Chambers of Commerce: Are membership directories relevant in the digital era?

Chambers provide a platform for people to connect. They offer prime networking opportunities to develop new contacts and solid resources to help businesses start, manage and grow their companies. One of the ways how chambers of commerce connect their members are membership directories.

Membership directories help thousands of consumers find business partners, contacts, and other like-minded people. Running a single business can be difficult but managing a dozen to hundreds of thousands of members is tougher. More than 60 percent of businesses join chambers because of networking. How can chambers effectively utilize their business network to easily match members with other members?

membership directories, printed vs. online vs. mobile membership directories
Traditionally printed membership directories from some of our chambers of commerce clients

According to our research, about 80 percent of chambers still go with the traditional printing of membership directories, which also works but these chambers are at the risk of becoming irrelevant. Some chambers also have online business directories available on their websites, but that might be not enough. Over the years, mobile usage has taken over desktop usage and this goes to show how much your organization is missing out if you still think “mobile friendly” instead of “mobile first”. Chambers have limited resources and may not be able to keep up with technological trends.

Upgrade your membership directories

Most of the leaders in both developed and emerging markets are mobile. They stay ahead by embracing each new advanced technology which helps improve productivity and efficiency in business, connect with new clients and markets and compete with much larger players in the industry. Chambers run the risk of losing out on potential members to mobile tools if they do not quickly adapt to the realities of today’s market.

IT companies have come up with solutions that address the challenges of staying relevant and connected in this digital age. It is important to reach your audience through mobile communication as well as provide them with a great mobile experience. Mobile apps like EventBank App make membership directories available not only on chamber websites but also in the mobile app, where members can access information about other members anytime.

membership directories
An example of membership directory on the EventBank App for members and attendees

Having membership directory online and mobile does not only save trees and the annual cost of traditionally printing books; members get to edit and update their information and set limitations as to what information is available to different groups of people. They can also effectively connect with other members directly from the app, bringing your member engagement to new heights. This brings a whole new life to printed membership directories, for which your members will thank you.

 

The future of membership directories

Who knows where the next level of innovation will take membership directories, but in this current generation, everything is mobile! The mobile industry will keep growing at a fast rate as consumers and businesses discover new technologies and make more advanced demands.

How does your membership directory look like? How do you maximize the interactions and experience of your members? Let us know in the comments section below!

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