Many factors may be considered but associations often turn to technology for two reasons: Saving time or reducing expenses.
The Kansas Bankers Association accomplished both goals when it decided to standardize on the MobileUp Software platform for its conference app.
“The app is our stand-alone resource,” said Mary Taylor, who serves as Vice President, Marketing, at the KBA. “We don’t print many manuals anymore. All of our handouts, our speakers, and our sponsors are in the app.”
Conferences across the state of Kansas keep the staff at the KBA busy all year as evidenced by the booked calendar on the association’s website.
Starting weeks before each event, the KBA and MobileUp client services teams coordinate efforts to load data (event calendars, speakers, presentations, etc.) for each conference into the MobileUp administrator tools.
The app then displays the appropriate content to bankers after they sign into the app depending on the conference they register to attend. Another benefit: Many bankers attend more than one conference a year and simply refresh the app to access the information for each event.
“It’s good when you go to the app stores that there aren’t a bunch of Kansas Bankers apps,” said Sharon Iverson, Vice President, Communications at the KBA. “From the bankers’ perspectives, that would be very confusing as to which one of those is the one they are supposed to download for a particular conference.”
After numerous conferences powered by the app, the association and even the majority of its most paper-reliant members realize its advantages.
“From a physical standpoint, the app has lightened our load significantly,” Taylor said, adding the KBA saves hours of document assembly and several thousand dollars per conference on printing costs. “Now instead of a van full of stuff, we can get three of us in a car and go to the conference.”
At KBA conferences, bankers build their own itineraries from the app’s provided calendar of events by tapping the icons. Information on speakers and their presentations can also be downloaded.
Advocacy, Education, and Networking
Besides conferences, the KBA uses the app to help its busy members quickly connect to key professional resources.
For starters, a section of the app provides bankers with direct contact information for their state legislators.
“When our members find who their state legislator is in the app, they have the email address and phone number right there and can use the native function in the phone to either call or email them,” Iverson said. “They don’t have to remember it and back out of the app or copy and paste. It’s nice they can reach out straight from the app.”
The app also provides a directory where members can search for each other by name, zip code, or location and save information to the contacts on their smartphones. There is also a section with downloadable PDF manuals, webinars, and graduate school options to further their banking education.
A Key Marketing Tool
The app has also helped in the association’s marketing efforts to reach and engage its members.
The KBA has relied on email for most of its communications historically until adding the MobileUp app in recent years.
“The app is a very important partner to us,” Iverson said. “Email is still effective because some of our bankers are not able to look at their smartphones during the day. At the same time, some of the systems the banks use don’t let every email through to them. So I wouldn’t want to go just with emails or just with the app. I think the two work together very well.”