For their recently released 2013 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, Marketing General surveyed nearly 700 associations and chambers of commerce on a wide range of communications, membership and technology issues. There are many interesting data points, but I'd like to focus on just one for now.
The number one reason that members join associations is for networking opportunities.
Now, this should come as no surprise to anyone working for a business association or a chamber of commerce. Your members usually join your association to improve their business. Networking with others in their field or your community is a great way to grow their business.
But...since this is such an important issue for your members - and likely a key factor in renewing their membership - you should make sure your members are getting great results from their networking opportunities.
- Do you help shy members make great connections at your events?
- Do you introduce members to each other via email, LinkedIn or other social network?
- Do you pass along tips on how to network more effectively? Well, here's your chance!
In “How to Make a Great Second Impression”, author Nicole Smartt outlines 6 tips on how to turn the contacts your members make at a networking event into long-lasting business relationships. These simple tips help your members stay committed to contacting the people they've met after your event is over.
I'd encourage you to post her article to your Facebook page or Twitter account and share these tips with your members. Look for similar resources and share those with your members periodically, too.
After all, the more benefit your members gain from networking at your events, the more value they will find in your organization. Happy members who receive value from your association renew each year and help your association grow.
Stack the odds in your favor! Help your members get the most from your networking events.