Chapter leaders are extraordinary folks. These volunteers take on chapter leadership and management responsibilities in addition to their duties at work, home, and elsewhere. Can they count on your association to provide the resources they need during their leadership tenure?
They may be uber-volunteers, but they’re not association management experts. They need training and guidance from national staff, especially if they’re to meet your expectations and help you achieve mutual goals.
Chapter leaders also need a community of peers they can count on for support and inspiration. But how can they develop those relationships when chapters are hundreds of miles apart? You can help by providing everything they need in one place: a chapter leadership conference.
A chapter leadership conference is an investment in the future of your chapters. When you dedicate time and money to training chapter leaders, you set them and their chapters up for success—and they know it.
Plus, you give them the opportunity to build relationships and a community with their peers. After the conference, volunteer leaders can stay in touch, share advice, and support each other during challenging times.
You give national staff and volunteer leaders the opportunity to develop and deepen relationships with chapter leaders. The conference also serves as a training camp. Your ‘scouts’ (national staff and leaders) can spot leadership recruits who could move from the minors (chapters) to the major league (national).
At the conference, you can listen to the stories of chapter leaders and better understand their strengths and weaknesses. You can identify how to better support chapters in delivering value to members, and how chapters can help your association achieve its goals.
Chapter leaders may not have sufficient funds (their chapter’s or their own) to attend the conference. Consider these options:
Before putting together your conference program, first identify learner outcomes: what do chapter leaders need to know how to do when they get back to ‘work.’ Keep these goals firmly in mind while planning the educational program.
To ensure you cover the essentials, take a cue from the National Speakers Association. Their conference focused on the “Five Ms” of chapter leadership: management, marketing, meetings, membership, and money. Here’s a sampling of topics from other chapter leadership conferences:
And, a topic near and dear to our heart: technology strategy.
When it’s time to find speakers, don’t forget industry partners. We’ve presented our Chapter Secret Sauce session on technology strategy at several chapter leadership conferences. This session addresses chapter pain points, prompts lively discussions, and leads to changed behavior and processes.
Chapter Secret Sauce: Technology as a Strategy to Optimize Impact
In this interactive and engaging session, we explore forward-thinking chapter practices from organizations across the country that use technology to automate everyday administration so their leaders, staff, and volunteers can spend more time focusing on mission, impact, and members, and less time on laborious activities everyone hates.
Prior to the session, attendees complete a survey on their biggest pains and hassles. During the session, we examine case studies where technology is used by chapters large and small to eliminate the pains identified in the survey.
Attendees participate in practical exercises in which they learn how to:
We take a peek into some of today’s newest technologies that help chapters reduce operational inefficiencies, save money, and gain smarter insights…all with the outcome of having more impact in the lives and communities you serve.
We’d be happy to talk with you about our experiences at chapter leadership conferences and sessions like this one that we can facilitate for you—free of charge! Check out our download of how to Empower & Inspire Your Chapter Leaders At Your Next Conference (and How Billhighway Can Help) post >>
Stay tuned for our next post on selecting conference speakers, planning the program, developing champions, and continuing the learning and networking experience.