Revealing the Benefits of Association Management Software (AMS)
In the dynamic landscape of association management, staying organized, engaging members, and facilitating seamless operations are paramount. Enter Association Management Software (AMS), a powerful solution designed to revolutionize the way trade associations and professional societies operate. In this blog, we’ll explore the key benefits of AMS and how it can elevate your association to new heights.
1. Streamlined Membership Management:
Association Management Software (AMS) can redefine the way associations handle their memberships, offering a comprehensive suite of tools to streamline every aspect of member engagement. From the moment a new member joins the association to an automated renewal process, the AMS can act as the central hub for all membership-related activities, taking the administrative burden off association employees.
With an AMS, association administrators can manage member databases, keeping information up-to-date and ensuring accurate records. Automation features within AMS simplify routine tasks, such as sending renewal reminders, event announcements, and processing payments, reducing the administrative burden on association staff. Furthermore, the platform often includes advanced segmentation capabilities, allowing associations to categorize members based on criteria such as engagement level or membership type. This segmentation can facilitate targeted communication, ensuring that members receive information and updates that are specifically relevant to their interests, which further increases engagement. With a robust AMS, associations can create a seamless and personalized experience for each member, ultimately fostering stronger connections and increasing overall member satisfaction.
2. Efficient Event Planning and Management:
Another powerful aspect of a good AMS is its ability to simplify event planning and management by offering tools for seamless registration, promotion, and attendee tracking. Whether organizing conferences, seminars, or webinars, associations can leverage AMS to create engaging events. Integration with online payment systems facilitates easy financial transactions, contributing to a hassle-free event experience for both organizers and attendees.
Need an example? Let’s consider a professional association hosting its annual conference for its members. In the traditional approach, planning such an event involves coordinating various aspects like registration, payment processing, attendee communication, and tracking participation manually or using multiple, disconnected tools. Cue the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet from last year.
Now, with the implementation of an AMS, the association gains a centralized platform to manage the entire event lifecycle. Here’s how it could work:
a. Seamless Registration: Members can easily register for the conference through the association’s website or mobile app, which is integrated with the AMS. The registration process is streamlined, allowing attendees to provide necessary details, select sessions, and make payments online.
b. Automated Communication: An AMS can automate communication throughout the event’s scheduled run. Confirmation emails, event reminders, and updates are sent automatically to registered attendees. This ensures that participants are well-informed about the schedule, venue details, and, maybe most importantly, any last-minute changes to the schedule.
c. Integrated Payment Processing: If enabled, an AMS can seamlessly integrate with online payment systems, allowing for secure and efficient payment processing. Attendees can make payments for registration fees, workshops, or additional event features directly through the platform. This could also include payments during the scheduled event.
d. Personalized Schedules: Association members can personalize their event schedules within certain AMS platform. They can choose specific sessions, workshops, or networking events tailored to their interests. The app can also schedule reminders to keep the attendee updated.
e. On-Site Check-In and Badge Printing: On the day of the event, an AMS can facilitate smooth on-site check-in. Attendees can quickly check in using QR codes or other digital means. The system can also support badge printing, providing professional and personalized badges for each participant.
f. Post-Event Analytics: The real power of an AMS can come after the doors close to the annual conference. Instead of adding things up on an Excel spreadsheet, the AMS can provide detailed analytics on attendee engagement, session popularity, and overall event success. This data allows the association to assess the impact of the event, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions for next year’s conference.
3. Dynamic Website Management:
A professional,user-friendly, and mobily optimized website is essential for any association. Many AMS solutions come with integrated website management features, allowing associations to create and update their websites effortlessly. This not only enhances the association’s online presence but also provides members with easy access to relevant information, resources, and event details. If this feature interests you, be sure to have the AMS provider demo this feature with administrative staff.
4. Enhanced Communication and Collaboration:
Effective communication is the backbone of any association. AMS facilitates improved communication through features like email marketing, newsletters, and discussion forums. Additionally, many of these platforms offer collaboration tools that enable members to connect, share insights, conduct surveys, and participate in community discussions, fostering a sense of belonging and engagement.
5. Data-driven Decision-making with Analytics:
An AMS can provide valuable insights into member behavior, engagement trends, and event participation through robust analytics. Associations can leverage this data to make informed decisions, tailor their strategies to meet member needs, and measure the success of various initiatives. Data-driven decision-making becomes a powerful tool for associations aiming for continuous improvement.
Five AMS Companies to Consider
Believe it or not, there is a plethora of cloud-based association management software (AMS) solutions on the market. TrustRadius lists more than 25. Most are designed specifically to meet the needs of trade associations, professional societies, and other membership-based organizations. These platforms offer a range of features to streamline operations, enhance member engagement, and facilitate efficient management. All have their pros and cons, strengths, and weaknesses. Some are stronger on the membership management side, while others are more of a contact resource management application.
If you want to explore purchasing an AMS for your association, Big Red M’s recommendation is to put a committee together that includes an Information Technology representative as well as administrative users. Involving these people in the decision-making process will make adopting and integrating the AMS quicker, and much smoother. Capture the features your committee is most interested in and prioritize them.
Here are a few AMS companies we suggest:
- MemberClicks: MemberClicks provides a comprehensive association management solution with features such as membership management, event management, website management, and communication tools. It’s designed to centralize various aspects of association management in one platform.
- Wild Apricot: Wild Apricot is a user-friendly AMS that offers membership management, event registration, and website building capabilities. It’s designed for small to medium-sized associations and provides tools for online payments, email communication, and member directories.
- YourMembership: YourMembership is an AMS that covers membership management, online community building, and event management. It aims to enhance member engagement through features like discussion forums, job boards, and personalized content delivery.
- Fonteva for Associations: Fonteva is built on the Salesforce platform and provides a scalable
solution for association management. It includes features such as membership management, event planning, e-commerce, and community engagement.
- Novi AMS: Novi AMS is designed for associations using QuickBooks for their accounting needs. It offers features like membership management, event registration, and financial tracking, with seamless integration with QuickBooks.
Lastly, when selecting an AMS, it’s essential to consider the specific needs and size of your association. These platforms often offer free trials, so you can explore their features and determine which one aligns best with your organization’s requirements.
If you want any more information regarding an AMS, we are here to help you.