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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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Make everyone fall in love with your association (including yourself)

Posted by Sarah Hill

Tomorrow’s February 1st and I have a challenge for all you small-staff associations next month: make your members fall in love with you again by reminding them of why your organization is great.

You're awesome. Now tell everyone else.

This isn’t your typical humble-brag. I’m talking about a long, comprehensive, detailed list of why you’re awesome and more importantly, why belonging to your organization is the best thing ever.

Dedicate a whole meeting to it, and open the floor up for a “good things brainstorm” and scribble phrases like “Career building” “networking” and “fun events” onto a white board or a big pad of paper.

Here are some questions to get you going:

1)   What do you, as a leader, get out of the association?

2)   What leadership opportunities are available for current and new members?

3)   What can members physically and intellectually take away from your association?

4)   How does your association fit in with your professional world?

5)   Are there any learning programs in place?

6)   What relationships are and can be formed from membership in your association?

7)   What does your association do as far as affecting policy?

8)   How does your association impact the local community in a positive way?

9)   What are people like in your association? Nice? Business-minded? Engaged?

10)  How can membership in your association positively impact one’s continued formal education?


Once you burn through these questions, you’ll be rolling. You’ll have pages and pages of meeting topics, social media content, newsletter columns, and blog post inspiration.

Now that you’re brainstorming about how awesome you are, there are probably several ideas floating around for MORE awesome things you can do. So make a separate list for that. That’s a whole other to-do list.

Post this list somewhere you can see it, don’t just shove it in a drawer or stick it in a file in your computer. It should serve as constant reminder and morale booster, and a to-do list of things to maintain and regularly celebrate.

Valentine’s Day is two weeks away, and by then you should at least have a good start to a list of why you love your association and why everyone else should too.

Topics: association management, association leadership, small staff association

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