With more than 66,000 trade and professional associations in the United States alone, there’s bound to be some overlap when it comes to memberships. For example, if you work for a tourism association, some of your members might also be part of a hotel association or a restaurant association. That’s totally normal, but it does beg the question, how do you share your members?
Here are a few tips:
1. Pay close attention to where there’s overlap
If you can find out what other organizations your members are a part of, that could work to your advantage. If you notice one or two that your members continuously mention, consider reaching out to those associations and asking if they want to collaborate on anything (e.g. an event, a white paper, a benchmarking report, etc.). Or at the very least, keep a close eye on those associations to make sure your meetings and events don’t overlap.
Not sure how to get that information from your members? Casually ask them at your next meeting or event. Or send out a short email survey. Position it as “we want to get to know you better so we can provide you with the best member experience possible.” That’s the truth and your members will appreciate it!
2. Plan your meetings and events far in advance
The earlier you can select/announce dates for your meetings and events, the better. That way, if another association (that many of your members belong to) announces something, your meeting or event will already be on the calendar. And when it comes to events, it’s ALWAYS better to be on the forefront of planning than it is to have to work around something.
3. Don’t view it as competition
If you view other associations as competition, you’re going to create more problems for yourself than needed. Instead, embrace those associations. Collaborate with them, if/when possible, and take heart in the fact that your members are a part of multiple associations because they genuinely want to be better. That’s such a refreshing thought and something your association can definitely help with - so don’t let your members down!
Need help engaging your association’s members, whether they’re members of other associations or not? Check out our free guide, Membership Engagement for Small-Staff Associations, below!