Due to its ease, many organizations are saving data to an off-site provider through a remote database, which is referred to as “the cloud.” Providers like Dropbox and Google Drive allow individuals to store, share, and access their data right from their connected devices. This prevents the hassle of having to carry physical storage devices with limited space.
Like many businesses, associations are able to utilize this technology for storing resources. It’s also possible to grant other users access to the cloud storage system in order to retrieve and upload data. Most importantly, users can connect to the cloud through any device with Internet capability. This ease of connectivity provides associations with a number of opportunities to help engage their members.
Beyond the Cloud
In order to provide users with a truly integrated experience, associations should consider offering mobile apps for events and conferences. Rather than accessing cloud stored data through an Internet website, members are able to obtain their necessary resources wherever they are with their mobile device. Association leaders are also able to control the flow of information provided in their app. By incorporating cloud storage to mobile apps for events and conferences, user capability is significantly enhanced.
One way cloud storage can be successfully implemented is through educational opportunities. Utilizing this technology could be a replacement for printed materials, such as study materials and tests themselves. This in turn reduces printing costs and the need for paper materials. Making educational materials readily available in turn will increase member engagement. Additionally, associations and members alike can see real time feedback and track course attendance for CEU accreditation.
Our 2014 Mobile Readiness Survey asked associations to select which features they would include in a mobile app for conferences and their members. With a total of 80 results, just over half of respondents (53%) listed CEU tracking or learning opportunities. More specifically, 21 associations, or 26%, listed both as a desired function for their mobile apps for events and conferences. When we looked into who was interested in these features, all industry types responded except associations affiliated with building. Our findings suggest health care, realtor, association management, and education (surprised?) sectors to be the most interested in educational offerings.
Our post, Demonstrating Value to the Choosiest of Members, discussed a little of what ROL is and how it can be used to measure engagement. By definition, return on learning is a derivative of ROI used to evaluate the efficiency of an organization’s learning investments. More broadly, ROL can be used to demonstrate product and service value.
Event success is expanding just beyond budget and attendance measures to attendee value. Thanks to mobile technology, the return on learning mobile application (#ROLapp) can now quantify the value of associations meetings and events. Not only that, it also converts these outcomes into year-round membership lifecycle benefits.
The benefits of engaging your members through a multi-event app they can access throughout the year are far greater than what they would receive at an annual meeting. Not to mention the feedback and communication capabilities among association members and leaders. Additional objectives include illuminating professional goals to members, connecting members to personalized resources, and evaluating effectiveness of association’s resource pool.