Your own events are a great place to recruit new members! They’re high energy, you get to interact with your prospects face-to-face, and they get to experience first hand what it’s like to be a member!

Now I know what you’re thinking: Ugh. Planning this event is time consuming enough, how do I add in recruitment efforts and stay sane?

We’ve come up with a few steps from promotion through event follow-up where you can easily splice in some attention to your prospects! Check it out:

1. Promotion: Social Media
You’re going to use social media to promote your event anyway, right? Luckily, social media isn’t exclusive to members! Make sure that your messaging is clear about the event being open to members and non-members alike. You might even direct some posts specifically to non-members. Here are a few ways you could do that:

  • “Not a member yet? Come see what we’re all about!”
  • “We’re offering non-members a heckuva registration deal!”
  • “[Event name] is open to the entire [industry name] industry. Join us for [event length] days of [value points] – all in the name of strengthening YOU!”

2. Registration: Bundles and deals
When they get to the registration page, you really should offer them one heckuva a deal! There are a couple of different approaches you could take.

One way would be to offer a bundle that is a discount on both event registration and a membership. If they take you up on it? Woohoo! You did it! And now you’ll have a brand new member attending who can start engaging in an exciting way.

Another option would be to simply offer non-members a registration discount, to get them in the door. Put a deadline on the discount for a little sense of urgency. (And be careful that you don’t offer a discount that steps on existing members’ toes!)

3. On-site: One-on-ones or group discussions
Now that you have your potential members at your event, plan for some intentional face time with them! If you can sit down one-on-one with each of them for a coffee or during lunch, that may give you a unique opportunity to talk about your organization and see what may move them to join.

If you have too many potentials for one-on-ones, consider a group get together. Invite them all to a dinner, to participate in a focus group, or even (if the event is a conference) a session about membership. Whatever you do, plan to have a couple active members attend so they can answer any questions and give their perspective of membership.

4. Follow-up: Use your data
After the event, use any data you gathered when they registered and during your on-site interactions to send follow up emails. Start by segmenting anyone who registered but did not end up attending, and let them know you missed them! Give them a few other ways they can engage soon, or see if you can set up a coffee meeting.

For everyone who attended: Send individual, more personal emails – and even consider making phone calls. You want them to know that you appreciate their time! Plus this is a good opportunity to answer any lingering questions and encourage them to join.

Members or potentials, a successful event depends on engaging your attendees! For tips on making your next event engaging from room layouts to evening events and more, take a look at our guide How to Engage Your Event Attendees.