Can you believe it! The federal government actually thinks that Harley-Davidson is in the business of selling motorcycles.
When asked one Harley honcho explained it this way. “What we sell is the ability for a 43-year-old accountant to dress in black leather, ride through small towns, and have people be afraid of him.”
So just what does Harley-Davidson sell? In a word . . . an experience.
There are some associations who still think that they are . . . well . . . er . . . associations. Recent surveys indicate that 3 of the top 4 four things of value for association members are educational.
If your association is in the business of providing education then how does that mesh with creating an educational experience?
Robert Brinkerhoff in his educational impact studies indicate that only 20% of the experience happens when your students (association members) are at your event. 40% of the educational impact happens BEFORE and 40% happens AFTER. (f your member is reading this before your association event as part of your pre-event promotion, then you are thinking the right way.)
How can YOU create an experience for your members? What ideas can you steal from Disney, an Apple Computer Store, from Starbucks, or from Trader Joes? Are you fighting technology or embracing it in creating an experience for your members? Are you promoting your next event now (because it is that great)? If you and your program committee is not excited about your big event, you might need an infusion of “how to create an experience.”
Are there other pre-event and post-event activities you could do to grow your association membership? You betcha.