Subscribe to my newsletter EDM News
Online Registration
18 June 2007, by , in Data Management, 2 comments

On Nick Senzee's blog, he writes about his experience with ASAE's Annual Meeting registration process. Nick raises some good points about the registration process that all associations should be aware of.

Nick's primary complaint is that ASAE asks a lot of intrusive questions during the registration process. Ben Martin adds that ASAE should be able to save that information from year-to-year, so they don't have to ask again. They both have good points. I'll address Nick's first:

I've always said that the ideal sale (be it membership, events, products, certification, or anything else) would go like this:

Customer: "I want that."

Association: "Done."

In other words, all the customer has to say is "I want that," and the association can sell it to them, because they have all the data they need (e.g., credit card info, contact info, etc.). Obviously that's a little utopian, but we can get much closer to that than most of us do right now. For example, with ASAE, why do those questions need to be asked during the registration process? Why can't they take the meeting registration, then follow up with those questions after-the-fact? Sure, they may get less compliance this way (less data) but I'd bet they get more registrations. In other words, asking for more information during the sale depresses the total number of sales.

Lesson to us all: Don't set up unnecessary hurdles when making the sale. This goes for membership joins, too. Need information about the company (staff size, budget, market served, etc.)? Ask after you make the sale, not during the sale.

On to Ben: Ben suggests ASAE keep this data on file. I think he's right, but with a caveat. ASAE still needs to ask Ben, after the sale, if the data they have on file is correct. A lot can change in a year. For example, one of the questions ASAE asks is about your role in the buying decision. That could change from year-to-year. Same for salary. So the data needs to be updated. But I agree with Ben, why ask me to fill it all out again, if most (if not all) of the answers are the same.

What practices do you have in place during the sales process that are actually hurting sales? And what can you do to fix them?

About author:

2 Comments on "Online Registration"

Jason Della Rocca - 18 June 2007 Reply

We had planned to use an AMS' conference reg module to manage registrations for a small niche conference. But, AMS could not easily be configured to just take pass purchase. Instead, it wanted to create an entire user profile, validate it via email, have you log back in, fill your profile, then register, then pay, etc, etc. That was quickly abandoned and we simply wrote up a quick PHP script to grab basic reg data. Perhaps not as ideal from a member database integration point of view, but the initial approach would have certainly hurt our pass sales in a major way.

Wes Trochlil - 19 June 2007 Reply

Jason, you have a good point. AMS systems are very focused on capturing information about members and other customers so frequently their "out-of-the-box" functionality is cumbersome. AMS vendors need to offer a happy medium to address issues like yours.

Leave a Reply

Archives

Sign-up for EDM News

 

 

Testimonials

“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.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“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.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“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.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
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

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
%d bloggers like this: