For best member management, take time to reward attendees

An important aspect of association member management is coming up with ways to keep members engaged with your organization and excited about its prospects. Obviously, this requires proper planning to ensure that the association is working toward its mission, but extra perks never hurt.

For example, a recent article on Associations Now recommended that association executives offer personalized perks to meeting attendees as part of an effort to make them feel more positive about the organization.

The author, Samantha Whitehorn, cited the private sector example of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which now offers a new rewards program to its best customers. To determine what to offer, the hotel tracked member preferences and made an effort to personalize each reward.

Whitehorn adds that associations could benefit from this kind of personalization as well.

"Imagine if your association's staff could use a CRM to input notes about meeting attendee behavior on the spot," she writes. "For instance, say a staffer notices Attendee X always picks up a Diet Coke before walking into an education session. Perhaps after the session gets out, another staffer can be waiting for her at the exit to hand her a can before she moves to the next one. Or, if she completes her post-event survey, you send her a reward for a six pack."

Ultimately, the idea is that these perks and friendly gestures will lead to better member retention, which is an important goal for any association. In turn, happy members are more likely to spread the word about your organization to their friends and relatives.

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