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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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Collecting Information from Your Members

Posted by Sarah Hill

It’s super important to have a lot of good data from your members. Information is how you shape your association, recruit new members, and provide the members you do have with the best experience possible for your association. Not to mention set a road map for your future. Are you ok with things as they are? Is there a different location or demographic you want to tap to take your association to the next level? This is the type of information that is crucial to success.

The problem is actually collecting and processing that data. Members are already pretty busy and likely do not want to take the time to fill out a lengthy user profile within your AMS or answer a lot of questions when registering for an event. It’s probably like pulling teeth to even get a response to a quick survey testing the success of an event or a quick check in.

Collecting information from your members

But never fear. It’s not as bad as you think. 

The information you already have at hand:

You have more information than you think at your fingertips. Check out your membership roster, your past event registrations, and your social media. How do just those raw numbers look? Are they growing? Is there a ton of interaction? Which events worked well and which had lower attendance? How about budget reports? Any and all of this information deserves a second look and could help you and your board reach important conclusions.


The information you can easily grab:

Even though your success rate might not be 100%, it’s not hard to ask for a quick comment card after a meeting or event. Something short and sweet, maybe only a few questions, and don’t forget to provide some pens or it will never happen! Another interesting way to get information from members to keep them more engaged is simply to interact with them more in person and on social media. People share and post about things that matter to them and any of that information could be golden and inspire your next great event. For example, if you notice several members on social media posting about books they’ve enjoyed reading, why doesn’t your association hold a book club with relevant books related to your interest or field?


The information that’s on the next level:

User profiles. Even if you have your AMS’ social community up and running, it can be tough to get members to spend time on it and fill out those profiles. Stands to reason: your members are busy professionals who are likely already managing several profiles already between their professional lives and social media. Even though it only takes 5 minutes to fill out, it’s an easy step to skip. So how about offering a little incentive? Maybe a contest, free registration, or waived dues to someone who signs on and completes his or her profile. Also be sure you’re utilizing your AMS in the proper way, because it really is the best tool you have for information gathering. Call up your provider with questions and be sure to get a walk through on the latest features!


You could be floating along just fine with the information you do have, but remember that more information is never going to be a bad thing. As long as you don’t overwhelm your members or pepper them with constant questions, everyone will benefit from more tailored, in depth events and actions that propel your association to the next level!

Need a place to store that data? An AMS could be your answer!

Download our free guide to selecting an AMS!

Topics: association management, association leadership

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