There’s nothing much better than spending an afternoon with fellow chapter geeks. Lucky us, we got to do that during our virtual workshop, Tap Chapters as a Member Engagement Channel. We co-hosted the event with our usual educational co-conspirators, Peggy Hoffman and Peter Houstle from Mariner Management.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO MEMBERS THROUGHOUT THEIR CAREER JOURNEY
It’s fascinating to see how the importance of different membership benefits changes throughout a person’s career. Members join for networking and socializing, but value these benefits less over time. You have to wonder if this will change in an uncertain economy. Now, everyone is paying more attention to growing and/or maintaining their professional network.
Notice how all career stages value industry information, but early- and mid-career members are more focused on training. For late-career members, “representing interests” (advocacy) and code of ethics are most important, perhaps because they’ve “made it,” so they focus on giving back to their professional community.
HELP CHAPTERS DESIGN AND PROMOTE MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS FOR EACH CAREER STAGE
Without demographic data, you can’t segment members by career stage. Collect this information via new member applications, renewals, and periodic member surveys. A shared database or association management system makes this data more accessible to chapters.
Develop career stage personas that help chapters understand and meet the needs and desires of each segment. A member journey mapping exercise can help identify any gaps in benefits and programming for each career stage.
Since needs and interests are changing rapidly right now, you need a mechanism for gathering regular feedback, for example, newsletter and website polls and pulse surveys.
Once you’ve identified what members at different career stages are seeking, promote the appropriate benefits in member onboarding campaigns and promotional emails. The American String Teachers Association created new member onboarding videos for different career stages.
Develop educational programs, networking events, and career resources to fill in the gaps you’ve identified. Chapters of the Network of Executive Women host virtual meetings that focus on life stages, for example, single moms and women dealing with career change.
HOW CHAPTERS ARE ENGAGING EARLY-CAREER MEMBERS
During our workshop, participants shared many examples of early-career programs in the chat box and breakout room discussions.