Virtual chapters are also a welcome option for people who have trouble getting around or are homebound because of disabilities or other personal reasons.
In some industries, members have a desire for community and conversation with their peers, but not with their local competitors. For more than two decades, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has organized Builder 20 clubs, networking groups comprised of 20 professionals from across the country who are in the same building specialty. Traditionally, these groups only met in person, but now they supplement those meetings with web conferencing and online forums.
BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL CHAPTERS FOR ASSOCIATIONS
Members aren’t the only ones who benefit from virtual chapters. Virtual chapters help your association expand its reach to prospects who don’t live near a chapter or can’t participate in local chapter activities. They increase inclusivity by providing educational and networking opportunities to those with accessibility issues.
In areas that don’t have enough members for a local chapter, a virtual chapter serves as a stepping-stone to official chapter status and a foundation for a hybrid chapter experience. Virtual chapters allow more professionals to take part in the association experience.
6 MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL CHAPTERS
Virtual chapters must offer the same practical and emotional experiences that members of local chapters enjoy: knowledge and relationships, but also a sense of belonging, contribution, and self-actualization.