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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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Reaching Your Members Over the Holidays

Posted by Sarah Hill

Thanksgiving is late this year and Christmas is in the middle of the week, which means New Year’s is too. It’ll be tough to reach members during the next 5 or 6 weeks.

Reaching your members over the holidays

Why you shouldn’t bother:

It’s family time. The holidays are the “life” part of the work/life balance. They may be going out of town or having relatives come visit them. Chances are they want to focus on their spouses, children, and other relatives, not to mention parties and gatherings. Work and other obligations will likely be the furthest thing from their minds. Laptops turned off or used exclusively for fireplace scenes or holiday music. Phones muted. Day planners abandoned. You probably couldn't get them if you tried. Give your members some space this holiday season. After all, don’t you want the same thing?

Why you have to:

Even though the space between Thanksgiving and New Years can be a place of happy low-productivity, New Year’s is the opposite. People are evaluating their needs and budgets for the previous year and the New Year, but most importantly they’re setting goals. Sounds like something your association would like to be in on, right?

How you should handle it:

If you do have a December meeting or event planned, take this opportunity to make it a low-pressure, fun event and do a little explanabragging. Talk about how much your association has done in 2013. Bring up highlights and thank the attendees for all their hard work. Perhaps share an anecdote or particular point of praise for exemplary members.

Most importantly, give a quick glimpse of what’s going on in 2014. Get your members and attendees pumped for the New Year!

Not having a December event?

Now’s the perfect time to have a good, detailed newsletter recapping the year and previewing the coming year. Share some pictures on social media that really emphasize the fun and value of your association. Congratulate members on promotions and career moves (showing off your professional development aid) and touch on acts of service, volunteerism, or charitable giving from 2013. Spread the love on social media as well, and even a short and sweet holiday card can go a long way. If you have time, a personal note or E-mail for your more steady, active members will help as well.

The bottom line:

You should enjoy the holidays, and your members should too. Take this opportunity to reconnect with family and let things stay tabled for awhile. That way you’re refreshed and ready to take on the New Year!

 

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Topics: association management, association leadership, member engagement, membership management

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