"UniForum affiliates deserve great service from UniForum, and we want to put more of our efforts and resources behind providing the help they need to keep growing," says Wade. "As our affiliates become more of a force in their regions of the United States or in their own countries, we as their supporting organization benefit by the increased exposure UniForum receives. This translates into more people knowing about UniForum activities and services, more people coming to the UniForum trade show and conference, and more people joining UniForum. In turn, we think affiliation with UniForum gives the affiliates increased credibility and, through the joint affiliates/UniForum membership program, a valuable tool for them to help increase membership."
UniForum has joint membership programs with most of its affiliates whereby a person can join both UniForum and a local affiliate for one reduced fee. It is a goal of the association to develop more of these programs, which have already proved to be a successful, efficient way to develop membership.
UniForum affiliates have helped to identify areas where they would like to receive assistance from UniForum. One of the most commonly expressed needs was for a speakers bureau. Corinne Moore reports, "In early 1995, we expect to have available via the Internet a roster of speakers by name and area of expertise. We'll invite our affiliate groups to access this roster, where they'll be able to browse and then make direct contact to speakers that fit their needs. This central repository will change as we add to it over time when fresh new topics come along and new speakers come to our attention."
Another area where UniForum intends to provide assistance is in helping to cosponsor seminars and other educational programs put on by affiliates. UniForum has years of experience organizing the content and marketing of various seminars and conferences. This expertise can be made available to affiliates who want to begin or enhance their educational programs. This help can come in the form of speaker recruitment, conference content review, target marketing and direct mail. Affiliates interested in these services should contact Erni Wade at the UniForum offices or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Communication is a two-way street," says Wade, "and we can also learn a lot from our affiliates. I intend to be more involved in their activities and how their successes can help us do more. I've already had the pleasure of speaking to the leadership of most of our affiliates and look forward to working with them all in the months prior to UniForum '95. I plan to have much more to announce to the affiliates at our annual Affiliates Meeting during UniForum '95 in March."