Club Insider

Maximizing Your Member-Guest Events

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Karen Woodard-ChavezKaren Woodard-Chavez

Does your club host a monthly Member-Guest event at the club to showcase the club to prospects as well as utilize the event as a tool to increase participation and retention with members? If so, KUDOS to you. If not, you are missing out on a simple event that should be part of your monthly marketing mix.

Years ago, I wrote an article for Club Insider featuring tips to hosting a profitable party at the club. The tips in that article absolutely apply to a successful Member-Guest event. However, there are some additional points in this article that serve a different purpose than simply having a party for members and should not be missed. These eight tips include:

  1. 1. Being clear about your purpose. Your purpose with a Member-Guest event is threefold: (1) To create a reason for prospects that you have had a selling conversation with in the past to come back into the club, have a terrific time and want to join that day. (2) To invite members to come to the event to experience programs, services and professionals that they did not know about. (3) For members to be able to have a guest come to the club with them during the event. To be clear, the event is to have a consistent monthly bump in membership sales as well as non-dues revenue (NDR) programs.
  2. 2. This event is not solely sponsored and presented by the Membership Department. That is a HUGE misperception. If your Member-Guest event is largely being produced by the Membership Department, that is not only unfair, but your event may not be as strong as it could be due to the lack of collaboration and collective genius. The event is sponsored and produced by ALL departments in the club.
  3. 3. Planning for the event needs to happen two months ahead, and all departments should be involved in the planning. The plan needs to begin with the end in mind. The end includes how many members you expect to attend, how many guests/prospects you expect to attend, how many new memberships you expect to sell during the event and how many non-dues revenue programs you expect to sell during the event. From there, you will collaborate on the activities, demos, entertainment, refreshments, etc. and who will be doing what. This planning is most successfully done in a leadership meeting when all department leadership is present. Consider having this planning happen during the first meeting of the month and dedicating the entire meeting to the event. By doing so, all parties are prepared to participate and create a successful event, and the event planning is wrapped up two months ahead of time. As a side note, this will not only create a successful event, but it will be a terrific tool in breaking down silos that may exist in your business.

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