RMA Portland Metro Chapter
Progress and Chapter Update 2017
We Evolved Programming to Better Serve Members, Increasing Participation and Sponsorship
This year we focused on improving general membership and specialized programming in order to better serve members, increase attendance, and gain greater involvement from financial institutions not previously attending our events.
We’ve enhanced programs:
- Our annual theme served as a guidepost for planning:
Building the next generation of bankers to reflect the communities we serve,
times are changing for banking and for Portland.
We held five standard events to reflect our theme.
- Building the Bank’s Team: Investing in the Future, Investing in the Bank’s Success, featuring Portland Business Journal journalist for banking and business, Matt Kish
- Diversity at the Bank Management Level with a moderator and four panelists
- Portland Economic Forecast with Renowned Economist, John Mitchell
- Banking for the Future: Market Executives of US Bank, First Interstate, KeyBank & Bank of the Cascades
- Commercial Real Estate Panel: The Future of Portland Real Estate with JLL & three property developers
We added even more events with a specialized focus in the spirit of our theme:
- An Intimate Conversation with US Senator Jeff Merkley
- Women in Banking: Shaping the Future of Portland with Karen Whitman
- Enterprise Risk Roundtable: Coherent Capital & Liquidity Strategies
Our New Academic Program Was Designed to Reach the Next Generation of Bankers
Beginning in 2016, we worked to expand our standard audience. One successful initiative is our foundational Academic Program. This program engages with students and new professionals, reaching potential new bankers and attracting and retaining top talent for our industry.
The program accomplished goals with a two-pronged approach:
- We reached student communities by making contacts with local universities, promoted the RMA brand, and established Academic Partners. Our partners are influencers helping to reach students and grow their knowledge and appreciation for the RMA Portland Metro Chapter.
- We reached out to students directly by making contact with high potential candidates, recruiting them to become RMA Student Members, and sharing our network of local banks and professional firms through internships, mentoring, and education.
We stepped up student recruitment in the spirit of building the next generation:
- We increased the number of student guests in attendance at our general membership meetings to five. At the Women in Banking: Shaping the Future of Portland event, we hosted 20 student guests.
- We have focused our recruitment efforts on several graduate level departments at Portland State University in order to better integrate our organization into the University’s career services activities.
- We established contacts with bank campus recruitment professionals to assist in filling internship vacancies through our contacts with local universities.
This year has been a great start to our Academic Program. We have made strong connections, built momentum, and are well positioned to continue growing the program next year.
We Increased Community Involvement to Expand Valuable Relationships, Increase Sponsorship and Give Back
The Portland Metro Chapter of the RMA is committed to the community in which it serves.
- We have newly engaged with partner associations ACG, FEI and Portland Leadership.
- We have expanded relationships with University Graduate Programs.
- This year’s new sponsorship program provides additional avenues to support RMA. These firms are fully engaged partners helping to promote RMA.
- Our Women in Banking: Shaping the Future of Portland event was specifically designed as a Community Involvement event with the opportunity to give back to the community.
Our Communications Initiative Furthered All Our Goals
Last fall the Board determined that, as professionals, we should increase the professionalism of Chapter communications.
- RMA Portland Metro Chapter approved a strategic proposal and partnered with Ideagility to establish new and innovative communication processes and methods to reach members and prospective members.
- To market our Chapter effectively we built a mobile website and calendar, newsletters, emails, and a payment process that was coordinated and timely. Most of all, we established our contact database and created consistent data collection and storage methods.
- We believed we could engage our community and build a sustainable chapter with enhanced communications.
We didn’t stop there. Even as our beautiful new tools helped to share our message more efficiently, we continued to rely on our volunteers’ support. Our important Board Liaisons led communications with key partners and helped us secure sponsors months in advance of events.
Support for our communications strategy has been overwhelmingly positive.
Members, speakers and sponsors speak positively about our website and emails. Chapter email open and registration rates far exceed industry averages. Guest speakers have ample opportunity to review our communications and provide feedback. Even better, they frequently express delight at our ability to present them professionally.
We’ve Increased Member Engagement with Outreach, New Programming and More Professional Communications
We were determined to increase member engagement this year. Expanded programming, improved communications and complementary initiatives helped us to be wildly successful in doing so.
Outcomes already achieved include a 40% increase in event attendance (compared with three years ago) and deeper, more meaningful engagement with members, sponsors and the banking community. At the same time, we’ve grown our non-member database by 21%, adding nearly 100 prospective members who have registered for at least one event.
Have we increased membership? Our membership at the beginning of the year was 149 and at the beginning of May, it is over 160 and is continuing to grow with young bankers, student members and bankers from institutions previously outside the local RMA activities. We’re committed to more with another two months left in our year.
Outcomes are expected to positively impact future years too as we deepen sponsor relationships and leverage our process, contact database and statistical understanding of member preferences to efficiently plan and market the most desired events.
Watching event attendance and guest registration increase dramatically is both gratifying and good for our chapter as our crowded events share a professional ‘buzz’ that is contagious in our community. Our board and our marketing partners are committed and ready for more!
We thank you for your participation in growing our Chapter and enhancing our programs! And, we deeply thank all the volunteers, sponsors and partners who made this year so much fun.