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Effective Strategies to Keep Your Community Engaged and Inspired - APAC

Alyx BernardoEvent Marketing

Alyx Bernardo,

Event Marketing

Jun 07, 2021

Have you often wondered what the expectations are from your organization, especially in this day and age? How have you been handling reimagining and rethinking your membership value proposition, given how the situation has forced this upon all associations and organizations? Many of these questions relate to the pandemic, and the general public has been talking about this topic for a long time.

Glue Up’s recent thought leadership event, ‘Community Experience Strategies for Engagement and Retention - APAC’ is centered on being able to balance out the issues that are at the forefront. In line with this, it focuses on the strategies and best practices needed to move forward for the next twelve months. Thus, developing a strategic action plan can help organizations become more forward-thinking when solving and addressing the challenges they are experiencing now.

This event offered key takeaways such as learning how to drive client engagement and retention, adapting to a digitally transformed membership value proposition, and performing various ways of enhancing client satisfaction all while driving repeat customers.

Moreover, it aimed to establish a baseline for competency and efficiency by discussing the best practices and strategies in improving member experience, the importance of utilizing events, marketing, and communication in increasing client and community building, engagement, and retention. Several tips were also laid out on successfully managing change and improving member journey mappings.

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.

What Is the Main Definition of Community Experience?

"There are two components for us here in Melbourne. One is the community members who pay for a service to engage in bilateral trade and promote their business. The other part is as a Chamber of Commerce representing the Italian companies we work closely with. So when we talk about community, we have two distinct groups: one is community beside, and one is that membership community consisting of paid members or financial members of the chamber."


"For our members, our engagement for them is really to be able to help them in terms of furthering their businesses and addressing whatever issues they have right now. As you know, everyone has been affected, women most especially, by the pandemic. So our role now is to help their businesses thrive during this period."


“For us, there's always an emphasis on how we're creating opportunities for the membership to come together. We're making these sort of touchpoints where they can learn from each other. But, most importantly, we want our members to feel that they are truly part of the community”


“Community experience depends on the organization you're coming from and your goals for that organization, so bringing the community together would be one of its primary goals. But, on the other hand, most organizations' education is a significant factor when acting as an advocate or a voice for the industry group or subgroup, as well as the networking and bringing that group together.”


Events as an Overall Community Strategy

“I always follow four letters: WIFM is the ‘what's in it for me,' what's in it for each of the members that we are asking to come to the fold because when they attend, it's really as people were saying, it's professional development for learning for upskilling for networking for fun for friendship. It's also very important to know the times that we are in and what they are journeying in because many people are suffering. They don't have access to markets or upskilling to digital transformation. So this is what we are trying to address the needed accesses, as long as we're able to give to them what they need, then they would most likely be very interested in continuing the engagement.”


“The better that you know your audience, what they want, and what they want to get, what each individual's goals are out of it, makes for that much better than experience because everybody joins something for a reason. For communities like this, whether they're trying to get new work or are looking for the education aspect, design something that will hook them and that will give them the quality of content that they're looking for.”


Keeping the Community Together

“I think what COVID forced us to do is to think creatively think laterally about the other types of experiences and touchpoints that we had, so we continued with our monthly speaker events where we bring in speakers from all over the world. In the early days of COVID, we had things like drop-in sessions, ask me anything, the coffee corner. So in summary, we’ve done more creative things but I think it's that it's having the diversity and being agile to offer members different types of experiences when it's all online.”


“We have consistent meetings with them, while there are also general membership meetings. We also have women-to-women talks in which we address certain aspects that they feel they need information on regarding access to finance or access to markets. Another thing that we do in terms of approaching this is we always look for the five senses. Any experience touches on the five senses. So even a virtual world to say, hey we can't see each other anymore, we can’t touch each other, we can’t smell, you can only see or hear each other, but we can still go beyond that.”


Embracing Change and Reimagining Strategies

“For us as a chamber, it was all about face-to-face meetings, it was central to the way that we provide experiences, and it's very much the experiential experience for our members. One of the things with Glue up that we're able to do was to create these communities and engage with them, and see who engaged with us and who wanted to understand more. We're going to continue to do online events, hybrid events, and live events when we can because I don't think it's going to be back to normal what we knew as normal, and I think we need to devise strategies where we can combine the two in the hybrid sensor and continue to utilize these platforms and make sure that we meet the needs of our members in the community and also internationally.”

