Feb 13, 2019
Read Time: 5 min
Written by Jake Fabbri, VP of Marketing at Fonteva
Organizations, from nonprofits to business associations, can benefit from incorporating member management with event planning process.
Your membership program is an incredible source of revenue and engagement from the supporters of your organization. But did you know that membership management goes hand-in-hand with event planning for engagement and recruitment?
Proper member management can lead to more successful events while successful events can lead to improved member engagement and recruitment. Therefore, incorporating member management into every step of your event planning process is an incredibly important step to take as an organization.
Some of the most successful methods for incorporating these two important aspects of your organization are outlined below:
Before jumping into planning your event, be sure you are already getting the most out of your membership software. This will ensure a smoother transition into the planning process. Check out Fonteva’s member management software guide to make sure you’re ready to start planning.
Now, let’s dive into the first incorporation strategy!
Enabling your members to collaborate online based on common interests can help you plan events that cater to the interests of particular (or multiple!) groups of members. This is especially helpful if you are a professional organization looking to create networking opportunities for members of your association.
Management software enabling members to form their own groups should store all the important information for event planning in the association management database.
For instance, if your members form a membership group within the software and bond over their interest in coding technology, you might choose to host a conference about coding in which your members can participate.
Incorporating the knowledge you have documented about your members into different events is a great way to increase member engagement and participation. Cater to the interests your members already bond over in order to best appeal to them with your themed events.
This strategy is also effective if your membership program has natural divisions such as:
Take a look into these naturally divided groups before planning your next event. You’ll find you have better turnout when the event targets particular groups. Next, you’ll just have to ensure the event lives up to their expectation with the latest event planning trends.
In addition to planning your event in order to cater to particular interest groups within your organization, be sure to market according to the member data in your database.
Segmenting your members further according to your data records and member profiles can ensure the most successful marketing strategies. For instance you may choose different marketing platforms such as:
Plus, when your database is integrated with your event planning software, it makes it that much easier to streamline your marketing efforts.
When it comes to planning your event, you’re not just limited to a single event planning software like Cvent. Do your research to find the one that will work best for your organization. Check out top providers like CadmiumCD, Fonteva Events, and Double the Donation’s list of other top Cvent competitors.
If you’re choosing to plan an event to improve the engagement of your existing members, you may choose to provide special perks for members attending your organization’s events.
Your membership comes with all sorts of benefits like eLearning opportunities, discounts, networking opportunities, etc. Be sure these perks also include access to exclusive event benefits.
You may choose to offer member-only events throughout the year. These events may include:
If you decide to open these events up to the general public, there are still plenty of ways to make your members feel special and appreciated.
You may offer members a reduced or waived registration fee, “backstage” passes, priority registration, discounts on event merchandise, or other reward-based benefits.
Be sure you have all the tools you need to offer these types of benefits to your members. Depending on your organization, you may need different features such as digital membership cards, robust membership capabilities, lightweight solutions, etc. Launch your research by comparing membership software and learn more about these features.
Your events can help you to recruit more supporters to purchase memberships from your organization.
When you plan your event, be sure you have a quick and easy way for your supporters to apply for the membership program right from the event. This may mean setting up a booth or table where people can come register, or simply taking email addresses for later recruitment.
Try recruiting people at the event by offering event-attendee discounts such as:
Don’t forget that when you are recruiting new members from your well-planned event, you should focus on recruiting both attendees and volunteers. They will both be intrigued by the discounts and perks you offer, but you may choose to offer volunteers more specialized benefits as a reward for their hard work.
Make sure non-members at the event are aware of the benefits members can receive. Market the perks at your event to encourage more sign-ups.
After your event is over, use your member management software to track the engagement rates of event attendees and gather feedback on the event itself. You may choose to send out a survey about the event, interview randomly selected donors who attended, or encourage other types of feedback from members.
Your member management software and event planning software should also keep track of engagement metrics such as:
Analyzing feedback and engagement metrics is a great reference point for your next event. Pay special attention to members’ feedback about your event because they are a lifeline to your organization.
You can design your next member engagement strategy around their feedback to your organization. For instance, if you received a lot of feedback that there were not enough vegetarian options at a member networking lunch, make sure you offer more for the next one.
Member management and event planning go hand-in-hand with one another. They can be mutually beneficial when you incorporate their capabilities together and maximize your use of each.
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.