These can be, and certainly are, difficult times for bottle clubs hosting regional shows.
No doubt that eBay, Craigslist, and FaceBook haven’t made it any easier.
While these difficulties persist, the Hudson Valley Bottle Club has made substantial gains these past few years.
“I was very fortunate to have inherited a healthy club from our past president Mike Stephano,” explained Alex Prizgintas, the club’s current president who will be a sophomore at Marist College the fall. “I’ve also been able to work with our members to use our challenges and turn them into our advantages. Effectively utilizing FaceBook Events and Community pages has amplified our internet footprint.
"More traditional tools like road-side signs, print media and flyers at antique shops, flea markets, and other similar shows are combined to help increase our vendor and foot traffic," Prizgintas added. "This focused effort resulted in increased attendance for the past three years.'
But Prizgintas believes there is one unique feature that drives this success: The need for people to connect on a very personal level.
“While so many of us are connected electronically and use that same medium to make purchases, what our club does on a personal level -and what our shows achieve on a community platform - achieves what may be missing; the human element” Prizgintas said. “These are complicated times but at our core I firmly believe we are social creatures who crave contact and connection. That is what our club and similar organizations provide.”
Whether it is something grand on a scale like Woodstock or more localized like the Hudson Valley Bottle Club, these gatherings confirm that common thread of understanding and appreciation. Prizgintas feels confident in his belief that building upon that core of connection with informative meetings that emphasize a friendly and social atmosphere provide a healthy and nurturing environment.
“I like to think of it like Rx for the soul," he said. " t certainly works for me.”
For more information about the Hudson Valley Bottle Club, you can reach Alex Prizgintas at 845-774-9723 or you can find the Hudson Valley Bottle Club on FaceBook.