Let’s remember that a ‘membership’ is a voluntary subscription and no association is immune to the impact of economic climate change. Therefore, an association must remain competitive within the marketplace of its geographic and economic region by providing worthwhile resources and experiences in order to remain viable and consistently grab a portion of the market share. Yes, some associations are fortunate to have those long-standing or ‘cornerstone’ members who do not typically take advantage of those offerings nor do they attend events – except for maybe an annual dinner or political hob-nob. However, the majority of its members have that “what’s in it for me?” mentality (and they should), so they usually subscribe and engage in order to drive value for their businesses. In short, this majority weighs its options and is very cognizant of where to invest discretionary funds.
So, the question becomes, is an association’s resources and experiences (we’ll now call ‘events’) worthwhile to the majority of its members? Can an association establish a valuation to attendance and actually see from where event revenue is generating? In fact, the answer is a resounding ‘yes.’
We know the questions an association’s staff at each management level should be asking:
- CEO / President: How is our membership doing? How’s engagement this month or year?
- VP of Membership / Director of Programs & Events: What events drive the most / least engagement? Who’s engaging? Who is thriving? Who is struggling?
- Account Manager / Sales & Retention Specialist: Who needs the most personal attention? Who’s at risk of churning? Who has the potential for an increase in membership tier?
Without a proper way to determine a valuation to attendance or Member Engagement Score and find the quantifiable correlation to each of these questions above, it’s impossible to know what’s truly going on within an association. As W. Edwards Deming put it, “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” In short, associations need to remove the guesswork. Properly tracking and measuring member engagement allows management at all levels to solve certain issues by creating visibility for every part of the association who is conscientious about revenue.
So, what is a Member Engagement Score? A Member Engagement Score is a metric that measures member activity by quantifying event attendance – the higher the number the more engaged the member. However, don’t mistake equating higher engagement with a feeling, such as ‘happiness.’ That’s better left to surveying members to ‘qualify’ how particular events and those messages, substance and resources are perceived. The Member Engagement Score metric does not require surveys to capture information subjectively nor does it rely on sampling. But, rather, it allows engagement to be objectively (1) tracked, (2) measured, and (3) targeted for improvement at a very detailed level for all association members.
To take a look at the Six (specific) Steps to Building Successful Member Engagement, CLICK HERE.