Imagine a conference that only has 200 attendees. How many meaningful connections does each member make during the conference? Maybe 5. Maybe even 10. The chances of them meeting someone else just like them is slim. Are you wondering how that can be when members share the same profession or same title or same industry?
From our member’s point of view there is actually a lot of variation. Some work for big organizations and some small and this makes a big difference in their outlook, responsibilities and resources. Some are new to the profession and some are quite advanced. Depending on the membership there can be a million other variables like industry, geography and more. Members want to meet others demographically like them.
There is also goals focus to consider, members want to meet others who have the same goals. Some problems are association wide while some problems are unique to certain member organizations. Members want to meet others who have the same problems as they have. How do we help members meet other members exactly like themselves?
Networking is providing a session, a break, a chapter meeting, a plain directory, or a reception. Curated networking is helping members find others just like themselves. How can this work? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Staff prioritizes personal introductions
- Niche themed roundtable discussions
- Revolving expert panels
- Detailed directory
- Could it be an app, “friend” recommendations, or another social media tool?
Traditional networking events are great for long-time members but torture for new members. Consider adding some curated networking.