The Wharton Club Network consists of independent, volunteer-driven and self-sustaining networking organizations, founded, developed and organized by alumni around the globe. How are the regional and affinity alumni clubs able to deliver on their promise of top-quality programming and engagement? We asked four club presidents:
How have you been able to engage interest in your club, in terms of attracting new members and attendees at club events?
“The WHCMAA is extremely fortunate to have an engaged alumni base and an active board. We have also engaged the faculty at Wharton. We utilize these resources in developing content. This, in turn, drives events and interest (new membership). We hold more than 35 learning events per year, including an annual alumni conference attended by greater than 150 people. Lastly, since health care cuts across a number of Penn schools, we promote membership across them.”
—Jeff Voigt, WG ’85, president, Wharton Health Care Alumni Association (WHCMAA)
“Anyone who lives in New York is automatically a member of our club, so we are most concerned about engagement. We accomplish that by following three principles. Enlightened self-interest—when you help people, you help yourself. Tangible results— our events and networking are a means to an end, not an end unto themselves; you actually have to get what you need, otherwise you’re not going to stay engaged. And programming—small, interactive events are more effective than large, passive events.”
—Kenny Beck, WG ’87, president, Wharton Club of New York
“We have launched a few initiatives over the last three years to attract new members and improve attendance at our events. Members paying dues at the silver and gold levels can attend events free of charge. We have created an annual cocktail event open to members and one guest of their choice at the beginning of the summer, taking place in a beautiful garden in the center of Paris. We have also decided to organize joint events with other top business schools’ alumni clubs to increase the attractiveness and level of networking.”
—Didier Riebel, WG ’89, President, Wharton Club of Paris
“The Wharton Club of South Florida attracts new members primarily through our diverse programming. Each season (September through May), our members are treated to monthly events throughout our region. These events include topics we repeat every year (such as an annual Economic Forecast), as well as timely, local business topics driven by members’ interest. For example, this season we will feature events on Miami’s role as an international business hub and private equity in South Florida. Our season concludes with a formal banquet recognizing either a South Florida entrepreneur or statesman of the year.”
—Richard Viens, WG ’08, President, Wharton Club of South Florida
Editor’s note: Find out more information about the Wharton Club Network at http://whr.tn/WhartonClubNetwork.