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Best Practices and Strategies for Engagement and Retention - NA / EU

Alyx BernardoEvent Marketing

Alyx Bernardo,

Event Marketing

Jun 07, 2021

The past year has been a whirlwind of changes and advancements. Adapting to a fast-paced environment has been challenging to associations, chambers of commerce, and businesses alike. With these challenges, how have you been able to manage? Have you been taking care of your community? What strategies have you used to engage and retain them and your clients? Are you prepared to take the next step moving forward?

Glue Up’s recent thought leadership event, Community Experience Strategies for Engagement and Retention, talked about the pain points that associations have experienced before and during the pandemic. It also discussed the strategies to keep moving forward as they prepare for the challenges they will face in the future.

Some key takeaways from the event include learning and finding out how to drive client engagement and retention, adapting to a digitally transformed membership value proposition, and various ways of enhancing client satisfaction.

Furthermore, it exchanged insights on how to encourage repeat customers, the best practices and strategies in improving member experience, the importance of utilizing events, marketing, and communication to increase client and community engagement and retention.

Glue Up hosts events and webinars and invites top-level association leaders and industry leaders to speak about industry challenges and opportunities. Learn more about our upcoming events.

Providing Exceptional Member Experience to Your Community

“I think the way we wanted to put it was to show both the government and SMEs that we have a program and reassure them that we have something in place. You can stick to this for the next 2-3 months, and it’s a message of where we’re trying to go and what we’re trying to deliver, so the engagement was instant. Consistently providing reassurance that we were there helped engage and maintain the audience that we already had so that's the community experience."


“For us, it's the connection of just having resources that members can reach out to either via email or through social media. The newsletter feature on the Glue Up platform has been used continuously. There have been many changes from March of last year until now with the amount of information we had to get out. We were once a week pre-pandemic, and now we're into three to four times a week when sending information out from the platform. So, therefore, 'community' is about being in touch with people, and I think it helps for them to have the opportunity to be connected even though we couldn't do it face-to-face.”


“Even though we're a membership organization, we define success as engagement a lot of times. In other words, we answer our regional businesses' questions and create a level of excitement that attracts other businesses to our region. So when I look at success, it seems very different. But I can say that community engagement is something that we look forward to. We want to shake things up and we don't want to be just another membership organization. We want to act as a catalyzer in creating not only entrepreneurial thought, but technology innovation as well, and then putting people and connecting them together. I think that's really what I would say success is all about for us.”


“For us, you need to experience user experience when producing content, lessons, or information databases. This is because the user aims to consumer content and is going in to acquire information to learn the process of doing something. So we’re focusing all of our efforts on producing types of content the users want.”


Improving Processes and Moving Forward:

“The concept of the future that it came quickly, and it hit us right in the face whether we wanted to be ready or not. I think for us, the future and growth are around, we're going to shift to face to face, and we're going to get back. Still, we're always going to have a hybrid or a virtual component. We're going to give them another avenue or channel to be a part of what we're doing. That's our model moving forward, and the hybrid approach will not be just one or two years. It's going stay from now on.”


“For the future, the fact that we had to shift everything into digital, and investing in a management software or performing more automated ways of doing things have changed dramatically. We are focusing a lot on our content, making sure it is tailored to what the client is looking for or expecting us to deliver. The future is hybrid and you need to provide the digital side of things that are easily simplified for people to join in a quick and smooth way.”


Shifting to Digital: Benefits and Challenges

“One of the things that we're trying to do is, first of all, leveraging technology. Second, we're going to start to look at how we can add a more significant value proposition to the constituents, and one of the things that we're looking at doing is using the Glue Up platform to create exclusive rooms. We want to make sure that we create NDA rooms so they can have an undisclosed meeting with an entity. And then lastly, start to focus on creating a room for excitement—whether it's virtual or in real life. The good thing about it is when you have a platform, you're able to set up established groups of interest. I think one of the things that we're hoping to do next year is to see activities happening in a well-blended environment, and we're excited about what 2021 is going to bring.”


“When we decided to go for a specific platform, we realized that the government devices were not allowing this platform to work on their hardware. So it wasn't a real challenge because we didn't want to step back. After all, that was the best interface for us with the best user experience. The great thing about technology is that the pace that it can adapt, change, or tailor-make whatever requests you have.”


Are We Ready to Go Hybrid?

