Tips for working with your partner state association (PSA) to have a successful WIL chapter.
- Develop a strong statewide council via partner state association to set year-long, sustainable goals for the development of the chapter
- Develop a team of motivated WIL members to get some ideas for growth and development of the chapter; make sure it’s a mix of hoteliers and allied members
- Engage the AHLA Women in Lodging Executive Council members in each state to ensure goals and objectives are in line with the national chapter
- Allied members must be members of both the national and state associations
*It’s up to the discretion of the PSA whether fees should be charged and how the budget is set up for the chapter.
- Create incentives to build your membership. (For example, entice your members by offering a complimentary spa treatment to the member that recruits the most applicants within a 1 to 2-month period. Spa treatment was donated by one of the association properties)
- Constant communication through e-blasts; position WIL membership as a “complimentary added benefit for the hotel property” to develop and retain staff
- Word of mouth works best. Encourage your current members to tell at least 10 friends each. Email state members the application link, along with an introduction letter detailing the national program and benefits
- Get “buy In” and support from executives at properties – help them to understand how the involvement of their staff in the WIL program will only enhance their service and increase their bottom line
- National chapter can provide copy (and link to national information)
- Forward new members to AHLA to be included in national database
- Send email blasts about events via the partner state association to entire membership base
- The more information you are getting out to the members, the better
- Enroll some of the association or property member vendors to get collateral printed complimentary to help with promoting your events
- Create a page on the state association Website that provides details on WIL – and link to national site.
- Create a communication plan prior to events and Webinars. Try to contact 3-5 times prior to an event or webinar in order to build excitement and remind them
- Create a Groupsite network on committees, etc., to aid in the planning and execution of events, etc.
- When planning the events – the more simple the better – engage the members of the state association for sponsorship and monetary support
- Integrate a fun, casual “ice breaker” during the event to encourage networking
- Have a registration booth set up at the entrance as this will be a great opportunity to recruit additional members and introduce them to the program
- Reach out to state association members to get items donated for a raffle during the event to keep attendees at the event (You can also create gift bags for attendees – great visibility for allied members)
- Be considerate of the location of the majority of your members. Plan events that are convenient to their job locations to gain good attendance
- Panels, receptions, and philanthropic components have all proven successful
- Encourage your membership to get involved by enrolling in the AHLA Mentor Program
- If the association has the staffing resources, create a state Mentor Program to provide a more convenient local mentor
- Make sure the topics are relevant and timely
- Webinars should be composed of information that is state specific
- Don’t make them too long – Employers will be more likely to let employees attend if it doesn’t take up too much of their work day
- Keep in mind the job titles of the state members who are attending to ensure the topics are relevant
- Be sure to have a credible presenter for the Webinar – get the background information and credibility about the presenter out to the members
- Use complimentary Webinar servers – such as Dimdim, etc., to save money