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Need More Butts In The Seats?

Are you in an association or organization driven by memberships? Could you use more members? Is it a not-for-profit or charity with limited funds for recruiting? Maybe you can take a closer look at your BITS.

Distinguished Toastmaster Brian Sutton, one of the Marketing Ambassadors in District 61. guided our Toastmasters Club through a 20-minute exercise, challenging us to creatively define how we could increase our BITS - Butts In The Seats. Watch Brian in action:

Key message: More important than getting new members is retaining members by creating a powerfully fun and valuable environment in which members simply invite others to attend to receive the same benefit and share the fun.

How we attract visitors now:

  • Word of mouth
  • Web site
  • Toastmasters "celebrity"

What we could do differently to attract and keep members:

  • Poster outside meeting room
  • Twitter
  • Facebook page, linked to web site
  • Invite people to hear our speeches [not necessarily to join]
  • Target government employees
  • Target government training coordinators
  • Library web site "upcoming events"
  • Distribute pamplets, or small event
  • Consolidate small clubs
  • Share with other clubs
  • Joint meetings
  • Strengthen educational program
  • After ~5 speeches, emphasize leadership track
  • Alternate speech projects
  • Exit interviews - Why?
  • Become a buddy
  • Become or get a mentor

How about your organization? Would it be helpful to ask your members to creatively imagine what can be done to increase membership. The ideas they come up with might be ideas they are willing to support. Their ideas might be ideas that really work...

For even more ideas, check out Recruit - Retain - Recognition.

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