Are you planning your Open House now? Here are three ways to ensure success; before, during and after.
First: What if you had an open house and nobody came? Posting signs, sending emails or handing out flyers is a start but it cannot be the end. The following conversation illustrates what one successful club did:
Diana: We had an open house at our club yesterday and we had 15 guests. Five new members for sure and hopes of more.
Jodie: Wow, sounds like you certainly did a good job on publicity. How did you get the word out?
Diana: One of our members works for the property management company in the complex. She sent a notice out to all HR people. We had four people who found us through our club website (probably through TI). We have been trying to get them to attend but I guess the idea of a Open House spurred them on to attend. We also had a couple of people from Meetup. We sent out a flyer and email to those who showed interest at the last open house. I called all past members within the last two years; none showed up but it was worth the effort. Our VP Membership/Public Relations really worked things after I sent her some of my old lists and inquiry emails. It was a lot of work but several of us worked the process and it was definitely worth it.
Second: At the Open House, ask them to join. Don’t just suggest that they come back next week to visit again. Very often, guests have already determined that they want to join Toastmasters, but they want to check out your club first to see if they’ll feel comfortable. If they do, they’re ready to join right then. Build in plenty of free time at the end of the meeting to talk to your guests.
Third: Follow up with your guests! (This goes for any meeting.) Always, always thank them for attending and invite them back, using the phone, handwritten note, or an email specifically to them. Don’t just wait for them to come back; if they don’t feel that their presence is appreciated and encouraged, they may not be back.
Area 12 Governor
If you want more advice or information, check out the resources here:
- More comprehensive advice on Open House techniques
- More Open House resources
- Lt. Governor Marketing Marylee Mims can also answer your questions and give advice.
- Be sure to take advantage of the Open House promotion!