Without a doubt, two of the most important shifts occurring in the association industry are the use of cloud and analytics. Data is enabling us to receive, store and retrieve information in real-time. What’s being done with that data will allow for members to have more access and for associations to provide members exactly what they’re asking for.
Imagine meetings and events becoming more productive and more valuable through a “mobile first” lifestyle with mobile meeting apps, wearables, and virtual reality. Imagine making real-time changes to attendee meeting or event experiences. Imagine education being provided on-demand through virtual classroom education with content delivered in iTunes-like stores, or a Netflix channel, via their association career centers and networks. The truth is, this is all possible. And, the biggest winners will be consumers, members, and association professionals.
Take, for example, the United States Tennis Association who in recent months has been incorporating technology into every part of the tennis experience. “We’ve gotten much more sophisticated in the data we can share with our sponsors,” USTA Chief Revenue Officer Lewis Sherr told CIO in February. “We can give them nearly real-time data on the visibility generated, all over the world, from signs that surround the courts during the US Open. We can precisely equate that visibility to media value to allow our sponsors to calculate the return on investment.” This kind of information is priceless.
The cloud is allowing analytics to give us more access than ever before to our audience. The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, for example, is using data to help highlight the importance of its members—Virginia hospitals and health systems—and the work that they do.
VHHA developed an online data-based public awareness and advocacy tool that allows users to look at data derived from sources like the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Virginia Health Department. The publicly available data allows for increased awareness on various health indicators in the community, such as adult obesity, smoking rates and premature deaths. This kind of access allows for better decision making among members.
Utilizing cloud and data to increase your revenue, provide better member services and increase member engagement offer new opportunity. Want to be ahead of the rest? Ask yourself:
- What data are we using to predict when a prospect will join or when they are at risk?
- What data do we look at to predict attendance and revenue based on the locations that are selected?
- What data do we use in real time to shift traffic flow and optimize exhibitor lead generation and satisfaction?
Stop guessing and start knowing.
JP Guilbault is President and Chief Executive Officer of Your Membership. He also serves on AMCI’s Board of Directors.