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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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The "Noun" Rule and Association Networking

Posted by Sarah Hill

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Networking: the essence of the association world. Where would we be without it? Networking is how you meet all of your association rock stars, your committee leaders, your friends and quite honestly the folks who may give you your next opportunities. 

 As the year winds down and you start thinking about the personal and professional paths you’d like to be on and you’d like for your association to strive for, make a list of things you would like to learn from people in the last of the year’s events. 

When networking, I found a good trick is to meditate on nouns: people, places, things. Not only are those safe subjects, but you can learn a lot, find common ground, and share great information that not only is useful to you, but makes you incredibly valuable to whoever you’re talking to.

Take these conversation starters, for example:

“People”

  • Allow me to introduce you to…
  • Have you met anyone who…
  • Who do you consider to be a role model?

“Places”

  • Where do you find is a good place to hold meetings/events in your area?
  • Have you been to… (name another local networking event)
  • Will you be attending… (name a future event)

“Things”

  • What do you find works best for your members when it comes to… 
  • Are there tricks of the trade you can’t live without?
  • What kind of technology do you regularly use?

Obviously these conversations can be more carefully tailored to your audience, and you won’t want to come across as nosy by firing off these questions in quick succession. Any of these conversation starters are a great jumping off point for a natural conversation, however. Go for it! Get your networking on!

For more tips on how to successfully network, download our free guide below!

Download The Small Staff  Guide to Networking

Topics: association management, member engagement, Small Staff Chatter

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