Overcoming Information Overload
As technology continues to make communication easier, it also leads to an increase in available information for your members and prospects to digest. As a chapter, you want to create material that is both interesting to your members and that works towards the accomplishment of your local chapter’s monthly or yearly goals. This may simply rest in capturing the attention of both members and prospects alike. How you gain said attention is just as important as the value of the content itself.
Let’s examine the various ways your event information can be found and how StarChapter can assist in guiding website visitors/readers to your resources in addition to providing a means to track communication and engagement.
Word of Mouth.
It may seem old school, but word of mouth actually still works, especially for smaller chapters. Even in the days of heightened technology use, your members have colleagues and friends they see each day who may have interest in the chapter activities, an interest that could translate into a new chapter member. Inviting members to mention a video on YouTube from the most recent conference or sharing a printed conference brochure can drive members and prospects to attend chapter events. This method works whether you are sharing a past event or trying to increase attendance for a future event.
Using StarChapter’s association management software, member leadership can keep track of members and prospects they have contacted directly to share new information. And since all the data is stored in one place, decisions and further actions can be taken easily.
What you don’t know about doesn’t exist, so if your current and prospective members don’t hear about an event, they simply won’t attend. More importantly, if they don’t know how past events have done, for example: the speakers, sessions and materials presented during past events, then why would they want to attend future events. Sharing the information via newsletters and emails is an excellent and direct way to reach your chapter membership specifically. Within the actual communications, you can even ask members to forward the information on to prospects that might find the information useful.
If you send the emails through StarChapter, you can actually use email templates already built within the system. These emails pull the info from the event so as an event coordinator or communication chair you don’t need to do redundantly copy and paste information. You can even track open and bounce rates from the emails to know how many people actually viewed information about the event.
Don’t discount the importance of your social media presence. Whether you use LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, social media is essential for getting the word out about your event, whether before or after. You worked hard on planning the event so have members share the key information to get members and prospects to attend it. Or, use social media to share highlights DURING the conference or special event though videos on YouTube, written summaries in the blog, or through Twitter and Facebook feeds.
Communication is essential – before, during, and after the event. Let the needs of your chapter membership and the event guide how you use your resources meant to share your content. Assess results regularly using StarChapter’s analysis tools to determine what changes to implement to maintain the simplest and most complete communication strategy.
Your members and prospects will appreciate the information without suffering from information overload.
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