The answers to your questions

Why is Inspiration Exchange different to other organisations?

There is no other organisation which caters purely for PR / Communications / Marketing practitioners working in the membership sector with the purpose of elevating the practice of our function within a membership organisation.  At Inspiration Exchange we add the flavour which makes what you learn relevant to the membership sector you work in.  Inspiration Exchange is not a professional body – there is no code of conduct to adhere to, no formal qualifications offered and membership is not recognised through post-nominals.

I am new to the world of PR / Communications / Marketing. I do not believe I have anything to contribute to the community.

Of course you will!  Inspiration Exchange is an informal and supportive environment of a community of peers.  Some are new to the profession, others have been around the block a few times, the rest are somewhere in-between.  Everyone in the community has something of value to offer as each of our experiences are different.  We are all part of the community to be better.

I am new to the world of membership I do not believe I have anything to contribute to the community.

Of course you will!  Inspiration Exchange is an informal and supportive environment of a community of peers.  Some are new to the the membership world, others have been around the block a few times, the rest are somewhere in-between.  Everyone in the community has something of value to offer as each of our experiences are different.  We are all part of the community to be better.

My employer will only pay for one professional membership.

Inspiration Exchange is not a professional body – there is no code of conduct to adhere to, no formal qualifications offered and membership is not recognised through post-nominals.  Inspiration Exchange assists with your professional development to give you the connections, skills, knowledge and insight to achieve more in your role. A lot of what we provide is free-to-access. The membership fee relates to #MembershipMeets events and for an annual payment gives you free access to all these events, alternatively, you can attend on a PAYG basis.

I need to be careful of what I divulge about my employer so I am concerned about confidentiality.

Inspiration Exchange operates on the premise of the Chatham House Rule.  #MembershipMeets sessions are not recorded, nor anything discussed attributed. As the sessions are attendee-led, there are no handouts as the discussions are, by their very nature, fluid and unscripted.  Access to The Collective is open to anyone working in the membership sector or providing services to it but if you wish to ask a question of the community, or provide a response, anonymously, this can be done by emailing Team Inspiration or completing this form.  The Hub is only accessible by members and partners.  It is your responsibility to only ask questions through The Collective and /or provide content for inclusion in The Hub which you wish to be attributed to you and/or your organisation.

I like the #MembershipMeets sessions, but what if I have something to discuss with the community before the next one is held?

We realise that challenges, the need to gauge opinions, and gain insight from your fellow membership colleagues do not just rear their heads to coincide with when a #MembershipMeets is being held.  Therefore we created The Collective as the way to harness the hive mind of the Inspiration Exchange community.  The Collective is open to all people who work in PR / Comms / Marketing in the membership sector, or provides services to it, and is managed through a private Facebook Group.  Pose a question and sit back to read the responses as the community imparts its pearls of wisdom.

I do not live or work in London, nor at an easy-to-commute distance. How will I benefit from Inspiration Exchange?

You can access the Inspiration Community without travelling to London. The Collective is a free-to-access resource to ask questions of your peers, give answers to help others, or even sing about your successes. There are also ad-hoc virtual cafes (video chats to bring the community together on Zoom) and Bite-sized Inspirations (short bursts of learning to educate and inspire you, hone your skills or learn new ones).

An annual Membership or Partnership gives you free access to #MembershipMeets, and free access to The Hub (password-protected area for case studies, winning award entries, recordings of Bite-sized Inspiration sessions and downloadable presentations given at our events).

Due to the proliferation of membership organisations within / close to the M25, #MembershipMeets are currently London-centric. The plan is to have regional hubs with #MembershipMeets helds in key cities when delegate numbers allow a sufficient number to attend to make the discussions varied and valuable. If you work for a membership organisation in a key city outside London and would like to host a MembershipMeets, please get in touch to raise your hand.

What type of membership organisations benefit from Inspiration Exchange?

Any organisation which has members will find Inspiration Exchange relevant.  Professional bodies, trade associations, clubs, societies, associations, etc. From working in the sector you will know that members have feet in a few camps – they are the centre of a venn diagram which plots employees, clients and consumers. Members do not fall in any of these camps, yet embody all of them simultaneously. Members are a blend of many stakeholders and need to be engaged with in a way that is different to most commercial organisations.

I may not be able to commit to an annual membership / partnership so how can I benefit from what is on offer?

