Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Triangle AMA’s mission is to provide value to Triangle area marketers (members of the American Marketing Association, non-members, agencies, companies and colleges) by connecting people and by providing educational programming and professional resources.
set a new membership record
The AMA Team Sought a Consistent, Quality Experience for Their Events
One of the largest AMA chapters in the country, Triangle AMA relies on revenue from registration fees and paid sponsorships for events, as well as from member dues from the AMA international organization. Essentially, meetings and events truly drive their business. These include luncheons, seminars, workshops and a large annual conference. Triangle AMA needed their local events to not only be engaging, but also deliver value to their members. The aim was to do that though networking, education and fun.
However, like a lot of other non-profits and associations, Triangle AMA relies on a large volunteer staff to help plan and manage their events. Consistency from month-to-month and year-to-year was a challenge when it came to managing the events and retaining members. With these volunteers flowing in and out of the organization, the need to standardize processes became increasingly vital to their success, helping to make their jobs easier, and reducing stress levels staff-wide.
Triangle AMA’s leadership, including Past President Evan Carroll, noted that the association's goal was to find a solution that would automate "everything as much as we could, and – to take as much variability out of that process as possible and ensure a consistent, quality experience." The critical search soon began for event management software to plan and report on their events.
Cvent Brought Consistency and Quality as Well as Speed, Stability, and Expansion
After vetting several providers, Triangle AMA chose to partner with Cvent. It didn’t take long for Mr. Carroll and his team to experience the value of investing in an event management platform. "In 2014 we hosted our first multi-day, multi-track conference – High Five – it really wasn’t until then that we could see the powerful things we could do with Cvent. "The functionality gave Triangle AMA multiple registration options, let them issue separate passes for conferences and workshops, assign differentiated member vs. non-member status, include tiered pricing models, and more.
"Cvent became the tool to do all of that in a seamless way." What’s more, with Cvent, they are able to duplicate existing events to quickly get new events up and running. When the time came to send emails, they had all of the templates right there in the event. Templates included custom email tags to personalize communication with their members and sponsor logos at the bottom. They only have to an update them once for any given event. Doing these things allowed their event programs to run smoothly and consistently.
In the interest of automating more of their event management, Triangle AMA was eager to take advantage of the entire Cvent platform. "We used the Supplier Network to manage the RFP process, and it helped us to know what questions to pose," said Mr. Carroll. "We found a venue we really liked and have been using it ever since. In 2015 we added the CrowdCompass app to High-Five. At first, I thought it would be a distraction for members. But that February, it snowed in the middle the event, and in North Carolina, snow can shut the area down. But there was no postponing the event. We had this beautifully printed program but we had to adjust times for both days of the conference. So, our printed program became useless – the app became the program, and with the push notifications, it saved the day – we could not have navigated that weather situation without it."
Shortly thereafter, Triangle AMA added SocialWall, Cvent’s onsite photo sharing tool that builds attendee engagement, to the monthly events and High-Five conference. At the monthly events, it replaced an outdated, auto-advancing PowerPoint with the announcements, sponsor logos, and anything else board members wanted to share. Utilizing SocialWall meant the ability to share custom posts for sponsors, tweets, and Instagram photos. "Our social presence is so strong that our hashtag trends in Raleigh during the luncheons. We are able to leverage the active audience. You can look up and see a tweet, announcement, new members that we’ve added, logos of sponsors. It allows us to provide something of value as well as recognition of sponsors and other events and activities," Mr. Carroll explains.
"Just Getting by" Turned into to a Strong Model for Growth
Mr. Carroll says that the "importance of Cvent for overall event management is simply irreplaceable." Since partnering with Cvent, Triangle AMA is averaging 16% growth year over year, and now have over 600 active members, a record for Triangle AMA. "It’s a very easy connection to make that the events we are putting on are driving that growth. Realizing the power that we have and the competitive pricing as a non-profit, the thought of moving to another solution is untenable, a nonstarter. With Cvent, we are positioned for success going forward."