5 Ingredients for Chapter Success
Updated: Aug. 6, 2019 | Categories: Board Productivity
You believe your chapter is going to have a good year, as you look around the room during your first meeting of the year and see many new faces as well as lots of returning ones. That’s wonderful. But what’s the plan for keeping your chapter operating at that level? And how can you make it even stronger and more interesting to members and prospects?
Without a plan, that full house you see could be a one-time event.
Here are five things that can help ensure your chapter’s long-term success, while taking it from one your members like, to one they return to year after year and one they tell friends and business associates they must join.
Marketing: Are you marketing to prospects or just to existing members? Sharing information about chapter goings-on--events, education, services, etc.--with existing members is essential, but it’s just as important to share it with the prospects you’re trying to attract. Your chapter’s marketing plan should include both groups. (This post has some great ideas for doing that.) You might want to also consider a winback plan for members who’ve left.
Speakers: Be sure you’re bringing in the speakers that meet the needs of members and non-member meeting attendees. But, how do you find out if they’re the right ones? Ask. Have you considered asking members to speak? There’s a good chance more than a few would love an opportunity to get in front of members to share their knowledge.
Past presidents: Keep past presidents involved in chapter activities. Having run your board, they have the knowledge and experience you don’t want to lose. Make your immediate past president your president emeritus, and/or ask past-presidents to mentor incoming presidents and other board members. Don’t let their expertise disappear when they step down.
Successes: Your members are some of your best marketing tools. Ask them to talk about events they’ve attended and successes they’ve been part of. Share this information in blogs and articles and on social media. Consider taking videos testimonials during the event and sharing them on your web site and through your social media channels.
Fun! Sometimes, boards get so caught up in running their chapters that they forget why they, and many of the members, joined. Yes, they want education and they want to be part of advocating for your industry, but they also want to have some fun doing it. It’s a great feeling when you see members smiling or laughing. Consider some healthy competition between members or groups of members, like a color war or your own Amazing Race.
Don’t assume that because you see strong attendance at events that the trend will continue. Add a few of these into your planning process and watch the success of your chapter continue to grow.