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TMI could observe one thing when I visited a Toastmasters Club meet last week; THIN ATTENDANCE.  And during break time the topic of discussion was also “WHAT IS THE ANTIDOTE TO THIN ATTENDANCE.”   

In this post I would share my thoughts which are easier said than done.  But if you begin right you are most likely to end right as well.  Most Toastmasters club face dwindling attendance and the best road map to reverse the attrition is to adopt BI-MODAL STRATEGY.   Bimodal strategy is to have strategy focus on two membership areas.

  • RETENTION OF EXISTING MEMBERS: Existing members attend the club meet by ensuring that their individual needs are addressed. The needs could be Education, Growth in and outside the club, right participation opportunities, recognition, involvement in decision making, role models, Mentoring, Quality meetings, innovative meetings, easy to reach meet location, available parking and so on.
  • ACQUISITION OF NEW MEMBERS: Allocate a budget to acquire new members. Define  2- 3 ideas and steps to invite guests in every club meet and measure your conversion rate from guests to members. How can you improve on the rate of conversion by 10% or 20%.  Identify a team to convert guests into members.  On the flip side  conversion of  guests to member should be a collective responsibility of every member of the club. 

caveat;  even if your club is thriving with membership attendance of   40 – 50 or 60 members in every meet.  Do not slack on inviting Guests because Guests are life line of every club longevity.  Final word of caution – in the beginning of the year set number target in three areas; every CLUB MEETING ATTENDANCE; MEMBERSHIP RETENTION and ACQUISITION.  And measure your efforts.  Because what gets measured gets done.

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  • Bernard Doogue:

    As the VPM,I ask the guest when they sign in what brought them to our meeting,and what they do for a living. I then give them a name tag and an agenda,and then introduce them to some of our members,saying Please meet John,who is an attorney and is looking to improve his ability to speak in public !

    Our members then talk to the guest and then introduce them to other members.

    We also have our President welcome each member,when opening the meeting ,and have them tell the club who they are ,what they do and what they are trying to achieve at Toastmasters.

    We also have them sit next to a member,who can answer their questions during the meeting.

    When closing the meeting the guest is asked for their feedback and impressions of the meeting ,and then invited to return.

    We have added 10 new members so far this year and expect to add another 5 members before 30 th June

    Bernard Doogue
    VP Membership
    Camden County Toastmasters Club

  • Jenny Au:

    Dear Vinod,

    I agree with you on the two key strategies; Retention of Existing Members and Recruitment of New Members.
    In District 80 and during the term 2013-2014, we strategized for two Club Retention Chair persons to oversee this need. We focused closely to those “dying” clubs and spend time and effort in reviving them. The good result was very satisfying. A stable and growing membership is the life-line of the club. This steady membership retention and growth is an important factor and contributed to our D80 to become President Distinguished District in 2013-2014.

    Jenny Au, DTM
    D80, Anchorvale Toastmasters Club

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