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6 Lessons for Chambers & Associations Going Into 2020

Robert RaffertyGrowth Marketeer

Robert Rafferty,

Growth Marketeer

Jan 29, 2020

When it comes to the new year, it’s important to reflect on what worked in the past 12 months that we can take into the next.

Glue Up held a series of events titled “Outlook 2020: Preparing Your Association for the New Year” in different cities, hosting association and chamber of commerce professionals on panel discussions to dive into what they’ve learned in 2019.

Let’s see what lesson’s they’ve learned.

Also, if you're in a sit-back-and-relax kind of mood, we've got a recording of one of our talks in Singapore for you to digest instead!

1. Your Association Needs to be Agile

These days your average consumer is looking for immediate value in their purchases. This is the same truth for members at organizations, and with that in mind it’s becoming more important than ever to be agile as organizations when it comes to reciprocating a member’s dues payment.

Your members yearn for value, and it’s import to make sure they feel that this value is delivered. There’s a few ways to do this.

Even if you cannot find a single thing to deliver to members, as long as you have a plan, presenting it early on in a member’s life-cycle will help give the expectation of value, which should help

2. It’s Not About Engaging Members

marketing trends in 2020

It’s about motivating them.

More than just Engagement, you should be motivating members and helping them become your champion. Engagement is a popular metric these days for success, but engagement cannot determine their inclination to renew, to attend an event, or introduce new members.

They need to be motivated to take action that benefits your organization, and to do that will take some high level personalization, rewards, awards, and exclusivity.

Potentially compartmentalizing or adding tiers your memberships can help members consider upgrading. Possibly benefits delivered for introducing new members or attending a certain number of events can help bolster ROI and entice members to renew.

3. Have Backup Plans

Losing your association’s GM or Chamber’s president has a cascading affect of potentially turning off members from renewing or attending events. It’s important to make sure that there’s always contingencies ready for lines of succession to take over the organization should there be an unexpected exit.

This goes the same for events if a venue changes, speaker drops out, and so on. Make sure that members are confident in your organisational and that this confidence comes from your role as an institution, and not whoever your leader is.

4. Leverage Tech

digital membership cards

Obviously using tech is a great idea to lessen workloads and come off as a smarter organization in the end. Tech like CRMs help you to understand members and their history with your organizations, a helpful tool for new staff or GMs. Email campaigns are a great way to disseminate news, and apps help members talk to each other or push notifications to them.

Tech helps you scale as an organization as well. The issue at hand is that members all prefer a personalized approach, and scaling up with personalized communication is difficult. With tech on hand, you can create lists of contacts based on certain demographics or membership history that makes your communication more accurate and personalized.

An example could be using a CRM to see which members have attended the fewest events, replied the least to emails and so on, to help direct how the chamber can best tackle disengaged members to help reduce member turnover.

5. Get More Targeted

Run more niche, smaller events, because they speak to professionals better.

However, do not deviate from your association's vision. This is your core value that's not often talked about, but is integral to keeping your association stable. You can be elastic with your content, your tech, and your events, but your association must seem like it's inelastic to change that affects your value provided.

Keeping up with your organization’s vision is important in becoming an institution, and with that in mind, it’s even more important to know when it’s time to be elastic with what your events, communication, or content needs to be in order to be engaging (or as we’ve learned, motivating).

6. Focus on Your Value-Adding Members

value-adding members

We all want to be fair. But as businesses, organizations who need to pay the bills need to focus on it’s most engages and value-adding members.

Unlike typical businesses, members are indeed the exact value that your organization provides. They demand their own engagement, and with more members trying to find an organization to call home, some members will stand out more than others.

While we would all love to serve every member with the same gusto equally to come off as fair, it’s actually more profitable, scalable, and cost-effective to focus on corporate members.

They pay higher fees, they bring more bodies to events, and they’re more inclined to partner with organization activities. While some individual members may stand out and put forward the effort to help your organization (which they should be rewarded or recognized for), corporate members simply have more resources to help your organization.

Partnerships with corporate members help garner more members, better events, and better benefits delivered to members. Either through resources or networking connections, corporate members provide significantly better results, and so it’s pertinent that your organization puts focus on your corporate members in 2020.

Taking on 2020

2020 will be a new year full of new leaderships, members, and activities, and without a doubt a lot of learning in between. Through our event series that we run monthly across the globe, Glue Up seeks to learn from the professionals on the ground how they're tackling challenges at their organizations.

If you're looking for a smarter way to run your organization, manage your members, and then deliver value to your members, consider booking a product tour with us, and we'll show you how Glue Up has been helping hundreds of organizations grow their memberships without breaking a sweat.

Did you attend the event at any of our locations? Please fill out our feedback form so we can make future events even better!

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