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Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Rumor has it, in some association circles, trade show attendance is struggling. This could spell trouble for how vendor members find value in belonging to your organization. While some industries may be feeling the pain more than others, it is never a bad time to think about the ways you are engaging your vendor/supplier members. Read on for a handful of ideas on engaging your vendor-side members in effective and successful ways.

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Attracting Millenials Through Storytelling

Posted by Christina R. Green


A 2011 report commissioned by the Career Advisory Board, found that the number one thing adults ages 21-31 were looking for in a career was a sense of meaning, being connected to something bigger than themselves.

Associations are well suited to provide the type of experience valued by Millennials (people born 1981-2000) through working, volunteering and membership. However, marketing to them through a list of member benefits won’t persuade Gen Y to join. Telling your association’s story, and making an emotional connection, is far more effective in recruiting Millennials.

The 3 Most Effective Types of Stories in Recruiting Millennials

Your association has many stories to tell. The types you choose to share should reflect your goals. To create moving stories base them on the 3Ps – people, passion and purpose. The following styles of storytelling are the most effective in marketing and outreach campaigns for Gen Y:

Visual Stories

Millennials multitask between screens – phone, computer and tablet.  Drafting your association’s story in words will only hold their attention for so long. Use video, a Prezi presentation, or some other interactive method to tell your story.

The benefit to video is not only that it holds the viewer’s attention, but it can be heard even when the eyes are focused elsewhere. Written words, on the other hand, must be viewed and read to be absorbed. Multitaskers will not benefit from this media alone.

Community Work

Highlight what your association is doing for the greater good, how you’re making an enduring impact on others. Showcase a community project or a giveback program. Make the story about what you do for others and Millennials will want to be a part of it.

Mentor Stories

In addition to the community projects and playing up your altruistic efforts, tell a story of one of your members and how your association helped the member attain his/her career goals.  In the Gen Y Workplace Expectation Study, 53% of the Gen Y responders felt their bosses didn’t provide adequate feedback and they thought a mentor would be helpful to fill this gap.

Whether you have a formalized mentor program or simply tell the story of how your association can provide this through networking, it will go a long way towards making your association more appealing to Millennials.

The members of Gen Y long to make an impact on the world. If you can help them see how your association can be the platform from which they make a difference, you’ll have the makings of a loyal member. Storytelling is an inexpensive, yet effective, way to show Gen Y you believe in their potential. 

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Topics: association leadership, member engagement, Association Views

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