© 2018 V
Discover Improved Ways
To Bolster Annual Meeting Attendance
What particular strategies have you used to increase mem-
ber attendance at your annual meeting?
“Most of the educational conferences we have hosted in the past
were targeted towards stakeholders who often are not able to afford
the expenses associated with travel to a national conference. We
have implemented travel scholarships in the past to help offset the
costs of travel for our stakeholders, anywhere from $250 to $1000,
depending on the distance traveled. The process to implement this
was very simple, with an online form and eligibility requirements
that must be met to be considered for a scholarship. The recipients
were able to pick up their scholarship when they checked into the
conference on the first day, so only those who attended were
awarded. We were able to get this funded by conference sponsors
who recognized the value of our sessions and overall program in
educating our attendees and empowering them to advocate on be-
half of themselves, their family and our overall community.”
— Carrie Ostrea, Owner,
Ostrea Consulting LLC, Henderson, NV.
Phone (702) 706-5750. E-mail: email@example.com.
“I run an artist membership organization that produces art fairs.
Historically, we have held our meeting in conjunction with our larg-
est event because most of our members were in town. We held a
large breakfast buffet and didn’t charge members to attend. Even in
doing that, we were not able to achieve a quorum at our meetings.
We decided to try doing door prizes and purchased an iPad and a
few smaller-level gifts like Starbucks gift cards, and it was a hit! We
made quorum for the first time in five years! We held the drawing at
the end of the meeting, and the winner had to be present to collect
his or her prize. It made for a fun, feel-good way to wrap things up!”
— Karen Delhey, Executive Director,
The Guild of Artists and Artisans, Ann Arbor, MI.
Phone (734) 662-3382. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.theguild.org
“The strategy HenkinSchultz Creative Services has used to in-
crease member attendance at our annual chamber meetings and
other corporate events is centered around our reputation for daz-
zling the members who attend and then raising the creative bar
year after year. We look at it as both a strategic and creative chal-
lenge. Our overall vision and experience carry each event. We
excel at creating a cohesive show that features video elements,
stage elements and live elements that come together to create an
unforgettable experience. Our last member show featured video
footage of a dancer that suddenly and magically turned into that
dancer performing live onstage. HenkinSchultz utilizes every pos-
sible element we can to create something memorable for the audi-
ence. When you keep topping yourself year after year, you start to
establish yourself as a must-see live event in the community,
which we’re proud to have been able to do.”
— Jason Jellis, Partner,
HenkinSchultz Creative Services, Sioux Falls, SD.
Phone (605) 331-2155. E-mail: email@example.com.
Show Prospective Members
How Much They Will Save
With so many groups out there fighting for your members’
dollars, it is more important than ever to show them just
how much value they receive from your organization.
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) headquartered
in Austin, TX, took a page from the for-profit sector and,
using the same strategies and technologies, developed an
ROI calculator for its website (www.texmed.org/ROI).
“Nonprofit organizations that want to become more
sophisticated and effective in the way they analyze and
use membership data don’t have to reinvent any wheels,”
explains Claire Duncan, director, TMA Knowledge
Center, regarding using the existing technology.
The association developed the tool in-house with a
team consisting of Duncan, developer Robert Hamilton of
TMA business intelligence and software development, and
Sylvia Salazar, director of TMA membership development.
It took Hamilton 40 hours, including planning and revi-
sions, and Duncan and Salazar added 45 hours researching
similar ROI calculators, gathering data, testing the site and
working with Hamilton to finalize the tool.
The ROI calculator gives a list of member benefits
and services with assigned real-dollar values for each. It
allows users to customize it for their own experience. For
example, some members may use consulting services,
which are valued at $75 an hour, while others access
TMA’s white papers valued at $35 per paper. The calcula-
tor adds up each benefit and gives the member or pro-
spective member a total at the bottom. Each benefit is
also linked back to the Web page featuring that service.
“Without demonstrating the value of membership,
medical associations run the risk of seeing costly de-
clines in their retention rates and losing out on potential
new members who may not see the worth in joining,”
Duncan says. “All members see a value higher than their
dues paid when accessing the tool as selected benefit val-
ues have been ‘hard coded’ to reflect the benefit all phy-
sicians have received. Therefore, users of the calculator
will see value in TMA membership even before they cus-
tomize the app based on their use.”
The calculator, which has been active since 2011, is
updated at least annually and when programs and ser-
vices change. Duncan says that in the last two years, the
page has received 3,302 page views and 2,302 unique
views, plus 35 percent of users stayed on the site after
visiting the ROI calculator.
“To broaden the reach of the ROI calculator, TMA
worked with county medical societies throughout the
state to help promote the tool,” she adds. “The calcula-
tor is featured in county society newsletters, publica-
tions, e-mails and websites.”
Source: Claire Duncan, Director, TMA Knowledge Center,
Texas Medical Association, Austin, TX. Phone (800) 880-1300,
ext. 1544. E-mail: Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.