With member engagement being one of the biggest challenges for membership organizations, inclusivity of members should be a top priority, to ensure all are able to have their say. Therefore, ease of access would ensure all members, regardless of location or technical ability, would have the ability to voice their opinions. 89% of organizations believe that ‘going virtual’ has increased global member participation within meetings. Forward thinking organizations embracing the disruption caused by the pandemic and making the switch to virtual meetings have become more resilient because of it; there is no better time for these businesses to make the shift. 83% believe that members now expect to participate and vote online, especially among the younger generation and digital natives. This heightened expectation indicates that organizations could be missing out on valuable engagement from their attendees if they haven’t considered the move to virtual meetings.
Not only do virtual and hybrid events cut costs regarding on-site and travel expenses, but the increase in engagement leads to greater membership retention. It costs an organization eight times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Therefore, keeping inclusivity as a core focus in order to increase engagement is also a budget-friendly way of working, which complements the goal of member retention.
As competition in this space increases, it is vital to keep members interested and satisfied. The more comfortable a member feels to engage within the meeting, the more relevant they will feel – this creates not just a retained member, but a loyal one. This is particularly important for membership organizations, as loyalty is what attracts a member on an ongoing basis. As generations view value in different ways, it’s important to appeal to a varied type of member, without implementing a ‘one size fits all’ approach. For example, where Gen Z would likely prioritize ESG issues, such as environmental impact of the company, older members may concentrate more on the financial position of the organization. A virtual environment allows for the opportunity of increased attendance from a wide range of members, and encourages engagement in the activities that matter most to them. As well as producing a stronger debate, this creates a more well-rounded view of the voice and thoughts of your membership as a whole, as opposed to those who decided to attend the physical event.
Digital transformation can be a daunting prospect, especially when organising an AGM, but with 78% finding the transition from face-to-face to virtual much easier than expected, it suggests that there is little to be apprehensive about. The flow of your meeting shouldn’t be too different to what you are used to, and the more organizations welcome the virtual and hybrid way of working, the easier it will become. A seamless digital experience is no longer desired but expected, and Lumi’s experienced team allows your organization to focus on the business of the meeting, and worry less about the logistics of your AGM. For more information on how you can enhance your engagement strategies, read Lumi’s Membership Report.