On March 7 and 8 in Toronto, Redstone Agency was joined by XYZ University’s CEO Sarah Sladek, to deliver The Future of Membership workshop to 40+ association leaders, industry suppliers and young professionals. The two-day interactive workshop focused on next-gen membership recruitment and retention. By 2020 (yes, that’s right – next year), 50% of the workforce (and your associations!) will be comprised of Gen-Y. It’s now more important than ever to learn how to engage the next generation to ensure your association can not only recruit, but retain, its new members.
The workshop was collaborative, fun and left attendees with action plans that are ready to be implemented upon returning to their office. We also heard from a star-studded panel of millennials that are actively engaged with associations. Five of our takeaways from that session are:
- Membership can provide networking opportunities such as business and job development, but also the opportunity to join a community of like-minded individuals, and create new, meaningful friendships.
- Communication is key – anything from bad websites, to long emails, to unclear value propositions can hinder your membership engagement.
- Consider your membership’s financial situation, especially for those that may not have their employers’ support. Discounted memberships and event registrations are great, but sometimes even just clearly spelling out ROI through the connections to be made and information to be received can shift a decision on whether to invest.
- Getting a new member’s foot in the door is one thing, but then what? Create more opportunities for your members to connect and engage with their own and other generations, through more events, online, one on one conversations, etc.
- Ask your members… pretty much anything! What they think, what they want – make them feel special, valued and show them that their opinion matters.
Feedback from one attendee:
“Thank you again for putting together such an amazing workshop! Everything about the sessions was really great and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. Ultimately, I feel like I gained a much better understanding of what associations need to succeed and I feel like I know how to present our services in a more beneficial way. Looking forward to future workshops!”
Stay tuned, as we’ll be announcing the dates and locations of more future-focused workshops!
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