Alternative Dispute Resolution Sparks Interest of Members

Article excerpt

NACM members showed great interest in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program offered by Equilaw International in 1992. In the past year, over 4,000 members and companies were directly introduced to Equilaw's arbitration/ADR service through 43 nationwide seminars.

Twenty-six cities were visited, enabling every region to host at least two meetings throughout the year. Thirty-three of these meetings were held for NACM members, either in general membership meetings or in industry group sessions, with the balance being training opportunities for affiliate office staffs. These 33 member meetings alone enabled Equilaw to meet and speak with more than 800 individuals.

The meetings usually consisted of an opening presentation on arbitration accompanied by information packets distributed to the attendees, a question and answer session, and, in certain locations, immediate follow-up sessions with interested individual members.

After the presentations, Equilaw began building a relationship with nearly every attending member. In fact, follow-up procedures have been completed with almost all of the members who have attended these meetings. These usually included the following:

* mailing a letter thanking the member for their participation in the meeting;

* placing a telephone call to the member to ask if further information or assistance was required;

* providing additional information requested by about two-thirds of the attendees; and

* scheduling regular follow-up telephone calls if members asked for additional information.

Although quantifying the results of these meetings is a moving target, the level of interest of attendees can be characterized as follows:

* 5 percent--beginning to incorporate arbitration in their processes;

* 20 percent--very interested and actively considering using arbitration;

* 40 percent--interested in future use of arbitration; and

* 35 percent--limited or no interest.

Based on the newness of the idea and the internal selling that members often must do to incorporate this concept in their activities and documents, these are gratifying results. …