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Best Practices - Membership

  • Soliciting members-at-large input on a recurring basis can help assure groups that they are providing relevant technical content and services to the constituents. Electronic membership surveys can be used to gauge performance, test new ideas and measure interest in new technical topics.
  • Consider developing a “Welcome” letter to new or renewed members. This letter can key in on and reinforce the key benefits of being of member of your group. Topics such as technical programming opportunities, newsletter content, website content, industrial and academic connections, consultant lists and special division events could be used. As the demographic of the Society is changing, email may be the preferred method of communication.
  • Consider developing a “We Don’t Want to Lose You” letter that is sent to lapsed or non-renewing members, reminding them of the value of being a member and asking them once again to renew their membership. This is also an opportune time to ask them to fill out a survey to learn why they are departing and what you may be able to do to prevent others from leaving for the same reason.
  • While SPE is known amongst most plastic professionals, each year many new potential members emerge from the university system and from other industries. One possible method of attracting these members is to develop a stand-alone brochure that states the mission, recurring activities and benefits of becoming a member of your group. These brochures can be handed out at technical conferences both within and outside of SPE.
  • Many groups use routine receptions as a recruiting tool, attracting potential new members through word of mouth and formal invitations through their various forms of employment. These events can be an hors d’oeuvres/cash bar event with or without a speaker relevant to their industry. It is encouraged to solicit corporate sponsorship for the event to offset the costs for attendees while showcasing the importance of the group’s activities in general. Sponsors often times have table top space to promote their respective organizations.
  • Utilize a MiniTech conference to solicit new members. For attendees that are not SPE members, include a one-year paid membership as part of the registration fee.
  • When you receive your monthly membership roster, review the new member list and send a personal letter (not an email) thanking them for joining. Included in the letter is a snapshot of the benefits of joining SPE and flyers for any upcoming events.
  • Be dedicated to developing and distributing an informative newsletter that is emailed to your membership and posted online. The newsletters may include board actions, upcoming events, technical articles and messages from officers.