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Thread: AMMA questions to you mead makers.

  1. #1

    Default AMMA questions to you mead makers.

    HI Guys and gals

    I have recently become a board member for the AMMA home governance comity.

    One of the things we are dedicated to is creating a value for the members and to create a viable and active community to help to really push the mead world into the mainstream. I joined when they first became an entity. I knew at the time there was probably nothing in it for me. But I wanted to support the cause. After a couple of rough years, we seem to have a renewed and focused desire to really do this correctly. And thus the Home side of things was created to broaden the perspective for both professionals and home brewers.

    The cost is really quite affordable. And we have already initiated some member-only opportunities that have already paid for a new membership ($30).

    We have many ideas we plan to work very hard to initiate. The very first task is to create enough value to new members that no one could not want to join. We plan to have, over time, lots of members-only purchasing opportunities.

    Along with this. We also intend to have a "proven recipes" library. An educational piece where some of the very best mead makers in the world will provide insight and training from the very basics to top-shelf science. We plan to have conferences at some point on both sides of the continent and hopefully over time in every time zone. I think we will try to work towards creating new categories in BJCP santictioned events. And also work towards boosting the knowledge level of judges to include different levels of sanctioned achievement. So that we can have professional "cicerones" if you will, specificsally in all things mead.

    Personally, I'm pretty excited to be a part of mead making history in our country. I'm sure in short order we will begin to gain momentum and eventually become as big or bigger than AHA.

    I wanted to make you aware of these things and invite you to become a member. Here is a link if you should choose to join. http://mead-makers.org/membership-ac...ership-levels/

    But also. I wanted to give you a platform where you can suggest things you might consider beneficial in promoting mead making and progressing your mead making abilities.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  2. #2

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    How come you stop by but don't say anything?
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  3. #3
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    Good question - but what exactly is the current benefit (AKA value-added) for rank and file members? That big plans are afoot is interesting (and I agree, important) but what is the actual benefit of membership today? That is, perhaps, not so obvious. If I join the AHA I receive a subscription to Zymergy and if I join the AMMA... I ...get... what? and no doubt having access to recipes is what some folk look for but what is the joy in copying recipes when we all know that the secret is not in the recipe but in the quality of the ingredients and the quality of the process. Cooks use recipe books. Chefs create dishes. And I make these points not out of any sense of irony or criticism but to offer you an opportunity to make a convincing case for each of us to drop $30 to the AMMA rather than spend that money on some other need /desire which may be feeding the hungry at home or abroad.

  4. #4

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    Hey Ryan, congrats on the position!
    This is the first time I've seen this thread, so thanks for the bump.

    I've long considered becoming and AMMA member, and am glad the membership price for individuals has come down. I'll share my thoughts on why I'm not a member yet. Granted, I don't know a lot about the AMMA, so maybe this will be an opportunity for you to enlighten me.

    Right now, the only benefit I have seen is the honey buying opportunities. Whether it be something exclusive or discounts, etc. Other than that, I don't see any real benefit to joining. Even then, the discount prices I've seen are very close to some of the deals I can find on my own, so why bother. Plus, most honey deals I've seen don't include free shipping, which can be HUGE. If all AMMA deals included free shipping, I would be much more inclined to join on that alone.

    I am currently a member of the AHA. It's about the same membership fee ($40), and I don't see why I should be in 2 different groups at the same time, I'd rather do one or the other. The AHA only really has 2 big benefits I see over the AMMA. 1) They have a HUGE library of material. I've only needed my membership to access a couple of them, as many are open to the public. 2) I get a 5% discount on everything at my local homebrew store. So it helps offset the cost for itself over the course of a year.
    I also like how they send emails for things, because every once in a while, it piques my interest and I get to learn something cool.

    So here are my suggestions.
    - Follow the AHA's example and make more AMMA material open to the public. Kind of like how the forums here have the open side and members only side. How can I judge if I should join the AMMA if I can't see anything? :P
    - Begin trying to organize national and regional mead events. Right now we have competitions, but that's kind of it. The mead making community is much smaller than the larger brewing one and it would benefit from having just organized get togethers of sorts. I understand this one might take some time to work out.
    - Get meaderies involved. I know a lot of meaderies have bottle clubs and purchasing promos. Maybe they would be willing to give a 5% discount, or something similar, to AMMA members? That would be pretty awesome.
    - Reach out/partner with more bee keepers. I would understand if it would be really difficult to get homebrew stores to accept membership as a discount towards things for many many years, but the sense I get from the beekeeping community is that they really support mead. Group buys and specials are great and all, but it would be cool if say, local beekeepers that I get my honey from regularly also were on board with discounts to AMMA members. Something to look into maybe.

  5. #5

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    Hi and thanks to both Bernard, and Dingurth.

