of thought.

I am a fan of adding Blue Tooth functionality to the radio sets from the 30's through early 50's.
The radios are beautiful pieces of furniture, but the buyers still want them to work, and want the convenience of modern technology.
To be honest - I don't know what one does to make the 1920's battery and crystal sets viable to non-collectors.

Many of us in our club have one foot in the grave and one foot on the banana peel.
To ensure that we don't go the way of the Dodo Bird - Our club probably does need to adapt to survive.
I like the idea of branching to newer electronics - like transitor radios or stereos and turn tables (since vinyl is making a comeback).
Maybe even diversify into Mattel Football Games and/or old Gameboys...

Our club does have a Facebook presence.
The members do share their questions and success stories via Facebook.
That being said, our Facebook is setup as a private group and thus isn't used as a tool of recruitment.
Our members have shared videos via the Facebook page - maybe we could create a YouTube channel too.

Note: I love the MySpace reference :) - Somewhat disappointed that 'Xanga' was not mentioned.

My youngest son (single and aged 27) does have an interest in this hobby, but doesn't have the time or resources to invest in this hobby.
He does spend some of his free time (a few hours a month) going to board game stores (they play war hammer, dungeons and dragons, magic the gathering, Risk, etc.).
My thought was to place an antique radio or two in those stores and ask the manager to play music (via Blue Tooth :)) during their games and events.
Leave some contact information (business cards) to see if anyone has an interest in joining or not.

Never heard of a 'Maker' group. Did a little research and of course they exist in the KC metropolitan area.
FYI - I've done software development for 40+ years and utilize 'Meetup.com' to access technical groups.
The local 'Maker' group utilizes 'Meetup' also.
After the Covid lock-down subsides - might pursue this opportunity too.

Area of Concern - The FCC is allowing the AM bandwidth to be broadcast in both analog and digital formats.
In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before the analog format is deprecated.
I'm going to assume that we'll need some sort of digital to analog converted (similar to the TV set top boxes) will need to be added to the radios to make them viable in the future.
Again, maybe I don't need to worry about this since I have one foot is on the banana peel, but... :)

Again - I want to thank everyone for their suggestions and ideas.

Have a Great Day!

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“A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake.”


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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Mon 09, 2020 12:24 am 
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Location: Westford, MA USA
When I first joined my local antique radio club in the early 2000s while still in my teens, I was definitely an anomaly. So much so that when a local NPR station produced a segment about one of our club meets, the interviewer was told to seek me out for an interview. :roll: Nearly two decades have passed since then, but I'm probably still among the younger members of the club.

Some antique radio clubs have taken the lead of the Michigan Antique Radio Club, and are pivoting towards vintage electronics in order to attract a younger crowd. For example, the New England Antique Radio Club (NEARC), has re-branded itself as the New England Vintage Electronics Club (NEVEC), and the annual late winter "RADIO xx" show is now referred to as the New England Vinage Electronics Expo, or NEVEE. It does seem to be helping to some extent, as I've seen a number of folks below the age of 50 showing up to our meets since the re-branding.
-Adam

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Collector of old computers, video game systems, radios and other electronic equipment...
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 Post subject: Re: How to attract younger members into this Hobby/Passion
PostPosted: Nov Fri 20, 2020 2:53 pm 
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Location: Sioux Falls, SD
I am 44 and have been around radios most of my life because of my dad collecting. I started collecting as well, but I collect based on the styling of the radio instead of the functionality. I mostly collect art deco sets and '50s Crosleys due to how they look. I believe that this is one way that the hobby can stay relevant. My friends all think that I am crazy for having my money (retirement) wrapped up in all of these radios, as no one listens to the radio anymore, especially AM. However, I have gifted all of the a radio at one point or another and they all have them on display at their homes or offices and people consistently compliment them on them or ask about them. As I get older and see how the radio collecting hobby is slowly dying I frequently think about selling them off as I have so much money invested.


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