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The Covington Business Council, under the capable leadership of administrative manager Christine Barth, has begun a program to help new members engage faster and re-engage longer-term members.
The need for the program became apparent during the second half of 2018. The Council began to see an increasing number of member drops, curtailing consistent growth the previous eight years.
Under Concierge, a group of nearly 20 volunteers are assigned new members and act as ‘buddies’ to help individuals become comfortable attending events such as the weekly Connects networking meeting every Wednesday morning at Gateway Community & Technical College and the monthly luncheons.
“Attending one of our luncheons can be intimidating,” said Barth. “If you don’t know many people in a crowd of 150 to 200 people, you may be reluctant to try to make new friends or may even decide not to attend.”
The increasing number of member losses lately have stemmed from two factors: people not engaging soon after joining and not fully utilizing the membership. Second when people join CBC their current organizations actually become the member. When that person who initiates the join leaves that company it often makes it difficult to convince the company to remain a member 12 months later if there is no point of contact to use the membership.
The Council is also planning to launch a new member orientation program in February, held quarterly at first, to assist the engagement process. Concierge volunteers will help staff and facilitate that project.
CBC leadership hopes to grow total membership ten percent and above that increase member retention from 80 to 90 percent by the end of 2019. While initially engaging new members, the volunteers will soon be also reaching out to existing members to encourage them to get involved and show them the investment that the CBC is putting back toward the community. Anyone wishing to volunteer for the Concierge program or perhaps be assigned a ‘buddy,’ please contact Christine Barth at 859-431-1500, ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The CBC has provided me the opportunity to network with other local business leaders. Being new to the area this has become a valuable resource.”