The Wakonda Club is a well known 95-year-old country club on the southside of Des Moines. Golf, swimming, classes, meals, weddings, parties—so much happens here that it can be difficult to know everything that’s going on! Enter Happy Boards, which Wakonda has been using for several months as an external messaging tool for members and guests alike. “It’s a great way to highlight what’s going on around the club,” says Amanda Wiebers, Director of Membership. “It also delves more into how the members use the facility. It brings what we’re doing and what members are doing all in one place. To have people stop and see, ‘Oh! I didn’t know so-and-so was out golfing,’ or ‘I didn’t know that was so-and-so’s kid, so cute!’ builds camaraderie. It also helps breaks the stereotype of a country club being stuffy and formal.”
Currently, Wakonda has two Happy Boards around the club: one at their outdoor Tiki Bar next to the pool, and one in their Golf Shop, where you can purchase golf gear or wait for your tee time. Because of the different feels of these locations, Wakonda has unique content running on each Happy Board to make it feel more custom to where it is. The Happy Board in the Golf Shop, for instance, utilizes a Twitter module (where golfers tend to be more active) as well as a slideshow module to highlight accomplishments from the summer golf classes. In contrast, the Happy Board at the Tiki Bar is primarily running Instagram, Facebook and slides of upcoming events. Soon, they’ll have one at their main entrance, as well, to welcome guests and members alike.
How did they decide where to put their Happy Boards? It wasn’t by accident. “We tracked member patterns: where do people sit and spend a lot of time? We chose the Tiki Bar because people will sidle up there and spend hours hanging out. At the Golf Shop, people might be waiting for tee times or perusing. Same with front lobby—you’re waiting for your valet or your friend is in the bathroom. Where are people standing playing on their phones where they could be looking at the Happy Boards?”
Though it’s only been a couple of months, Amanda is already seeing how Happy Boards is positively impacting how information is shared at Wakonda. “If anything it’s starting good habits in terms of people sharing what they have. It’s really driving one channel for marketing here at the club. We have our newsletter, weekly emails, event reminders and posters, but in the club I’d like to see people know that the Happy Boards are where they can go to stop and see what’s going on around the club.” She also hopes to take advantage of Happy Boards’ messaging capabilities so that she can communicate important information quickly. “Ideally I’d like to have those boards be a place where you can say, ‘It’s raining, tee time has been delayed half an hour.’ The overarching goal is finding that right balance of social sharing and information.”
Overall, she thinks Happy Boards is an important tool to keep Wakonda evolving. “I’m excited to see where it will go. It’s exciting to bring some new life into a place that’s 95-years-old.”