In mid-2006 just a few people got together one Wednesday night for a pizza.
We had such a great time we decided that, being mid-week, Wednesdays are a great night to just ‘get out and socialise’ and, as Wednesdays seemed to be so convenient for most people, we agreed that we’d get-together every week.
…and the ‘I can’t do without my mid-week pizza’ weekly get-together was created.
… initially, just a few people came but, as time went on, and more people found out about it the numbers of people who came grew from 5 … 10 … 20 … until, ‘Ultimately’, over 40-80 people were regularly attending, every week.
… around the same time – the ownership of the restaurant we went to changed and it’s menu became much more varied with a wider selection of foods to enjoy – so ‘pizza night’ became misleading.
… and so, ultimately the get-together ‘matured’ into the ‘Ultimate Social get-together’ for ‘Good Fun and Good Socialising’.
… as time went on ‘networking’ happened, friendships were made and other social gatherings were being arranged at various times during the week and we realised that we had formed something that resembled a ‘club’ – which not what had been intended – hence the ‘Not a Club’ label we gave ourselves.
… but it became obvious that a more structured online-system to manage a ‘social calendar’ for the increasing number of ‘get-togethers’ that were being arranged – not just by a single ‘organiser’, (as there wasn’t one), but by anyone who wanted to arrange a social gathering for the benefit of everyone.
NotaClub’s name is designed to illustrate that NotaClub is Not a ‘Club’ but remains a social ‘community’ that’s ‘run’ by the people who freely participate in it’s activities – and not by any individual or business for financial reward or profit.
NotaClub’s success is determined by the contribution, co-operation and generosity of the people who choose to have an association with, and make up, it’s social community.
It’s for this reason NotaClub does not try to recruit new ‘members’ – there’s no point if, in reality, people ‘join up’ with no intention of getting involved or participating.
People who DO join in with NotaClub’s many social activities do so because they WANT to actively participate.
This makes for the most vibrantly active social group anywhere.
- NotaClub has evolved into one of the most active, (if not THE most active), social communities in the world for people in the over 40 age group.
- NotaClub has featured on national media as an example of how people can benefit from an association with such a successful social group.
- NotaClub has made ‘getting out’ affordable for many people by successfully removing the sometimes onerous expense that can be incurred when people try and get out to socialise.
- While some of our get-togethers just seem to get bigger, better and more ambitious we recognise that our very BEST involve just a few, (6-12), people getting together for a casual ‘socialise’ in a pub or restaurant – anywhere that people can just socialise with each other.
Unsurprisingly, an issue we immediately encountered was that, as we agreed the new ‘NotaClub’ would always be FREE to participate in we had no funds whatsoever with which to pay for a web presence or social calendar management system.
Luckily, about the same time – the Meetup internet based social networking system was discovered which, for an affordable cost, allows us to pay for an online home for all NotaClubbers to post their Get-Togethers, communications, photographs and view the NotaClub calendar of social upcoming get-togethers they can participate in..
These days, NotaClub’s overheads are recovered by the occasional fund-raiser or raffle.
- Over 5000 social get-togethers have been arranged – with tens of thousands of attendances.
- More long-term friendships have been made than we’ll ever know about.
- Marriages have happened.
- Despite relocating from time to time we’ve NEVER missed a Wednesday ‘Ultimate Social Get-Together’ (somewhere) since NotaClub started.
- Participation with NotaClub will ALWAYS be FREE
But … as is the the ‘norm’, when things appear to be working pefectly, a ‘perfect storm’ of natural events happened in 2018 which forced Notaclub to re-assess it’s long-term future.
One issue was that, without us realising, the NotaClub community had literally drifted apart over the previous 12 years.
NotaClubbers, who had originally been within ‘reasonable’ distance from each other and, by default, NotaClubber activities, had been relocating further and further away from each other. Many now reside in areas in the furthest corners of outer Melbournes suburbs – making it just too time consuming, costly and inconvenient for them to actively and regularly participate in the many get-togethers still being arranged.
