Monday, June 5, 2017

Go Visit Your Members

I've written about this before, but I recently had another experience that again underscored the value of going out and visiting your members where they live and work.

I was sitting next to this member at dinner at an earlier function we both attended. Why don't you come down and visit us sometime? he said. I'd love to show you our operation.

It was all the invitation I needed. A few months later I had to make a trip to a nearby city, and I added the extra day to my itinerary to pop over and spend some time with him.

When we were together he expressed how happy he was that I had taken the time to come see him. It was no trouble at all, I told him truthfully. Every time I visit a member like this I learn something important about them, their business, or our industry -- and usually all three.

And it is these learnings that make the trips worthwhile. These are not just social calls; although they are also social calls in an important and increasingly necessary way. I get real, on-the-ground intelligence from these trips that helps me do my job better.

If you are an association CEO and you don't regularly visit your members, you really need to start asking yourself why.

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This post first appeared on Eric Lanke's blog, an association executive and author. You can follow him on Twitter @ericlanke or contact him at

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