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Creating value for young professionals and getting them to join your association

It’s a question that has been doing rounds in association circles for years and has puzzled many association experts: “What can we do differently to grab the attention of young professionals and get them to join our association?” As senior association leaders retire, it is crucial that young, resilient minds keen on creating impact join to begin their association journey. Yet many associations struggle to lay their fingers on how they can provide value for young professionals and persuade them to join.

If you are looking for answers on what you can do to recruit young professionals into your association, we’ve got some tips for you:

1. Understand the psyche of young professionals: Before you put together a plan to attract young professionals to your association, you must understand how they think and what they want. Millennials today are keen on exploring channels to contribute to society in meaningful ways. While social consciousness is high, they thrive in a fast-paced culture that prioritise quick results and returns. Multiple surveys suggest that networking opportunities and a sense of community are also factors they seek. Make sure you fashion your strategies in such a way that a young millennial sees true value for themselves.

2. Outline what young professionals seek to gain from your association: Once you’ve familiarised yourself with how millennials think and thought about what you can offer them, it’s time to put this down in a clear plan. How can you create value for young professionals? What career growth opportunities can you provide for them? How can you help them develop skills? Can you provide them with certification opportunities? Remember that providing leadership opportunities and scope for volunteering with causes are also very important.

3. Communicate the value your association can create for them through the proper social channels: Once you’ve outlined how you can create value for young professionals, it is time to make some noise and communicate with them directly. It is important that you communicate in a way that clearly states the benefits that they will stand to gain by joining your association. You will also need to use platforms that millennials use to ensure that your message reaches many people who fit your target demographic. And don’t forget to personalise your message.

 4. Share your story, vision, and mission in an engaging manner: Now that you’ve communicated how you can create value, it’s time to lead potential new members on a journey that will help them get acquainted with your association. Instead of a traditional brochure, you could opt for an interactive presentation that encapsulates the essence of your association and what it stands for. Choose a figure that young people identify with to share how joining your association has personally benefitted them. There is nothing more gripping than a powerful, genuine story.

5. Create opportunities for growth and leadership within the association: Nothing interests millennials more than a platform that helps them express their opinions and opportunities to lead; Allow young professionals to present their views. You can also consider having a few young members that demonstrate leadership potential on your Board. This gives them a great incentive to join you and makes a strong statement for other young professionals that shows that you value young talent in your association.

6. Host events specifically tailored to attract young people: The best way to get the interest of young people is by providing answers to questions that they have. Host webinars or events that focus on the development and growth of young professionals. Make sure to have young professionals feature as speakers at these events so that your target audience connects with their peer group and is more receptive.

7. Contemplate forming a youth council: This is a strategy that most forward-thinking associations have already implemented in an attempt to involve and engage young association members into designing strategies specifically for the youth segment. The youth council body of an association can also double up as a platform for discussing what young professionals seek to gain from associations along with addressing issues they have.

Young professionals and millennials are undoubtedly the future leaders and members of associations, so it is important that your strategies and incentives keep their benefits in mind and that you reach out to them through the right channels. Learn more about the opportunities that Dubai Association Centre can offer associations:

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