As we close out the first quarter of 2020, I am grateful for my family, friends and the support of our great teammates here at Personify. Because of COVID-19, we are living in unprecedented times under circumstances that have fundamentally changed the way we live and work. Like most companies, our first focus is the health of our team members. We stopped all travel, in–person events, including PersoniFest, and we all started working from home. My role as Chief of Staff here at Personify has also fundamentally changed over the past six weeks. For instance, our staff is now physically apart, so our daily movements are highly dependent on digital-only interactions through video conferencing and chat.
Weathering the Storm | A Community of Resilience
I joined the Personify team a little over a year ago with the A2Z Events acquisition. During my time at A2Z, I saw first-hand what it meant to run a small business. One of the key takeaways was how important it is to sustain the trust that our clients and our employees place in each other and in us. In good times and in bad—we are a community of resilience.
COVID-19 has changed the landscape for all of us. While the challenges of each business are unique, we are all impacted in some way, whether through changes in demand for goods, services and information, or supply chain and logistical issues. I have been impressed with the creativity and ingenuity we’ve seen as the world pivots. For example, we’ve seen factories shift from manufacturing cars to ventilators and plastic masks, allowing essential business to continue to operate and fulfill an urgent need at the same time.
In a sincere effort to do what we can to support our network of clients, Personify is also taking initiative to help our global community. Above all else, we are here for you as you lead your organization through these uncharted waters. As you look for ways to connect and stay in touch with your members and constituents, here are four insights to help you navigate the COVID-19 response:
First, ensure you’re staying abreast of the latest information so you can provide the appropriate level of support to your members. Access to our product line communities can help you better understand the tools you have available to support your constituents. We have seen spikes in attendance to the virtual meetups hosted in each of our client communities, confirming that our clients are eager for information and guidance. The same can likely be said for your members, volunteers and staff. Our client communities are a great place to learn about how other like-minded organizations are adapting to the changing circumstances. For example, the American Society of Safety Professionals added a dedicated COVID-19 response area within their member community and it became the most visited page on their website.
Furthermore, your constituents are looking for updates from your organization in response to COVID-19. Keep them connected and provide updates on any changes, like if you are providing any extra services to the community or if you are experiencing delays in mailings, response times, and service-levels. Moreover, as the economy begins to recover and business operations return, tools like Personify Job Boards will help your organization provide additional value to your members as they navigate career changes and seek new opportunities.
Adjust in real time
As behavior shifts ensure you are reviewing your programs in real-time. Postpone or pause campaigns and activities to meet your members where they are.
- Do you need to pause or defer membership and monthly dues?
- Does it make sense to switch to a flexible pricing model to accommodate financial hardships?
- Does your platform deliver more digital content for at-home consumption?
Consider these few ideas as your members’ needs continue to change. This is easy to accommodate within Personify360. Furthermore, you can set up waivers quickly and do so without interrupting your constituents’ experience.
While we can’t be together in person right now, there are still ways to connect virtually in lieu of in-person conferences and exhibitions. If you’ve postponed an event, keep attendees and sponsors connected using A2Z Events virtual connect module to maintain the value for sponsors and constituents. Often, your sponsors and exhibitors are able to showcase products online to a broader audience of constituents and generate meetings from the virtual connect solution, allowing business to continue beyond the show floor.
Shifting your event to virtual? Listen to the Planet Leadership: Behind the Event mini-series podcast that chronicles our shift of taking PersoniFest virtual. In a few short weeks, our marketing and events team brought all the educational content online to continue to provide value, support and free access for our clients. We know it’s challenging right now and keeping the lines of communication open is our commitment to you.
As you’re running your organization remotely, keep communicating. There are digital tools available to help maintain a strong connection. For example, that may mean scheduling digital appointments, hosting consultations or tutorials via community meetups, or transitioning your in-person conference to a virtual experience.
Constituents are often happy to continue to support your organization during times like this. However, you may need to evaluate your current plans to ensure they align with the needs of your members. Running a fundraising campaign or providing essential services to those in most need? Many of the modules within Personify360, Community and Wild Apricot allow you to solicit donations and easily update your website to accommodate the new or adjusted program schedule.
Moreover, digital tools, such as a digital community provide a two-way mechanism for feedback and ideas to help you and the communities you serve. For your staff, enable greater collaboration with shared chat forums to facilitate ongoing communication. These tools connect seamlessly to one another through the unified command center allowing you to access all your Personify solutions in one place.
We’re in this together
While we’ve taken steps to protect the health of our team members, our support teams and processes are running as normal. If you need help with your Personify account, you can reach out to your Account Manager or consult the Support Center.
In addition, we have highly collaborative client communities for users of each of our solutions. Learn from your peers, access product documentation, watch training videos and hear directly from our product experts. And because our solutions are cloud-based, they are backed by reliable hosting services. So you can shift, scale and execute without worrying about downtime, upgrades or heavy customizations.
Thank you for your partnership. We are here for you, now and in the future.