How to engage members in the off-season

Rest. Self-care. Reflection. There are benefits to recharging and resetting our minds (and bodies) when we allow ourselves to do so. Remember what a summer break felt like as a kid? Riding bikes, swimming for hours, eating popsicles. (Take me back to those moments, please!) Associations are no different as our members need time to recharge during the association off-season. After a big event, conference or membership renewals, give yourself permission to reflect on engaging members in a new way.

Three ways to engage members:

  1. Set intentions and reflect on vision/mission: There is no shortage of reminders to set career and personal intentions at the start of a calendar year. In the off-season, provide goal setting content and remind members of the association’s values proposition in a new way. Create a one-page short term and long-term goal setting sheet to generate ideas for professional and personal use. Create a values proposition graphic in a newsletter, on social media, or post a website banner (maybe all three!).
  2. Show and Tell: Encourage members to share how they recharge personally and professionally by virtual engagement of storytelling and picture sharing about their hobbies, passions, and book clubs they are a part of. Who are the members that have completed their tenth Ironman, won photography awards, learned a new life hack, or enjoy making Tik Toks with their kids? By showcasing another dimension of your members, you likely will see an uptick on your social media too!
  3. Share how you have listened to member feedback: Throughout the year members provide feedback in the form of surveys, one-on-one suggestions, committee work, board meetings and social media comments. But how is the association processing and assessing changes and improvements that can be made quickly so members see action? Gallup reports that employees are nearly 2X more likely to be engaged when they see action on their feedback. Share where improvements have been made in a “You asked and you shall receive” announcement about an added membership perk/benefit, the streamlined annual awards process, or a tweak of the conference schedule. Members will be thankful you listened.

If you are still looking for permission to recharge in your own way, I grant you permission. Do something that made you happy and full of joy as a child. Buy your favorite cereal or Hostess snack, swing at a park or take a nap. After all, your members want you to be refreshed and renewed too.