The question today is, “How do I leverage virtual meetings to increase membership?”
I’m going to break this down into before the event, during the event, and after the event.
Before the event.
Everyone has been suppressing their registration fees so I would grant a temporary membership during the days of the event for prospective members. You’re not making that much money on registration anyway. I would give the membership registration free to non-members for a certain time frame such as the duration of your virtual event. I’m big on this: virtual events ought to be land run. You’re getting more registrants to participate so you can reach multiple people in companies, you can go a lot deeper with your content, and travel isn’t a barrier. Money is also not a barrier. The goal here is to get as many people to participate so you can deliver value to the attendees.
During the event.
Many associations hold receptions and first-timer sessions during in-person events. Tweak those events for a virtual setting. Create sessions that showcase your associations value proposition. Here are some ideas for sessions for you to consider.
“How can I better monitor state regulations?” That’s all about your advocacy value proposition.
“How do I gain more customers in the ‘blank’ industry?” It’s all about networking and customer development. It’s about the things that they get.
“Connecting with companies in a virtual environment.” Everybody wants to know that right now. Again, it’s showcasing the association benefits and services all within the framework of what they get. These concurrent sessions – or breakout sessions – would be great.
“The latest industry data and consumer trends.” Showcases your research value proposition. See what I mean?
Showcase your value in terms of the title of these sessions being the benefits they receive from those services.
After the event.
You need to call every single non-member that attended. Every single one. People are more accessible than ever before. You know that as well as I do. You can set up Zoom calls and you can get phone calls returned. It’s because people are in, frankly, a different environment in most cases. Call every single non-member, ask them how the show was, and use that to leverage the membership solicitation.
Hope that’s helpful. Before, during and after. It all has a role for you. Good luck.
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