How can my association offer instant event discounts for new members?

Offering member pricing for your association event immediately after a new member applies for membership online can be very powerful. It serves as a dual incentive, making both membership and attendance more appealing.

However, association membership applications are not always tied directly to the association registration systems, making the instant discount difficult for some associations. Here are a few scenarios and possible solutions for offering instant association member discounts for event registration:

– If the online association member application and event registration are all part of an overall association member database system that is online or has online modules, then it may be relatively simple to offer instant discounts. A good option may be for the new member to receive their association username and password via email; this username and password can then be used at the member’s convenience when registering for the event. Alternatively, the new member can be pointed directly over to the event registration system and the membership information can be passed invisibly during the handoff.

– If the online association membership application and event registrations are completely separate, then you may be able to pre-populate each with matching sets of usernames and passwords that are reserved for new members. New members would need to update their “dummy” information in the association event registration system to reflect their real name, address, etc.

– If the online association registration system cannot be pre-populated with new member dummy data, then you could instead have a special checkbox added that says “I am a new member.” A report could be pulled for anyone checking that box, and if they are indeed new members, an adjustment could be made to their fees to reduce them from non-member prices to member prices.

Offering instant discounts to new association members can be a powerful incentive to join the association and register for an upcoming event. The key is to find a way for your system to do so. There are several options, as noted above. In a worst-case scenario, the association could also have the member contact the staff or check a box on the application form asking for registration assistance. In any case, providing this incentive could boost both membership and attendance levels, so it is worth considering.

Does your association offer instant member discounts upon joining the association? How are you able to incorporate this into your systems?

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