“We should never declare we're going to be back face-to-face. We should be saying we're going to be hybrid, and we're going to be in a face-to-face format for all different kinds of learning. This is because we found out that we can shift, and we found out that students don't learn the same way that we knew before, but now it's really to the forefront.”

“One thing we learned from our virtual conference last year is people like on-demand so they won't prerecord it. They prefer the aspect of being able to view, stop, or even pause something to take notes. One of the things that we're going to add to this is we're going to have every presenter face-to-face or hybrid to pre-record their session for us and so they can present live. But they're also going to pre-recorded on-demand that will be available for 12 months. So you're going to have people face-to-face at the conference while being able to get on virtually. And it's going to be kind of a unique kind of setup for us.”


“I think as institutions or corporations or entities going hybrid is the best and the only way they're going to scale in the future. There's going to be that portion of the market that people like on demand because it's more convenient, and it's really important to take into consideration that it's at the end of the day it's user-driven we want to offer both of these things to the users.”


“This is also a niche, and it's something we do for our partners. We record and provide the content on-demand. Afterward, I started using more live webinars, so not just live for people who register but also casting it into YouTube. For some people, it's easier since you don't even need to register. You can log in if you have the notification or if you're a subscriber. So we certainly have a spike when it comes to live, and people get really excited because they can have the live interaction. So yes, the value is on-demand, but for us in particular, only when it comes to sectorial focus.”


Best Practices and Tools for the Future

“One of the things is intentionality. And as people start to get back into a new normal, I think answering what are we trying to accomplish here and to break things up into bite-size chunks one of the things that have hit everything from business to education is it’s called zoom anxiety you know zoom fatigue and I think as we get to post to COVID and everything starts to become a new normal I think people are expecting a little bit more of value-added service and I think that intentionality possibly looking at instead of it just being a big large group break people up into smaller groups to where you can have mentorship you can have like-minded conversations so I think really one of the things that a lot of organizations can really do is bring that intentionality and maybe bring it to that smaller focus because again we've been zoomed out we can use the technology but now it's going to be determining when is the right time to use virtual technology and not use it.”


“We're still transitioning back to a normal life, and then we need to figure out how this virtual life that we just learned. I think we got to manage how do we efficiently and effectively retain as much as we can because it's not going to be simple to switch. It's going to be another phase of adaptation and we have to see how this is going to help, and then it will eventually find its equilibrium.”


“We’re planning when we do our conferences or do any meetings for memberships. So we always schedule time for people to engage. It isn't easy to socially engage the way we used to even on Zoom. It's not set up for many people to feel comfortable, so even though our hybrid event coincides with our face-to-face event, we're going to plan that social engagement.”


"I found it really interesting because we’re having changes not only in the digital world but also in the physical world as well."


What’s in Store for the Next 12 Months?

"Virtual is here to stay. We will continue to create those partnerships while supporting those organizations that can deliver value-added services to the constituents. The big move for us is leveraging what we already have. We want to maximize our intentionality with our constituents. We're going to be working much harder to create in real-life events that where we can leverage that platform.”


“If we are a trusted and reliable delivery partner for our partners, with our audience as a network, we can achieve our goals together. We’re trying to do that with a concise, message along with the government policy we’re also simplifying."


“I think we have to take advantage of that aspect of being able to connect to our users through digital access.”


“We're focusing 100% on content production and being able to expand with the virtual market. As we do the transition to the opening into the face-to-face market, we already have a name that people can count on. We're going to have a booming business again, but then I'm going to have another side project online. That's the key to huge expansion or growth. We need to focus on expanding and providing our users with what they're looking for.”


Pave the Way to a Brighter Future

It is time to rethink and reimagine processes, strategies, and best practices as associations embark on a transitional way towards the new normal. Facing problems, adapting to change, performing new ways of engaging and retaining communities, members, and clients, while embracing the fast-moving developments in the digital age has been more challenging than ever before.

The North American and European regions paved their own path by doing these. And at the same time, both took the next big step toward the future by utilizing platforms and software that aids in adjusting to the hybrid setting, like Glue Up.

At Glue Up, we are one with all the associations as they continue to stay relevant. We aim to provide avenues and channels to help strengthen digital capabilities to harness technology as they move toward the future.

Book a demo of our Association Management Software and discover how the all-in-one engagement software can help you simplify backend association management and keep members satisfied, especially during these challenging times.

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Marcel Ewals, Director, Community Development, MCI Group
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