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Florida Festivals and Events Association - Review Panel

How one association simplified their submissions collection and review process, saving 80+ hours of work

The Florida Festivals & Events Association (FFEA) collects submissions for a number of initiatives (speakers for their Annual Convention & Trade Show, performers for their Entertainment Showcase, candidates for their Student Scholarship Program, etc.), but their biggest initiative involving submissions, by far, is their Annual SUNsational Awards Program, designed to celebrate the accomplishments of their members.

FFEA’s membership is comprised of event industry professionals: individuals who plan large-scale festivals and events throughout the state of Florida. There are 16 categories in the SUNsational Awards Program, including Best Promotional Mailer/Direct Mail Piece, Best Tickets & Invitations, Best Billboard/Signage, and Best T-Shirt.

When FFEA first heard about MemberClicks’ Review Panel, a tool designed to simplify the submissions collection and review process, they knew they wanted to give it a try. “We’ve been using MemberClicks for about five years, and I’ve always found that all the products and services I’ve used - from the association management system to the conference app - have helped our organization tremendously in terms of boosting our efficiency and productivity,” said Suzanne Neve, CEO of FFEA. “I already trusted the product before I even used it.”

And once they did start using it, well, Neve wasn’t disappointed. For starters, Review Panel simplified the application process for FFEA’s members. Prior to FFEA using MemberClicks, much less Review Panel, members had to mail in their submissions. So if someone wanted to apply for the Best T-Shirt award, they would actually have to mail in a t-shirt as part of their application. Since switching to MemberClicks, and more recently, adding Review Panel, submissions have increased 300 percent.

Review Panel has also simplified the process for judges. “Our judges find it much more user-friendly than what we were doing before,” said Neve. “They’re now able to do side-by-side comparisons, which previously, they weren’t able to do - or at least not easily. And that’s helped us in terms of retaining judges.”

And let’s not forget about FFEA’s staff. MemberClicks’ Review Panel has simplified the process for them as well - perhaps the most. “Since switching from mailed-in applications to digital applications, it’s probably saved us about 80 hours of work. And then switching from regular MemberClicks forms to Review Panel has saved us probably another 80 hours.”

Needless to say, FFEA plans to continue using Review Panel in the future, along with MemberClicks’ other suite of products.