It's the latest in a series of not so great events; Great Depression, Great Recession, and most recently, Great Resignation. De-Membering is just a made up word. We are not really tearing people limb from limb, just association membership rosters.
The business disruption we experienced from the beginning of the the global pandemic has gradually lead to a transformation in how we conduct business. Where once we had no choice about Work From Home we now enjoy the confidence of choosing where and when to attend events. Each of us proved our mettle and now celebrate our resiliency and capacity for change.
Like the service workforce segment who no longer feel loyalty to their employer, members of your association have a new mindset. They have choices, and are exploring them before accepting auto-renewal as the status quo.
The top question on association leaders minds is, "Where did our members go and are they coming back?" Leaders have no control over the member's renewal choice, but they definitely are in control of how the challenge is framed.
Obstacle or Opportunity?
Times of uncertainty and disruption provide the best opportunities for renewal and growth. Here are some ideas for assocition leaders can use to leverage the current oportunity:
Develop a Digital Mindset
Adopting a Hybrid Event Modal allows your association to extend its reach beyond the range of a traditional luncheon attendance. Inviting remote guests expands your market for new members while providing existing members an opportunity to see your in-person event space. Is your post-pandemic recovery for prospective members to see?
Build a Digital Clubhouse
Your current members want more engagement than an Annual Convention. Even seasonal and monthly events fail to miss the mark for delivery of membership benefits. Your members expect to receive the benefits of membership, on-demand. Does you current web presence provide your members with opportunities for self-service?
Build Leadership Opportunities
The next generation of busines leaders are the guests who will be attending your next event. They are looking for more than lunch. They are hungry for opportunities for growth and advancement. They will respond to your invitation if it provides them with peer interaction without having to invest an entire afternoon. Are your members spectators or active participants in the future of your organization?
I've been involved with associations for more than 2 decades. I've been a prospect, a member, I've served on committees, boards and as a trusted advisor. This period of post-pandemic recovery is the greatest opportunity for association leaders to do their best work for those they serve best. It's time for action. No more fixin-to.