The IBA offers a wide variety of programs to our members that range from monthly networking events to specialized community outreach volunteerism, themed social/networking events and educational/special interest programming. We aim to tailor our networking programs to provide opportunities for sponsorship and engagement by all members in our geographical region. The majority of our programs are free or greatly discounted for members with a nominal fee for non-members as an encouragement to join the IBA. Through our monthly networking events, we are able to connect our members to a diverse pool of businesses, professionals, mentors and leaders in the community – important connections that would otherwise not be available to them.
Our target audiences for all of our events are both our current membership and prospective membership. Our programs act as incentives for prospective members to join and for current members to stay engaged in many ways, including learning about and pursuing LGBTBE certification. Programming is also essential for recruitment and inclusivity; and lets all sectors of our community know that they belong, now more than ever. In this time of shifting political landscapes, we want our members from all sectors to know that the IBA is a safe space to make connections and grow their businesses.
The goals of all of our programs are: growth of membership, retention of membership through service, and innovation in becoming a regional economic force. We have been innovating intersectional programming that creates and improves business opportunities for the diverse segments of the LGBTQ+ community, and increase their visibility and participation in the IBA. The IBA was founded predominantly by a group of white, cisgender men more than a decade ago, and for awhile it was difficult to convince members of diverse segments that the organization was for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community. Knowing that a concerted effort was necessary to create a safe space to empower those who identify as trans and/or racially diverse, the IBA explored collaborations that would help us become more inclusive. These programs empower diverse members of our community to get involved in the IBA to create networking events and seminars that celebrate the accomplishments of everyone in our LGBTQ+ business community.
We understand that although COVID-19 is not gone, restrictions continue to change on a regular basis. We will stay abreast of the situation and work with venues and municipalities to let you know what precautions to take on an event-by-event basis.