The Society of Broadcast Engineers said it completed a successful membership drive.
Taking a page from viral marketing tactics, the SBE added almost 200 members during its March 1–May 31 push. Of those 52 were recruited by other members.
Fortunately the SBE isn't a multilevel marketing enterprise, though it did award prizes to members who recruited new members. The grand prize, a trip to the upcoming national meeting in Madison, Wis., was John Ramsey. He also got an HDTV for his efforts. Other prizes included a Panasonic Lumix digital camera, books, tools, flashlights and a wide variety of logoed clothing.
SBE President Vinny Lopez said, "Recruiting new members helps keep the society strong and I am very pleased that many SBE members took an active role in this year's membership drive."
SBE’s membership stands at a “healthy” 5,664, Communications Manager Holly Essex told Radio World. “This is within a couple hundred of our all-time high set in 2004.”
In recent years, she continued, the membership total has varied but has held to a relative plateau. SBE officials feel that considering changes in the industry in the last decade and with fewer engineers now in the business, the society probably has seen net growth in the percentage of active broadcast engineers it serves, she said.
(RW also asked about the breakdown of radio vs. TV members, and Essex kindly obliged. She said 62% of members are in TV, while 50% are in radio; the overlap comes because some members work in both fields.)