Dec. 13, 2016 – I attended club officers training for Division B, J, F, P – District 20 @ Emirates Auditorium. During the panel Q&A session numerous questions were put forward including – How to ….. increase membership in advance Club, raise funds, Increase membership, INCREASE PARTICIPATION, practice of using photo copy of manuals and DCP points.
Sustained participation of members caught my attention which is a perennial problem in the clubs. Clubs may have 30 – 60 members but participation is limited to 15 – 28 members in most of the club meetings. Declining participation is a trigger that it is time to bring in a change. Question is what can you do to prevent drop in member’s participation in the club meetings?
Everything is in the mind and am sharing “10” practical hooks to increase DNA (Do not Attend) members participation in the club meetings
- REMOVE PHYSICAL IRRITANTS: Choose professional premises for your meetings. It must have necessary equipment for speakers such clip mic, flip chart, white board, LCD projector, pen, pad and table to write. Chose a place that is conveniently located and has adequate free parking slots.
- LEADERS PARTICIPATION: Club members have elected you to lead. You have taken the onus to lead the club hence encourage every Excom member to performs their duties diligently and participate. Half the battle is won when Excom is active. To involve more club members, nominate an assistant to every Excom role play.
- “FUTURE LOCK IN” : Plan your meetings 3 months/ 6 months in advance and nominate TMOD. People think differently for DISTANT FUTURE and NEAR FUTURE event. Near future is evaluated in terms of concrete ideas whereas distant future are evaluated on abstract terms. Hence it’s easier to get a commit for DISTANT FUTURE event.
- COMMITMENT & CONSISTENCY: Request written commitment such as role player’s introduction, project details or activity commitment (such as ordering food, arranging room, bring in two guest, role play and others) for the meeting day in advance of meeting date. Once they have committed in writing; the probability of last minute drop-out reduces considerably.
- SIGNATURE MEETING: Every meeting should be a signature meeting of respective TMOD. When meetings are routine members go into sleep mode and when meetings have variety they move into participatory mode.
- VALUE: WIIFM (what’s in it for members) Think from members perspective. Are they getting value out of the meeting? Brainstorm and include perceived value in every club meet.
- THINK TANK: Your members are your think tank. Every head count is a bucket-full of ideas. Tap into it and regularly capture their suggestions on an online platform.
- COLLABORATION TOOL: We are in a connected digital world. Use a collaboration tool for member’s communication. Email or WhatsApp can be aid whereas collaboration tool can be the primary tool that will retain threads of communications on a single platform. Use collaboration tool to include meeting’s agenda, meetings feedback/suggestions and new ideas, DCP points, finance and others. Evaluate collaboration tools such as Slack, Basecamp, Taskworld and others.
- NETWORK TIME: Allocate 30 minutes before meet for networking. Probably define how members can benefit from 30 minutes of network time. Club may also utilize this time for most feared activity i.e. Table topics practice session.
- BROADCAST YOUR MEETING: Get internet connectivity and broadcast your meetings to the world outside. This is a powerful tool that can impact at four levels. (1) Marketing of club activities (2) An opportunity to learn technology (3) Absent members can view the meet (4) it will bring seriousness in the quality of meetings.
The above are simple suggestions that may help club to increase (DNA) member’s participation.