Young Professional Groups

Why do we divide up our membership and is it the right thing to do?

If your chamber is like most chambers you’ve started, thought about starting or you’ve already disbanded your young professional group.

The concept sounds good, start a young professional group to bring in fresh faces and grow your membership.

The challenge is why commit to a program that is separate and many times has a different focus than your mission.

At least early indications show that many young professional groups were just another networking event at the local watering hole amongst them-selves and did nothing to help the bottom line of the chamber or its mission.

Shouldn’t they be networking with your seasoned members? Creating new contacts across generations? That’s how I was taught to get ahead, network with people who have more experience than you and more contacts than you.

To me we’re just creating a new silo within our organizations. Speaking of silos, haven’t we spent the last ten years trying to dismantle them?

Our chambers should be promoting programs that benefit all our members not just certain segments, right?

In the financial world we’re very aware of the transfer of wealth for the aging baby boomers to their kids.

Shouldn’t the same concept hold true for the next generation of business leaders? Where else will they go?

They should network with your current members. We need to be in the business of raising the tide for all our boats (members).

Just a thought!

Engaging New Members

We all know that first year members don’t renew at the same level as our base members.
Why is that? Engagement.
In some chambers, that can be a difference of up to 40% (i.e., base member’s retention rate of 85% and first year member’s retention rate of 45%).
What are you doing to engage that first year member?
If you don’t have a formal plan, now is the time to create one. At a minimum, the following should be considered in any first year member engagement plan:
  • Welcome letter and membership kit;
  • Follow-up phone call 90 days into the membership;
  • Sign-up for something on your website; and
  • Get them to a chamber event.
It’s a fact - an engaged member is a retained member.
Create that first year member engagement plan today!