Not All Membership Groups Are The Same
Not all membership groups are the same. It seems there’s some misinterpretation about membership groups and the way they actually operate.
I’d like to talk about the fact that not all membership groups are the same. In recent interactions I’ve had with people, it seems there’s some misinterpretation about membership groups and the way they actually operate.
So one aspect of that is lockout. A number of membership groups mean that only one industry sector per group can attend. Some of the groups believe in a little bit of healthy competition and some abundance and giving you the choice of who you deal with works a lot better.
Another aspect is sometimes you’re restricted to one group. You can only attend the particular group that you join, whereas others give you the flexibility to attend different groups in different locations, just given your time, availability and the amount you want to invest.
Also 12-month contracts, most people’s perception is that you have to sign a 12-month contract to be part of a membership group. That’s not always the case. Some people offer a monthly option that’s a pay as you go and you’re not restricted to or tied into a 12-month contract.
The other thing is price. There’s a lot of variation in terms of price. You can pay up to a thousand pounds to be part of the networking group, or sometimes it can only be a few pounds a month. So you need to take that into consideration when you’re looking at the different membership groups that are out there.
The other thing is the agenda. Not all membership groups operate in the same way. Some have a reasonably strict and process-driven agenda; others are a little bit more flexible and more mix and mingle type networking. So not all the membership groups have exactly the same agenda.
Also quantity of people attending the meetings. There seems to be a tendency these days for people to be promoting we’ve got 30 in a room, 40 in a room, 50 in a room! The problem with that is, sometimes they’re the most difficult networking groups to network in and build relationships. If there’s an option on the agenda to introduce yourself, that can be quite a long process if you’ve got 40 people in the room. And let’s face it, after you’ve listened to about a dozen people introduce themselves, you start to lose the will to live anyway!
So another thing is, what’s the value add that the particular membership group offers? Sometimes you’re just paying for the privilege to actually attend that group without any other sort of value add. So for example, is there training offered as part of the package, are you actively being promoted on social media for example? Or are there any other benefits of actually investing that amount of money to join a group?
So there’s quite a diverse range out there for you to choose from, but at the end of the day, what you really want to do is just find a networking group that’s going to work for you, that provides you value for money. And at the end of the day gives you your return on the investment, whatever that happens to be.