They seem to be popping up everywhere. A community for this, membership for that.
The past few years of not being about to create community in-person has given rise to finding community in different places, mainly online. Communities and memberships have emerged as powerful antidotes to the isolation and disconnection many people felt during the pandemic, and they continue as people have learned how to consume information and build relationships differently.
The memberships themselves have also changed. We are used to seeing associations offer memberships to those in similar jobs or professions, but now memberships are popping up for our passion projects, our stationary bike riding, our wine drinking, our shaving habits and TV watching routines.
Why do we love to be a part of these unconventional communities? First and foremost, memberships offer a sense of belonging, regardless of what part of your life you’re looking for that belonging. Whether it’s a local gym, a local winery (yes please!), a professional organization, or a subscription box service, being part of a membership gives people a chance to connect with like-minded individuals who share their interests and passions.
Memberships also come with exclusive perks and benefits that aren’t available to non-members. This might include discounts on products or services, access to member-only events, or early access to new releases. For many people, these perks make the cost of membership more than worth it.
And for some memberships, its about feeling that you’re part of something special. You can throw your hotel brand rewards clubs into this category, where you are treated with elevated service because you’re part of the club.
Given all these perks, its hard not to join every membership you can, and enjoy the perks, elite status, and community that comes with them. But joining too many communities can be problematic. It can be difficult to stay active and engaged in multiple organizations, and being a member of too many organizations can dilute the sense of community and belonging that comes with being part of a more focused group.
To make the most of your memberships, it’s important to choose the right ones for your needs and interests. Think carefully about what you hope to gain from each membership, and make sure that you’re able to commit the time and resources necessary to stay active and engaged. It’s also a good idea to prioritize your memberships and focus on those that are most important to you.
When considering a membership, consider the following. Does this membership….
Alignment with your personal goals? Before committing to a membership, evaluate whether its purpose, values, and offerings align with your interests, needs, and aspirations. Ensure that the community and resources provided are relevant to your goals.
Have a good reputation? Research the reputation and track record of the membership organization. Look for testimonials, reviews, or referrals from existing members to gauge the quality of the community and the benefits it offers.
Provide enough value for cost? Assess the cost of the membership in relation to the benefits provided. Consider the financial investment and evaluate whether the perks and resources outweigh the price. Additionally, inquire about any hidden or recurring fees.
When you join a membership, ensure you are cashing in on your benefits. For community-based memberships, try to attend their events, participate in online forums, and take advantage of any educational or certification programs offered by the organization. This will help you build connections with other members and stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices.
The rise of memberships is truly remarkable, and it’s clear that people love being part of a community that shares their interests and passions. Choosing the right communities and membership, and staying engaged with the other community members, can help you reap numerous rewards as you build a better day, a better career and a better life.
What memberships have YOU chosen to be a part of?
Leanne Calderwood, CMP, is a branding and LinkedIn trainer for the meetings, events, and hospitality industry. She believes our industry is built on experiences, and that experience should start with our professionals.
She serves hospitality professionals and teams through her online courses and consulting services to help guide #eventprofs out of the shadows and into the spotlight using their branding strengths and stories.
When she’s not talking shop, you can find Leanne drinking tea, making jam, and gardening at her home in Kelowna, B.C. with her husband, two teenage sons, and her dog, Farls Barkley.
You can learn more about Leanne over on her blog at www.leannecalderwood.com.