|Assessing Staff Needs: Research Chef Association|
In 2001, charged with growing the Research Chefs Association (RCA) into a world-class organization, global professional services firm Kellen Company tapped experienced executive management and specialized staff expertise in meetings and membership development to drive up numbers.
Meetings. Meetings specialists at Kellen worked to grow sponsorships of RCA's annual conference. For added visibility on the front end, they produced an informational e-bulletin to go out to all exhibitors, and introduced pre-conference culinary-related tours. On site at the Expo, Kellen set up a demo stage and implemented a student culinology® competition. Sponsor-centric tactics included repackaging program level participation and benefits, raising sponsor recognition, and promoting product donations during the annual awards luncheon.
Membership. Meanwhile, membership development specialists implemented two creating membership outreach campaigns — ROAR (Reach Out and Recruit) and Grab & Go (Grab a colleague and Go sign them up) — with built-in incentives for current members. Outreach included a personal call from a staff member and volunteer leader.
As a result of applying the best of many association experiences, Kellen tripled RCA's membership to more than 2,100 professionals, and its sponsorships have shown double-digit growth every year. Kellen has continued to work closely with RCA leadership to ensure that its infrastructure and staffing expand at rates necessary to delivery excellent member services during this period of dramatic growth and expansion.