6 Tactics for Improving Member Engagement: Insights from Association Leaders

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At Engage 2020, Gather Voices’ first annual conference event, we brought together leading experts from the association industry to talk about leveraging the power of video to create year-round, long-lasting, member engagement.

Our first session, Your Event is Over. Now What? (Member Engagement), was moderated by Qin Coe, the Vice President of Customer Success at Gather Voices. She discussed member engagement best practices with association industry leaders like Reggie Henry of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Michelle Mason of Association Forum, and KiKi L’Italien of Association Chat

Throughout the session, we learned about everything from how the coronavirus pandemic has created a new normal that requires new ways of engaging members to why associations must innovate now in order to reach a new generation of members to how leading organizations are leveraging the power of video to create engagement.

Let’s dive deeper into a couple of the key themes from the session:

The Fundamentals of Member Engagement in Our New Normal

Member engagement should be more relational and less transactional. To attract new members and retain current ones, you have to focus on understanding what your members need from your organization and then create meaningful interactions throughout the year that deliver on those needs. Listen to Reggie Henry, Chief Engagement and Information Officer at ASAE:

Member engagement also requires your association to be human and create more opportunities for authentic human connection. Your members don’t want to interact with your association and its brand. They want to communicate and connect with other members, leaders, and experts in your space. Listen to KiKi L’Italien, CEO of Association Chat and Amplified Growth:

Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment where diverse voices come together to achieve common goals is at the heart of what associations are all about. To build an engaged membership, you need to deliver representation and foster a sense of belonging throughout the entire organization. Listen to Michelle Mason, President and CEO of Association Forum:

How Leading Organizations Are Leveraging the Power of Video for Engagement

The Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) offers an international nurse scholarship program to provide nurses in developing countries financial assistance to attend the APHON annual conference event in New York. 

In order to improve the application experience for their members, they shifted from a written application to a video-based application, which removed language barriers and gave applicants the opportunity to showcase their personalities and individuality. Listen to Nicole Wallace, Sr. Operations Manager at APHON:

When the pandemic hit, the New York Society of Association Executives (NYSAE) knew they needed to keep their community engaged and connected during these socially distant times. They turned to the power of video to create new member benefits to keep engagement high. 

They created a virtual office hours program where their members could get face-to-face expertise and advice in a video call setting. They launched the Engagement Lounge, a weekly Friday video meeting for association industry leaders and experts to engage with one another. Listen to Holly Koenig, CEO of NYSAE:

The Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) is leveraging the power of video to create engaging testimonials to drive event and education attendance and communicate the value of membership. Listen as Kathy Meader, the Vice President of Member Education Services at the RSPA shares her favorite use case that’s allowing her organization’s community to honor one of their own:

If you’d like to learn more from all of the thought-leaders involved in the Your Event is Over. Now What? (Member Engagement) segment, you can watch the entire thing in our Engage 2020 On-Demand Content Library. For example, you’ll hear: 

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