Electrifying the Lead Retrieval Process

Events

It’s happened to all of us. We have attended a large conference and had some great conversations, made some great contacts, come back with our pockets stuffed full of business cards—and then, when we return to the office and business as usual, the energy from those conversations fades, the business cards end up in the back of a drawer, and somehow we don’t manage to follow through on those contacts we made. Unfortunately, when we do this, we are not alone. It is estimated that 70% of leads are not followed through. That is an unacceptably high number, given the cost of exhibiting at a conference, which is why you need to utilize an electronic Lead Retrieval process which is tied to your customer relationship management system.

It’s imperative to consider this for your conference. The reason your exhibitors pay money to participate is new business. And, if exhibitors do not see a return in their marketing spend; they will not return.

When exhibit space itself costs thousands of dollars, and staffing the exhibit costs even more, your return on investment is critical, and lead retrievals are an excellent way to ensure that you beat that 30% lead success rate. The days of using business cards to track leads truly are behind us, with excellent lead capture systems available for both computers and smart phones.

Here are some reasons why you, as an exhibitor or association conference event organizer, need to make good use of such a system.

  • Electronic information is easily captured. A quick scan of your contact’s convention badge bar code and all their information is entered into your computer system. With cloud backup, there’s no chance that data can be lost, unlike business cards which can easily fall out of a folder or off the back of an overcrowded desk.
  • Scanned data is easily enhanced. You can choose from a number of standard qualifiers, such as “hot lead,” “send salesperson,” “send literature,” etc., and you can add your own special comments, such as “expressed particular interest in class Y.”
  • You can focus on the contact, not on the data. Knowing you have the contact information electronically, you can focus on creating that human connection which is critical to successful follow through of any lead.

enSYNC’s Kiosk EventXpress and Badge Manager program provides that essential bar code for the lead retrieval process. In addition, our Badge Manager can be used for “controlled access” for continuing education tracking as well.

Contact us today with your questions and to learn more about how this program, and others, can enhance the conference experience for all attendees.

Distance Learning Has Much to Offer Your Nonprofit Association

Distance Learning is mission critical!
Distance Learning is mission critical!


Believe it or not, the first Distance Learning course was initially offered in 1728, when Caleb Phillips advertised the first shorthand correspondence lessons via US mail.

The first university-based courses were initiated by the University of London over 150 years ago, in 1858.

So while we don’t tend to think of distance education as having roots this deep, the fact remains that educators have been thinking outside of the classroom box for a long time.

Today we thought we would offer our thoughts on the importance of distance learning for your association in the twenty-first century.

Let’s face it, the economic challenges we have all faced in the last several years has underscored the necessity of distance learning for today’s associations education needs.

Associations have been forced to do more with less in almost every area of operations. As a result, Association Education staff, have been forced to find new ways of doing business but not killing productivity or jeopardizing the standards which they have kept in the past.

The good news is that their are many good solutions for all budgets and size associations. To be sure, implementing the proper technology can help in that effort for most nonprofit associations.

Distance learning provides your members with a way to connect, share ideas and promote their passion for the trade, profession, or cause your association supports.

Whether located in Fort Worth, Texas, or New York City, NY., members of your wider community can continue to be educated by your association through shared classes, online forums and supportive chat rooms and blogs. Technology in the twenty-first century is plentiful and affordable for almost anyone.

Distance learning provides associations with an easy, effective, and measurable way to ensure that those who are members of your association are receiving the latest information on your organization and its progress, and integrating it correctly into their own field of work.

Online exams are an efficient way to measure and confirm the success of the students in your distance learning courses. With our Distance Learning tool and Online Continuing Education Credit Module, members who successfully complete your training program can be officially certified, thus providing another opportunity to spread the word about your association’s benefits.

Online training courses are relatively easy and straightforward to set up and manage, so your nonprofit association can focus on other important aspects of the work such as improving other non-dues revenue opportunities applicable to your mission.

Over 60% of US colleges and universities now offer online-courses, which means that, for younger segments of the population, and their professors, distance learning is a fact of life.

In fact, online enrollment was up by a million students, or 21%, from 2009-2010. Because of this, you will find ready acceptance of the concept among not only younger members who expect this to be apart of your offering but also mature baby boomers who are becoming more and more accepting of this method of strengthening their knowledge in their particular field.

Is Distance Learning offered at your association? If not, can your association remain viable without it?

Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help integrate distance learning into your associations educational curriculum.

You won’t believe the impact of Disparate Data Syndrome?

Is your nonprofit database a problem?

The number one reason why we are called into nonprofits today is to help find a solution to improve how their team works better together. In other words, they need a 360 degree view of their member, donor, and customer which is shared by everyone in the organization. In this article, we explore the impact of disparate data and discuss ways to help.

What is Disparate Data Syndrome?

DDS  stands for Disparate Data Syndrome. It is an acronym for a serious ailment faced by many non-profit associations.

DDS is a very common condition whereby your association is overwhelmed by the use of multiple databases, spreadsheets, & disparate data sources. Due to the use of Disparate Data sources your organization is likely wasting time, money, and impacting your member retention. DDS is not an overnight ailment; rather it’s a gradual and progressive acquisition of various tool sets in order to stop the bleeding in your organization. The various tools are typically added by well-intended purposes and uses over time but ultimately cause of a very frustrating situation for staff, executives, boards and ultimately your members.

Common symptoms of DDS:

  • Your association has an excel spreadsheet for everything
  • You have an email marketing system which is not connected to our database or web site
  • You are constantly rekeying data from our General Ledger back/forth between our membership system
  • Your website has a separate database from our membership or donor system
  • You have a separate Event Management system
  • Your  web content management system is a third party solution

DDS is by far the number one reason why associations contact SmartThoughts today. We believe it’s because  Association Executives now understand the impact a non-integrated platform has on all stakeholders in the association (staff, executives, board members, membership, and volunteers).

No mas mi amigos, there is a better way! 

Just 10 years ago, most small associations were simply looking for a way to put up a website. The times have changed very quickly.

Today, due to the common availability of SaaS Cloud technology, solutions are less expensive and this once elusive organizational goal of implementing one platform is now in the reach of even the smallest nonprofits today.

To reiterate, even small associations can find a solution to help eliminate Disparate Data Syndrome!

Options today to solve the problem

In fact, it’s not even a matter of is there a solution, but rather which association management platform is best suited for my particular organization.

SmartThoughts is well qualified to help in your efforts to eliminate DDS, and we can help find the right tool through our software selection services.

For most organizations, the important task of finding the right fit can be a confusing process to weed through the options.

There is no-doubt many association technologies on the market today. We are skilled at evaluating business requirements and formulating the proper path to take to ensure you avoid the pitfalls of DDS in your organization.

Please don’t procrastinate and suffer any longer with this ailment. Your non-profit does not have to delay in finding a cure for Disparate Data in your association any longer.

If you would like to learn more, please contact us for help with software selection services. Until then, keep SmartThoughts in mind.

We can help with finding a new nonprofit database for your needs!