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StarChapter of October: Charlotte NACE

Being a board member of the Charlotte NACE chapter is the past year must have been a rewarding endeavor. From setting up the “board buddy” program to winning the Educational Program of the Year at the national NACE EXPERIENCE! Conference, the chapter grew in membership and recognition. We spoke with their board to learn about how they operate and constantly improve membership value. Their biggest advice to board members - Communication, Consistency, and Accountability.

 

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

Our main objective in Charlotte NACE is to be a welcoming community of event professionals. We want to ensure new members feel comfortable at each of our events and feel like they are making meaningful connections. We begin our process by assigning new members a “board buddy.”  This person on the board is responsible for reaching out to the new member and seeing if they can meet up at our next meeting or see if they need any assistance with the NACE website. They are almost like a mentor and ensure that the new member is getting all the latest information and feels included in their new membership.

 

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

Our most successful event last year, “My Big Fat Gay Wedding”, actually won Educational Program of the Year for 2015 at EXPERIENCE! Conference. Through a combination of speakers and panel discussion, this event educated our membership on how to plan and best support the LGBT community when planning their weddings. The certified professional speakers were joined on the panel by two gay couples in the midst of planning their weddings. The question and answer format allowed attendees to get the answers they needed. The event was set up like a wedding ceremony with a cocktail hour as guest arrived, a ceremony set up for the discussion and reception following, complete with a rainbow layered wedding cake.

 

3. The NACE network is extensive. Do you get ideas on how to improve membership value from other NACE chapters?

We do! We take members of our board each year to both conference and Evolve to ensure that we are getting the education and connections of other chapters.  We appreciate the open forums that NACE provides in both their conferences and in their webinars. We got a lot of ideas about how to make stronger programs and make registering for events easier through some of the classes we attended. The feedback from other chapters on ideas of how to improve membership value has truly assisted us on finding programs that work.

 

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

The success of our chapter relies solely on the board members. We all have to work cohesively to help our chapter be the best it can be. To do this, we communicate regularly and hold our monthly board and executive board meetings, without exception. It is the expectation of the President and Immediate Past President that everyone follows through with their commitments. The President and IPP are responsible for holding everyone accountable. To summarize, here are our three ideas of how to manage the chapter:

  • Communicate
  • Be consistent with monthly meetings
  • Be accountable

 

5. What is in store for the members of Charlotte NACE next year?

We are SO excited about next year! We hope to cross over into another arena next year with 100+ members. We are continuing to grow our chapter and with that come new ideas and resources. We want to truly focus on member value and are working on some ways to host member only events that give our members a value that they wouldn’t have as guests. In addition, we are working on some really stimulating programs.  We are focusing on ensuring that we give our members what they want with strong networking programs and educationally driven programs. This year for Charlotte NACE it is all about growth and awareness for our Chapter. We want to be an organization that represents the Charlotte community as a whole and takes our industry here to a new level.

 

6. How did StarChapter help you run AAF Cincinnati and reach its goals?  

What makes our chapter successful is communication and organization, and StarChapter helps us achieve both! All of our communication with members and guests runs through the site including monthly newsletters, meeting invitations and surveys. All meeting registration is handled through the site and we love the reports that can be run through StarChapter. They help us gain knowledge about our chapter which helps us adjust to the changing needs of our membership. 

 

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