You can experience a #MembershipMeets session by attending on a PAYG basis. Attending this way does not give access to The Hub.

If you decide you want to attend multiple #MembershipMeets in a year then an annual membership / partnership is the best value-for-money.

As a member you get free access to The Hub and can submit posts to the Insights blog.  As a partner, you get the same benefits as a member, but also a dedicated profile page and free inclusion in the Supplier Directory.

The Collective is open to everyone in a PR / Comms / Marketing role in the membership sector, or provides services to it.

What job roles do people in the Inspiration Exchange community have? I am thinking about how relevant the conversations will be.

When you apply to join you are asked if your primary role is strategic, tactical, or both.  This is not because we are being nosey (honest!) but so when we have #MembershipMeets sessions, we can match members meaning discussions are most relevant to the role you have. Depending on the number of people at a #MembershipMeets, the aim is to have discussions in small groups, split into strategic or tactical focuses.

What types of suppliers benefit from the Inspiration Exchange?

Any company which provides products or services to PR / Communications / Marketing professionals working in the membership sector will benefit.  If a company wants to meet (potential) clients to understand their challenges and get under their skin to know what they need and provide the solution, Inspiration Exchange is for them. If a company is only interested in the hard sell, and not in building relationships and educating the Inspiration Exchange community, then Inspiration Exchange is not the place for them.

What role do Partners have in the Inspiration Exchange?

Our Partners are an integral part of the success of the Inspiration Exchange community. Members need solutions which our Partners offer, and Partners need to build and strengthen relationships with members, their (potential) clients.

Our Partnership Programme is designed in a way that helps companies who support the membership sector get in front of the people they want to do business with so they can educate them – not give them the hard sell.

Being part of the Inspiration Exchange community as a Partner puts you in the right place to educate the people you need to reach about your products and services, and explain how you solve their challenges.

Be there to help members of the Inspiration Exchange community achieve more for themselves and the members they represent, and at the same time, expand your client base.

When members join Inspiration Exchange, they can pay by credit card and get instant access to The Hub. Why does this not apply to Partners?

For a company to be accepted as a Partner it needs to be either nominated by a member, or provide a reference of a client in the PR / Communications / Marketing function in a membership organisation.  Both options need to be verified so we can ensure we have quality recommended partners. Once we are happy the company will be a fit as a partner, an invoice is issued and full access to the Community is granted the day payment is received.  Partner renewals can be paid by credit card to ensure continuity of the Partnership.

I want to join as a Partner but have not been nominated by a member. What can I do?

We want to make sure that all our Partners are solid and will be a fit with the community. We only partner with companies we like and respect and would work with ourselves. We don’t believe in the hard sell – in fact, this would send our founder, Lindsey Collumbell, running in the opposite direction – and want partners to have a relationship with members and educate them on how to find solutions.

A nomination from a Member of the Inspiration Exchange community is pretty much a slam-dunk recommendation and just requires a quick call / email from us to the member to confirm they recommend you. Otherwise, provide the name and contact details of one client as a referee and we will get in touch with them for a brief chat about how they work with you – you know the type of thing we will need to know: helpfulness, customer service, value-for-money, etc. Once we are happy with your verification we will issue you with an invoice and you will receive full access to the Community on the day that payment is received.

Do you save my credit card details?

No – your credit card details are not stored by us.  The information you provide goes directly to our payment service provider, Stripe.

Is the Inspiration Exchange site secure for purchases?

We have an SSL and work with Stripe which guarantees your safety and security.  All data transfer is encrypted by Stripe.

Why have these 4 charities been chosen for donations?

Giving back is a cornerstone of Inspiration Exchange.  The charities chosen to receive a total 5% of turnover are highly personal to our founder, Lindsey Collumbell.

  • The Princess Alice Hospice took amazing care of Lindsey’s mother in the last month of her life in 2019, but also supported the family.  The Hospice needs £10m a year to survive, the bulk of which comes from fundraising.
  • Marie Curie helps make the journey ahead for people with cancer and their friends and family somehow easier to bear.
  • The British Lung Foundation conducts research, improves care and helps prevent, treat and cure lung diseases – Lindsey’s father lived with COPD for many years and died from it in 2019.
  • iPRovision helps CIPR members who find themselves in difficult situations, from help with care and respite costs, making a garden accessible after a member is confined to a wheelchair, to purchasing a suit, shirt and tie to look professional for interviews after a period of unemployment.