Great Idea of the Month
“Pop” in some Member Appreciation & Attendance Building at Your Next Meeting
The Hamilton Section tried something new to reward those in attendance (both new and existing members), and you can try it too! You could use this idea for meetings you typically get fewer attendees or at the start of your program year to garner attention and build some excitement for the meeting and program year.
Here’s how it works: upon arrival, each attendee receives a raffle ticket. You can conduct the raffle at the beginning or end of the meeting (and depending on what you'd like folks to stay for, you should plan accordingly). If their number is called, they get to pop a balloon. Inside the balloon is a slip of paper, listing their prize. You can have sponsors contribute a variety of small gifts or ask headquarters for giveaway items.
You can also come up with your own ideas such as gift cards to popular places (Starbucks, Subway, Home Depot, etc.), bottles of wine and/or specialty beer, handy electronic or travel items they can use on the go, and so on. Just think about what your members do outside of work and find a corresponding prize.
You can also up the ante if you get a large number of attendees, by throwing in an extra balloon at the last minute that includes either a free dinner for next time, or even a free membership! Let attendees know why you're including it, and they'll make the connection for next time - bringing a co-worker or two or twelve.
And if you want to draw an extra large crowd, consider advertising the free dinner or membership with the meeting notice. If you get large numbers, it's good for you and the speaker (and you can use the attendance number when you approach future speakers). You may also consider advertising a free Annual Meeting attendance as one of the prizes if you meet a certain number of attendees AND you get a sponsor to subsidize the cost. This is a great bonus for the sponsor as they get a huge amount of positive exposure!
But don’t let it stop here—always try to come up with new items that you’d like to receive as an attendee.
If you try something new, tell us! We’d love to share your great ideas with all our section leaders. Send ideas to Kara Sniegowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.