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How Engagement Tools Improve Association Event Management

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on February 28, 2019 at 12:20 PM

Higher Logic Blog How Engagement Tools Improve Association Event Management

Interested in filling more chairs at your next event? Achieving this goal is easier said than done without effective tools, but it’s a common core objective among associations (for good reason).

It is incredibly gratifying for associations to see a spike in event attendance, as participation plays a valuable role in their impact, but poor event management can cause your members to disengage.

Exploring new ways to keep your members engaged and informed about your events can increase overall member satisfaction and translate to a boost in event attendance.

Let's focus on how engagement tools and platforms, like additional community modules or marketing automation, can work together to elevate the success and impact of your online community as it relates to events and registrations.

Educate, Educate, Educate: Events & eLearning

If the purpose of your event is to educate your members, are they aware of the benefits and knowledge they stand to gain by attending? If you want your association members to attend more events, the value they can expect to extract from participating should be front and center.

If you want to encourage event attendance and participation, it’s important to provide your members with valuable resources that stir up excitement and interest, driving them to engage.

Integrating eLearning tools, like a Learning Management System (LMS), with your online community can help you establish a reputation for delivering valuable educational content. Building on that reputation can help you retain members and ignite interest in upcoming events.

With an integrated eLearning tool like an LMS, your association can use its online community to:

  • Give members access to a live webinar platform for educational presentations, resource sharing, and anything they’ll need before, during, or after an event

Hosting a live webinar on your platform is an exciting way to engage your members and prospects, rejuvenating interest in continuing education. Think about how you approach event attendance in your own life: the more you know, the more likely you are to go. The better the experience, the more likely you are to talk about it (cue the FOMO).

The last thing you want is for the information discussed at your events to be forgotten once it ends. When you create a library of resources filled with the exclusive information and discussions your community members need to be successful, it inspires your members to log in more frequently and stay up to date on the latest offline events.

Resource: How to Use Events & Conferences to Increase Activity in Your Online Community

Measure Member Interest & Event Performance: Data Collection

If you’re scratching your head trying to understand why your event attendance and registration numbers are down, it’s time to further analyze the data you’re collecting.

Not collecting member data? It’s time to start – data collection is critical to understanding the needs and behaviors that drive your members to engage, attend events, renew membership, and more. It’s also a great way to determine your pain points when addressing your association’s event strategy.

Utilizing data collection tools can help you:

  • Track event attendance, activity among members within your community, and target leads who may still be on the fence about an event

An engagement platform like marketing automation enhances the impact of the data you collect with capabilities to do things like personalize and tailor outreach to each member based on the events they express more interest in (rather than the ones they find irrelevant). Advanced targeting allows you to send the right messages to the right people at the right time, improving your ability to convert leads to registrants.

To measure the success of your event registrations and attendance, consider the following:

Higher Logic Community Modules Guide Measure Event Registation Success

Streamline the Registration Process: Event Management

When an event planning and registration process is unorganized, complicated, or unclear, potential registrants are more likely to abandon interest (yikes!) than to follow through. Event management tools can boost attendance by adding value to the member experience.

An effective event management tool will allow you to create and manage a variety of event types for your organization, from online webinars that require a simple RSVP, to large scale, multi-day conferences with numerous registration options and sessions.

For events requiring payment, it’s important to make the registration process as seamless as possible for your members. Keep in mind that the vast majority of modern-day people consume content from their mobile device – and when it comes to paying, people want options.

Investing in event management tools that streamline the payment process can increase the likelihood that your members will invest their money back into your association events, so:

  • Implement a mobile-friendly registration experience for users to sign up, choose, and track event options

Resource: 5 Expert Tips to Revamp Your Event Management Strategy

Improve Attendee Satisfaction: Event Mobile Apps

Have you ever attended an event that had its own mobile app? From a personal standpoint, I know it can be a total game-changer in terms of attendee satisfaction. This is because the first time I engaged with an event mobile app, it was for a weekend music festival. I’ve loved attending music festivals for years, but this option wasn’t always included in the experience.

In the past, it didn’t matter how relentlessly I studied the artist lineup online in advance, I’d arrive and surrender to the fact that I’d have to stuff the printed schedule into my fanny pack and cart it around with me all weekend for reference, hoping I didn’t accidentally miss a favorite act.

These days, event mobile apps have vastly improved the festival experience, allowing attendees like myself to do things like access multi-day lineups from their mobile devices, read artist bios and mark their favorites, build out a personalized event schedule, review participating vendors, receive alerts about event changes, get familiarized with a map of the space, and much more. With an event mobile app, your association can offer attendees the same benefits!

An effective event mobile app is a resource that informs and engages attendees, helping them self serve, manage expectations, and navigate their experience throughout the event with ease, regardless of its size or scope.

To support your goal of improving attendee satisfaction:  

  • Build stronger connections for attendee satisfaction via mobile-friendly apps to support your events

Resource: 5 Must-Haves for Your Mobile Event Experience

If You Want to Fill Seats, Fill the Gaps in Your Event Strategy

Building out your association’s online community with the additional tools aforementioned, and putting those tools to work in conjunction with marketing automation, will give you the opportunity to better serve your members, satisfy attendees, and promote future event success.

Resource: The Event Planner’s Guide to Using Online Community for Your Annual Event

There’s a wild world of tech tools out there, which can make it difficult to navigate your needs. Which ones belong in your toolbox? Which ones can you live without? To accelerate growth, you have to approach strategizing with a keen focus on your objectives. Hopefully, by now, you’re feeling more familiarized with how your association can support event-related goals.

Download your copy of our eBook, The Community Module Guide, to learn more about tools that work to support other core objectives (like recruitment, revenue, advocacy, and more).

The Community Module Guide: How to Support Your Organization's Business Objectives

Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

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