Information supplied by Dawn Veraldo, South Puget Sound BPW
Offer a one time *Free Guest Pass to get prospective members in your door! Once your guest is in the door, your local President should greet and welcome them. Have them sign in and get a Guest Name Tag. The next person they meet should be a Meeting Ambassador (one of your members) who is there to introduce them to other members and make them feel at home. Never just say hello and let a guest walk into your meeting blind – everyone needs a hand to hold in a new environment. ALSO, have your Meeting Ambassadors offer them a Membership Benefits Brochure detailing what your local & state organizations have to offer them as a member, how much annual dues are, and be sure to include some member testimonials and your membership chairâ€™s contact information. The membership chair should contact any prospective member who did not join at the meeting to see if they have any questions and to invite them to visit one more time ($20). Limit visits to 2 per meeting year per person – EXPECT them to join!
Make use of the Internet by having a website that showcases your members and their businesses. A Mobile Website and Mobile App can also be great tools to spread the word about your members! Create a Facebook page for your local (if you donâ€™t already have one) and use it to spotlight membersâ€™ personal and professional successes and to promote your monthly meetings and events. Have special nametags for members to wear at the meetings to make them stand out among the crowd. Have a display of membersâ€™ business cards at your meeting at a â€œmembers onlyâ€ table. Invite members to be a Meeting Sponsor of your monthly meeting for a small fee – this includes a display table (if they like), table handouts and up to 10 minutes to promote their business. Create events outside of your regular meetings to showcase a member business – ie: An automotive shop hosts a Womenâ€™s Car Care Event or a Restaurant owner hosts a wine and food pairing. Have members donate prizes for a drawing at the end of your meeting and promote their business for them! (Draw from member & guest business cards collected at the door.)
… a meeting that is inviting to members and guests! Women of today want networking opportunities, education, training, and a place to form strong, long lasting friendships that are supportive to them both personally and professionally. Make your meetings worthwhile to attend. Great speakers make great meetings! Communicate with other locals about exceptional speakers that you have hosted and share their information. Holding board meetings prior to the general meeting or even on another date is another good idea. Most members and guests have little or no interest in sitting through a business meeting. Meetings should be fun, educational and a great place to make new and lasting connections!
… towards a goal! Consider holding a retreat for your executive board and chairpersons over the summer and spend a full day together planning for the year ahead. Set goals for your local in general and for each member of the board. You may also want to set goals for your members and encourage them to help grow your local by challenging them to invite at least one friend or colleague to join them at a monthly meeting each month of your meeting year. You might have an award for the member who brings in the most guests who become a member, as incentive. When setting goals, map out the steps youâ€™ll take in order to reach the goals – be sure to write down what your â€œrewardâ€ will be for reaching your goals – a larger, stronger BPW local!
… to get to know each other! Create opportunities for your members to gather outside of your regular meeting to have FUN together and do some Community Building. Hosting a coffee meet up or organizing a girls shopping trip to an outlet mall are fun activities that will foster the growth of relationships among members. It is a proven fact that people do business with people they know and trust. You should know and trust your BPW sisters! Get to know each other better and the referrals will start flying – the women in your local will promote each other to clients, family and friends. This is another benefit of membership!
Make your local a supportive family. Hold an occasional 50/50 raffle at meetings or have an annual fundraiser to raise money for your â€œMember HELP Fundâ€. If a member goes into the hospital or has an illness in the family and needs some support, you wonâ€™t need to ask members for money, you simply withdraw from the fund. You can pay for freezer meals to be prepared, have a house cleaning service come in or just send flowers in support of the member. Use the money you collect from â€œBrag Bucksâ€ to pay for you localâ€™s Christmas Party or a Summer Family Picnic. (â€œBrag Bucksâ€ = $1 to speak for 30 seconds at the end of the meeting for members & guests to share business or personal information – this also cuts down on introductions time at the start of your meeting!)