Membership

Membership Hack: Virtual Happy Hours

By / Apr 6, 2018 (Robert/OJO Images/Getty Images Plus)

The Women’s Fiction Writers Association brings members together with a glass of wine via remote happy hours, which are streamed live and posted online.

How to hack it? Bringing your members together for face-to-face networking can be a challenge. That’s especially true for the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, which has a membership of self-employed authors spread throughout the country.

To make member-to-member interactions more routine and fun, WFWA hosts virtual happy hours every few months. These conversations are moderated but informal conversations with a handful of published authors. And in true happy-hour fashion, everyone is encouraged to BYOB, whether it’s an alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage.

Why does it work? The events allow for easy access and interactivity, and they provide greater visibility for WFWA published authors. Virtual happy hours are hosted on Zoom, broadcast live via WFWA’s Facebook page, and posted on YouTube. About six authors serve as panelists for the discussion, and viewers can submit their questions using Zoom’s chat feature. Here’s what last month’s happy hour looked like:

What’s the bonus? You don’t have to be a member to participate. Readers are encouraged to join the conversation, allowing authors to interact with fans. And it gives the association one more way to promote the value of membership.

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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