Interview series: Richard Gott, Founder, Memberwise

Author - Jeremy Burnel

Posted By Jeremy Burnel

Date posted 26th Jul 2019

Category Blog

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We’ve wanted to host an interview series on the 93digital website for a while, as it offers us an opportunity to talk to Interesting individuals within the business sectors that we also have a commitment to helping.  One of the first people we wanted to chat with, was Richard Gott.

Richard to me, Is the ‘King of Membership’, as he is the founder of MemberWise, the Independent network for other Membership organisations. 93digital enjoy working on Membership websites, due to the various layers of functionality any one membership organisation can have, and the sheer number of different marketing challenges we can help solve thanks to the power and flexibility of one CMS, WordPress.

Hi Richard. What is MemberWise, and why does it exist?

The MemberWise Network is a free professional network that represents over 5,000 professionals working within over 2,500 Membership Organisations and Associations in the UK, EU and across the World.

 We provide practical help and support to help Membership and Association Professionals (at all levels and career stages) to improve existing member retention, increase new member acquisition, enhance value and optimise member engagement/participation in order to ensure sustainable long-term growth.

Tell us about your role at MemberWise Network and your main responsibilities?

I founded the MemberWise Network 11 years ago as a frustrated professional body manager. I was looking for good quality networking opportunities, solid best-practice information/advice and good supplier recommendations.

I wanted to meet people like me and better understand what ‘good’ looked like. Essentially, ‘give the tyres a good kick’ from a membership perspective. I found out quickly that I couldn’t do this alone, not easily, in any case. So I created a network that was run by practitioners and it has grown by 20% each year ever since.

I used to work full-time at a senior leadership level within a number of high profile membership bodies (including the RCGP and The Law Society), however the network now requires dedicated resource, so I focus on this full-time with the support of five colleagues who also have a real drive, dedication and background in membership. We’re quite unique! #membershipgeeks

What are MemberWise’s main Outreach activities over a given year?

Our outreach activity is conducted via two key delivery channels:

Face-to-Face: We facilitate a comprehensive programme of free best practice seminars, two large national conferences/exhibitions and expert advisory/consultancy services.

Online: We host the sector’s most comprehensive best practice website, the only dedicated online professional community for membership/association professionals (MemberWise Connect), video channel, blog, jobs board (MemberWise Jobs) and a monthly network newsletter that updates members on the latest network developments.

We also regularly publish online best practice guidance on key topics including member engagement, member value and research reports that feature statistically significant results that enable solid benchmarking/insight opportunities.

Together these channels combine to deliver the most comprehensive package of practical help and support available to membership and association professionals in the UK.

We have compiled a Member Benefits page here that segments the different types of organisations your readers are likely to represent

How is all this provided free of charge?

We work in partnership with over 160 suppliers (including 93digital) to deliver the MemberWise Recognised Supplier programme. Our large conferences and exhibitions also provide a unique opportunity for suppliers to increase product/brand awareness and meet new client organisations. All opportunities are provided in a clear/transparent way and we leverage the power of our independent network.

What are other ways in which you engage with professionals working within membership bodies?

We have grown a strong online social following/presence which helps us to amplify awareness of our activity; however, our reach increases exponentially via member-to-member recommendations. This year (due to an increased resource) we will market the network and its services to key segments within the membership community.

Thank you, Richard! You can also find out more/join the MemberWise Network here.

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