Rob Stott is a contributing editor to Associations Now.
Looking for a new way to bring its members together to network, the Greater Washington Society of CPAs turned to the silver screen.
What's the idea? Hosting a summer movie series that lets members network in a laid-back environment.
Who's doing it? The Greater Washington Society of CPAs
What's involved? GWSCPA's "Night at the Movies" event is exactly what it sounds like, but instead of coughing up an arm and a leg at the local cinema, members can enjoy a film for free at the organization's downtown Washington, DC, office. And there's no need to sneak munchies in—popcorn, drinks, and other movie treats are on the house.
"We're always looking for something new and different to do for members and that's on a wider scale than just what they do on a daily basis," says Ashley Fearn, events manager at GWSCPA. "We decided to do something that was more laid back and that wasn't primarily focused around education, because that's what we focus on in almost everything else that we do."
The group initially picked movies that had some financial or accounting theme but has since opened it up to member suggestions. "Night at the Movies," which started in 2011, is held once a month in June, July, and August each year.
What are people saying? "They seem to really enjoy it," says Fearn. "We average about 20 to 30 people that come out each month. Trying to get everybody together can be a challenge, so this is just something that's a relaxed environment where they don't have to worry about coming prepared or anything like that, and I think they really enjoy that."