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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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Competing for Your Members’ Time: 3 Ways to Draw a Crowd

Posted by Callie Walker

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We’re in the middle of summer, and while that’s good for most people, it can be challenging for associations. See, you’re competing for people’s time, and while you have to do that year-round anyways, summer adds in two additional factors: 1) People are excited about/committed to summer activities and vacations, and 2) People are gearing up for that back-to-school craziness.

Put simply, there are a lot of things pulling at your members’ time. So how can you convince them to attend YOUR meetings and events? Here are three tips:

1. Make it fun

People are much more likely to attend something that has a fun-factor to it. Now that’s not to say you have to throw a raging party or anything, but even a small dose of delight can help. (Hint: Food and games are always a good place to start.)

2. Make it easy

Have you ever wanted to attend something - say a concert or a dinner - but then considered the parking situation? You envisioned yourself driving around for 30+ minutes and then immediately scrapped the idea? We’ve all been there. And that’s for something you genuinely WANTED to go to.  

The lesson here? If you want people to attend your association’s meeting or event, you NEED to make it easy. And by that, we mean convenient. Select a day, time, and location that will appeal to the majority of your members. The easier it is for people to get to, the more likely they are to attend.

3. Make it unique

A lot of times, people will brush off an event and say, “I’d really like to go to that, but this week’s a little crazy. I’ll just go to the next one” - because they know there will be a next one. But what if you make your meetings and events unique? You may offer a quarterly lunch-and-learn, but what if each lunch-and-learn had a unique theme? And one that’s timely, at that. For example, maybe you want to cover new industry rules and regulations. Well perhaps you could have a carnival-themed lunch-and-learn (hot dogs, candy, etc.) with a presentation titled, “Along for the Ride: Understanding New Industry Rules and Regulations.” People might be more inclined to come because you’ve never done something like that before - and might not again.

At the end of the day, getting your members to attend something is all about getting them to engage with you. Want more tips for engaging your association’s members? Check out our free Guide to Member Engagement below!

Membership Engagement

Topics: association management, member engagement, membership management, Association Views

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