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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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Refresh Your Members

Posted by Sarah Hill

Do you have an association with thousands of members, but only a dozen or so active ones? Here are some ways to refresh and re-engage members to inspire them to step up their participation in 2013!

"Refresh" is not just for website anymore


Make it personal

Take time to make personal contact with your members. Definitely ask them what they want from your association, but also be sure you also remember birthdays and spread the good news about promotions and new jobs.

Please and Thank You

Be sure to recognize and thank the people who are active in your group. This can be as simple as being a sounding board for new ideas and giving feedback, or even a formal thank you banquet. The recognition is a great reminder to those who aren’t as involved to jump in.

Don’t spam

Be selective in what you send out to your list serv. We all get regular E-mail that we, if not our E-mail servers, automatically file away as spam and hit delete. Send out periodic updates, and consider using a different E-mail address for mass communications and sending smaller, more direct E-mails from your personal account.

Network in person whenever you can

It’s easy and convenient to connect online, but you can’t beat face-to-face communication for a real connection. People are more likely to go the extra mile for people they consider close friends or colleagues than someone they have only exchanged a few E-mails with. 

Make it easy

Schedule meetings when they’re convenient for your members, or piggy-back off of events they’re already going to. Use technology that’s easily learned, and don’t deviate a whole lot. Make one-click participation commitments instead of multiple pages and forms that could result in loss or interrupted interest along the way.

Make 2013 the year of the member! Your members and your association as a whole will thank you.

Topics: association management, small staff association, member engagement, membership management

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