Thursday, September 11, 2014

What are association members saying?

I was at the driving range the other morning and overheard a couple of members complaining about the association (golf club) ... fussing about the executive director.

It made me wonder what association members might be saying behind our backs.

And, it reminded me of something a former board member of the Ohio State University Alumni Association once told me:
  • “It’s hard for staff to see the difference between fans and members,” he said. “Staff are exposed to raving fans. But the vast majority of alumni are members not fans. They don’t come to these events. They are pretty much silent. But as staff and leaders, we must look beyond the fans who attend our events and better understand the needs of those who don’t come to our events.”
Pretty good thinking.

For example, almost 6,000 people attended the 2014 ASAE Annual Meeting in Nashville in August. Pretty amazing number at a great event. Yet, only 1 in four ASAE members attended.
  • What happened to the other 16,000 members who chose not to attend? What are they thinking and saying about the association? Why didn’t they attend?
What about your association? Do you focus on your “fans” (attendees)? Or, do you find other ways to engage those who – for whatever reason – decide not to attend?

What do you think?

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