Membership Events vs Membership Conferences – Two Very Different Beasts

Event Management |

Membership organisations regularly host events for their members. They play a vital role in the long term goal of providing high quality, valuable services to your members and can be a key part of the acquisition and retention marketing plans. The events can vary depending on the association and their industry, but a lot of common events include occasions such as:

  • Training & Education
  • Exams
  • Networking groups
  • AGMs
  • Seminars
  • Management meetings
  • Conferences
  • Galas

Events like these are vital as part of your membership offering. They help maintain a relationship between your organisation and members, as well as between members themselves. In relation to events like training and exams, they also supply a core part of the value added service your membership organisation provides.

Associations also often host annual conferences and galas. These can be huge occasions, with all your members in attendance, and can include the management of exhibitors, sponsors, speakers and evening activities. Conferences can be the backbone of your membership offering, and as such you will most likely have a separate team to manage these.

Many membership software solutions offer event management features, but many of these don’t distinguish between the smaller networking and training events, and the huge complex annual conferences.

It’s vital that any membership solution provider not only understands the difference between these smaller events and the annual conference and gala, but supports them separately within their solution. The needs and requirements for each team are vastly different and as such the solution that supports them must cater for each.

Conference teams often have the following tasks that the general events team will not:

  • Invitation and registration management
  • Accommodation and travel management
  • Microsite management
  • Speaker management
  • Sponsorship management
  • Stream management
  • Room management
  • Catering management
  • Table management
  • Event reporting and analysis
  • As well as the management of hundreds, if
    not thousands of member delegates at once

At Silverbear, our membership software caters for large conference and gala management, and treats this as a separate entity to the training, networking and other events your association may run. Silverbear membership is the only membership solution in the market to offer such a comprehensive conference management module.