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Grow your membership base by attracting emerging professionals

Posted on April 12th, 2018 in Association Events, Attracting Millennials

A common piece of marketing and sales folklore says that it’s much easier and cheaper to retain a customer than it is to get a new one. But without any new blood, you’ll find that your membership levels stagnate and eventually drop.

For industry shows, it’s tempting to focus on established professionals. While this can help boost membership levels, often it’s easier and more cost-effective to target emerging professionals – especially if you can turn them into repeat attendees.

Host regular events

While many industries are happy with one annual event for their members, younger people – especially those who are fresh from university – often feel like they need more regular meet-ups to get any real benefit.

By holding small monthly events, you can engage with people new to your industry by focusing on matters that are directly related to them. Whether that’s a talk about how to establish yourself on LinkedIn, business tips from established names or updates on industry developments, it’s a great way for young people to learn valuable skills and get to know other people in the industry, as well as to hear from potential bosses and mentors.

Offer student prices

It’s no secret that students aren’t the richest people in society, and a high membership fee often seems like a huge expense. Offering student prices (for current and recently graduated students) can help encourage people to join when they’d otherwise stay away.

These discounted memberships don’t always need to have the same benefits as standard memberships, but they can give a great taster of what to expect. Then, when it comes time to apply for a full membership, they’ll have experience of your organisation and more reason to sign up than if they were coming in cold.

Encourage young speakers

Like attracts like, and if your industry shows have line-ups full of older, more established speakers, this could send out the wrong signals. Inviting some fresh faces not only keeps things interesting for regular attendees, it also gives a fresh perspective on what’s happening in the industry and helps emerging professionals feel like they belong and that their opinions are valued.

Be active on social media

Traditional marketing methods are a big hit with older professionals, but younger pros (and many of their established ilk) are heavily focused on the online world.

A good step is to set up a social media presence. Depending on your industry and the people in it, you may find that a Facebook page is enough, but you may also want to spread to Instagram, Twitter and others.

As well as regular updates on social media, your own site and an email newsletter, advertising on social media is another great idea. Whether that’s boosting posts on Facebook so more of your members can see your posts or advertising to non-members depends on a number of factors, but putting money into your presence can greatly widen your presence online.

Facebook also allows you to target very specific audiences. Whether you want to limit who sees your ad by age, income and/or interests, it’s very easy to tailor your ad spend so that only people who are likely to respond will see the ad.

No matter how you go about it, targeting emerging professionals is a great way to boost your membership numbers, and there’s a great chance that these people will stick around for years to come.

Partner with the leading exhibition and conference organiser to uncover your event’s potential

Successful events start with a conversation! Exhibitions and Trade Fairs (ETF) is a full service organiser with over thirty five years experience in trade and consumer exhibitions, conferences and events. Our goal is to provide exhibitors, sponsors, visitors and the industries they represent with an effective opportunity to meet to do business, network and learn. Have an obligation-free chat with our team today by sending an online enquiry or by calling us at +61 2 9556 7999.