How to Add Members Through Chamber Travel
April 16, 2019 | Chamber Tips
Building and retaining members of your chamber can be a challenge, and it is so crucial to the success of your organization. Members are, of course, the lifeblood of any chamber of commerce. Their interests shape what you do, and their ongoing membership ensures that you can continue with your important work.
Chamber travel is a great way to find new members, as well as increase member satisfaction and retention. In fact, this is why so many chambers of Commerce make group travel a priority.
Let’s take a closer look at how your chamber can increase its membership through trips.
Increase Member Satisfaction by Offering More Benefits
Increasingly, chamber members are closely considering what benefits they get from their membership. It is often no longer enough to offer a few networking events and behind-the-scenes lobbying for their interests.
Because of this shift, chambers are starting to focus more on this benefit. Travel is universally appealing, and you are often uniquely poised to offer tailor-made and value-added travel to your members.
Plus, they will be travelling with other members - which helps to create a sense of community and increase their sense of belonging.
Making memories together is something your members will always remember. They’ll look back on photos and videos of that trip, knowing that their chamber planned an amazing experience. This positive correlation with a vacation and your chamber leads to greater satisfaction, and in turn, more members.
Word-of-Mouth From Your Members
People love to talk about travel! While the benefits of joining a chamber of commerce may not be something that comes up in everyday conversation, a recent trip to Europe sure does. It is highly likely that guests on your chamber trip will share the experience with their friends, family, and colleagues.
This increases awareness about your chamber, and also provides an introduction to some of the broad benefits of membership. As a result, a chamber tour program is an excellent way to encourage word-of-mouth discussion about your organization.
Creating a buzz can encourage potential members who were not aware of your chamber or the benefits of joining - or finally tempt those who have been considering it for a while. Either way, you’ll see the benefit in terms of membership.
Endless Opportunities for Bonding
Another way group travel can boost your membership is the chance to network with your base. Generally, chamber group travel will give you the time and opportunity to meet with members, including those who may not have attended other events or meetings thus far.
A multi-day trip gives everyone the chance to interact with a broader cross-section of your membership. Members have more time to strengthen relationships and formalize friendships. They’ll have many opportunities to discuss what made them join the chamber, what issues they are facing, and their perspective on your organization.
These conversations are invaluable in helping to retain their membership, as well as more broadly develop strategies to reach would-be members and engage your membership as a whole.
Make New Connections Interstate and Abroad
A unique benefit of chamber group travel is that it introduces your chamber to people all over the country, and even the world. There are many benefits to this.
To begin with, your members will appreciate the opportunity to establish new connections and networks beyond their local area. This is a benefit of chamber travel that is not usually a part of a regular tour package - so it’s a big selling point for member satisfaction and retention.
Next, these interstate or international connections can help you reach a wider network of potential members. Although they may not be suitable for membership themselves, they may have connections in your area. Allowing them to connect with your chamber means that they may advocate for your chamber and the benefits of membership in the future.
Connect with Non-Members
One great benefit of traveling with a chamber is that it is possible to open up tickets to non-members. Not only is this an excellent way to raise funds for your organization, but it also provides great opportunities to recruit new members.
The group tour may be the first introduction that some have to your chamber - and it’s a great first impression. It’s also highly likely that you’ll get the opportunity to speak one-on-one to these guests, outlining the benefits of membership and perhaps even signing them up then and there.
Spreading the Word
Depending on your chamber and the type of travel you organize, you may find that your trip is featured in local publications. This is yet another way that you can publicize the diverse work of your chamber, and lead to possible new membership.
As you can see, there are many ways that chamber group travel can help you to grow your membership. A thriving, satisfied membership base is key to your chamber’s success - and group travel can help you achieve it. When you’re ready to plan a chamber trip, contact Chamber Discoveries. We have experts ready to plan your trip of a lifetime!