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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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Different channels for different people

Posted by MemberClicks Blog

by Shannon Otto

Have you asked your members how they prefer to receive information?

Let’s be real. Whether you’re an active participant in social media or not, you’re probably still on information overload. People can get news and updates from more sources now than ever before. There are tons of outlets – it’s overwhelming!

Blogs, RSSTwitter (including text alerts and all the smartphone apps), Facebook(online and via cell or smartphone), text messages, e-mail, phone call, direct mail, newspaper (online or in print), magazine (online or in print), television, YouTube … I’m exhausted just thinking about it! (And I’m sure I left many, many options off that list!)

Organizations will stop adopting social media just for the sake of it. Associations don’t have to be everywhere, all the time. It’s so crucial to realize what’s worth your time and what’s just going to waste time.

If your organization audits its communication strategy around this time of year, be sure to ask members how they like to receive information. If a significant portion chooses a certain option (such as Twitter), consider adding it to your organization’s strategy. If there’s no interest, don’t waste your time there. Maybe your association doesn’t even need to have a huge social Web presence. (I would argue that going forward, it will be necessary eventually, but there’s no need to rush it if there’s no demand at the moment.)

Asking your members what they want – it’s as simple as taking a poll – can be very educational for association staffers. Encouraging two-way communication is a great first step to engage members who have become unengaged. Offering information through different online avenues can be somewhat time-consuming, but isn’t it worth it if you can grab the attention of a niche group that previously wasn’t too interested in the organization?

Does your association have a unique method for distributing information to members?

Topics: association leadership, social media for associations

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