Trends, fashions and fads wax and wane in every area of life. Huge organisations regularly reinvent the wheel, catwalk models move seamlessly from flimsy stilettos to clomping boots at the change of a season. And the latest (reinvented) trend is the private members’ club. But this time, it’s gone all high tech.

The Members Club in the Digital Age

Image Credit

What’s changed?

Well, nothing really. Members’ clubs have always been there either in prominence or under the surface. From trendy nightclubs, reserved for celebrities, multi-millionnaires and business gurus, to sports clubs and knitting circles. But now, private members clubs of all sorts are seeing a resurgence as the Telegraph point out. This is partly to do with the fact that they are currently en vogue, but this is perhaps due to the fact that they are now so easy to manage.

How is the internet a game changer?

As you can probably imagine, keeping membership files on paper was a little tricky. Every time you needed to interact with an individual, you’d have to first verify their identity via the paper file. All records had to be kept in duplicate and filed alphabetically.

These days, it’s much easier. A simple internet connection gives you access to companies like OFEC who provide membership management systems, providing simple and effective online membership management systems.The paper file is dead, long live the cloud.

Other than the way they are managed, aren’t they just the same old clubs?

As it turns out, attitudes are changing as well. One of the first sort of private members’ clubs that springs to mind is the golf club. Legend has it that the whole sport was built around an acronym, and that GOLF stands for Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden. As the Independent have reported, even the ancient and reputable St Andrew’s golf club has had to move with the times and allow women to join. Okay, perhaps it’s actually been legally forced to fall in line with the Equality Act 2010 but whichever way you look at it, gender equality is benefitting from our new found love of the private members’ club.

By their very nature, private members’ clubs are “exclusive”, i.e. they exclude people. And yet other members’ clubs such as boxing clubs, youth clubs and book clubs are moving with the times and actively bringing about equality and fairness.