Your association is considering signing on with an Association Management System (AMS), but between the lengthy demo and implementation process, the added expense, and the somewhat intimidating learning curve involved for your members, you’ve been balking. That’s understandable! It’s a big jump, a huge investment, and you have every right to be cautious.
But don’t hesitate too long. Here are 10 good reasons why you should save yourself the headaches, and start the process of looking for an AMS!
10) You’re going to have to go through it eventually
Let’s face it: procrastination will only get you so far. You’re going to have to bite the bullet eventually, and one of the first steps in your process should be establishing your timeline. When do you need to have your AMS in place? When would be the most convenient time for your association board and members to go through an implementation process? What is the benefit to waiting?
9) It’s a good, unifying project for a board or committee
An AMS is a big decision, and one you probably can’t make on your own. Although you don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen, you will want more than one person to weigh in on the necessary functionality, pricing, and implementation. There are a lot of decisions to be made in the shopping process, so round up some people who have some time to commit and start learning about AMS solutions together. Perhaps each committee member could choose a system that looks as if it would work for your association and do some research, then reconvene and compare notes before you go into the demo process.
8) More connected members
An Association Management System should contain internal social media that allows members to interact, connect, and communicate. Not to mention that your AMS will simplify the forming of committees and provide a one-stop-shop for those groups to interact and work together outside of meetings and e-mail.
7) Emailing becomes a snap
Speaking of email, do you have your members’ emails saved in a distribution list? Do you struggle with coming across as “spammy” and un-uniformed? Are your emails not being opened or stuffed into a junk mail folder? Your AMS has a solution for that, and neat email templates to boot.
6) Clean, updated websites
Updating and optimizing a website can be a tiresome task. It’s one thing to post a regular blog, it’s another thing to design a website that’s easy to navigate, easy to find, and a joy to spend time on. Your website is a first-stop for many potential members, and a page that has incorrect information, broken buttons and tabs, and outdated design or glitches can be a turn-off. A big part of an AMS service is often designing and maintaining a website, and that can take a huge burden off of you.
5) No need for 1000 logins
Email server. Document drop box. Social community forums. Event calendar. Social Media. Online database. Event invitation system. All of those accounts add up, and require logins and passwords. Anyone who pays bills online knows that can be a headache! Consolidate some of those accounts to a one-stop shop!
4) Help is on the way
When it comes to anything computer-based, help is needed. But when you do it yourself, you’re your own help desk, or you’re sitting on the phone with several different help desks, potentially all over the world. Ideally, you’ll never have any hiccups with your AMS but if you do, help is standing by.
3) Event planning to the stars
You just won’t believe how easy event planning becomes with an AMS. Your contacts are in one place, and you can set up your payments and constantly engage with the planning committees through every stage. Not to mention, whenever an inevitable hiccup occurs with the time, venue, or any other wild card, it can be handled and communicated clearly and as soon as possible.
2) It’ll save you money in the long run
You can cut out subscriptions to other services! If you have a smooth, well managed AMS you will have happy members who will be informed about events and buy tickets to attend and recommend the association to their contacts which will lead to more dues. But ultimately, the most money you’ll save will be in the conservation of your time.
1) Think of all the headaches you’ll save
This is likely the only reason you’ll need to sign on with an AMS. Association executives, especially the leaders of small staff associations, are constantly putting out fires anyway. If you can cross even one or two things off your list, won’t it be worth it?
And there you have it. The top ten reasons to take the plunge and start doing the research into an AMS. Gather the essential personnel, form a timeline, and start discussing!
Looking for Association Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Association Management software solutions.