How a staff of one used connected solutions by MemberClicks to grow membership 33%, boost retention and member satisfaction, and save 40 hours a month As a seven-year MemberClicks veteran customer, FFEA was looking for strategic opportunities to accelerate membership growth and provide additional benefits to loyal members. Excellent user experience (both admin and end-user) and high value were top priorities. FFEA has adopted several connected solutions from MemberClicks to increase automation capabilities, create a dedicated career center that generates revenue, and offer virtual education in service to a new certification program. All accessible; and all within budget. Florida Festivals and Events Association serves 700 members of the events industry, which they manage with MemberClicks connected membership management solutions. Think about your past experiences going to a concert or your state’s annual fair. Everything was branded, the experience was seamless, and you had everything you needed to make great memories. It just all seemed to come together. Well, there’s an entire industry of people and companies devoted to creating and executing those flawless, memorable experiences. To be successful, those people and companies need organizations like the Florida Festivals and Events Association (FFEA) which is devoted to promoting and strengthening the festival, event, and fair industries in Florida by offering education, networking, and profit generation. There’s no way I could do what I do with the number of members we have and the number of products we offer if I didn’t have MemberClicks. “We look at our members as amazing assets to their communities, in both the respect that they're providing a great economic impact to the community, but they’re also providing personal impact through their efforts in event production,” said FFEA CEO Suzanne Neve. “So we’re here to help them do what they do as best as possible. Growth Demands Change; Change Breeds Opportunity Evidently, FFEA is doing an amazing job realizing its potential, because in seven years, 470 additional members have joined the association for a grand total of 700 members. Neve said there is a direct correlation between FFEA’s growth and the advent of MemberClicks as the association’s technology provider of choice. “We’ve had MemberClicks for 6 or 7 years now, and our member satisfaction has increased every year and retention has increased every year,” she said. As its north star goal, FFEA always looks at member growth as its success metric. And when Neve came on board seven years ago to find that FFEA’s database was housed in a, let’s say, less-than-desirable way, making her immediate priority very clear. “Prior to my role here, I worked for a Chamber of Commerce, and I was used to an AMS, and when I started at FFEA, our database was a spreadsheet,” Neve recalls. “The website was written in code, and I don’t know how to write code. I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this isn’t going to fly.’” We’ve had MemberClicks for seven years now, and our member satisfaction has increased every year and retention has increased every year. Neve said after getting through their first conference, she spent two full months focused on demoing and researching AMS systems. She then made a presentation to the board recommending MC Professional AMS. FFEA’s board was excited about the possibilities that streamlining association functions would bring to their operation. Utilizing Efficiency to Pave the Way for the Next Big Thing Since implementing Oasis, FFEA has seen efficiency gained, represented by what Neve estimates is 40 hours of time saved per month through invoice and membership renewal automation. Additionally, using the Review Panel feature in MC Professional, they’ve saved 80 hours of total work managing their application and award submissions and increased submissions by 300 percent. In all honesty, the strategic objectives that we have are possible because of our partnership with MemberClicks. Recently, FFEA set sights on extending access to their benefits to more members and prospects. Their newest strategic focus is building educational content that can be delivered virtually. After researching many options, Neve was excited to stop her search when she found Classroom. “In all honesty, the strategic objectives that we have are possible because of our partnership with MemberClicks,” she said. “If it weren’t for the LMS and how user-friendly it is and how affordable it is, I wouldn't be able to do that.” FFEA’s emphasis on virtual education was an intentional move to make events and content accessible to more people. Because of Florida’s size, not everyone in the industry can attend events on a regular basis. Neve and her board hoped online offerings would help members feel connected with their association between in-person engagements. “The annual conference is our big thing, and if you have to miss a year, or even if you don’t want to wait 365 days in between, the products in between are what’s helping keep our people engaged and feel like they’re part of a community,” Neve said. “Which is the number one reason that our members are renewing.” Speaking of Renewal... As membership growth is FFEA’s main objective, Neve and her board saw an opportunity to multiply growth through the adoption of additional MemberClicks solutions. Beyond Classroom, they also use the platform’s conference app and Job Board, both which integrate with their MemberClicks AMS, MC Professional. If MemberClicks wasn’t so forward-thinking in terms of product development, then I wouldn't be able to essentially add these new benefits to our membership to help increase engagement. MemberClicks continues to create value for FFEA by allowing them to take advantage of the efficiency gained from having solutions that cover all aspects of vital association work. Neve said there are two specific aspects of MemberClicks that give her consistent confidence. “For me, the value for MemberClicks, first and foremost, comes from customer service,” she said. “I really believe that if the customer service wasn’t there, I wouldn’t be as efficient as I am. And if (MemberClicks wasn’t) so forward-thinking in terms of product development, then I wouldn't be able to essentially add these new benefits to our membership to help increase engagement.” Although FFEA has seen steady membership growth for the last seven years since Neve’s arrival, the last three years have provided the most accelerated growth. Since installing products from MemberClicks, FFEA has seen a 33 percent spike in membership, a 91 percent retention rate and a 98 percent member satisfaction score. These results reflect the association’s commitment to multiplying its value to members through using MemberClicks at a connected platform level. “There’s no way I could do what I do with the number of members we have and the number of products we offer if I didn’t have MemberClicks,” Neve said. “So just as an example, when I started seven years ago and we didn’t have MemberClicks, we had 230 members. And there's no way we could have grown to 700 in seven years without the efficiency that MemberClicks provides.” Full disclosure, MemberClicks has done a few other case studies on FFEA. As they added new MemberClicks solutions to their toolbox, it made sense. But now, it’s nice to see how all of these connected tools are doing what they’re designed to do: offer savings, introduce simplicity, and increase synergy. There's no way we could have grown to 700 in seven years without the efficiency that MemberClicks provides. Of course, as with many good things, there’s always a downside. “Every time there’s a new product release, I’m like I did NOT budget for this, but I need it,” Neve said. This is the exact feedback we love to hear.