“It was about how can we think outside the box because you know the world that we knew has changed and for us organizations that need to engage with members need to come up with new and innovative ideas to keep them engaged and to show that that that there is a reason why we engage with them and we're here to assist them especially during lockdowns.”


“Beyond the engagement piece, getting members involved in the planning—whether in content development or selecting the next topic or the type of event is essential. Whether it's another webinar or a panel discussion like this, putting that ownership back to the members helps a lot to make sure that they're engaged and feel like they belong to a community. Another thing that we tried to do is identify catalysts within those kinds of communities where we've been able to identify individuals who have personality or charisma or energy to be able to get people excited leading up to the events, being able to promote your event even without asking them to do so. So identifying who those catalysts are within the community has also helped booster up that engagement.”


“There's been a steep learning curve in the sense of people getting used to being online. People are used to ZOOM and it's become a day-to-day thing. I've been working on getting my clients to do more engagement with zoom rather than have a ZOOM meeting. People are starting to use virtual reality, the full-on VR glasses that almost becomes as close as you can with meeting live in a virtual setting. The main buzzword that you keep hearing is hybrid. So one of the things we're discussing is how to create that platform of a hybrid event.”


Keeping up With the Times, the Power of Agility and Resilience

“I find that gaming is beneficial because people love games. It's second nature they want to win, so as long as you can put that in where there's a gaming feature the entertainment.”

“There is such a thing as a geriatric millennial. These are people born between eight 1980 and 1985 who know both analog and digital and are comfortable whichever way. It’s interesting to really see the different niches and make sure that the experience fits them.”

“Content is king, but tech is the queen, so you need to make sure that you're able to deliver the content. Take a look at the environment. There's such a thing now as the BYOE. It's not 'bring your own bag' but rather 'bring your own environment' because people may not be working from home, they may be working at the beach where technology or Internet connectivity may not be that strong. So you need to find out in what channel you're going to deliver that content.”


“I think whether you're a millennial or you're another generation you know we all want to be engaged and stimulated, and we don't want to get bored, we've had to be purposeful to maximize opportunities for interaction in those meetings, we have to be very careful that there's not too much PowerPoint.”

“The word that comes to mind is agility. Right now, we're living in extraordinary times, and things are changing at such a pace. We should be mindful and intentional in pausing, reflecting, and analyzing what needs to change, what needs to be developed further, and we've got to keep talking to our members, and we have to listen to them.”


“If you find out what they want to see, hear, learn or what they want out of that meeting, then create that for them does that help anybody else want anything I ask them what's in it for me.”

“Keep it quick keeping it fast, keeping it interesting and the experiential component is excellent.”

“Whether it's live, virtual, or hybrid, it just all comes down to content making sure always I mean it's it's a mantra content is king and make sure that that content is suitable for the audience that you're trying to get.”


“We just need to be OK with very last-minute changes. I'm sure you know everyone in the community completely understands why last-minute changes might happen. But, also, being ok with this lessening the changes, and just planning for it, and when it happens to be a very forgiving kind of atmospheric thing that's key to continue on industrial membership engagement.”


“Providing the content that they can relate to and they are asking us to deliver for them is a key component. And you know, we've learned that we need to listen to the audience. And for us as a member-based organization, it's all about our members.”


Adapt, Engage, Retain! Keep Moving Forward!

Countless changes have forced associations, organizations, and generally, the whole world to learn to adapt and embrace technological advancements, digitalization, and virtualization. The Asia Pacific region not only faced these changes head-on but pushed themselves to be resilient and adaptive to changes by utilizing the best software and platforms like Glue Up.

At Glue Up, we are one with all the associations as they continue to stay relevant —to support and boost client and community engagement and retention. We also seek to deliver valuable solutions to associations and organizations, as they embrace the future and keep moving forward!

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

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Marcel Ewals, Director, Community Development, MCI Group
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