Using March Madness To Boost Member Engagement

by , 3/17/2016

Head-to-head bracket match-ups are a fun way to get your members engaged and interacting with each other.

The NCAA men's basketball tournament tips off this afternoon, and countless office and fantasy brackets will go bust before the end of the day. Even if you don't make it past the first round, you can tap into the excitement of March Madness to add some energy to your membership meetings.

Here a few suggestions for bracket-inspired contests and activities for your next association meeting or conference.

Bracket Bake-Off

Events like this are best suited to homeowners and parent/teacher associations. Members bring home baked goods to the meeting, and all entries are written into a tournament style bracket. The delicacies go up against each other in a head-to-head, single elimination contest, with members sampling the competing pairs, and voting for their favorite in each round. Voting (and sampling) continues until the field is narrowed to two finalists. One final round of tasting and voting determines the winner.

(Note: If baking isn't your members' thing, a chili cook-off is just as fun).

March Madness Mini Tournaments

This is a good option for athletic, racquet, and country clubs. Members participate in one-on-one speed rounds of racquetball, table tennis, 9-ball, bumper pool, shuffleboard, or even checkers. Winners advance through the bracket toward the final match at the end of the evening.

Bracket Trivia Night

Members compete individually or as teams in head-to-head lightning rounds of trivia. College hoops would be the obvious topic of choice for fraternities and alumni & booster clubs, while trade and professional networking organizations might prefer industry-related topics, like finance or technology.

Keep It Fast, Keep It Fun

No matter what kind of bracket activity you choose to run, keep the pace lively, and encourage your members to participate, either as contestants, facilitators, judges, or enthusiastic spectators. Remember, 100% participation is the goal. Good luck!


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