Membership Hack: Lifetime Members

The International Live Events Association recently debuted a lifetime membership to honor its most committed members.

How to hack it? The International Live Events Association just celebrated its 30th anniversary, and it was looking for a way to honor lifelong members. So, ILEA’s staff dove deep into the membership database and discovered that there were a handful of members who had been with the organization for 25 years or more. “A couple dozen individuals had been members since almost the beginning,” says Ande Leslie, ILEA’s manager for marketing and communications. “And a lot of those individuals had been volunteers or given back significantly to the organization.” To say thanks, ILEA offered these members a special, one-time $1,500 lifetime membership deal, a price that equates to about four years of dues.

Why does it work? While members might sign on to lifetime membership for the value, Leslie says it’s also a way to make them feel appreciated. So far, 10 of the 22 qualified members have opted into lifetime membership. At this year’s annual meeting, ILEA recognized each recipient publicly, and it’s in the process of telling each member’s story through online Q&A interviews.

What’s the bonus? So far, ILEA’s biggest gain from offering lifetime membership has been the increased member engagement. “Some of these members are active and some are retired, but they didn’t want to leave the community,” Leslie says. “We are continuing to build a close-knit community and enable long-time members to remain active.”

(Yuri_Arcurs/DigitalVision/Getty Images Plus)

Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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