Membership

Daily Buzz: Act on Member Feedback

By / Mar 18, 2019 (hunkmax/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

You asked for member feedback and received it. Now, what are your organization’s next steps? Also: plan authentic meeting experiences.

So, you’ve asked for member feedback, and now the suggestion box is full. What next?

“Whether you collect feedback through a survey, in a digital suggestion box, or in person at events and workshops, the opinions your members share with you should never go to waste,” says Audra Hopkins on the Web Scribble blog. “It’s up to your association to turn these suggestions into a positive change for everyone involved, but especially your members.”

Because member happiness can affect conference attendance rates, Hopkins recommends starting with your association’s event feedback.

“For those members leaving feedback post-event on things they’d like to see in the future, it’s important to listen and give them what they want,” Hopkins says. “Take in any suggestions given about future event speakers, activities, networking opportunities, venues, and anything else your members would like to see. You can even create polls based on these suggestions to give members some power in decision-making toward your association’s next event.”

When it comes to association-wide suggestions, consider starting a larger conversation to gauge more insight into how members are feeling. For example, if a member suggests increased educational resources, it’s important to see if the added benefit will be of value to other members, too.

“Collecting the suggestions that you feel can be further discussed with your staff should always be a priority when sifting through feedback,” Hopkins says. “But sharing these valuable suggestions with your other members can give you a better sense of how these changes could positively or negatively affect the way they experience your association.”

Create Genuine Event Experiences

Attendees want authentic meeting experiences, but generating genuine events can be challenging—and when done wrong, can come off as fake.

“Genuine experiential meetings use active uncovered learning formats that maximize the likelihood of meaningful learning and connection for each attendee,” explains meetings designer and facilitator Adrian Segar. He suggests events that allow guests to network with relevant colleagues and sessions that both promote learning and are directly related to attendees’ wants and needs.

“There’s nothing wrong with razzle-dazzle environments, except when they (all too often) divert money, energy, and focus from what’s really important,” Segar says. “Instead, first concentrate time and resources on functional meeting design that provides genuinely useful and meaningful experiences to participants.”

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Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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