Association success metrics for member events   

Kelly Harvey
Kelly Harvey
feature image (5)
Jump to

    Associations need to provide exceptional experiences for their members and events are one of the best ways to deliver them. Regardless of what type of association you might be working with, we’ll explore what makes a successful member event, how you can deliver value to your sponsors, and the tools you can use to assess if you’ve hit the mark. 

    What makes a member event successful? 

    There are many different types of associations and each has a different mission. Your association might exist to support professionals in your industry. Or, you could be part of a philanthropic or non-government organization dedicated to a charitable or social cause. 

    Regardless of what type of association you’re a part of and whether you’re hosting a webinar, seminar, or multi-day congress, there are two groups of people you need to satisfy to have a successful event: members and sponsors.  

    So, what do each of these parties expect from a member event? 

    Members join associations to gain benefits. These might be tangible benefits, such as products, services, education, professional development points, and discounts. Or, they could be intangible benefits, such as networking, a sense of community, or making a volunteer contribution. When members attend an association event, they will expect the experience to support these goals.  
    Sponsors may invest in an association’s member event to gain exposure to their target audience and showcase their point of difference. So, if you want to retain your sponsors year after year, you should give them plenty of opportunities for media exposure and building their network.  

    Many associations also run events to generate revenue. In that case, the event will be successful if there is a return on investment. 

    What association metrics are used to track the success of member events? 

    There are a variety of key performance indicators that associations can use to measure the success of their events.  

    New member registrations 

    Associations need to grow their membership base. There will naturally always be member attrition, and events are a great way to retain existing members and continue growing their network. 

    Event registrations and check-ins 

    Associations should monitor how many guests are signing up for and attending their events. These metrics can indicate whether or not an association’s member events are providing value. 

    Speaker engagement 

    Many member events are designed to inform and upskill the network. That means the speakers need to provide valuable content and engage the audience. Embedding live polls and Q&As in speaker presentations and tracking response rates via association event management software is a great way to measure how engaged the audience is. 

    Return on investment 

    Some associations simply want to break even when they host an event. However, for some, events are their biggest revenue generator of the year. Association event managers will keep a close eye on the cost of hosting the event and revenue generated, to ensure there is a return on investment.  

    Member and sponsor satisfaction 

    Members and sponsors are the two biggest stakeholders in association events. Associations need members to attend and sponsors to invest in their events year after year. Quantitative and qualitative post-event surveys can capture their feedback, track sentiment, boost retention, and provide continuous improvement opportunities. Positive sponsor feedback is also a fantastic sponsorship-selling tool, allowing you to attract and retain sponsorships consistently.

    How association event management software can help you run more successful member events 

    The role of event management for associations is becoming more complex and many elements need to come together seamlessly at a membership event. There are a lot of stakeholders to please, and a combination of association event management experience, forward planning, and technology will help the event run smoothly.  

    Sponsors and exhibitors 

    Sponsors and exhibitors will want to raise their brand profile at your event and build relationships with members.  

    Using EventAir’s self-serve sponsor portal, you can give sponsors and exhibitors easy access to all the information they need to make the most of your upcoming event. They can upload their promotional materials and content well in advance, avoiding a rush to prepare their assets just before the event. 

    Gone are the days of manual data entry, allowing sponsors and exhibitors to focus on building meaningful connections with event attendees. Because of this, lead capture technology is critical. Event apps that provide effortless lead capture and management with customizable qualification questions will instantly boost the ROI for your sponsors and exhibitors.   


    Presentations can be a major drawcard for membership events and you should set your speakers up for success. Make sure they understand what your members expect to get out of the event so they can tailor their content. Association event management software, like EventsAir, helps you capture their abstracts and AV requirements via an online portal, ensuring that the content and delivery method can be agreed upon and finalized well in advance. 


    Events are one of the main avenues associations can use to build relationships with their members. It’s important to adapt to member feedback after every event and continue providing great experiences.  

    Using event management software for associations, you can capture data about members and their membership tiers. This information enables you to personalize your event communications, provide access to exclusive content, and offer VIP benefits that make members feel valued.  

    If they have attended your event for professional development or education, you can share the content with them via their membership portal. EventsAir also provides simple ways for members to track their continued professional development points and keep their membership up to date.  

    What your events data can tell you about the future of your association 

    An event analytics solution can help you track your historical event data, such as the number of member registrations, sponsors, exhibitors, and volunteers. It can also help you set benchmarks for future events and find opportunities to strengthen relationships with your members. 

    This information can help you answer important questions: 

    1. Would anyone notice if your association stopped providing member events?  
    1. Is your value proposition clear?  
    1. Are your events effectively growing your network? 

    Events are a great litmus test for the health of your association and can fuel its ongoing success – if measured and managed effectively. EventsAir removes the complexity of running member events and meetings and helps drive membership growth and retention.  

    At EventsAir, we understand the importance of selecting the right event technology partner – someone who can help you deliver successful, inspiring member events that fuel the ongoing health of your association.  

    We’ve been innovating in the events industry for more than 30 years, and events are at the core of our DNA. Thanks to our rich heritage, we also understand how to remove the complexities of running member events and meetings – all whilst ensuring you drive membership growth and retention.  

    If you would like to understand how we can help you unleash the power of event planning technology for your association, then schedule a demo with one of our team members today.  

    AssociationsBest PracticeEvent Planning & Management