4 tips to deliver the right member benefits

One of the challenges facing associations is how to drive member benefits and meaningfully value to keep engagement up in their continuing education programs. Associations often struggle to engage members during professional learning opportunities like conferences and meetings.

With the right tools, your association can not only increase engagement, but deliver members the value they are expecting from their membership.

At Attendee Interactive, we’re all about win-win situations and have created solutions to empower them.
Here are our best tips to help drive member engagement, featuring details about the technologies and tools available to help you do just that.

When education just doesn’t engage…

Think about it: You’ve likely attended more than your fair share of lackluster learning opportunities that initially promised to be a compelling professional education experience.

Not only is sitting through a dull presentation a boring experience, but it can also be frustrating for those forced to do so.

The thing is professional education really matters to your members. Members expect their associations to improve their experience and in the Community Brands 2022 Association Trends study more than half of Pros say their top technology purchasing priority is the ability to impact the MX.

Utilizing the right technology will surface tangible benefits, such as the following:

  • On demand access to timely industry information
  • Opportunities to advance their careers following professional certifications
  • 24/7 access to resources and support for daily professional challenges and activities
  • The ability to connect with their colleagues, regardless of location, as well as subject matter experts or industry authorities

By providing these benefits, your association will secure better member retention.

It sounds easy enough, but associations have struggled to strike the right note and deliver engaging educational content.

Part of the problem comes down to understanding how adults learn and then creating content and educational scenarios which support that specific learning style.

Here’s the deal: most adults learn best in hands-on scenarios.

After a while lecturing can become like white noise. It just stops making an impact and the less memorable your educational content is, the less value your members will assign it, which could impact your association’s membership over time.

Let’s avoid that by looking at four tips to boost member engagement in your CE programs so that everyone benefits.

Tip #1 — Build with the right tools for increased opportunities to connect

It might sound obvious, but you really can’t build the program you want — and your members deserve — without the right tools.

The right tools, in this case, should help you create more opportunities for your members to connect and network with their peers as well as subject matter experts.

Yes, your association might host a variety of meetings, conferences and even social events. And yes, all of these are highly valued by your members.

However, it’s important to remember that your members are likely located across a wide geographical area.

These events offer them the opportunity to connect only a few times each year, depending on scheduling and members’ ability to attend.

That’s why it’s important to build connections between these opportunities to gather together in order to keep members engaged and excited about attending your next event.

Ultimately, your association needs to streamline your continuing education management process in order to nurture engagement across the entire attendee lifecycle.

The question, of course, becomes how can you manage that? How can you keep members across a variety of locations consistently connected and engaged?

The right tools = technology.

Various technologies, including event engagement apps, can be accessed from any device with an internet connection and these effectively bridge the time between events.

These platforms offer opportunities to connect in real-time, any time, through discussion forums, online communities, and other social learning features.

Providing the technology and tools to help members to connect, continue conversations, and learn from each other can really increase the value of education programs, and thus the perceived value of membership.

Tip #2 — Use the resources at your fingertips

Whenever possible, we encourage the associations we work with to use what they already have at their disposal and then maybe enhance it with a new tool or two.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel or create additional work for your team.

A great way to evaluate the resources that are already at your disposal is to put yourself in the member mindset.

What is it that they need or want from your association relative to their own professional trajectories?

First and foremost, members require access to important industry information, which your association already has.

Whether on your website, social media, or within archived email newsletters, you have the information your members are looking for.

All you need to do is just repurpose it.

By repurposing and repackaging your existing content, you stand to strengthen your CE program.

How can you repurpose existing content in such a way that members will find it meaningful?

Enlist the help of an event management tool that empowers members and attendees with the type of anytime, anywhere access to your educational content.

Tip #3 — Develop meaningful content

Okay, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to be sure that your content matters to your members.

Your association needs to be able to issue professional development credits in order to help members further pursue their career paths and achieve their goals.

Meaningful content should also be convenient to access from their preferred device.

Consider setting up your CE program with a SSO (single sign-on) feature to make access to your content quick and easy.

Doing so will help members claim, view, and manage their continuing education credits by simply logging into the platform and finding their program.

Feeling in control of their own educational content and credits will increase member engagement with your CE program, improving association retention in the process.

Tip #4 — Take advantage of tracking

The ability to efficiently track your attendees’ actions within CE programs gives your association invaluable insight, which will shape your strategy and efforts moving forward.

Event management solutions make tracking easy by providing associations with the ability to build intuitive forms, capitalize on reporting, and keep credentialing organized in a single location.

Deliver the benefits to delight (and keep!) your members

By implementing the four tips we’ve shared with you, your association will position itself to deliver those benefits your members expect, which will both delight them and retain their membership.

Of all the suggestions outlined above, the most important overall strategy is to leverage event management solutions for cutting-edge continuing education management.

Leverage the expertise of Attendee Interactive to access software designed to streamline your continuing education management process across the entire attendee lifecycle.

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