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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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Why Planning Is Where the Bonding Happens (Not the Event)

Posted by Sarah Hill

Events are where you meet people. Planning is where you bond. It seems counterintuitive, right? I mean association events are designed to maximize networking and strengthen and build relationships and friendships. 

So why should you encourage your members to help plan events and not just attend?

Besides the obvious benefit of getting much needed help to make the event run smoothly, your event planning committee has the extended opportunity to bond that is unique to that small group.

Planning is where the bonding happens (not the event)

Think about it: they’re put in a position to collaborate, cooperate, and work together on a variety of tasks. They’ll develop more than “association” friendships, your planning committees will be exchanging calls and E-mails on a regular basis and probably spending a lot of time together face-to-face. These relationships will not only create a good bond, but they’ll likely result in a group of people committed and engaged with the relationship.

 

So how do you help this bonding to happen?

 

Be strategic in putting committees together

If you see particular strengths, interests, or friendships forming encourage those people to serve on a planning committee together. If you see personalities that will work well together, go ahead and make the introductions. The worst they can say is “no thank you!”

 

Encourage regular meetings and interaction on your AMS

Your AMS is a great place for collaboration, and it can be used from the convenience of your members’ own homes. Encourage contact and connections using your AMS and other ways like E-mail and social media to solidify those connections.

 

Organize regular check-ins

This is a great strategy for two reasons: #1 you need to keep an eye on your event or project and #2 you can keep an eye on the committee. If everyone is working well together, great if not…

 

If the chemistry isn’t happening, change something

The biggest backfire you could expect is for contrasting personalities forced to work together. Not only could that be counterproductive for your special event or project, but it could associate bad feelings with your organization. Calmly moderate and if a staffing change needs to happen, make it so.

 

Now pat yourself on the back for creating an environment where relationships and professional networks can grow in cooperation. Take a deep breath, step back, delegate, and away you go!

 

If you need help planning your event...

Download our Event  Planning Guide for  Small Staff Associations

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Topics: association management, association leadership, small staff association, event planning, Small Staff Chatter

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