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Engaging First-Time Conference Attendees

Engaging First-Time Conference Attendees: 4 Tactics to Try

Of course you want to provide an exceptional experience for ALL of your conference attendees, but ensuring that happens for your first-time attendees is particularly important. Their decision to attend future events (and possibly even renew their membership) depends heavily on that first experience, so going the extra mile for those folks, in particular, is certainly worth it.

What does “going the extra mile” for your first-time attendees look like? Here are a few tactics worth trying:

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Are Your Members Living Your Values?

Posted by Colleen Bottorff

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A sound mission and clear set of values are important in any organization. Articulated correctly, a mission will prioritize initiatives and guide decision-making, while giving the outside world a sense of who you are and why you do what you do. Values, in turn, uphold the mission by ensuring you have the right people in place to see it through.

In associations, however, it’s a little different. Your staff, no doubt, exemplify your values. But what about your members? As a (large, very important) extension of your organization, your members represent you, too - and even though they aren’t employed by the association, they certainly have an impact on how successful you are in your mission. Let’s face it, you depend on them for it!

I’ve officially been a Clicker for just over a month now, and if there’s one thing I can tell you about this company, it’s that culture, mission and values are precious to every single person. Our values are lived with such ferocity, hardly a day goes by that we feel wayward in our mission.

Here are the things we believe we need to do to support our mission. You’ll notice there are a few common threads throughout. While this is specific to MemberClicks, I hope it serves as inspiration for how you can apply similar principles at your association, and empower your members to live your values! Trust me - it makes all the difference.

The MemberClicks Mission: Empowering member-based organizations to thrive through refreshing technology and a heart for service.

VALUE #1: Everything we do has to be shockingly refreshing.

Customer or not, we want every single person who interacts with MemberClicks to walk away pleasantly surprised. Technology is technology, but why stop there? We have the ability to give you a fantastic experience - so we’re going to. In every capacity, from the blog posts you read to a new customer’s time in onboarding to our office culture - yes, we get to be shockingly refreshed, too!

VALUE #2: If you aren’t taking it personally, what are you doing?

We truly believe that by putting others first, you come in first. And when we don’t come in first, well, it totally bums us out. In fact, we’re offended by just the thought of someone having a bad experience with MemberClicks. We strive everyday to be shockingly refreshing - and if that’s not happening, we legitimately get frustrated. We take it very personally - all of it.

VALUE #3: You accomplish nothing alone, you achieve everything through collaboration.

Silos create chaos (and chaos is the enemy of a refreshing experience). We simply couldn’t be successful without working together, across all departments and functions. Collaboration makes the company better and, in return, allows us to provide you with a better platform and resources to serve your members.

VALUE #4: Working hard merits playing hard.

Ahhh yes. Work hard, play hard - the mantra of a tech company. But at the Clicks, we focus on the “merits” part. Hard work breeds trust and respect, and garners forgiveness (more on that later). As much as we find those traits to be important, we equally enjoy the flexibility that is afforded to each individual who lives out our values each and every day. Every Clicker works their tail off (it’s incredible, really) and the rewards for doing so are filled with heart and appreciation.

VALUE #5: Autonomy is imperative here, so embrace it.

We want people who are naturally curious on our team. We want them to elevate the company. We want them to take the customer experience to places we couldn’t imagine on our own. When you hire people that are smart, effective and transparent, it’s easy to set them free (see what we did, there?) and trust each other to make wise choices.

VALUE #6: Enable transparency, don’t just speak to it. It will foster growth.

Transparency is imperative! I mean think about it - without it, we’d have a pretty darn hard time with collaboration and autonomy, right? And through transparency, understanding evolves. Being open with each other doesn’t translate to group-think, but it does encourage trust. And that doesn’t just apply to Clickers - we’re proud to say we’re totally transparent with customers, too!

VALUE #7: Be forgiving - you’ve been there, too.

Forgiveness encourages transparency, facilitates collaboration and empowers autonomy. We’re going to try new things, and we’re going to fail at some of them. It’s just the way it goes. But innovation stops when there’s no support system to fall back on. A willingness to fail requires a culture of forgiveness - and at MemberClicks, the support is abundant.

Another aspect of creating a culture that espouses your mission and values is understanding what that means to the millennial generation. Employee, member, volunteer - no matter the role, millennials are far more likely to dedicate their time to an organization if they can see the impact of their involvement. For more on millennials, check out our free guide March of the Millennials: Tips for Engaging the Next Generation Now.

The March of the Millennials  Tips for engaging the next generation now Download this guide

Topics: association leadership, member engagement, Small Staff Chatter

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