Have you ever struggled with conveying the value of membership? It’s a challenge to convince prospective and current members. Vincent Moulden, SEVEN12's Account Executive & Digital Media Manager, sits down with Courtney Stewart, SEVEN12’s Membership & Programs Manager to discuss how she faces this challenge.
Vincent: Hello and welcome to the SEVEN12 podcast. This is the show for Association professionals event planners the marketing community members of boards and committees plus everything in between on this episode, have you ever struggled with conveying the value of membership? It's a challenge for a prospective and current members. And today I sit down with Courtney Stewart, SEVEN12's membership and programs manager to discuss how she faces these challenges Courtney, how are you?
Courtney: I'm great Vincent. How are you?
Vincent: Good. Um, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself Courtney how you got into Association World your background. Tell us about your degree and all that stuff.
Courtney: So my bachelor's degree is in criminal justice and I have a masters in digital forensics and cyber investigation. I finished college and was looking for a job and stumbled across SEVEN12 Management and learned a little bit more about what an AMC actually is and I decided that this would probably be a good route for me.
Vincent: So what helped you come to that conclusion, what do you love about working at an AMC?
Courtney: I like that every every day is different with multiple different clients and associations. You're constantly doing different things for each one whether it's a new event that's coming up or if it's the dues time or anything of that nature. But every day is always different
Vincent: That's good. You like the rush of a new challenge, right?
Vincent: That's great because you also like the rush of racing boats, right? That's something I um, tell us a little bit more about that.
Courtney: So I currently race in two different classes of speedboats. I race a jersey speed skiff and a hydroplane. I race against my family and a lot of my friends in both classes. So it's kind of a family affair throughout the summer that we could to go travel up and down the east coast and do what we love and race boats.
Vincent: So what would you say is easier? Racing a boat or being a membership manager
Courtney: Definitely racing a boat
Vincent: Awesome. So let's get into kind of the first question I have for you. I would say that the number one problem for most associations at this point is recruiting new members to the association. What are some creative ways you and the SEVEN12 membership team have helped associations tackle this issue.
Courtney: So we've developed a lot of different membership campaigns where we have tasked not only staff as well as board members committee members and members of the association to get the best of the industry to join so that we can get them to attend some of our events and allow the networking to be a lot broader for our members and make sure that it's, they are getting the value out of our association that we want them to
Vincent: So what incentives would you say really motivated the membership to participate?
Courtney: Gift cards! So one of the things that we have offered is if you recruit a new member you get entered into a raffle to potentially win a gift card or you could have one free attendance to one of our conferences and everybody likes something that's free.
Vincent: That's very true. I know money is usually an incentive for me. Courtney as you're out here talking to prospective members and even current members. What would you say? The number one reason is for an organization to join an association.
Courtney: I would definitely say networking. So each one of our associations holds an annual event or meeting each year and it's the place where a large group of Industry peers can meet together can network and do a lot of business have personal meetings with some of the companies that they currently do business with as well as try to attract new business partners. You also get the advantage of being in a large group where you can listen to Keynote presentations attend educational sessions. And those are just things that you cannot get without being part of an association.
Vincent: That's awesome. I think that is definitely the number one reason as well along with educational opportunities and you kind of went over that a little bit, but what other kind of educational opportunities does SEVEN12 clients offer their members.
Courtney: So one of the things that we offer for most of our clients are webinars or e-seminar series, so these are for members only and they can participate in the e-seminars that are given by keynote speakers that give a lot of really good educational content through a webinar series and this also gives them the ability to ask questions to the speaker as well as potentially get continuing education credits for any of the recertification programs that they're a part of.
Vincent: Awesome and kind of what are some non event related benefits that you see members take the most advantage of or that you think would be most valuable to an organization.
Courtney: Definitely industry related reports. One of the things that our clients offer our benchmarking surveys or reports that provide insight into the industry and allows you as an organization. In to compare where you would fall similarly to other organizations in your industry,
Vincent: So you can kind of see where you are and where you want to be at the same time.
Vincent: That's awesome. What's one thing you wish every member company understood about your job.
Courtney: I wish they understood that the deadlines are put in place for a reason. So a lot of the things that my job particularly pertains to are deadlines for whether it's a directory or dues or anything of that nature and if you missed the deadline it inhibits your ability to be able to be seen in a directory in front of other organizations in our association as well as if your dues are late you may not be able to take advantage of some of the member benefits that we're offering that year and your company would then miss out.
Vincent: I think that's a good point. That's a good point. I know we all struggle to keep up with deadlines, but they are important Courtney, Is there anything you want to leave the listeners with before you go?
Courtney: Join an association
Vincent: Awesome Thanks, Courtney.
Courtney: Thank you.
Vincent: This concludes episode 1 of the SEVEN12 podcast. If you found this podcast interesting, please share with your friends. Be sure to visit SEVEN12management.com for updates including blogs news articles and podcasts, just like this. There you can sign up with your email address to receive notifications and information to contact the SEVEN12 team directly. Thank you for listening.