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Advanced Solutions International (@advsol) joins #Engageassn as Thought-Leader

On July 23-24, 2015, Greenfield Services will host the second annual Engaging Associations Forum at the Ottawa Marriott, geared towards association executives who want to create change in the industry.  The event will provide the opportunity for a true exchange of ideas for a new generation of association to succeed, grow and prosper.

Joining us as a Thought-Leader partner is Advanced Solutions International (ASI), the makers of iMIS Engagement Management System, the leading membership and fundraising software.  

When it was confirmed that ASI would partner with the Engaging Associations Forum this year, we were thrilled.  It is the second time that ASI has come forward to show their support for the association industry with us here at Greenfield Services, the first being the partnership on the 2014 Pulse Report.  This venture just goes to show that ASI really believes that innovation and education are leading factors in association education today.” says Meagan Rockett, Greenfield’s Director of Client Solutions.

For more information about the Engaging Associations Forum, please contact:

Meagan Rockett
Director, Client Solutions
Greenfield Services Inc.
613-288-4517
meagan@greenfield-services.ca

Effective Membership Surveys for Every #Association

Member feedback is important, and every organization should find innovative ways to obtain it.
One of the simplest (and most used) formats is conducting a member survey. Here are a few tips to creating an effective survey for your membership:

Be clear about your purpose:

  • Start the process by clearly defining what you want to achieve and what you are trying to learn. If you cannot define the objective, your members will not understand its purpose.
  • Be as specific as possible. If you are looking for feedback regarding a specific program, or product offering, do not ask questions that relate to anything else.
  • Determine how this will affect your organization. Start at the end – when you have the results, what will this change within your organization?
  • Consult the right people. If you are in Marketing and Communications, and the results of the survey affects what your Conference Department is doing, ensure that they have a say in what questions should be asked.

Give members a reason to respond:

  • As much as possible, personalize your survey invitations. Marketing automation solutions allow you to customize a message, including the member’s name, company name, customized survey links, and any other information that you have on file. Include it; they will feel you are writing directly to them.
  • Include the reason(s) why you are asking for participation. What will the responses change within your organization? What has made you feel that this survey is warranted?
  • If you can, offer them an incentive to respond. Surveys deployed with an incentive tend to be more successful than others. It can be small, like sending a five dollar gift card for Starbucks to respondents, or offering a small discount on a product of interest to your industry, like benchmarking studies, whitepapers, etc.

Test, Test, Test:

  • Never deploy a survey without testing.Send a test to yourself to ensure that it represents your organizations brand, from a visual and messaging standpoint. Also, take the survey yourself to ensure that any answers that are considered “required” are programmed as such. This will also allow you to determine that any skip logic programmed functions properly.
  • Send a test to other staff members internally. They will likely find things overlooked, and you can tweak the questions and skip logic based on their feedback. It may also bring to light a question that needs to be added.
  • Consider testing the survey with select members with whom you have a good rapport, such as volunteers on a Communications Committee. Members will usually look at things differently than staff. The more you test, the more likely you are to avoid mishaps.
Need more tips?  Click here to download the entire list!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

AFP Ottawa (@AFPottawa) Supports #Engageassn


We are thrilled to announce that the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Ottawa Chapter (AFP Ottawa) has joined forces with Greenfield Services as an industry supporter of the the second annual Engaging Associations Forum, July 23 & 24, 2015 at the Ottawa Marriott.

The event, hosted by Greenfield Services Inc. is geared towards association executives who want to create change in the industry.  The event will provide the opportunity for a true exchange of ideas for a new generation of association to succeed, grow and prosper.

AFP Ottawa has been at the forefront of fundraising education for the non-profit industry.  We are happy to join forces with them this year to bring another aspect of education to their members; focusing outside of the fundraising perspective that AFP Ottawa is famous for.  With this partnership, we aim to provide another angle of thought-leadership to their members.  With the Engaging Associations Forum, we will be discussing leadership, marketing & communications, meetings and events, technology and leadership.  We look forward to seeing how we can join forces to educate the industry.” says Meagan Rockett, Greenfield’s Director of Client Solutions.

For more information about the Engaging Associations Forum, please contact:

Meagan Rockett
Director, Client Solutions
Greenfield Services Inc.
613-288-4517
meagan@greenfield-services.ca

What Does Your #Association Website Say About You?

Members are proud to be affiliated with their associations. It’s a badge of honour that some literally “wear” by featuring association logos on their websites, business cards and other marketing material.

Doesn’t it only make sense then, that your association looks its best? We suggest starting with a website that’s pressed and primped. Populate it with words that engage your members and reflect your organization’s unique “voice.” And make it seamless to navigate with easy-to-use tabs; your members don’t want to waste time trying to find your latest white paper. Include “call to action” buttons like newsletter signup forms.

