After the year we’ve all had (and what a year it’s been!), who can really predict what comes next?
The truth is, nobody saw a year like 2020 coming. I mean, did you ever think toilet paper demand or mysterious monoliths would be headline-makers?
Did you ever imagine that your organization might have to turn on a dime to work from home, cancel planned in-person events, and continue to engage with members and colleagues in an all-virtual environment (all while figuring out how to home school your children)?
Me neither. So while many unknowns are still floating around today, it’s nice to remember that there are some things you can count on as you plan for your association’s future.
Here are three things you can expect to remain unchanged for years to come.
Virtual engagement is here to stay.
How do you keep members connected with your organization and each other throughout the year, between meetings and events? Engaging virtually is a convenient and effective approach. And it’s what members expect.
A recent Community Brands study about the association industry indicates that a majority of members in the study have been engaging virtually and expect to continue. Members who have become more involved with their association have done so because the organization is offering more online resources. Even members who used to engage more or entirely in person now say they will be moving toward a balance of in-person and virtual engagement.
How can associations prepare for 2021?
In this benchmark report, you’ll learn insights into what association professionals are thinking about their organization’s future and how your organization compares with other associations.
Here are two effective ways to increase virtual engagement in 2021:
- Offer an online member community. This is a great way to become part of your members’ daily social networking habits because it offers members a convenient place to find industry information, network with your organization and each other, and share ideas. Nimble Communities allows you to easily set up and host a branded online member community as a digital home for member connections.
- Plan for hybrid (in-person/virtual) events. Even after in-person events are “back to normal,” many members will prefer to attend online due to schedules, budget, and other factors. The Nimble AMS and Community Brands teams can help with a complete suite of event tech solutions to support your in-person, virtual, and hybrid events.
A personalized member experience will never go out of style.
If you read this blog, you’ve probably learned about the importance of personalization and artificial intelligence (AI) for associations. As businesses provide increasingly personalized experiences using AI, your members expect the same in more areas of their lives – including their experience with your association.
Using AI, you can offer members a personalized experience by doing things like creating a familiar Amazon-like shopping experience that recommends new purchases based on members’ past behavior and “what other members like you purchased”. You can also help members find answers through personalized content, predicting the answers that members are looking for, and providing that information proactively.
AI can do more than provide a personalized member experience.
Read how Nimble AMS helped MCA&F retain members using artificial intelligence.
Modern association management software (AMS) is a must-have.
Many associations realized this year that the technology they choose to manage their organization is “make or break” for ongoing operations and the ability to deliver a great member experience, no matter what the circumstances.
In the disruptions of 2020, organizations that were already using a Salesforce platform-based solution like Nimble AMS were able to adapt quickly. They were able to keep the organization running well even when everyone had to work from home.
That’s because Nimble AMS gives them the ability to easily access key systems and data no matter where they’re located. And, not only can their employees access important member data and processes remotely, but members can also continue to engage with the organization – doing things like paying dues and updating their member profiles from their mobile devices.