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StarChapter of May: IFMA Chicago

Member engagement has been at the backbone of the Chicago chapter of the International Facility Management Association. From emails to phone calls and direct mailing, outreach efforts had increased and improved member participation across the board. We spoke with the board of IFMA Chicago chapter, and learned some valuable tips on chapter management practices, member engagement ideas and how to improve membership value by increasing participation and experience in the region.

 

1. What was IFMA Chicago’s strategy for engaging new members in the past year?

IFMA Chicago has pulled out all the stops when it comes to new member engagement. Our committees have been teaming up to directly reach out by phone and email to potential members, and even buddy up with potential and new members at events to ensure they feel connected and engaged. We have also increased our outreach by creating a bi-monthly postcard mailer, a quarterly email newsletter, and a Facebook page through which our members can actively connect.

 

2. Tell us about a successful event/meeting you organized last year

In 2015, The Chicago Chapter of IFMA teamed up with CoreNet Global Chicago Chapter to host an educational event discussing body language. This event included a networking happy hour that was very well attended. By combining efforts with another strong association in Chicago, we were able to bring in talented and knowledgeable speakers who our members fully enjoyed. Both groups experienced a turnout that was better than expected, and found not only the education but also the networking to be top notch!

 

3. Do you get ideas on how to improve membership value from other IFMA chapters?

Yes, we stay up-to-date with what other chapters are doing to engage members including attending the Best Practices program at World Workplace, and take note of what seems to be working elsewhere throughout the country. The Executive Board meets with the Northern Illinois Chapter to share best practices for our region and how we can serve members better. The full Chicago board collaborates as a team to determine the best new approaches for our chapter to improve membership engagement and growth.

 

4. Do you have any tips/advice to share with other board volunteers? 

The members of the board have a focused approach based on the mission of the Chapter. Enhancing relationships and education within IFMA drives chapter growth and engagement. Our advice would be to make an extra effort to fully engage with both Professional and Associate members as much as possible, because it is through connections with other people that we are able to learn and produce the most good as a community and chapter.

 

5. What is in store for the members of IFMA Chicago next year?

We will continue to focus on engaging membership by enhance the offerings to both Professional and Associate members. Expect more co-events with other chapters to expand our networking opportunities while providing affordable educational offerings.

 

6. How did StarChapter help you run IFMA Chicago and reach its goals?  

Engagement can be challenging in today’s busy world. Making it easier for members and guests to access information is critical to engaging and growing our membership. StarChapter has helped us accomplish this task with an upgrade to device friendly webpages, easy registration and registration accounting, and even a newsletter template. In addition to the front-end improvements and tools, the StarChapter back-end database is an impressive and powerful tool. Managing the chapter database in StarChapter has allowed the administrator’s office to invest less hours in online event creation and registration and membership roster reconciliation. It is also a very easy to use communication tool that allows the chapter to send regular emails, newsletters and meeting invites with just a few clicks. StarChapter also provides the ability to have multiple users so board members and committee chairs can contribute to the creation of communications and update the website as needed. All of this has led to less administrative fees for the Chicago Chapter of IFMA, positively affecting our bottom line and permitting the administrative office to focus on other needed tasks.

 

 

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