A helpful and popular added benefit gives members a more in-depth and time-saving connection to their professions—and their peers.
Giving members dedicated content for specialized areas gives them a deeper connection to their professions beyond the big picture, says Melanie Claus, membership director at the Association of Energy Engineers.
AEE offers members “divisions,” which are like special communities geared just for them, as an added member benefit.
How Does It Work?
Each division offers opportunities to get extra member benefits and publications that tie into specific areas of business and gives members the research they need so they don’t have to search for it on their own.
For example, a big initiative for AEE has been to increase the minority presence in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) community. One division, the Council on Women in Energy & Environmental Leadership, provides a network for women in the energy and environmental industries so they can help support career development for professional women and mentor aspiring women to pursue technical education and careers in those fields.
“Each of the divisions makes it easier for our members to find like-minded individuals who have a background in those specific areas of business,” Claus says.
Why Is It Effective?
AEE has positioned itself as a central resource. Members are already familiar with the group, and they know its content and research are reliable and worth their time. Giving members additional resources that are relevant to a project they are working on, like emerging updates on new initiatives by the government or areas where they might be able to get funding, has increased engagement and networking among members.
What’s the Benefit?
It saves members time because they don’t have to conduct their own research, and it also fosters connections with other professionals in their areas of expertise. For AEE, it helps with engagement overall. “When people are involved with multiple divisions of AEE, they’re more likely to be more involved in the main activities as well,” Claus says. “Because they know that who they’re networking with can help them for the long haul.”
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