More than any other factor, great training can increase member engagement and help generate new members to add to your ranks. In fact, training is one of the most valuable services you can provide to your members, and is usually something they can either not get somewhere else, or can’t find affordably elsewhere. Here’s how to up the ante when it comes to advanced training for your members.
Find Out What Training Your Members Want
A simple survey is all it takes to determine what kind(s) of training your members most want. Be sure to carefully word your survey questions so as not to be leading or restrict the potential answers. Also, ask about what training they have already gotten, where they got it, and how well it served their needs. Ask them what (if anything) they’re willing to pay for the training they need, how they prefer to receive it, and how much time they’re willing to invest to get that training. In lieu of a survey, you can conduct a less formal poll via social media, in your blog comments section, or through your community forum.
Determine the Best Means for Delivering Training
For more regional associations, you should consider a live event where you can meet and greet your members in person. This also works for a national or international association, assuming members are willing to pony up the time and expense to travel to your event. Alternatively, you can consider offering training online via an e-learning platform or through a webinar. Make it as social as possible, because that increases member engagement while exposing students to a wide variety of viewpoints, previous experiences, educational levels, and ideologies.
Continually Update Your Training Offerings
Training production isn’t a one-and-done affair. To be relevant and meaningful, training needs to be constantly updated to reflect the latest changes in the industry or field of interest. Always issue new training when technologies change, when new legislation or industry regulations are passed, when trends in the market shift, and when other notable events happen. It’s an excellent idea to make past training events available via your YouTube channel and/or through a webinar that’s available on your website or blog. Even older training sessions can boost member engagement and help new potential members find you through online searches.
Partner with Other Organizations to Give Members the Training They Want
Almost all associations have established partnerships across the industry. Partner with these businesses, professionals, and resources to produce better training for your members. For example, ask a notable vendor to conduct a training seminar on their newest product, or have an industry leader talk about what the future holds. You’ll see member engagement improve considerably when they view you as a resource for the latest industry news, trends, opinions, and innovations.
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