Representatives of Florida’s voluntary bar associations held a virtual town hall on July 28, titled, “Membership Engagement, Retention & the Return to In-Person Meetings.” About 100 participants discussed the challenges of, and tips for, enhancing voluntary bar membership renewals, as well as best practices for planning events during a health crisis.

With social gatherings baked into their DNA, Florida’s voluntary bar associations are feeling especially challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of bar activities are very much based on comradery and connection, and when you don’t have that, it’s very hard to feel like you are part of the community of your association,” said Vivian Cortes Hodz, chair of The Florida Bar’s Voluntary Bar Liaison Committee.