So much wisdom was given when it was suggested that, if an organization
is to be successful in attracting and obtaining new members, they must
be inclusive. Anne and I visited the MBSI convention in Charlotte, North
Carolina, and the AMICA convention in Arkansas. After each meeting we
decided not to renew either membership. We were there alone and even
in the crowd we were alone. We enjoyed the exhibits and the program
but there was no personal connection.
If an organization, which hosts a large annual convention, is truly
interested in seeking and keeping new members it might be a good idea
to organize a greeters committee with the job of seeking and attaching
to the new members for the purpose of insuring no new attendee goes
without a significant personal connection. This could also be done as
the convention registrations come in.
Another issue was the ultimate law carved in stone that you had to be
a member of the organization to attend the annual convention. There
may be some legal or insurance reasons but these can be resolved.
Just charge the non-members an additional fee which would make it worth
while and include a "complimentary" one year membership. This would be
a lot more hospitable and inclusive than exclusive.
Now I'm an excited member of the COAA and cannot wait to attend a rally.
What has been the difference? These folks have fun, they act like they
want you there, and are very accommodating and inclusive. They go out
of their way to embrace anyone interested, whether or not they own an
Greenville, North Carolina