Service to members is critical for any association to thrive and grow. With the help of new technology and determination from their team, the New York Society of Association Executives (NYSAE) transformed operations to improve the member experience.
New technology has allowed us to spend more time on members. We created virtual engagement lounges, where association leaders can share ideas and best practices for dealing with COVID-19.
As staffers and members know, in the world of associations, success is a two-way street. Everybody wins when lines of communication are open — when information is instantly shareable, when products are easily attainable and when networking organically flourishes.
At the center of making all of these things happen is technology. So when the New York Society of Association Executives, a non-profit whose mission is to bring together association leaders from diverse industries, took a look at their ability to interact simply and efficiently with their membership base, they realized that they had a problem.
All of their members’ data — from contact information to dues deadlines to history of event attendance — was buried in massive Excel spreadsheets.
It was a system that would not be catapulting them into the future any time soon, and was creating friction and pain points in every direction. On the association side, there was a lot of tedious, manual data entry and sorting. From the member side, there was no such thing as a simple update: phone calls would have to be made to a customer service center to do something as small as changing a mailing address.
To grow and provide better value, change was needed. And so Tatyana James, Meeting and Membership Manager for NYSAE, worked with the IT team to implement a solution. They landed on Impexium to transform the outdated way that the organization operated and how it could hope to expand. “We really needed an AMS that would grow as our membership grew,” says James.
Within months, the new technology proved to be a game-changer. “Not having to spend so much time and energy manually making updates allowed us to really focus on the kind of events that can help our members,” explains James. “We’ve been able to put more of our efforts into events where our members can earn CAE credits, and we’ve created virtual engagement lounges, where association leaders can share ideas and best practices for dealing with Covid-19.”
Besides these new events, the NYSAE was finally able to offer something that their members truly craved: convenience.
They love how simple it is to set themselves up in the system, and how easy it is to find out things like, ‘Hey, when does my membership expire? They can click to renew, click to join — click whatever they need to do and have any issue taken care of instantly.
The ease of signing up for events and paying dues has had a positive impact on the backend as well. “We don’t have to send out invoices for membership renewals and wait for checks to trickle back in through the mail. The process has become simpler and more streamlined.”
And it also helps the board have eyes on the overall health of the organization. “We are now easily able to quickly pull reports for the board — simple things like knowing how many organizational members we have or how many people attended an event were just not possible before. And we can slice and dice the data in any way needed for more complicated deep dives on members’ habits and needs.”
Trends emerge from examining data, which helps organizations identify their strengths, as well as their opportunities for growth. “We want to see that we are going upward,” says James. “And Impexium’s ability to make this data so readily available allows us to see the path that helps our organization thrive and our members meet their needs.”
Change may be the only constant in business — but that doesn’t make organizational transformation any easier. Association leaders are balancing competing priorities and increasing demands, enough to make even the most driven executive fall victim to the inertia of the status-quo.
But not every association stays still while the world seems to change around them. For her willingness to upset the association technology status-quo, Impexium is proud to recognize Tatyana James as one of 2020’s Association Technology Disruptors!