"I don't have time!"

One of the questions membership organisations ask is why attendance levels are so low at their events or how they get members to be more actively engaged with the organisation. The common answer we hear from members is “I don’t have time”. Members, like everyone else, lead busy lives; alongside demanding careers, family commitments and personal hobbies, there seems to be no time to be more active members.

However, more often than not, the phrase “I don’t have time” translates to “it is not a priority for me”.

We make time in our lives for what we see as a priority. I listened to a TED talk recently titled “How to gain control of your free time”. The speaker, Laura Vanderkam, highlighted the obvious to me...

“If you are working a full-time job, so 40 hours a week, sleeping eight hours a night, so 56 hours a week -- that leaves 72 hours for other things.”

72 hours is a lot of time for activities outside of work.

I understand that these spare 72 hours are spent with family, friends, relaxing or going to the gym but, there is time. There are 72 hours a week to attend the extracurricular activities offered by membership organisations, members are just choosing not to.

There could be various reasons for this: the topics aren’t relevant or useful, members are unaware of the events and their benefits, the meetings are too far away, they are deemed expensive or members aren’t engaged with the organisation. (For more on engagement see our member engagement definition). The challenge for membership organisations is how to overcome this lack of engagement and how to make engaging with the organisation, and other members, a priority.

Time is a choice; we have the power to fill our lives with things that deserve to be there. (Laura Vanderkam)

By Jenny Tipler, Senior Research Executive


This entry was posted in Membership, tagged Communication, Engagement, Events, Membership, Respondents, Member benefits and posted on January 17, 2017

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