The jury is still out on this question. You see virtual isn’t a slam dunk. It doesn’t necessarily solve the connection issue. It still requires passionate volunteers, albeit fewer. It still must deliver value.
For NIGP, the Institute for Public Procurement, the vote is yes. For the National Association of Productivity & Organizing, the vote is maybe. For Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals, the vote is meh. For International Society of Performance Improvement, the vote is yes if you think of it as a hybrid. We shared their stories the webinar Virtual Chapters: Should We or Shouldn’t We.
The webinar came out of two workshops where we explored how and when virtual can work. There were two aha’s in the research and design workshops:
(1) A successful virtual chapter must address 4 issues:
- Waning volunteerism in chapters
- Waning interest in local events
- Time challenges to attend local events
- Increasing demand for virtual education/networking – that addresses local issues
(2) A successful virtual chapter has to embrace its unique attribute: geography. The purpose is building local community and addressing state/local regulatory & legislative activity and other local factors. Bottom line, shared geography, not getting together F2F, is the primary delimiter of the virtual chapter.