    So maybe I should have not even suggested the idea of becoming a member.

    Both of you are correct. AT the present moment we are in the process of fleshing out some of the things you have mentioned. And I can promise in as short of a time span as it takes to incorporate these things they will come on board.
    So never mind the offer to become a member. More than anything I wanted to get your ideas of what you would need to see to become a member. We are all wired differently. So I thought this was a perfect platform to get ideas how we can promote the industry /craft.

    I see it as a two-headed monster. People need to see a value they will benefit from before they will give up some money out of there wallets. That's why I gave you my ideas ( although I have many more).

    But more importantly, I wanted to give you guys a way to speak out. AFter all. The whole reason we are doing this is to benefit you. The home mead maker.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  6. #6
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    Thanks, Squatchy. And the thing is that an organization such as AMMA is almost certainly what is needed to promote mead and craft mead making both commercially and by "home brewers". But unless someone is geared to work to produce this organization rather than to be a member of the organization and benefit from its work and so (hopefully) want to spend time and effort ( as you do) to help govern and develop the organization it may be a wee bit too early to look for new members today. Once those ideas you have mentioned (and others) are in place then there would seem to be good reason to join and actively participate...

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    Thanks, Squatchy. And the thing is that an organization such as AMMA is almost certainly what is needed to promote mead and craft mead making both commercially and by "home brewers". But unless someone is geared to work to produce this organization rather than to be a member of the organization and benefit from its work and so (hopefully) want to spend time and effort ( as you do) to help govern and develop the organization it may be a wee bit too early to look for new members today. Once those ideas you have mentioned (and others) are in place then there would seem to be good reason to join and actively participate...
    Yes I udnerstand that point. I was more looking for suggestions of what you guys would like to see. Rather than trying to gain members at this time. Although I just thought that while I was fishing for ideas I might as well provide a link if someone felt they wanted to contribute to the future.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  8. #8
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    I checked out who the guest speakers were at the last conference. It would be nice if they recorded all of presentations and made them available online, for free or for a reasonable stipend.

    Along the same lines, I know UC Davis has some great mead making classes, and it would be nice if those were also recorded and offered for a reasonable price.

    What percentage of mead makers can actually take the time or afford the cost, to attend an AMMA conference or a class at UC Davis?

    As I was just on the AMMA website, I have two comments about it. One, it doesn't seem to be optimized for tablet usage. Two, it seems very slow, which makes me think it's being hosted on the same server as the Gotmead website :-)

    dave

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by darigoni View Post
    I checked out who the guest speakers were at the last conference. It would be nice if they recorded all of presentations and made them available online, for free or for a reasonable stipend.

    Along the same lines, I know UC Davis has some great mead making classes, and it would be nice if those were also recorded and offered for a reasonable price.

    What percentage of mead makers can actually take the time or afford the cost, to attend an AMMA conference or a class at UC Davis?

    As I was just on the AMMA website, I have two comments about it. One, it doesn't seem to be optimized for tablet usage. Two, it seems very slow, which makes me think it's being hosted on the same server as the Gotmead website :-)

    dave
    Thanks for the comments, Dave.

    The videos come as part the conference package. My hunch would be that they won't sell the publicly because if people knew they could buy the video's later down the road they wouldn't go to the conference.

    I have already suggested we take over the UC Davis class and do that through the AMMA. I have been to the classes at UC Davis and I could easily do a better job teaching them than does the instructor that does it. He's not even a mead maker.

    The Mazer Cup is a huge deal and many people come to that. That is why the piggyback the AMMA conference with MCI

    Not sure about the hosting. I will bring it up in our next meeting.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  10. #10
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    But one of the "values-added" (VA) about attending conferences is that you can engage with both the speakers and the participants in the sessions and before and after sessions. You cannot do that with videos. IMO, those who want the VA will attend and those who don't have the time but do have the interest will now be able to get the information. Clearly, this is a judgement call by the organizers but one could test this by recording some sessions and seeing if the demand for seats fell or remained the same.

  11. #11

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    What other conventions/organizations tend to do is to make the conference closed except for 1 or 2 talks that they might livestream publicly (keynote or something). Immediately after the conference, they'll post videos of all the talks online. These videos would be free for existing AMMA members or a cheap price for nonmembers to pay individually, since like Dave said, maybe people would like to go, but can't. Then about a 6-9 months later they might make a couple more videos open to the public. This is typically a strategy to entice people to attend the next upcoming conference because they can get a taste of what they missed out on last time.

  12. #12
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    @ Dingurth - very much agree. And again, if the conference is offering such things as workshops and other hands-on events those may not be recorded or streamed and those can be open only to members and there is a maximum number allowed to attend so you need to be a member, you need to sign up for them and you need to attend. And that "scarcity" makes for demand.

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