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 Post subject: membership drive and retention
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:14 am
Posts: 657
Location: downtown Saint Paul
It's time to start talking about our membership drive, our long term goals, and membership retention.

Over the last few months, we did a great job of bringing new people in and getting them signed up as members.

We need to keep doing that, but in addition, we need to Retain members.

If we're able to keep people around, that means we're doing our job as a maker space. If we're not able to keep members, that means that, in my opinion, something is getting missed.

I have a few ideas on how to do this. One, I'd like to see more people involved. Involved in projects, involved in discussions, involved in improving the space.

I've seen a lot of hard work going on around the space lately, as far as cleaning up and organizing the classroom, building working computer systems, cleaning up and organizing the space as a whole, moving large idle objects out the door, wicked fun robot projects, the list goes on.

The people doing this are highly motivated, and very invested in the space. I don't see these folks letting their membership lapse any time soon.

I'd like to see more of our membership involved in this kind of way.

I also think that Wednesday nights are a great chance for us to bond, and strengthen our sense of community. There were a lot of times this summer when we had spontaneous "let's grille!" nights that ended up being wicked fun, and very satisfying. As it's getting colder (Winter is coming.), it might not always be grilling weather, but there should still be a way to have this kind of fun.

I'm asking you, our members, to step up and forward (am I asking you to climb stairs?) to take action on figuring out what needs to happen to grow and retain our membership.

Just to be clear, for me, it's not just about the bottom line, i.e. meeting the numbers we need to keep the doors open.

It's also that membership retention, and our growth, is something that only happens if we're doing the right things to serve our community and our demographic.

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: membership drive and retention
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:47 am
Posts: 295
Location: Minneapolis
I think 2012 will be the year that will either break the HF or make it. We've had it easy with no competition to skim off members, but now with 1 or 2 competing (complementing?) groups opening up spaces, it will be harder than ever to retain members. We need to take a serious look at what works for other spaces, and implement those changes. I'm not sure what if any results from the member survey have been made into policy, but they need to addressed. If you're a disgruntled member, now is your time let the group know what needs to change in order for the HF to retain you as a member.

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 Post subject: Re: membership drive and retention
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:57 am
Posts: 385
Location: Minneapolis, MN
I'm announcing right now that I'm going to work with Brandon on developing an exit survey. (He doesn't know this yet :lol:) I'll be asking around for input in general later so I don't need a whole lot of input now, but do contact me if you're extremely interested.

The reason i'm doing this is because we can only optimize member retention so much without knowing why people are leaving. Other than a total member number drop, we don't know why people are leaving.

Are they not on an auto-pay plan and forgot to renew?
Are we lacking a tool they need?
Was there a personal issue with another member?
Did they leave for another space? (will be relevant soon)
Not enough time to justify membership?
Did they just lose their maker spirit?
etc.

The list goes on and on but if we don't have at least basic metrics on why people are leaving it's going to be hard to fix it.

In addition, membership retention is something you can pull, but not push. Yes, think rope.

We want people to want to be members of TC Maker. We can't force anyone to join or stay. It makes sense when you're thinking directly about it but it's a fine line that can get blurred when you aren't.

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 Post subject: Re: membership drive and retention
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:14 am
Posts: 657
Location: downtown Saint Paul
pyro, you nailed it.

Riley

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