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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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Why “Being Nosey” Can Actually Be a Good Thing at Your Association

Posted by Callie Walker

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Being nosey is often deemed as a negative act. No one wants to be called “nosey.”

That said, when it comes to managing your association, being nosey can actually be a good thing. Here’s why:

A big part of association management is member engagement. If you were to ask me, “What’s the secret to member engagement?” I would say, “Well, that depends on your members.” Not sure how your members want to be engaged? Or what will really spark their interest? It might be time to be a little nosey.

You see, the more you know about your members - what they like, dislike, what their pain points are, etc. - the better you’ll be able to engage them and the more satisfied they’ll be with your association.

A few things to find out about your members:

1. Who they really are

You may have a lot of generic information about your members (their name, home address, telephone number, etc.), but do you really know what a day in their life looks like? Do you know what level of education they received? Whether or not they’re married? Whether or not they have kids? Knowing them as people is how you’re really going to build a connection.

2. Why they joined your association

You may think you know why people joined your association, but you’ll never know for sure until you ask. And it’s important to find out for two reasons. First, if you know why people joined your association, you can make sure you’re providing them with those member benefits. (And if you provide them with the things they want, they’ll be more likely to engage.) Second, if your existing members joined for a particular reason, you can pretty much bet that there are other people out there willing to join for the same reason(s). Knowing that information can help you market to and engage potential members.

3. What they think about your association so far

This one can be a little uncomfortable to get into (particularly if you encounter negative feedback), but it’s the best way to improve your association. If you find that your members like your association, but they wish you offered more educational opportunities, then consider hosting a few lunch and learns or online webinars. Not only will this help boost engagement, but it will likely boost retention as well.

Not sure how to get this information about your members? Talk to them at your meetings and events. Or, send them a few quick surveys. You’d be surprised at how much people are willing to share.

Want more tips for engaging your association’s membership? Check out our free Guide to Membership Engagement for Small-Staff Associations below!

Membership Engagement

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

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