Finding Your Next AMS: 3 Key Takeaways from AMS Fest

A view from the Protech team’s seats at this fall’s AMS Fest in Washington, D.C.

By Joe Ball, Business Development Representative    

Having never been to Association TREND’s AMS Fest, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Let me just say that this fall’s AMS Fest in Washington, D.C., did not disappoint.

As association executives converged on D.C. to (hopefully) find their next association management software, three themes emerged as the most important: user adoption, customer support and implementation.

These themes may not have been groundbreaking, but they’re what is on association executives’ minds heading into 2020. And while AMS Fest is chock full of incredible insights from industry leaders, it’s the following three takeaways that association decision-makers cannot afford to forget when selecting their next AMS.

The Focus is Back to User Adoption and Ease-of-use

Cloud AMS had its moment in the AMS space. Now, every AMS worth its salt is a true cloud solution, and the focus has shifted back to where it should be: user adoption and ease-of-use.

Recently, more attention has been paid to making applications easier for staff to use — and most vendors in attendance at AMS Fest are presenting their solution as a simple, intuitive product. So, take every opportunity to see your favorite options in action, or they might not be as intuitive as they appeared.

Customer Support is as Important as Ever

No association wants to be left in the lurch post-implementation. When that handoff is made from the implementation team to the association, and AMS vendor’s customer support staff must be ready and capable to help when needed.

Even as CRM-based AMS vendors return more autonomy over the system to the users (via snap-on connectors that are replacing costly integrations), a strong customer service team is still critical. It’s not something you’ll see during the demos at AMS Fest or the ASAE TEC Conference, but it’s definitely worth asking current clients about.

AMS Implementation is a Team Effort

In the final morning session at this fall’s AMS Fest, Achurch Consulting’s Rebecca Achurch reminded those in attendance of one key to success with our next AMS: implementation is a team effort.

In Achurch’s session — “Life After Launch: Skills and tactics needed for long term success!” — she reminded the audience that AMS implementation doesn’t belong to one department. Membership, IT, Finance, or whomever else, can’t be expected to take on the burden of an entire AMS project. Everyone needs to be on board, or you might be attending another AMS Fest sooner than you might think.

And, speaking of other AMS Fests, we hope to see some of you on June 3-4 in Chicago in 2020. Can’t wait that long? Check out our events page to see where we’ll be next!