I am an active member of many organizations—from technology groups like National Amtelco Equipment Owners (NAEO) to consumer advocate groups like Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Business (SOCAP International). Being a member of these groups helps me expand my business, my network and my mind.
The trick to reaping the benefits of a membership group is to pick selectively. You want to be a member of a group that A) offers great networking opportunities throughout the year, B) has an online support forum so you can share information easily and C) is something you are truly passionate about. If the group you are looking to join satisfies all three needs, then becoming a member will work for you.
There is another key component to the benefits of membership—being a good member. Don’t sign up and expect the perks to come your way. You need to be involved. Ask the organization what you can do. More times than not, they are looking to fill spots for webinar speakers, tradeshow moderators and even blog contributors. You won’t be just a member, but also a part of the organization’s growth.
If you are on the fence about becoming a member of any organization, consider these tips as your guide. With the right mix of opportunities, you could find yourself in a group that is not only beneficial, but rewarding as well.