Membership

Daily Buzz: 4 Essential Membership Questions

By / Dec 3, 2018 (desifoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Associations rely on members to thrive, which means understanding their needs is a top priority. Here are the membership questions to ask to ensure you are serving members correctly. Also: planning around the “Irish exit.”

It’s no secret that members are the core of your association, and having the pulse of what they’re thinking can be the difference between success and failure. But that’s not always possible, which is why you have to be vigilant in your member communications.

For a better understanding of where members stand, the MemberClicks blog asked guest blogger Neha Tandon of the software firm TechnologyAdvice to offer her take. Tandon says to ask these four questions:

What’s our consensus? By design, associations bring together people of common, often niche, interests—which means it also garners a certain level of expertise on the subject. “When current events arise, the public (even outside your organization) may look to you for a reaction, or your input, on it,” Tandon says. Before you respond, ask members to provide input on how to react in these situations.

What membership benefits are the most valuable for you? Compare these answers to what benefits are actually used—or not used—and how you can continue to revamp those programs and tools for maximum value.

What are your biggest challenges right now? Knowing what problems your members are confronted with can put your association in a spot to help solve issues, and therefore increase its benefit.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of membership? “Understanding why your members think involvement is worthwhile will always be important,” Tandon says. “But knowing what (if any) disadvantages they think would exist by  not affiliating with your organization is important too.”

What’s Your Event’s Exit Strategy?

You’ve heard of the “Irish exit”—where someone leaves an event without saying goodbye. While the abrupt exit may be seen as rude to some, in a post on Thrillist, Wil Fulton makes the case that leaving without saying goodbye isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“The Irish exit is not rude. It’s a sign of emotional intelligence—of candor, of self-assuredness,” he says. “It means you know where you stand with everyone else, that you have some semblance of awareness.”

For meeting planners, this means creating an event that is conducive to leaving just as much as creating an experience worth staying for. Consider devising a way for attendees to easily slip out (without judgment!), while also making other attendees aware of the departure, such as a sign-out sheet or nametag return.

Other Links of Note

The next marketing frontier: smart speakers. The New York Times explains how brands might approach it.

Stage design can bring your meeting to the next level. The Event Manager Blog shares 131 ideas for 2019.

Getting interrupted at meetings? Here’s how to respond, from Fast Company.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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