South Dakota HBAs Make Monthly Meetings a Family Affair

Filed in Membership by on September 21, 2015 0 Comments

Ditching out on the monthly membership meeting to catch a ball game? Why not combine the two? Better yet, invite the whole family.

Like many associations across the country, the South Dakota Home Builders Association (SDHBA) sought ways to build and sustain member engagement. The monthly membership meetings provided valuable networking and educational opportunities, but making time to attend was often a challenge for some members.

“We saw a significant dip in membership and participation during the economic downturn, so we’ve placed more emphasis on listening to what our members need to stay engaged,” says Candi Menke, the national associate director for the SDHBA. “Many of them voiced concerns about work-life balance and having to spend too much time away from family.”

Members of the Black Hills Home Builders Association (Rapid City, S.D.) and their families gather for a summertime picnic during a monthly membership meeting.

Members of the Black Hills Home Builders Association (Rapid City, S.D.) and their families gather for a summertime picnic during a monthly membership meeting.

In response, local HBAs decided to make some of their monthly membership meetings more family friendly. Rather than more conventional meeting spots, they began holding their events at state parks, bowling alleys and minor league baseball stadiums to entice members and their families to attend.

“It’s a great opportunity for the members to get to know each other better, and beyond that, their families get to know other families, which makes the HBA feel much more connected,” Menke says. “We’ve noticed the more our members feel connected with each other, the more likely they are to be involved in the affairs of the association.”

Though not every monthly membership meeting is held in a family-friendly setting, Menke says they try to schedule meetings and other educational events during the day whenever possible, rather than in the evenings.

Some of the biggest supporters of these family friendly events are the spouses. To them, it not only means additional time with family, but many of them have said they appreciate learning more about the association and the significance of staying involved.

In recent years, Menke has seen a strong impact on member engagement as a result of the family friendly events, and would encourage all other associations to consider building them into their meeting calendars as well.

“Increasing member involvement is only one aspect of this approach,” Menke says. “Engaging families with each other takes it a step further, which is what really continues to strengthen and unify our membership.”

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement