March to a Different Beat
by Brian Pitman, March 2014
As we move through the first half of this year, it’s time to think about the upcoming membership renewal period. Every year, you (as a beloved member) have the option to continue on with your membership in ICGA or decide that it is time for us to part (hopefully as friends). More and more, people are comparing what carnival glass clubs (which apparently grow on trees) offer their membership and then make their decisions accordingly. And more and more, it is getting very hard for people to see the differences between the clubs (other than geographically, of course), especially as some clubs have merged their newsletters together and offer a separate and unique convention experience. Of course, you generally don’t have to be a member of an organization to enjoy their convention, but it’s considered a courtesy to join if you do attend their convention.
So then, what does ICGA offer to differentiate itself from the others? As always, I will begin with the newsletter. The Carnival Pump is (hands down) the best newsletter in the United States among carnival glass clubs. That’s a hugely pretentious statement (would you expect anything less from me?), but I absolutely stand by it. We have seen memberships in clubs north of $30 (and that number is growing when you consider the subscription rate of merged newsletters as part of your membership in other clubs). We have seen newsletters or bulletins released monthly, we have seen full color and other assorted wrinkles. But ICGA’s quality remains consistent. When The Carnival Pump was first released by the association years and years ago, all expectations were to provide the best quality to members, and that goal remains as important and an integral benchmark today.
We strive to give you some of the best articles in carnival glass. We seek out new authors and new information to share. We have also upgraded The Carnival Pump to full color (which is focused squarely on the glass) without raising your membership rates. We offer it in print format or electronic, depending on your specific informational dietary requirements. And we also offer an archive of The Carnival Pump on our members only website so that you can always go back and look at the newsletter for many past years. We also offer an archive of the Color Inserts that Dave Doty did such an excellent job for us in the past.
Speaking of websites, we are in the process of upgrading ours to offer more new features, but we already have a library of articles, including an Index of The Carnival Pump provided by Dr. Larry Keig, so that you know where to look for a specific article, piece or topic. Our members only site features high quality videos of several of our convention presentations and seminars for your enjoyment. We have an enormous historical recollection written by Lee Markley so that you can read about the first 40+ years of ICGA, how it came into existence, the many people who have given much of themselves to it, and much more.
Speaking of conventions, ours is always fun, always has a great display room and lots of hospitality, and much more. Information on our convention is included in this issue (and you heard it here first: Gary Heavin is our Banquet Speaker), and we look forward to seeing you in St. Louis for our 2014 convention. Look for much more information on it in our June issue of The Carnival Pump.
So, please renew your membership. ICGA is a great, historical organization that is moving forward in so many ways. We are striving to be different than other carnival glass clubs and provide you real value for your hard earned dues. Check out the picture of Barb Chamberlain who won an iPad Mini for referring the most new members to ICGA last year. Will YOU be the one in the picture next year? I hope so, but you can start by pulling out your checkbook and renewing today (or go on the website at www.internationalcarnivalglass.com and renewing online with your credit card!)
As we all march forward, let’s remember that we march together. Chat with you in June!