Connections - Fall 2016 - 17

> Member Engagement is a Journey, Not a Transaction BY MARK LEVIN, CAE, CSP WE ALL KNOW that when a member or prospect joins (or rejoins) an organization it isn't an independent act. It happens because of an ongoing series of events and interactions and thoughts and emotions, some self-initiated and some driven by the organization. And, while we all know this is going on, too often the convergence of these thoughts and actions happens by chance or good fortune (or occasionally by design). What if it all happened by anticipation, and information, and empathy, and by (heaven forbid!) a systematic approach to membership engagement? In order for that to happen, organizations have to understand that members are not looking for another transaction to make; they really don't want to join, buy, or attend anything. Rather, they are on a journey, and their journey isn't the journey through the stages of readiness to buy, or the stages of membership we so love to track (new member, first time attendee, affiliate participation, etc.). Their journey actually has little to do with our organization, at least in their minds. Their journey is a journey to personal, professional and/or business success. That's their goal, that's their motivation, that's their focus. Our job is to understand where their (individual) journey is taking them and to help them get there via the most direct and least painful routes. Managing member engagement is today's challenge, and there is actually a system for doing just that. It's called MembershipMapping. If we use all of our resources effectively, we should be able to not only understand the steps on their journey to success, we should be able to "guide" them through that journey by gently nudging them to stay on course with the help of our organization. I say "gently nudging" because every contact with members can't be centered around our desire to get them more engaged (i.e. buying, attending, renewing, participating, etc.). We need to keep in mind, all the way, that their journey didn't start out including us. We have to let them understand that we can be their partner in success but it is THEIR success that matters, not the organization's success. By mapping their journey (actually doing the necessary research and identifying the steps in their journey through the first year, that first renewal, etc.), we can create a parallel journey for our organization/staff to follow to help them along their way. If we are effective at guiding them through their journeys we create that picture of success all members want to achieve. By using MembershipMapping to tailor our relationship with each member or group of members we show members (and prospective members) that, while their journey isn't exactly going to be a straight line-nothing in life really is-our organization can make it as direct and enjoyable as possible. It's time to start mapping out plans for our members' success, not just our own. Mark Levin, CAE, CSP is an association executive and professional speaker who specializes in helping associations grow their membership and develop their leaders. Information on his programs can be found at www.baileadership.com. Mark can be reached directly at mark@baileadership.com. connections > 17 http://www.baileadership.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Fall 2016

Message from the Chair
GSAE News & Events
New Members
AWI Improves its Industry through Member Engagement
Engaging with Generation Y Members
Member Engagement is a Journey, Not a Transaction
What Matters Most to Members?
Don’t Settle for ‘Good’
Professional Development vs. Career Management
GSAE Fall Events
Congratulations to the GSAE Leadership Academy Class of 2016
Meetings Thought Leadership
Destination: Nashville’s Neighborhoods
Choices: Travel through Time
Advertiser.com
Index of Advertisers
Connections - Fall 2016 - bellyband1
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Connections - Fall 2016 - cover1
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover2
Connections - Fall 2016 - 3
Connections - Fall 2016 - 4
Connections - Fall 2016 - 5
Connections - Fall 2016 - 6
Connections - Fall 2016 - Message from the Chair
Connections - Fall 2016 - GSAE News & Events
Connections - Fall 2016 - 9
Connections - Fall 2016 - 10
Connections - Fall 2016 - New Members
Connections - Fall 2016 - AWI Improves its Industry through Member Engagement
Connections - Fall 2016 - 13
Connections - Fall 2016 - 14
Connections - Fall 2016 - Engaging with Generation Y Members
Connections - Fall 2016 - 16
Connections - Fall 2016 - Member Engagement is a Journey, Not a Transaction
Connections - Fall 2016 - What Matters Most to Members?
Connections - Fall 2016 - 19
Connections - Fall 2016 - Don’t Settle for ‘Good’
Connections - Fall 2016 - Professional Development vs. Career Management
Connections - Fall 2016 - 22
Connections - Fall 2016 - GSAE Fall Events
Connections - Fall 2016 - Congratulations to the GSAE Leadership Academy Class of 2016
Connections - Fall 2016 - 25
Connections - Fall 2016 - Meetings Thought Leadership
Connections - Fall 2016 - 27
Connections - Fall 2016 - Destination: Nashville’s Neighborhoods
Connections - Fall 2016 - Choices: Travel through Time
Connections - Fall 2016 - Index of Advertisers
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover3
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover4
Connections - Fall 2016 - outsert1
Connections - Fall 2016 - outsert2
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