Hello everyone! I’m getting ready to head yet again to another conference, filled with association members who will most likely try and persuade me to join their group. Maybe I will. Perhaps I’ll stage an impressive coup and install myself as Association Dictator For Life, then wage a vicious purge against all of the members who didn’t seem very excited to see me become their overlord. But I’ll probably just end up having some cheesecake instead.
Anyway, I come in contact with a few dozen associations every year, and I know that 99% of them are looking for new members. But I’ve wandered through a few associations that will never get any new members, because the things they’re doing are not new-member-friendly. And since we all know that new people are both scary and evil, I thought I’d share some of their techniques so that you too can keep strangers at bay for the rest of your life.
Don’t Say Hello! – New members always have the new-kid-at-school look about them. They stand off by themselves, nursing a drink and hoping that somebody will introduce them to the circle of cool people. Which is why you should ignore them like everyone else is. They’re not cool. If they were cool, they’d already be in the circle of cool people. And if you talk to them, you’ll lose your status as a cool person. And then who’s going to go with you to Prom?
Don’t Explain What Your Group Really Does! – If there’s anything more amazing than having absolutely no idea what a given association does or how it might help you professionally, I don’t know what it is. The best advocates of this approach will end every sentence with, “You should really just go check out the website.”
“But you’re right here, in front of me, and you can make words like I can. Couldn’t you just, you know, tell me what you guys do?”
“I said you should check. Out. The. Website. Good day, sir.”
Fail to Update Your Website! I’ve seen some of them that are literally two years out of date. You’d assume that those associations wouldn’t exist anymore, wouldn’t you? I sure would. But that’s not always the case. This is also a stellar tactic if you’ve just told me to check out the website, by the way.
Enjoy, my fine readers, and good luck. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a purge to conduct. Somebody took the last piece of cheesecake off the buffet table before I could get to it, and that somebody has to pay.