Membership – Should I Stay or Should I Go

Oddly enough hot on the heels of the brexit vote I received an email reminder for renewal for a professional membership. If membership has its privileges what is the value point that tips the scales to renew.
The email I received outlined the usual benefits. Networking, content, discounts to events. However as of late I have been more value focused and began to scrutinize the cost benefit for renewal. From what I could tell most of the ‘benefits’, at least in this organization, were not that defendant on membership.
Here’s how I broke it down….
I would be able to connect with people in the same manner that I would without membership via things like social media. This particular organization did not have an online community that I could access so getting connected with like-minded professionals was pretty well left to me in the first place.
Almost all professional organizations have content that is only permitted to members, which is one of the draws of initial membership. However once you have been to the shop a few times you can see that the way that they are managing their knowledge is not luring you to come back for more. The white papers, slide decks and templates become dated and lowers the value for a return consumer.
Discount to Events
At some events I found that some people even did the math on membership discounts over the year to see if they would come out ahead. While this organization may have great events the ability to enjoy them or participate was not improved with a membership.
Even looking at it from overall not all chapters in these organizations are managed equally. Some countries have a larger resource pool for people volunteering and as a result can be managed in a way that allows for increased value as compared to others.
So what do you do? For me finding a collaborative space within social media allows for a broad networking space while still attending events in a non-member capacity allows me to keep my local connections up to date. A professional organization which from my perspective is a great model is the Business Relationship Management Institute. As a member I find that they have a blend of all things I need at price that right with regularly curated materials including a body of knowledge, blogs and webinars.
So again I pose the question to you, what is a key driver in not only becoming a member but staying a member year after year. Reach out and let me know what you think.

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