Targeting and Recruiting New Members
Get the GEAPS name out in front of potential members. There are several ways to do this:
1. Use the media. Talk to the editor of local industry trade journals or newspapers and explain GEAPS and the benefits of membership. Ask if the trade journals or newspapers would place notices of your next meetings in their publications. Local television and radio stations often have a “noon report” or “community activities” segment. Make the same request of them for a spot on the program. When placing meeting notices, be sure to include the program and speaker for the meeting.
2. Establish a Membership Committee within your chapter. Your membership committee should contain a mix of Regular, Associate, and as appropriate, Affiliate and Student members. Your chapter membership committee should establish goals and objectives for the membership of your chapter and can serve as a calling committee to remind members of meetings. The membership committee should identify prospective members in your area. These potential members should then be put on your mailing list to receive meeting notice information.
3. Show off your chapter. Establish a particular meeting as “Prospective Member Night.” Establish a “buddy system” and have your members offer to pick up the prospective member and accompany that person to the meeting. Do not charge the prospective member for their meal. Make the addition of a new member to your chapter a ‘big deal.’ Welcome that person and show why their membership and the expertise and experience they have is important to your chapter. (Hint … Provide an incentive for your present chapter members to bring potential members, such as putting all the names of those who brought potential members into a drawing for a prize).
Follow through! Following your Potential Member Meeting Night, send a letter from your chapter president to all potential members who attended, thanking them for their interest and participation. Keep those potential members informed of your chapter’s upcoming meetings and events.
4. Select a person(s) from your chapter (don’t forget your board and the membership committee) to visit each elevator in your area at least once a year. Visit with the operations personnel about the opportunities for membership in GEAPS. Take along your annual DirectaSource and one or two issues of the In-Grain newsletter. Invite them to your next meeting. Remember to talk to the general manager when setting up the visit to the elevator.
5. Make similar visits to associate member companies. Associate members need to know about the benefits of belonging to GEAPS, too. Invite them to attend your next meeting. If your chapter does an Associate “Pitch Night,” invite them to be a part of it.
6. Affiliate and student members needed! If there are colleges, universities or ag business schools in your area, target instructors for GEAPS affiliate memberships and students for GEAPS student memberships. Consider how a career fair might facilitate bringing students to your chapters members in need of new employees.
7. Evaluate having your chapter host a “general meeting” of operations personnel from all facilities in your area for the purpose of informing them of the benefits and advantages of GEAPS. Have available your meeting schedule, who to call for more information, and membership applications. Request additional issues of In-Grain, conference promotionals, etc., from the International office. Be sure that prospective members leave the meeting with something in their hands!
8. Establish a working relationship with the state and regional grain and feed industry associations. Place their members’ names on your mailing list and invite their participation in a joint meeting.