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Membership marketing: it’s an art form

At Kava we’ve honed a compelling approach to membership marketing. The trick to steering numerous individuals and organisations large and small (everyone has their say) in the right direction, with consensus and in the best interests of the organisation is no mean feat but with the right communications tools it is possible. Language, diplomacy and good relationships are key and you can only manage that through collaboration, keeping in touch and sharing.

We deal with member recruitment, retention and churn, work stream ownership, engaging news, regular PR, perfectly pitched events and effective extranets – all carried out with good old-fashioned charm!

With some of the @KavaComms team in Dallas this week for a Small Cell Forum event, we’re republishing Lynne’s own blog on the importance of face-to-face events and networking. (That’s Lynne, our in-house, world-renowned Member Services Director. And she knows a thing or two about nurturing membership communities.)

Conferences, plenaries and the best kept industry secrets

We live in such a busy ‘instant’ world of emails, social media activity and online meetings it’s easy to forget the importance of participating in live face-to-face events with our industry community.

I occasionally encounter those that feel joining an association, displaying the badge and ‘listening’ to community activity is enough. That’s not how I see it.
Connecting to others who are dynamically driving your industry forward can be very powerful. Being an active participant in that drive is even more powerful, enabling you to gain visibility, credibility and ensure your product or service is part of the solution. It brings kudos.

Want to get the best return on your membership investment?
Turn up, be engaged and fully participate in the discussions.

Small businesses in particular might view taking a few days out to participate in a conference, trade show or plenary as a costly waste of time. That’s not how I see it.

Live meetings are an excellent way to uncover new ideas, strategies and build relationships to grow your business. They can be hugely motivating. At live meetings, the spur-of-the-moment introductions and conversations that occur outside of the main agenda sessions can often prove to be of immense, lasting value.

Why attend?

Be inspired. No matter how deep our business knowledge and experience, we can always learn something new.Being exposed to a variety of viewpoints can trigger new, impactful ideas on how to conduct our business, potentially helping us become more productive.

Network. At plenaries and conferences, rarely are there competitors looking for an opportunity to steal your ideas. What I encounter are people taking a real interest in what’s happening in the industry. I see partnerships and new ventures forming and developing. Fact is, not everyone in your industry is actually a competitor – many will become customers, suppliers or partners.

Participating in events could seriously impact your business results in a very positive way.

Engage with exhibitors. Delegates often shy away from the trade show exhibition for fear they will have to talk to salespeople. That’s not how I see it.

These industry ‘salespeople’ are some of the best people to get to know if you want to learn more about the current business climate. They fully grasp what is happening in the industry and with your competitors. They can help you discover innovative products and services and generally support you to stay ahead in today’s fast-paced world. I would always recommend investing a little time with exhibitors at any event.

Be a recognised expert. Engaging long-term and being actively involved in your industry can help cultivate a reputation as an expert to peers and clients. This can result in invitations to speak or write articles – all good promotion for the individual and the business. People feel good associating with and working with those who are notable in their industry – an element of shared prestige which is great for business.

Emails, social media activity and online meetings enable us to access lots of industry information at our finger tips, as and when it is convenient for us. That’s great, but nothing beats the value of face-to-face connections.

So, go to the meetings. Be heard. Don’t be the best kept secret in the industry!