Planning an association event takes a lot of work. Most already use event technology to automate tasks. This frees up time so that your event goes off without a hitch.
It’s likely you depend on both association and event management tools. Yet, it’s always a good idea to review and get better. Attract members to events and ensure membership renewals with these top tips:
- Choose an event based on what members want.
- Encourage members to register with your online form.
- Develop a marketing strategy to attract attendees.
- Personalise all event communications with members.
- Compile reports for future improvement.
These tips are applicable to any type of event. Keep members engaged by hosting smarter, more streamlined events. This should also strengthen your entire organisation.
It all starts with conquering the way you manage these association events. Let’s get started!
1. Choose an event based on what your members want
Members are most likely to attend an event they’re interested in. Take a look at your member database for help.
Your member database is also known as a constituent relationship management (CRM) system. This is where you store member profiles, preferences, and past engagements.
How do you make sure accurate member data is accessible through your CRM? You can integrate your association management software (AMS) with your CRM. Even better, some AMS systems are native to popular CRM systems. This gets rid of any data processes.
For instance, Salesforce is a well-known CRM system with a few native tools. This means that all data flows to your CRM.
Go one step further. Find an AMS system that’s native to your CRM and can help plan events. This way, you can create member profiles with event metrics as well.
Plan your next event based on solid and accurate data. Use your CRM to understand which events are most popular and which members are likely to attend.
It’s important that your member data is in a secure and dependable place. If you use Salesforce, check out Double the Donation’s guide on top Salesforce event partners.
2. Encourage members to register with your online form
Event success depends on registration. Streamline your event registration process for ease-of-use. More members are likely to begin and complete your registration form.
Providing online event registration is now necessary. Consider these ways to improve:
- Set up a specific place for your online registration form. Embed the form into your existing portal or an event microsite. This way, members don’t have to go through a third-party website.
- Offer different pricing levels. Your association likely has membership levels. Offer various discounts on a tiered system. You can also provide early-bird discounts to very active members.
- Make sure you provide necessary documents. Does your event need waivers or other forms? Learn more about how online waivers work.
Simplify the registration process and watch your attendance soar.
3. Develop a marketing strategy to attract attendees
Your event needs to attract members. Focus your marketing strategy around increasing search engine optimisation.
Follow these steps to encourage your members to register:
- Create an event website or event microsite. Use this space to embed your registration form. You can also share event details like a description or schedule.
- Make sure the website is mobile responsive. Don’t miss out on attendees who are considering your event while on their phones. According to one study, mobile devices make up 48% of web page views worldwide. That’s almost half of your audience.
- Link to the event website on your social media channels and in email newsletters. Your members likely follow your social profiles and email newsletters. Feel free to announce your event and gather excitement.
Tip: Have a look at our tips for a marketing strategy to attract attendees.
4. Personalise all event communications with members
You should engage with attendees until the big date. A good tip is to personalise your communications. Nobody wants to feel like they are one of many, so at least include names. With your AMS and CRM working together, you can successfully automate this aspect of association event management.
Email is still a top communication tool and a trusted marketing method. Currently, 99% of consumers check their email daily. Use your CRM to personalise emails. Include member names, registration details, payment information, and more.
You can even segment your members for targeted communications. Track member engagement and use the metrics in CRM to group your members.
5. Compile reports for future improvement
You’ve now set up a stable foundation with a dependable AMS and CRM system. Your next step is to use past event data to improve future events.
Your AMS should:
- Post live surveys through a mobile event app. Some AMS include a mobile app for attendees. Get a sense of how much the members are liking the event activities in real time.
- Automate post-event surveys. Send a post-event survey email to attendees as they check out. This way, they can share their feedback while it’s still fresh in their minds.
- Compile reports from CRM data. Your AMS, event tools, and CRM are all working together. Compile comprehensive reports that summarise various parts of your event. You can choose the metrics you care about with flexible reporting. This will help you determine which processes need improvement.
Start with a solid foundation
Hosting an event for your members can be a lot of pressure. A solid software foundation will help you conquer association event management with confidence.
The right software solutions will help you better understand your events. Curious about how to pick the right AMS? Fonteva’s guide to AMS can help.
Author: Jake Fabbri is the Vice President of Marketing at Fonteva with over 18 years of experience working in marketing management. He has experience with lead generation, content marketing, marketing automation, and events.