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Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Rumor has it, in some association circles, trade show attendance is struggling. This could spell trouble for how vendor members find value in belonging to your organization. While some industries may be feeling the pain more than others, it is never a bad time to think about the ways you are engaging your vendor/supplier members. Read on for a handful of ideas on engaging your vendor-side members in effective and successful ways.

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Your members and your AMS calendar

Posted by Sarah Hill

One of the most powerful tools for your members in your Association Management Software is the shared calendar. It is a key organizational tool for your membership to be able to stay engaged and plan events in their busy schedules, and lends legitimacy to your association and its future to see events planned out in advance.

Dates that should be on yoru AMS calendar

Here are just a few items that your association should already have marked in advance that your members want to see.

Professional certification renewals

Does your association represent a group that requires professional certification or exams? It would be a helpful step for you to look up the dates of those exams and mark them down for your members. If possible or desired, review sessions or meetings could also be formed around the support for those renewals or new member certifications.

Dues renewals

There are many ways to handle dues renewal, but if your association has one day a year when members are encouraged to renew together it should definitely be marked on your Association Management Software’s calendar. Your members will appreciate the reminder and they can cross-reference with their own budget calendars to assure the annual fees won’t be more than they can handle financially.

Events and meetings

Obviously some events are going to come together later than others, but as soon as you have a set time and date for an event or a meeting (even regular board or association meetings) put it on the calendar. Your Association Management Software should also be the location for forming planning committees and posting announcements, so that mention on the calendar (and perhaps a deadline for forming a committee) can spur engagement if members see what’s needed and have the time to commit.

Community events

By “community” we don’t just mean your immediate geographical area. If there’s a big announcement or event happening that will significantly impact your members, it should go on the calendar whether your association is directly participating or not. For example, if you are involved in a health care association, wouldn’t you be interested in knowing when important health care legislation goes up for consideration? Not only will it show your breadth in reach and interest, but it will also give your members something to talk about and review during meetings.

Deadlines for board membership, committee formation, and leadership changes

There’s no question- you have future association leaders in your membership. If there’s an opportunity for them to step up and take some action and you show them when to do it in the shared AMS calendar, and they will be inspired to take action.

Birthdays and anniversaries

Don’t forget to take time to celebrate! Birthdays or important anniversaries are a nice shout-out to see on a calendar, and will go a long way to make members feel valued as individuals.


All aspects of your Association Management Software are powerful in recruiting, engaging, and maintaining membership, but your calendar is one of the most used and easiest ways to reach your membership. Be sure you’re making the best use out of it by keeping it updated, organized, and shared!

Topics: member engagement, membership management, association software

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