When Talya Huskey joined the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) as the organization’s Membership and Conference Coordinator a year ago, she and Executive Director, Robin Schmitz, knew the current records system needed an upgrade.
As a small-staffed association that serves over 1,300 veterinarian and veterinary student members, VVMA needed a smooth, integrated system that allowed for quick and accurate updates to the organization’s membership and events databases. What they had was an outdated, time-consuming, three-step process that took too much of the staff’s limited time and allowed too much room for error.
VVMA represents and promotes the interests of the diverse veterinary community and serves as a resource on matters of animal health, animal welfare, and the human-animal bond. The association works on a number of legislative issues, presents two continuing education conferences each year, and provides valuable business partnerships to its members. In other words, VVMA is a dynamic association, and its staff must wear a lot of hats to get everything done.
This client was also featured on the Wild Apricot blog: How One Association Steamlined Membership Records.
Wild Apricot Reduces Membership Task Times by One-Third
Prior to moving to the Wild Apricot platform, VVMA was strapped with a system consisting of the platform’s backend, an Excel spreadsheet, and a cumbersome ring binder packed with hard copies of the records. In addition, the organization had to use a completely separate system to keep up with event management since the other software wasn’t equipped to handle it.
Fast-forward to today, and VVMA – and their members – are happily using Wild Apricot, powered by Webbright, and what a difference the transition has made. Now, the staff saves time by updating membership records in just one place, instead of three.
Wild Apricot allows everything to be done on the backend and allows for easy Excel exportation, eliminating the need for hard copies and extra steps. Adopting this new software has replaced the tedious three-step process with a smooth, integrated one that is more accurate and efficient.
In fact, Talya says the time to process a membership renewal or new member has been cut by one-third. And, since Wild Apricot can accommodate both membership and event records management, the VVMA team can keep everything in one place to save even more time.
According to Talya, records management isn’t the only area that has improved dramatically since adopting Wild Apricot. VVMA’s previous website made it difficult to add new content and limited the staff to just basic editing capabilities. So, they were stuck with waiting for slow developer turnaround times every time they needed a website update.
With Wild Apricot, however, the association now has complete control over their content, thanks to its user-friendly features. Now Talya and the rest of the staff also have control over the message VVMA is presenting to the world because the website is always up-to-date.
VVMA Staff and Members Love Wild Apricot
VVMA members appreciate the new system, too. Talya and the staff have heard such compliments as:
“I like how everything is in one place.”
“The system is easy to navigate – it’s very user-friendly.”
“The new website has a great layout.”
And, members are enjoying the use of VVMA’s membership directory and the “Find a Veterinarian” feature, too – both powered by Wild Apricot.
But the best testimonial might be what the association hasn’t heard. Since Webbright got the new website up and running earlier than projected (in just six weeks instead of eight), VVMA has been able to use it for their upcoming conference in November, and have had no complaints about complicated registration or payments not going through – the types of things they used to hear about pre-Wild Apricot!
Talya believes the new system is also responsible for an increase in registration for the association’s upcoming picnic. VVMA has seen more of their veterinary student members register for the event than ever before, and Talya believes it is due to the new and simple online registration process.
Of course, now Talya would recommend upgrading to Wild Apricot and Webbright to anyone, now that she’s seen the numerous improvements VVMA is enjoying. According to Talya, Webbright’s customizations and seamless implementation of the new platform has enhanced the switch to Wild Apricot tremendously.
“If you’re looking for something really custom that stands out and is clean and effective, I would definitely use Webbright again, ten times over,” says Talya.
But, what if your association is just starting to test the waters of upgrading your website? This huge decision requires serious research and contemplation, and here is what Talya suggests:
“If you’re looking into the Wild Apricot platform, be sure to take advantage of the 30-day trial period, so you can see how the system works and what it can do for your association.” Talya was so glad that she did this so she could really see if the platform was right for VVMA.
And, if you’re looking for a custom design that even exceeds Wild Apricot’s gorgeous templates, Talya suggests working with Webbright to create the exact website that your association wants and needs. Having professional web designers who know Wild Apricot in and out, and can leverage it for your organization, will make a website upgrade the seamless next step for your association. Contact Webbright to learn what we can do for you.