Workshops and training events are an excellent benefit to your members. They can learn new skills, brush up on existing knowledge, and network during the breaks.
Have you ever thought about how to make these events work for your Chamber? These events are an opportunity for you to improve your member services, increase your visibility with your members, and promote the Chamber, all at the same time.
In the following tips, I’ll provide the steps to take, how to plan for each, and the number of staff you need to accomplish it.
1. Make the Training Information Easily Available
You put a lot of effort into planning and executing an event, so why not make sure it reaches the widest audience possible?
For those who want to watch the training live but can’t be there in person, broadcast the training live on Zoom or in a Facebook Group just for members. You can also record it and leave it in a private location for your members to view later. We recommend you remove it after a certain time frame, depending on your agreement with the speaker.
2. Show the Value of Each Training Event
Sometimes, a member might think a training isn’t worth attending, based solely on the title. How can you convince them that your training events are valuable and that they would benefit from attending the next one?
We recommend that you have someone take notes during the event (or transcribe some from the video) and publish a few takeaways on social media. Accompany these posts with images of the event or create the takeaways as carousel images with the tip written on them. Be sure to tag the speaker of the event in your social media post and use a few related hashtags for visibility.
This provides great, informative social media content for your Chamber and shows your members the quality of your workshops and training events.
Here is an example of how to share your tips:
You should also write up a summary of the event, including who spoke, some takeaways, and how many people attended, along with a few photos, and send this out in an email to all of your members. This can be very similar to the content you share on your social media accounts but in a different format. Be sure to keep it very brief.
At the bottom of this event summary email, you should link to your next two or more upcoming workshops or training events. Add a note that says, “we hope to see you at the next one!”
3. Use the Time to Connect with Members
Be sure to have someone assigned to greet each member individually. Be sure to hand them a printed copy of your next three months’ calendar of events. This is an opportunity to promote your activities to your members.
You can identify one or two members to ask to record a quick testimonial video for the Chamber after the event. It’s a great opportunity to get some material for your Chamber while members are in front of you. Have a quiet spot already set up for recording testimonials with your Chamber’s logo in the background, if possible.
Also, have a laptop set up and logged in to Chambermaster or whatever directory system you are using, and have a staff member designated to help members update their information. At this station, you will need a sign to explain that this is a chance for the member to ensure their directory information is current.
4. Invite New Members to Get them Involved in Your Chamber
Each new member should be assigned to someone in your Chamber. It could be an ambassador or another member willing to act as a mentor.
That person should call the new member and invite them to the training. If the new member agrees to attend, the Chamber mentor can greet the new member and sit with them to make them feel more comfortable. This relationship should help foster your new members and encourage them to participate in Chamber events and make the most of their membership.
5. Get Feedback from Your Members
After the event, send out an email survey to all who attended, thanking them for attending and asking them to rank the workshop/training. Find out what other topics they would like to learn about as well. Keep the survey very short – 3 questions maximum.
For those members who don’t respond to the survey on the first day, send a reminder on the second day. You should be able to automate this in your email marketing service.
When you are introducing your speaker and closing the event, announce that you will be sending this survey to the attendees. This will help them keep an eye out for the survey in their inboxes.
6. Secure Sponsorship
You don’t always have to solicit sponsorships openly, but you can casually remind your members that they can get their business’s name out there by sponsoring an event. Design a poster or banner that asks, “Want to sponsor a future workshop? Here’s how,” with a QR code to the web page that has detailed information about sponsorships and the benefits of sponsorship.
7. Be Like NPR
Have you ever listened to National Public Radio? They constantly remind us that “members like you help support this public radio station.” Take a page from NPR’s book and remind your members at all your events that this is possible because of their membership. Thank them for their membership. It makes your members feel good to be a part of something and may encourage them to retain their membership.
How Many Staff Will You Need?
Now, these are a lot of ideas for your Chamber to implement at an event. How many you undertake depends on the goals of your Chamber and your staffing numbers. Ideally, if you were to implement all of these ideas, you would need:
- One staff member to greet members and hand out information. This person would also seek out 1-3 members for testimonial videos. This member would also introduce the presenter and close the event.
- One staff member to assist with updating member information on the laptop. This person would also oversee the technical details for the presenter. If the projector is acting up, this staff member would address that.
- One staff member to take photos and videos during the event.
Training events and workshops are a great time to connect with members, encourage them to participate in Chamber events, get updated information for each member, and more. Record the workshop and/or take notes to share on social media to get the most out of these events. That way, members unable to attend can still learn valuable skills and information.
If you would like help with social media marketing, content creation, content marketing, email marketing, or web development for your Chamber of Commerce or Tourism Organization, get in touch with us today!