When Was Your Association Chapter’s Last Virtual Presence Audit?

Updated: Feb. 5, 2021  |  Categories: Low Engagement  

When Was Your Association Chapter’s Last Virtual Presence Audit?

When was the last time you reviewed all you do virtually to better understand if your virtual programing continues to meet your association chapter members’ and the chapter’s needs? Or perform an audit to show gaps that could be frustrating your members and even your board?

A virtual presence audit can be the first step to getting your online presence on track. Here are three areas to consider reviewing to see how you’re performing, along with some ideas for closing the gaps you find.

Governance

You might not think your chapter governance has any sort of virtual component. You have bylaws and meetings with voting that require quorums, correct? If you haven’t updated yours in a while, there’s a strong chance they state that voting needs to occur in person.

Voting can be difficult for association chapters right now due to the pandemic; some continue to hold off meeting at all (It’s been 9 months. How much longer can you wait? ) or they have meetings, but they are completely virtual. If your bylaws state voting must be in person, how are you making any decisions? It’s time to change your bylaws to allow for virtual voting – and virtual and/or hybrid board meetings.

Think about how much more you could accomplish with that small change. Say for example, one of your board members is returning from a trip. Even if she has just 15 minutes between flights, that’s enough time to join a meeting virtually to vote.

Website

Are your association chapter members and prospective members able to easily find the information they need on your association website? Do you have a job board? A forum where they can safely discuss things that concern them – professionally and personally – with other members. A place to get recordings of meetings they missed?

Review your content, your design and your analytics, to see how you’re performing and get an understanding of things like:

  • What people are doing on your website. Is there a page they’re leaving almost immediately? Are there mistakes on it? Broken links?
  • Where on the home page people are clicking. Is it where you expect?
  • The pages getting the most traffic. Is it where you expect?

Your association website is crucial to your chapter’s ability to connect with members, from how it looks to what it delivers. Even in today’s environment, where money may be tight for the chapter, you can make some changes. Ask members to guest blog or tweak the site design, without spending any money. Use what you have to meet your members’ needs now.

Meetings

Many of your members are “Zoomed out.” Most probably still work from home, so they’re in countless virtual meetings every day. Ask them to Zoom again in a chapter meeting or event and you’re likely to get an eyeroll in response.

Explore the format of your virtual meetings. If for the most part, they involve a lot of speaking at people– a speech from the board president, reading the minutes from the last meeting, delivering a course curriculum in a “talking at the students for two hours” format – it’s time for some changes.  

Add a few creative twists, to avoid the eyerolls and maybe even replace them with smiles. Something as simple as pictures of attendees’ pets in Halloween costumes in the chat as you wait to start could be just what they need. Hold a meeting with an educational component and a fun segment, like a virtual wine tasting. Break up the monotone delivery of your chapter president with a moderator who asks questions of the speaker as well as the attendees or who interviews the speaker and turns a monologue into a dialogue.

It’s time, if you haven’t done it already, to look at what you’re providing and how you’re delivering it, to be sure your virtual footprint meets association chapter members where they are, even if that’s still at home.


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