“I peeked inside, and there at the front of the room was a group of people laughing and talking. I just couldn’t stand the idea of being the only person who didn’t know anyone, like I was crashing the party. I continued walking down the hall and out the door, and I haven’t tried to go to another chapter meeting since.”
Many new members check out after just three weeks as a member, and we find they are among the legions of members who lapse at the end of the first year. Some members engage early, and they become life-long members. What is the difference between the two? What do our newest members experience that sets them on vastly different paths?
Sometimes members generously tell us what they think of their first experiences of our association. More often, the perceptions of our new members’ experiences are hidden.
New members may not want to give us feedback because they feel they don’t know enough about the association, and they will be embarrassed by how little they know or how wrong they are. Or they may not want to connect because they fear a sales call in disguise. Or they may already have given up on the association and don’t want to spend a single second longer on what they see as a bad decision.
Some members are happy to tell us what is on their minds, but usually not new members. That is why, Tuesday, May 12th, at 3 PM ET, we will explore this hidden side of our members’ experience.
As a kickoff for the 2020 New Member Engagement Study, we are convening a panel of association executives from very different associations. You will meet ASAE’s Reggie Henry, Carey Goryl, with the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment, Eric Lanke, with the National Fluid Power Association and me, as moderator. We are bringing professional, trade, small, and large association experience to get the conversation started. As a participant, we want to hear your thoughts in the chat as well.
We will be diving deep into questions like, “when a new member joins, how do they feel?” And, “do members expect to be engaged differently when they join trade associations versus professional associations?” Also, “what is the role of association leadership in member engagement?”