How to maximize events in your membership business

Many membership businesses have found that events are a great way to increase retention for their membership business.  Members attend an event, build relationships, increase their engagement and end up keeping their membership.

So how can you leverage your events to increase the impact and provide even greater value for your members:


  1. Know your goals.

Is it to get new members? Is it to engage existing members? Is it to sell? Is it to get upgrades in your membership program? Whichever it may be, I want you to know your goal, and I would like for you to have this to be a written goal. Every time you schedule a meeting, every time you plan a meeting, you say, “My goal for this event is … My secondary goals are … ” and fill those in so that you can structure your event in the same way.

  1. Control the room.

Now, I was on a private coaching call with one of my private clients and he was doing an event. It was his first event, and he was going to be around some high-powered CEOs. I told him, I said, “The one thing that I want you to do and focus in on is I want you to be in control. I want you to be in control of the room. I want you to be in control of the members.

When you get to your facility, the very first thing I want you to do is I want you to test your technology. I want you to test that video projector, I want you to test that sound system, because right then and there, once you know that works, then you can focus your attention on the other areas. Then you can begin to say, “Okay, now that I know the presentation is going to work correctly, now I can focus in on how the chairs are set up, now I can focus in on the signage, now I can focus in on the noise from the neighbors next door, in the room next door.”

  1. Be The Expert In The Room

Some of you, the reasons why your events are not going the way you want them to, it isn’t for a lack of planning. You planned it, and everything … I mean like, everything is planned, and you know exactly what is going to happen and when. You’ve got control of the room, and you’ve made sure that the room set up is the best way, the best possible set up for you, but yet, you’re still wondering why your events aren’t as effective as they could be.

Here’s why. You’re not the expert in the room. You’re running around. You’re trying to make sure all of these things get done. You’re trying to make sure that all of the technology is working, so how can you be the expert in the room?

I want you to delegate as much as you can. I want you to delegate as much as you can. Now, for some of you, it may be staff members. For others, it may be volunteers. For others, you might be saying, “Well, Scott. I don’t really know who it would be.” Well, I want you to find somebody. Get a volunteer. Get a member. Get a current member to help you with the event. I want you to delegate, and I want you to leverage other people so that you can be the expert in the room.

  1. Evaluate the Event

I’m going to share with you what I told you are the four most valuable questions from the strategy system in the online course I offer, the Seven Systems of a Growing Membership Business. Some of you have heard me say this before, but it is worth repeating. Experience is not the best teacher. I repeat it because people constantly believe that lie that all I have to do is just gain more and more and more experience, and I’ll somehow or another become an expert in it or I’ll become a better teacher. I’ll learn more.

No. Evaluated experience is the best teacher.

Always ask yourself these four questions:
1) What went right?

2) What went wrong?

3) What was missing?

4) What was confusing?


Those four questions will provide you with clear ways to do better next time.


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About Scott Whitaker

Scott is an expert in creating and building membership programs within businesses, giving greater value to customers and multiplying income. Using his "Seven Systems of a Healthy Membership Program," he will help you get new members, increase retention and structure your membership program for long-term growth.