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Turning 1,800 into 3,600
UPA Co-Director of Strategic Outreach & 1st Vice President
It started with a quick email exchange:
"I just got back from a conference," Thyra wrote, "and I think I just convinced at least two people to join UPA."
"Good news," Whitney replied. "How?"
"Gary (Macomber) and I were doing our workshop on agile UCD, and there was a lot of interest in how usability can be part of a fast-moving development process. After three rounds of questions, I gave out some membership brochures. A lot of people seemed interested."
"It's that easy?"
"Yep. It's that easy. All I did was connect UPA to the work I was already talking about."
That got us thinking.
When we join an organization, it might be for the conference discount or a magazine, but more often it's because we want to be part of the community - the discipline, goals and people the organization represents. Maybe the best way to counter the myth that "usability" just means formal lab testing is to let everyone know that UPA members work in all aspects of user research, product development and user-centered design. Maybe that's the secret to increasing UPA membership.
Why does membership matter? It's simple: influence. One of the most frequent questions that we are asked is "How many people do you represent?" Right now the answer is just under 1,800. But what if each of us got one more person to join, and we could say, "UPA is an organization of 3,600 people around the world."
There's one more reason: money. Our membership fees represent almost 75 percent of our non-Conference income. The other 25 percent comes from sponsorships and sales in the UPA Store. They fund the office, the magazine, the web site and all of the projects that we take on. More members means more money - more money for the things we want to do as an organization to promote usability and professional development.
One of our initiatives for 2004 is a membership drive. You can help. If you are going to a meeting or conference, the office can send you copies of the membership brochure membership brochure (in pdf format) or UPA conference bookmarks to take with you. Just write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 630-980-4997 and talk to Allen Mayse.
140 N. Bloomingdale Road
Bloomingdale, IL 60108-1017
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