If you’ve ever registered for a large conference (e.g., an association’s annual conference), you’ve probably seen this question on the registration form. And you know what? I hate this question.
As a data person, what this question says to me is, “Even if you’ve attended this meeting in the past, we don’t know who you are.” And that’s a terrible message to send to your members and customers. Suppose I’ve attended your annual event 10 times? Should you really be asking me if this is my first time attending? NO! You should know that I’ve attended 10 times.
Ideally, your registration system (whether it’s your AMS or something else) should know who I am, and know if I’ve attended this event in the past, thus rendering the question moot. And even if your system does NOT know if I’ve attended in the past, don’t ask the question; take the time to compare the current registration list to past lists and figure it out yourself. Otherwise you’re just broadcasting that you don’t know who your best customers are.
“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”
“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”
Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan
“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”
Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance