Member engagement is crucial for chambers of commerce and associations alike. Active members make your events more engaging and help to introduce new members. Payal Kanwar from the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) has shared her insights on the best practices of member engagement with us. Some of the tools to improve member engagement are business support services, publications, events, and sector committees.
There are different types of events that a chamber of commerce can organize, however, the methodology behind these events should be the same: the topic should be related to the interests of your members. For example, laws and regulations change constantly in India so events related to updates on legislation are necessary. In order to understand the expectations of members, chambers of commerce can conduct surveys.
Moreover, chambers of commerce should provide speaking and networking opportunities for their members at the events. Besides learning about relevant information in the industry, members also need the opportunities to promote their companies and products, and to expand their network. It would be even more helpful if chambers could facilitate post-event introductions that connect their members with other members that they would like to reach out to.
Facilitating contacts between companies and government is also an important way to improve member engagement. Since each industry has its own needs and challenges, chambers can organize conferences for members and government officials based on their industry. Publishing white paper is another way to provide advocacy support to members and assist them with the local government. In the white paper, chambers can state their members’ challenges and provide recommendations to the government. In the case of IFCCI, some of their recommendations actually led to the change of policies.
For large chambers, it is a good idea to have sector committees. As mentioned above, each industry has its own interests and challenges. Sector committees can provide a sense of belonging to members as they are all in the same industry. It would also make networking and knowledge sharing more efficient.
Last but not least, a publication can serve as a great tool to improve member engagement. It allows chambers to publish articles to provide relevant information and market updates to their members. Members can also post advertisements to promote their companies and products.
Member engagement can be complicated and challenging, especially for international chambers of commerce since the expatriate members in these organizations come and go, but we hope the ideas and insights that we shared in this article can help you to build an active, engaging, and caring community.
Best Practices of Member Engagement with Mrs. Kanwar
If you want to learn more about membership management and community engagement, check out our upcoming events in Hong Kong, Manila, and Kuala Lumpur and register before it’s too late!