A performing website will yield benefits for your membership recruitment and retention efforts, as well as help drive your sponsorship and exhibitor sales. A poorly functioning website can do just the opposite. It can be a warning sign screaming “This association doesn’t have what you need.” How can you tell which situation you are in? Here are a few warning signs:
  1. You are still living with someone else’s idea: In many cases, the website was a predecessor’s idea; it contains dated views or methods of bringing in traffic, and now you are paying the price! If your website has not been reviewed and revised in the last 12-18 months, it is your first warning sign.
  2. Proper Branding: Often organizations focus first on revising the look and feel of “other” marketing materials: business cards, document templates, and print newsletter layouts. However, does it still match the look and feel of your website? Consistent branding is key; and if there is a disconnect, it is another indication that a re-design or facelift is required. At every touch point, people should know immediately that the information was produced by your organization.
  3. Are You Searchable? When was the last time you conducted general research online to determine where your organization is listed in search results? If you search keywords that a potential member may be using to find more information, and you do not appear on the first page of the search results, you are in need of an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) overhaul. SEO rules and functionality can and have changed overnight, and it is important that your organization stays on top of these changes to ensure that you stay competitive online. 
What are other warning signs?  Download our resource, "9 Warning Signs That It’s Time You Update Your Website" to find out.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Heading to Canada Meet Week in Toronto? Visit us at the Ignite Business Event Expo!

Heading to Toronto next week for Canada Meet Week?  Have you registered to attend the Ignite Business Event Expo?  Plan on stopping by booth 206 to say "Hello" - we will be there!

Now at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre; the Ignite Business Event Expo is committed to ensure that attendees have a unique experience by providing the following:

Experiential

At iBE Expo 2015 they have done away with the bowling aisle format and instead create an upscale boutique environment where you will feel inspired!

Interactive

iBE Expo is designed to encourage meaningful business conversations in an intimate environment where you don’t feel rushed to get to your next appointment!

Informative

Their pop-in Good to Know Theatre features complimentary 30-minute sessions on a wide variety of topics you can apply to your job the minute you leave the show. It’s simple, all you have to do is show up. All sessions are applicable for CMP credit.

We hope to see you there!

Are you attending #Leadercast? Be a Leader Worth Following...

"The world is missing out. We could all be learning more. Living out our purpose. Leading and being led by people who inspire and enlighten us, give us strength and allow us to grow. Leadercast was built on a belief that the world needs better leaders—leaders worth following."

This excerpt was found on the Leadercast website, which is an event taking place May 8, 2015, in Atlanta (but broadcast throughout the world).  This year, Greenfield Services is PROUD to be a Bronze sponsor of the Leadercast Ottawa event!

What is Leadercast?

They are the producers of the Leadercast event, who bring participants speakers and content that will help us change the way we operate.  They do not believe that Leadership is only found in the "C-suite", rather it is any individual who want to become intentional about raising their standard of leadership.

While not everyone can get to Atlanta to see it happen live, it will be broadcast from various locations across the globe.  If you are in Ottawa, I highly recommend that you check out the Ottawa event, hosted by our friends at the OTUS Group.  Info and tickets can be found here.

Not in Ottawa?  That's OK, you can still look for a broadcast even in your area by searching on the Leadercast website.

There is a big movement to create change, and this is one event you won't want to miss!

Manage Your #Association Database

Maintaining a database can be a challenge. And if ensuring that data is entered consistently and that
no duplicates are created wasn't enough, data becomes obsolete at a rate of 30% or more per year.

Factors like economic activity and an industry’s rate of innovation will affect the rate of change - for
instance, a list of judges may remain current longer than a list of entrepreneurs.

Acquiring new data - new prospects, members, or sponsors - is costly, so it makes sense to maintain
your database:

  1. Have a documented data layout and make sure all users know the rules. If your database allows organizations’ names to be abbreviated, what is the usual format? Will you follow Canada Post address formats (“St” rather than “Street” or “St.”) and possibly save money on mail distribution?
  2. Make ONE person responsible. If one person is responsible, and empowered to enforce the rules, the job will get done.
  3. Act immediately to correct obsolete data. Immediately pull and update records with undeliverable email or street addresses.
  4. Plan to conduct annual audits. This applies more to non-member data like prospective members, exhibitors, or sponsors. Plan to audit at least 10% of your data (or a minimum 100 records). If more than 15% are out of date, plan a clean-up exercise.
  5. Have clients, members or stakeholders update their own information. During your membership renewal process, ask people to review their data online to minimize your costs. But don’t assume the information is 100% correct. Review it before it goes back into your CRM, especially if you have established formats.
Want more tips?  We have 11!  Click here to download the full document.

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net