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StarChapter of February: Columbia SHRM

Connecting with more prospects, reducing expenses, turning non-members to members, and automating the tasks of running the chapter: these are just a handful of achievements that turned SHRM Columbia into one of the most successful chapters last year and our StarChapter of The Month

We spoke with the board to learn more about their success story. 

1. What was SHRM Columbia’s strategy for engaging new members in 2014?
Our membership chair really felt that new members or people seeking information about membership have been able to reach her much more easily than in previous years. Her contact information being listed on the site allowed for members to directly contact her and get questions answered immediately. She also mentioned that the automatic alerts she received about membership that is expiring really helped her to engage members so that they could keep their membership. Also since adding secure net via StarChapter, members have been able to pay for membership and events with great ease, making it a breeze for new members to join.

2. Can you elaborate on a main event/meeting that you organized in the past year?
During the 2014 year most all of our events were general meetings. They were all about the same size/type of meeting. We were able to use the attendance capability to easily track how many members signed up to attend each event. That made it really easy to communicate to the site vendor how many attendees to expect so that lunch or breakfast could be prepared accordingly.

3. SHRM Columbia has experienced a sharp growth in 2014 and had a great rate of show-ups in chapter meetings and dues collection. Can you share some secrets of running such a successful chapter?
Our chapter strives to keep our content compelling and relevant to the needs of our members. Our membership uses the Columbia SHRM chapter to stay on top of changes in the HR field and want meetings that are important to their company’s needs. StarChapter has allowed our members to receive more communication and easily access information regarding upcoming topics and connect with other members or presenters to get more information. We have also been able to utilize the survey feature to allow for members to give feedback and suggest topics for future meetings.

4. Was the SHRM Columbia board inspired by other SHRM chapters?
Initially we were very inspired when looking at other chapter sites since the information and pictures are so clear and easy to navigate. We are still able to view their sites to help get ideas about how we might use our site to get more participation and have information listed so that our members are able to easily see what events are coming up.

5. Do you have any time-saving tips to share with other board members?
As with any new technology, there is a certain amount of poking around that will help you learn to create, change, or delete items within the system. If you find reasons to perform tasks you can develop confidence at the various sections within StarChapter. Because the system allows you to work in a draft mode you can easily delete any sections you don’t wish to publish and you are much less likely to publish your mistakes. The site features on the website also allow us to easily track attendance and look for trends to better plan for future programs.

6. What is in store for SHRM Columbia members in 2015?
We are very excited to host our annual big all day legal seminar. This will be the first time this event has been announced, paid for, and registered through StarChapter. We will be collecting a fee for vendors and meeting attendees and getting feedback from out attendees regarding their thoughts and suggestions for meetings as we generally do.

7. How did StarChapter help you run your chapter and reach your goals?
StarChapter allowed our board to easily manage our membership database and reduce the amount of billable hours with our association management firm. We were also able to move several manual and paper processes, which allowed for meeting registration and tracking being more efficient.

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