Your members should be central to everything that you do - after all, without your members, you wouldn’t have an association! When planning your next networking event, ensure you do all you can to maximise value for those attending. If you really impress, it could even win you new members to boost your subscription levels.
How can you maximise member value?
1. Quality content is key
Your members will be coming to your event looking to either sell or find out more about a new product or industry insight. Think carefully about your table planning to set a suitable mix of peers together who will both delicately complement and learn from one another. If hosting these events regularly, take the opportunity to mix up the seating plan from event to event, so that your guests can maximise the value they take away from these sessions.
2. Provide tools and resources before the event
Ensure your delegates are fully prepared on the day with an agenda and contact sheet of attendees to allow for networking to continue after the event. Boost the offering further with any additional provisions that will increase the value of your offering (such as educational books and resources created by your association).
Keep the audience in the midst of the action with engaging sessions. On each table, start with a ‘60 second intro’ where each member can succinctly share why they’ve come to the session and what they’re hoping to take away with them. Perhaps you could have a ‘Speaker of the Week’ slot where a member selected on rotation showcases their expertise, ending with a Q&A to involve the whole room.
4. Ensure your new members are greeted with a warm welcome
High on the list of reasons for being a member of an organisation is feeling a valued part of something bigger. Make sure your guests are reminded of their importance and impress new guests with a lavish welcome (again think of potential new sign-ups). Catering should accommodate for all dietary requirements, and equally importantly, ensure that the quality and quantity is sufficient. It’s well known that food and drink will fuel the happiness levels of your attendees, so you don’t want to find yourself running short of provisions or that the catering quality is inadequate. Ensure that your guests are well supplied and the menu provided complements your event. Where possible, try a sample menu when firming up your venue booking.
5. Follow up conversations
Gather feedback from surveys sent in thank you emails or forms handed out at the event. This will provide valuable takeaways, both the positives and the negatives, which will shape your next event to be even more worthwhile for your members. From this, you should see an uplift in attendance from session to session.
Looking for the perfect event space? Try our handy Association Event Space Finder checklist...