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The MemberClicks Blog

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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Attention Association Leaders: Have Fun!

Posted by Sarah Hill

“Fun” is a loaded word these days. In the fairly steadily string of published articles about Millennials, this word often comes up. While the majority of the time these observations are negative in tone, they usually express that Millennials expect to enjoy their jobs and feel a sense of fulfillment at what they’re doing. They want to be employed in their passion. They want to get paid to do what they’d do for fun.

Association Leaders: Have Fun!

Somewhere in history a line was drawn between “work” and “fun” to the point that wanting to blur that line or erase it all together seems frivolous or irresponsible. “Fun” gets compartmentalized just like “work” and “family.”

Granted, for many it’s ideal to work at a job where you also have fun. Many companies work hard to create a company culture where “fun” is included in the paperwork. In other words, “It’s okay to have a little free time, get up from the computer, and laugh a little.” MemberClicks is one of those companies where “Create fun” is right there on the list of core values. MemberClicks recognizes that increased productivity happens when employees have a little room to breathe. Happy employees work harder and care deeply, which translates to a better product and experience for our customers.

But what do happy MEMBERS do? What side of the work/fun line does your association fall to the average member? 

It’s okay if the answer is “work.” Of course you have work to do! The goals your association has accomplished and will accomplish in the future are why you’re around. You have a service to provide, and your dedication to that is no laughing matter. 

But consider injecting a little fun into your association’s calendar. I’m not talking about taking your members to Six Flags, but “fun” can be achieved by simply having an unstructured meeting. Call it “brainstorming” and allow members to just get together and chat. Or don’t call it anything, and just advertise for an informal association even at a casual venue and let things happen. True, it may be awkward without a PowerPoint presentation or agenda because that’s what you’re used to, but after awhile you’ll notice that in the absence of a firm plan great things start to emerge like innovation, creativity, friendship, and interaction. 

When there are members with high expectations, an enthusiastic board, and other people to answer to it’s easy to brush off the idea of “fun.” But give it a try, just once. See what the feedback is. You never know! It might be a great experiment!

For more on ways to engage your members, download our free guide!

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Topics: association management, association leadership, member engagement, member retention, Small Staff Chatter

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