Associations Should Emulate Drug Dealers

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ReWork is a book by the founders (Jason Fried and Hansson) of 37 Signals that will make you think and question conventional wisdom.
It it incredible thought provoking and we have given dozens of copies to our customers over the years and every NimblePalooza 2013  attendee will get a copy to take back as well.

It is a quick read with about 90 chapters (many are just one page) on a variety of topics. Many, like my favorite, are a bit edgy.
It is hard to choose a favorite takeaway mine on page 191 and is titled “Drug Dealers Get it Right”.


Give Them a Free Taste – They Will Be Back

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Do you believe in the value of your membership? Does your conference deliver tangible value to your attendees? If so, emulate drug dealers – give those that are not already members or attendees a taste of what it would be like to be a member or attendee:

  • Give free 3 month trial membership with full access to member discounts and member’s only content. Get them hooked and mentor them along the way so they can see the value and become ‘addicted’ to membership. Perhaps only offer this to high probability prospects; those that have attended an event in past year or have availed themselves of your products and services as a non-member.
  • Give away a pass to a portion of your conference (maybe the keynote and first 1/2 day or 1/2 day access to the exhibit hall). Perhaps offer the ability to become a member at a discount if they signup at the conference after they see the value.

Jason and David have the following additional advice: “Be confident in what you are offering. You should know that people will come back for more. If you are not confident about that, you haven’t created a strong enough product”


Other Chapters to Inspire a ‘ReWork’ of Your Association

  • Everything is Marketing (See Sig’s recent blog on this).  Page 193.
  • Focus on You – Instead of They.  Don’t worry where the competition is going next.  Your organization needs to redefine the rules, not just offer somthing similar or slightly better.  Page 148.
  • Make a Dent in the Universe (See Matt’s recent blog on this).  Page 31.