Control Over Event Planning

There’s no question about it, the events your association facilitates are the single greatest opportunity to stimulate engagement with your membership. It’s certainly important to maintain a strong level of engagement throughout the year, not just at events – which your AMS should certainly empower you to do. However, those few face-to-face interactions you get with your members need to be taken advantage of to the greatest extent possible.

In order to orchestrate a successful event that runs smoothly and lends itself to impactful engagement, you’re going to need an AMS solution that enhances your ability to manage the logistics before, during and after the event.

Each association prefers to conduct events differently, so the feature-set your administrators require from an AMS to empower their efforts will be unique. However, with effective consultation, your solution provider should be able to identify your event management needs and implement the tools that will allow administrators to better shepherd the ideal outcome.

Summarized below are a few of the features you’re most likely going to want (need) when using an AMS to govern the success of your upcoming event. The intention of each feature that follows is to make it so administrators can easily and knowledgeably manage and oversee logistics and members can enjoy the event for the great time it should be.

Simplify the Process
Your AMS event management component should make things completely foolproof, on both the administrator and member side. The system should function in such a way that little to no training is required for administrators to go in with fresh eyes and understand how to create an event, design and send out formal invitations, track member registrations and RSVPs, make adaptations to the event, and mass send updates and notifications. At the same time, members should be able to intuitively access the event registration page, know how to register, and be automatically provided with the information necessary to keep them in the know – all without ever having done it before. If the event management component isn’t easy to use, there will be repercussions on both sides of the coin. If the registration process is complicated or confusing for members, their frustration will eventually motivate them to throw in the towel. This will, of course, negatively impact attendance. Less attendance means less members engaged. For administrators, if the feature-set of the event management component isn’t robust in capability and intuitive in use, establishing the details of the event and tracking member uptake will be an uphill battle that causes more harm than good. It’s got to work, and it’s got to be easy to use – bottom line.
Make Invitations Relevant
Every event your association hosts is different from the last. That being the case, you’ll want to treat each event like its own brand. The theme of the event will be different so the feel and look should be unique as well. The material you send out to market the event would preferably match the theme. In order to create unique marketing materials and invitations for each event, you need an AMS with an event management component that empowers a certain level of customization. It doesn’t need to be overly sophisticated. On the contrary, if it’s too complex, administrators may not know how to use it with ease. This tool should be nuanced just enough so that administrators can make event invitations relevant to the respective theme. Little details like event-specific invitations will go a long way in building interest and hype among your members.
Automate Announcements
When event season is on the horizon, it can be a very stressful time for administrators. On top of all their typical daily efforts to better the association’s cohesiveness, they now need to plan a large-scale event. For this reason, it’s so important that your event management component is able to take some of the burden off of administrators by offering them the ability to automate some of the event planning processes. For example, the event planning team may be working out a good bulk of the logistics long before invitations are ever sent out to the membership. Your system should allow administrators to set an automatic release date that triggers the mass send-out of invitations to all members without any action needed from administrators. It may seem like a little thing, but in planning an event, they’ll have a lot on their plate. A system that can take on some of the coordination will allow your administrators to come up for air every once and a while, and maybe even enjoy the experience.
Structure the Itinerary
Your administrators should be able to add specific micro-events and break-outs to the greater event schedule when creating the schedule through your AMS event management component. This will allow members to not only register to the event as a whole, but to the smaller related events and initiatives surrounding the greater event. This saves administrators from dealing with a logistical nightmare, outside of the AMS – where they would have to contend with individual requests coming in for registration to this break-out or that one. Having it all setup within the AMS allows members to see the opportunities that are available to them and empowers them to pick and choose which break-outs they wish to attend, on their own without any intervention needed from the administrators. Having this feature saves administrators time and prevents any confusion on behalf of the members.
Dispatch Notifications
Despite your best-laid plans, sometimes things change. A spanner in the works can be a dreadful thing to try and smooth out when it comes to events, since there are so many moving parts. Of all the things you may need to shift around to accommodate the change, the last thing you should need to worry about is informing your membership about the change. That should be easy. Fortunately, with the right AMS, it is. Whether it’s a date change, a change of location, or an update on traffic the night of – your administrators should be able to craft up a quick piece of content (providing the information members need to know) and dispatch a mass update to all members registered for attendance. With the ability to quickly and directly notify all attendees of changes, with just a couple of clicks, administrators will have no trouble keeping members in the loop.
Coordinate Follow-Ups
One of the biggest missed opportunities within association environments is when there is little or no follow-up with members and attendees after an event. It’s important to garner event attendee feedback so you can better understand what you are doing well and what could use some improvement. Sending out a survey can be another logistical nightmare if you don’t have an AMS that supports your efforts. Your administrators should be able to call-up the list of attendees and mass request their feedback with just a few clicks.

An AMS with a comprehensive event management component allows your administrators to stay in control and on top of things while overseeing your events. Managing large-scale events can be hectic and, at times, stress inducing. However, with the right AMS supporting your efforts, you can rest a little easier knowing you’ve got a system to help you manage the many moving parts and potential pitfalls that come with such a vast undertaking.

To see how Guild can support your association in its planning of events, please click here to schedule a live demo.