Using events for membership recruitment

Using events for membership recruitment can be an effective strategy as part of your membership acquisition programme

Membership recruitment is a crucial part of the management of membership based organisations. It is a fact of life that you will lose some members each year and so without the continued acquisition of new members, your membership organisation will struggle to develop and grow. In this blog we highlight some steps and tips to help you use events effectively for membership acquisition:

Define Your Goals and Target Audience

The first step in any events programme is to determine your recruitment goals. How many new members are you aiming to attract? Who is your target audience? Who are you trying to recruit? What are their interests and demographics? Armed with this information you will be able to formulate the appropriate strategy to achieve your goals.

Choose the Right Type of Event

The next step is to decide on the type of event format that will suit your target audience and their specific interests. This could be a workshop, seminar, conference, networking event, social gathering, or even a community service project. You should ensure that the event reflects the values and mission of your organisation, and has key features that make it appealing to potential members.

Plan the Event

Once you have decided on the format for your event, you will need to develop a detailed event plan, including the date, time, location, agenda, and any speakers or special guests. Make sure the event offers value to attendees. Whether it's educational content, networking opportunities, career development or entertainment, people are more likely to join if they see a benefit.

Promote your Event

People lead busy lives, so it is important to have a communication plan that works backwards from the date of the event and includes regular reminders. Start with a ‘Save the Date’ announcement and then plan on an escalating series of communications in the run up to the event e.g. 4 weeks, 2 weeks, 1 week, day before etc. Create promotional materials such as flyers, posters, social media posts, and email campaigns to generate interest and inform potential attendees.You can also leverage your existing member network to help spread the word and invite friends and acquaintances e.g. Bring a Friend events.

Engage Attendees

It is a good idea to encourage active participation during the event as this ensures all attendees get the most out of their time. This can be through Q&A sessions, group discussions, or interactive activities. You can also create opportunities for attendees to connect with each other and with current members.

Offer Membership Incentives

It's important to have a plan as to how you are going to promote your organisation at the event. Think about the sorts of people who will be attending and highlight the benefits of membership that will be most appealing to them e.g. access to exclusive content, networking opportunities, training or professional development resources. Consider offering special incentives or discounts for those who join your organisation immediately after the event.

Collect Contact Information

Remember not to miss the chance to collect contact information, Set up a registration or sign-up booth at the event where interested individuals can provide their contact information.

Follow up with attendees after the event to express appreciation and provide more information about membership. 

Track and Evaluate Results

After the event it is important to measure its success by tracking the number of new members who joined as a result. It is also a good idea to solicit feedback from attendees to learn what worked well and what could be improved for future events.

Repeat and Iterate

If the event proves successful, consider making it an annual or regular occurrence. Build in processes to continuously assess your recruitment efforts and then you can make improvements based on feedback and results.

Finally, remember that successful membership recruitment is an ongoing process. Events can be a valuable tool in your recruitment strategy, but they should be part of a broader plan that includes online outreach, networking, and the use of other methods to attract and retain members. Utilising membership management software can play a big part in making the whole process of member recruitment and retention as efficient and effective as possible. If you need help and advice on implementing a software system, get in touch with our expert team.



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