This had happened so slowly we didn’t realise it had been occurring – but attendances began to diminish along with the NotaClub community ‘vibe’.
To add to our problem, we realised that, while travel to and from get-togethers was relatively uncomplicated 12 years ago – it can be a complete nightmare to travel any kind of distance these days.
As a result, while the numbers of get-togethers on the NotaClub activity calendar was still consistent, the actual attendances to the get togethers were diminishing. (e.g. not unreasonably, NotaClubbers were tending to not travel from, say, the Mornington Peninsula or Keilor to get-togethers in Croydon, or the other way around.)
At the same time our Wednesday ‘Ultimate Social Event’ which was held at what we thought was a reasonably central location was forced to move and because NotaClub’s requirements for the location of this weekly get-together are quite specific, we just couldn’t find a suitable alternative location that would be central enough to encourage all NotaClubbers to attend weekly.
This nearly forced the removal of the ‘Ultimate Social Event’ from the NotaClub calendar completely, (for the first time since 2006), which, if it had, would have been a disaster because the ‘Ultimate Social Event’ has been the weekly ‘glue’ that has held NotaClub together as a close-functioning social community since NotaClub began – and had transformed into the weekly ‘come and meet us’ get-together for people considering joining NotaClub.
But, once again, as is the way of the world, as one door was closing to us, another – even better one – was opening.
It turned out for NotasClub that, because we was forced to step outside our comfort zone and seek an alternative location – by luck – we discovered ‘Moorabbin’s hidden gem’ at Bar 7B in Moorabbin.
After discussions, we agreed that NotaClub and Bar 7B would be a good mix – and with the co-operation of Bar 7B we transitioned the ‘Ultimate Social Event’ to Bar 7B in Moorabbin where NotaClub fits in like a hand in a glove.
It turns out that Bar 7B is probably the most suitable location NotaClub has ever found to pursue it’s many activities and Bar 7B is now affectionately referred to as ‘NotaClubhouse – thought NO formal relationship exists’.
Apart from moving just the Ultimate Social Event to Bar 7B on Wednesdays, this location allows us with unparalleled opportunities to arrange bigger-and-better-get-togethers, parties, music gigs, BBQs, afternoon lunches – just about anything we can think of – the NotaClub has ever had in it’s history.
Our relationship with Bar 7B has released Notaclub from the just about all of the boundaries imposed by ‘staffed’ businesses and, once again – as has happened in the past – out future activities are again only limited by our imaginations.
Along with some other changes we made NotaClub has created a whole new lease of life for itself which is only limited by the imaginations of all NotaClubbers and all sorts of things are being planned in this sensational location.
This really is an exiting time for people considering improving their social activities to consider getting involved with NotaClub.
We were reluctant to appear to be divisive but the reality is, while Bar 7B’s location in Moorabbin is ideal for about 50% of NotaClubbers, it kind of left out the other 50% due to travelling distance.
Because of this it was, (cautiously), decided to experiment with holding a second ‘Ultimate Social Event’ on Thursdays in the North Eastern suburbs – something we’ve never done before. Our fear was that this would separate members and the community attitude NotaClub has created over the years.
This means that Notaclub now has 2 introductory get-togethers – every week. But travel to them is much more convenient than has been for some time.
To date, this this has proved to be a very successful move – measured by the amount of new people coming to ‘check us out’ for the first time who’ve decided to form an ongoing relationship with NotaClub and it’s, now, more-local social community.
And … we do not differentiate between NotaClubs – notaClubber are NotaClubbers everywhere.
No matter which NotaClub you’re in, if you’re ‘in’ ONE, you’re automatically ‘in’ BOTH and can participate in get-togethers no matter where they’re held .
NotaClub still invites EVERYONE to PARTICIPATE in our social Get-Togethers – THE MORE THE MERRIER and some of our NotaClubbers come to BOTH ‘Ultimate’ events every week