Among the things Association Members expect from their membership are opportunities for:
Delivering on these expectations increases Member engagement. Organizations can go a long way toward using technology to improve Association member engagement.
Networking is all about connecting and communicating. Associations can provide technology tools to support both of these.
Connections – Establishing an online directory (based on the Member database) helps Members to know who belongs to the Association. It should be like a mini-LinkedIn available only to Members, which they can use to connect with individuals with similar interests.
Communication – Providing Members with an exclusive messaging system allows them to communicate once a connection is established.
Playing a foundational role in support of networking and other Member engagement efforts is a Member database and accompanying CRM (Customer Relationship Management System.) This database has information about current and prospective Members. From here, all administrative and marketing functions can draw from a single source of truth. For example, all email marketing campaigns depend on this database.
Members want to learn more about their profession or the Association’s Mission. In doing so, they enhance their careers or understand more deeply the issues championed by the organization. Virtual education events are a great example of using technology to improve Association member engagement.
Event Management – Technology tools can streamline event management, with the result being higher-quality events. This leads to higher event attendee satisfaction both for Members and non-members. High-quality events are more likely to result in non-member attendees joining the organization.
Online Meeting Integration – In the age of COVID, virtual events have become the only way some Associations hold their events. Event software that integrates with such virtual meeting technology as Zoom and WebEx makes planning and staging such events much more efficient.
Feedback – Associations want to know if their events and other programming meet Members’ expectations. Survey and feedback technology that integrates with the Member directory and event management software quickly and efficiently gathers opinion and satisfaction data to support improved decision making.
Members want to contribute service to the organization. They also want to feel their service efforts are effective. Technology can assist in making this a reality.
Volunteer Management – Efficient Volunteer Management not only helps in meeting service project objectives. It also gives Members a sense that their service was appropriately managed to make the greatest impact
Collaboration – Whether through effective management of committees, projects or individual tasks, technology can support the Association in successfully completing its day-to-day operations.
Using technology to improve Association member engagement offers the opportunity to take an organization to higher levels of growth and greater achievement of the overall mission.