Around 30-40 supporters took part in the forum, which was also attended by Club President Rod Lynch, CEO Kenny Baillie, Hon. Assistant Secretary Martin Goudie and Commercial Manager Lee Rust. After a short presentation, the floor was thrown open to questions from the audience as the changes to the membership structure ahead of the new season and the implications for supporters were discussed.
The Club are introducing a new, simplified and streamlined membership structure for the 2013-14 season, with five variations of membership available to purchase.
All 1878, Highlander and Clan memberships come with game entry as part of the benefits, with Exile and Life memberships not carrying game entry as part of the package (though fans can purchase a season ticket as a bolt-on to Life membership). Customers will fall into one of four categories: Adult, Concession, Junior and Family.
The Club are also implementing a new direct debit payment system, with three separate payment dates spread across the summer before the new season starts. This will allow for a simpler year on year method of renewing memberships and will free up commercial staff to work hard on providing a good service for the fans.
Speaking at the beginning of the evening, Rod Lynch said: "What we are trying to achieve is something much simpler that represents good value for money and something that appeals to all kinds of London Scottish supporters."
Lee Rust: "We have come at this from the angle of trying to simplify the product that we're selling and trying to represent better value for current and new customers. The main change from last season to now is that we will be selling one product: Membership. Within that product, we have five variations - three of which contain game entry as a benefit and two of which do not."
"In a nutshell, you will be able to purchase what you had at the start of last season again this year and for the same price. We're hoping that we can market this new structure to engage with new audiences in order to increase membership."
Martin Goudie: "We're confident that we can deliver the full set of benefits this season. At the most basic level, the differences between the Membership categories, with game entry included, are where you can sit within the ground."
"We were one of the only clubs in the Championship last season who managed to increase their average attendances across the course of the season. We would now like to translate that into a healthy number of members."
Membership packs will be released next week to be filled in and returned to the club via post. You will also be able to purchase your membership online. The deadline for direct debit payments is June 14th 2013.
Will I be paying more money than I was last season?
If the early bird opportunity is utilised before the deadline on June 14th 2013, nobody will be worse off than they were last season in terms of value.
If I choose Life membership, what sort of season ticket can I then purchase?
As a Life member, you can pay per game if you only plan on seeing a couple of games this season and get discounted entry or you can bolt on a game entry deal and see all the home games during the season for just £45 (Clan tickets).
What is the rationale behind the direct debit payment system?
From a simplicity point of view, we've set three payment dates across the summer that gives us the opportunity for people to have made all their payments and receive their memberships before the season begins. We are keen to avoid issues of people not receiving their membership in time for the new season. Once the direct debit is set up, you won't have to do anything next season unless you wish you cancel your membership. The direct debit payment system will simplify the entire payment process and will allow the commercial staff to work harder on delivering a better service to all members.
What measures have been taken to encourage ex-members?
We have email databases with information regarding former members. All will be contacted with the new membership structure and we hope the product is attractive enough to bring them back to the club.
Can I reserve my own seat in the stand?
We are aware that during particularly busy matchdays, some 1878 seats are often taken by visiting supporters or others. We are looking into the idea of incorporating seat reservation into our matchday operations to ensure that our members get the most out of their ticket.
Do the London Scottish first team pay a membership fee?
Yes. All members of the first team squad pay a membership fee, just like the supporters.
When will the fixtures for the new season be announced and can we expect many Saturday 3pm home kick-offs?
The fixture list is provisionally scheduled for release by the RFU in June. Unfortunately we cannot decide when our games will be scheduled as there are plenty of things to take into consideration - our ground-share with Richmond Rugby Club being a primary factor, as well as an increased number of matches to be shown on Sky Sports. Our preference is for Saturday games at home with 3pm kick-offs and we have made this clear in all communications with the RFU regarding fixtures.