Briefs and Featured Articles

Put Me In, Coach!

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 05/22/18

We are mid-way through another Convention season.  Hours and hours of work, countless dollars and buckets of stress go into planning a successful Chapter Convention.  Speaker and trainers and booked.  Schedules are finalized and programs printed.  Budgets are analyzed and finalized.  Hotels are booked, meeting rooms reserved and meals are planned.  And then…the wait begins.  State Presidents and Convention Chair persons anxiously wait for registration forms to arrive in their mail boxes.  Will our members attend?  What can we do to draw them to the convention? 

As conventions close and Boards meet to discuss their success, one topic comes up in every meeting.  How can we increase attendance?

I believe the solution to this common issue begins long before convention planning even starts.  The solution is the inclusion, recognition and involvement of ALL of our members.

Our Chapters must be inclusive.  We must plan meetings and events that include content for all of our members and hold them at a time that is feasible for them to attend.  Reach out to our supervisor members and make them feel included.  Plan things that are relevant to their careers.  Reach out to our members that haven’t been active and let them know that their membership is valued!

Take time to recognize the accomplishments of our members!  Send a short note to congratulate a member on a new job!  When you notice one of our members has won a contest or competition, take a minute to congratulate them.  Celebrate the victories in our members’ lives and careers. Recognition is key to building active, vibrant Chapters.

Look for ways to involve our members.  Ask a member who is performing well to write a short article for your newsletter, or to serve as a subject matter expert for your chapter.  Involve members is the planning of 3 digit meetings.  Encourage our members to run for a Chapter officer position.  Ask a few members to send greeting cards on behalf of the Chapter Board.

As our members begin to feel included, recognized and involved we will see more participation on every level.  Many times, our members are just waiting to be asked.  They want to be involved in something bigger than themselves.  They want to believe in an organization that fights for them, represents them and cares for them.  Many of them are waiting in the dug out, silently saying, “Put me in, coach!”  It’s up to us, as active and involved members, to build our team!

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   Submitted By:
   Stephanie Jett
   UPMA National Vice President
   Western U.S.