5 Take-aways from #CEX18

More than 150 association pros representing some 100 associations with responsibility around member components gathered to explore how to leverage chapters at the second annual Component Exchange last month. There’s so much to report so we’ll start here with a few take-aways.

(1) Map the journey

There are many intersections in the member journey where we find national and chapters (or any geographic affiliate) meet. Sometimes the intersection is clearly marked. Many more happen just around the corner, out of view. By mapping the journey of a member, we found a few unexpected ones.

Ex 1: A member opts into volunteering for the chapter … national has an open portal on getting the most of volunteering for your chapter accessible. Impact: improved volunteer experience and a touchpoint with a member.

Ex 2: A member wins a chapter award (e.g., PRSA Maryland Best In Maryland) … national gives the member a shout out. Impact: touchpoint with a member and the chapter wins by helping expand the recognition for the member beyond the chapter to a broader audience within the profession/trade.

Join us for a deeper conversation on December 13th free webinar Sharing Members: Optimizing The National-Chapter Intersection [free registration]

(2) Technology holds opportunity beyond getting the job done.

Woven throughout the 16 Tech Tools session, we heard that sharing free, low-cost, subsidized tools or access to tools strengthens national-chapter relationships. Technology can open doors for collaboration across the system. We highlighted a few of these in our follow-up webinar Chapter Tech Tools You Can’t Live Without [view it free].

(3) Virtual chapters are a hot topic – but not an easy answer!

It’s the perceived promise that this model will address the waning engagement in traditional chapters, deal with wide geographic footprints that challenge getting together face-to-face, and fill in for under-served areas. The model doesn’t eliminate the need for leadership and volunteers. It requires flexible, easy-to-use technology. It must provide unique engagement opportunities. The added element is that most of our members need a different form of on-boarding and support to optimize the virtual networking and activity. This requires the right training for leaders, so they can be effective in engaging a virtual leadership and membership.

(4) Improv builds community!

We started the day with an Improv activity (Yes, And?) and ended with two activities (Yah, Boo and Extreme Rock, Paper, Scissors). Getting people to play breaks down glass walls and makes meeting new people easier.

(5) Polling channel gives everyone a voice.

We began with easy polls to help us see who was in the room (the word cloud is one of them!). Then, throughout we used polls to capture ahas, curate questions, and share ideas. We used PollEverywhere for the basic polls and Kahoot! for quizzes. Cool bonus: you can download the responses to a spreadsheet great for sharing, curating, and more.

We’ll continue to share take-aways. If you attended, what did you take-away?