Since 2001, OnSite Events has provided meeting and event planning services, as well as business-to-business marketing solutions to create one-of-a-kind events for associations. The Chicago-based organization always had greater aspirations to grow its business and better serve clients by offering comprehensive association management services to small and mid-size organizations. After trying Wild Apricot's association management software, OnSite Events' leadership decided they now had the tools needed to follow their passion and expand their business.
In early 2009, Keith Johnston, Vice President of OnSite Events took advantage of the free 30-day trial of Wild Apricot's Association Management Website Software. "Offering a test drive is the smartest thing Wild Apricot could ever do. We compared it to other solutions and decided that Wild Apricot was the easiest to use and most cost-effective," said Johnston.
Johnston became a Wild Apricot reseller and finalized his game plan to convert his event planning company to an association management firm. With deep experience and strong relationships with professional organizations representing employees at Fortune 500 firms,Johnston began demonstrating the Wild Apricot solution to current and prospective clients. He gave demos to two associations and won their management business based on the promise of lower operating costs.
"In just months, Wild Apricot enabled us to turn our event planning firm into an association management company," said Johnston. "Equally important, we now have an entirely different revenue stream that is consistent with our core business. Wild Apricot's platform opened an entirely new horizon for us," added Johnston
Green Meetings Industry Council
The Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) was the first to turnover management of its organization to OnSite Events. "We took over day-to-day operations on July 1, 2009 with a goal of implementing the Wild Apricot platform by mid-September. We pleasantly surprised our client by completing the implementation just four days later, on July 5!" said Johnston. "It was that easy to do." Wild Apricot's technology automated all administrative tasks such as member registration, fee payments, web content updates, email alerts, and fundraising.
Johnston estimates that GMIC has saved thousands in operating costs by hiring his firm and using Wild Apricot's online environment. By automating these mundane day-to-day duties, OnSite Events can focus on its primary objective: improving member services for the GMIC. "We are now rolling out programs that were never offered to Council members in the past, such as discounts on insurance services, Dell computers,FedEx shipping, etc.," said Johnston. "We are creating a better association for the Green Meetings Industry Council."
Chicago Chapter of the Society of Incentive Travel Executives (SITE)
This 100-member chapter hired OnSite Events for the redesign of the Chicago chapter's web site. Johnston's proposal, using Wild Apricot promised to consolidate web site design and management, email communications and events registration at a cost that was 50 percent less than what SITE Chicago was currently paying three separate vendors.
"SITE Chicago probably saved $1,700 to $1,900 by hiring us to manage their operations. That may not seem huge, but this is an organization of just 100 members, and every dollar counts."
More importantly, says Johnston, his firm has reduced administrative costs while providing a richer, nurturing experience to SITE Chicago members. "My staff now has time to improve professional development and education programs to SITE Chicago, rather than devoting staff to calling up Joe to get his renewal."
OnSite Events' success using Wild Apricot's Association Management Software has given Keith Johnston the confidence to move aggressively on his firm's growth path. "I've hired three new sales people, and our plan is to let every association on the planet know that there's a better way to manage your organization."