Unique and engaging professional development opportunities can lift an association’s membership into the stratosphere. But convincing some members to take full advantage of those opportunities can be a hard sell.
Especially your younger members. It’s hard to win over their free time when your competing powerhouses like Instagram or their next Netflix binge.
But an association with revenue driven by certification and accreditation has a little more incentive to make professional development opportunities easily accessible for its members. So how do you get more members to join the professional development party?
- Offer a select amount of free sessions to kickstart member interest
- Utilize an easily managed professional development module
- Regularly reiterate the benefits of broadening member skill sets
- Generate content for all learners (audio, visual, written)
Each association is going to be its own expert when it comes to professional development content. So it’s up to you to understand what members want and need. Also, it’s helpful to understand the demographics of your more and less active users. Knowing an association’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to engagement will provide them with the tools to further engage the power users and find new ways to bring less engaged members into the fold.
For those associations really looking to ramp up member engagement through professional development courses, consider gearing some content toward younger and newer members. A blog post on Associations Now noted only 51 percent of associations were communicating with younger members, while only 7 percent were creating content aimed at members who joined fewer than two years prior.
And, your millennial members might be more likely to make use of your webinars — once they realize they exist. According to a poll by the nonprofit Growing Leaders, 69 percent of people 18 to 34 believe they learn more from technology than people.
The added benefit of delivering content toward younger members? If they stick around, you’ve found the next wave of association members to thrive for another generation.
Why spend time targeting professional development opportunities to younger members?
- They’re the members who have the greatest need for educational opportunities
- They are more likely to share the benefits of your professional development webinars or eBooks on social media. That’s likely to boost your social outreach
- Word of mouth could help you find more young industry professionals to add to your membership base
Make life easier for the professional development team
For an association, coming up with valuable training content should be where the challenges lie. Once the courses are developed, managing the programs, requirements and awards that keep members coming back for more should be simple.
To free up association staff for what’s important, Alliance by Protech Association Management Software has made it easy to link product sales with accreditation and certification courses — enabling associations to keep track of member professional development as it happens.
The best way to breathe life back into an association’s professional development process is to establish an outline on how your association’s certification and accreditation awards function, then work with an AMS vendor to set up an easy-to-use learning management module.
Want to learn more about how Protech’s AMS can help associations provide professional development courses to members? Click here to chat with a member of the Protech team.