I don’t have cable but when I did, I always wished I could select only the channels I wanted. I’m not a huge TV watcher so a few channels would’ve been fine for me. Some people, on the other hand, love to see how many channels they can fly through in two minutes. A bigger line-up is important to them. They don’t mind paying more for options, while I would like to pay less for things I rarely consume.
Do your members feel the same way?
There’s an interesting conversation occurring in the Chamber of Commerce Professionals group on Facebook. A chamber exec wanted to know if other chambers limit the number of times a non-member can attend an event.
Do You Limit Non-Members from Attending Chamber Events?
The chamber pros were split on whether non-members should have unlimited access to chamber events. Those in favor of unlimited access cited reasons like:
- Non-members pay more. Who cares if they want to attend multiple times?
- Let them make up their mind to join in their own time.
- Sooner or later they’ll realize it’s costing them more in non-members fees than it would be to join the chamber and get free or lower admission to events.
However, some chamber pros felt that unlimited entry, even at non-member pricing, was sending the wrong message and building the wrong chamber membership model. They said:
- Members pay to belong. Non-members shouldn’t have unlimited access to what others have to pay dues to attend.
- Why would people join if they can go to the events without a membership?
- It’s not fair to members to let non-members come to every event.
The Larger Ramifications to the Chamber Membership Model
This again becomes a larger question about how does the chamber serve the community? Are you a resource for everyone or just your paying members?
It’s an interesting question and one that seems to be drawn sharply behind where the chamber has been and where it’s going. Is exclusivity the key to a thriving chamber? Or is inclusivity what will serve the communities?