On April 18, 2019 we had our first Welcome social called:
'You + PIHRA = Success'.
The purpose of this social was to welcome new members to the association and put a face to a name for more meaningful connections. Invitees were all who had received PIHRA membership as part of the registration to a PIHRA event (e.g. CAHR18, Legal Update 2019) and who had joined in Q4, 2018 & Q1, 2019.
We picked a random date in April, voted on a venue in the heart of Old Town Newhall and asked the central PIHRA Programs office to send out targeted invitations. Out of 23 invitees, 7 new members responded by registering for the event (30% response rate).
Here are some practical lessons learned from this experience:
1. Confirmed number of registration doesn’t mean much
We had a total of 13 registrations including board members. While excited to attend an event on a weeknight, some people might not be able to make it because of life – a health emergency, exhausting long day, unexpected turn of events, inconvenience, etc.
2. Research on timing and venue selection is important
We voted on a location without knowing that there was a Thursday night standing event on that date. The street was blocked off for a band that played in front of our selected venue. Parking was an issue. The one new member/guest who showed up after driving around a couple times for parking, was glad she did not give up so quickly. She was enthusiastic about joining PIHRA and thankful for the invite.
3. Having fun is key.
Many of our board members wanted to be there, but couldn't. Those who could, made this event a blast. In fact, our chair of Treasury spoke to a professional who provides vocational training to local small businesses through College of the Canyons. He knew of PIHRA and saw our sign by the table. While presenting PIHRA in the local community, we had a great time drinking, talking and having lots of fun.
Next year, we will be out again welcoming new members, making new connections maybe in a different approach but with the same excitement & enthusiasm.