Turn Onsite Energy Into Member Excitement

By: Joe Rominiecki

The Healthcare Businesswomen's Association shares three engagement methods it uses at its conferences and events to get people involved for the long term. (Titled "Face Time" in the print edition.)

Face-to-face events are perfect for getting your members more engaged. Mary-Margaret Armstrong, vice president of membership and education at the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association, shares how HBA drives new engagement opportunities at its events.

  1. Enlist volunteer greeters. "At HBA's Woman of the Year (WOTY) event, we had a team of volunteers to meet as many people as possible standing in lines, mingling around networking areas, and visiting the information area," Armstrong says. "The greeters asked them why they were inspired to come to the event and how membership gives them a professional advantage. For nonmembers, we had an incentive to join, and the conversation centered on HBA's value proposition. We gained nearly 50 new members from that campaign alone."
  2. Help attendees find each other. "We emphasized community and connections through our social media campaign, which encouraged members to 'ride the WOTY train' to our annual event," she says. "Members donned purple scarves so that they could identify each other as HBA members during their travel. They were thrilled to have a way to identify each other, and it created more networking opportunities whether they were traveling via train or air."
  3. Ask members to bring a friend. "From time to time we have 'member-bring-a-member' events in our chapters to allow first-time attendees to experience HBA as a complimentary guest," says Armstrong. "This allows members an easy way to promote HBA and nonmembers a low-risk, 'try before you buy' opportunity. We find that once they experience our radical hospitality, the incredible networking opportunities, and knowledge gained from our events, joining is the logical choice!"

Joe Rominiecki

Joe Rominiecki is a contributing editor to Associations Now.