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MembersFirst & ACUC Launch Online Networking and Reciprocal Membership Tools

Posted by Trevor Coughlan on Nov 7, 2013 12:00:00 AM

Wayland, MA - November 7, 2013 ‐ MembersFirst, an award-winning digital agency and software provider for the club industry, along with the Association of College and University Clubs (ACUC), has launched a new online reciprocal club directory and website for ACUC clubs and their members.

Erin Herzog Bisceglia

MembersFirst Project Manager, Britany Mironovich, worked closely with ACUC Managing Director, Erin Herzog Bisceglia, to create an effective and beautiful web application for ACUC members.

The Association of College and University Clubs speaks to three different audiences, explained Herzog. We have our existing member clubs whom we support with networking events and useful industry information. We have the members of those clubs who then gain reciprocal membership privileges at other clubs in the network. Then we have our prospects who don't yet know about the association or all that we offer. Our old website wasn't supporting us or these audiences; so I contacted MembersFirst.

The Association of College and University Clubs website

Herzog said this wasn't her first experience with MembersFirst; I've been in the private club industry for 15 years and when I managed the Florida CMAA Chapter I worked closely with [MembersFirst]. When I left the organization and came on to ACUC we did our due diligence but MembersFirst was simply the best fit. They believed in what we wanted to do with the site and took our ideas to make something for our organization's unique needs.

...MembersFirst was simply the best fit. They believed in what we wanted to do with the site and took our ideas to make something for our organization's unique needs.

Our project manager, Britany Mironovich, was great. She was willing to listen to our unique challenges as an organization and came up with solutions for the site.

Britany Mironovich

The first major challenge was organizing the content and navigation in a way that was simple for the various users, explained Mironovich. We have three very different audiences but one website. For ACUC members (club managers) we created a private club manager side of the site with information divided by region. Now club managers don't have to dig through piles of content to find the article or networking event that's relevant to them; it's all in one central location.

The club manager side also offers a private forum as the ongoing exchange of ideas and information is a central part of the association's culture. According to Herzog, While members have opportunities to share and discuss at networking events, and while most of them are also members of CMAA, campus-based clubs face a very unique set of challenges compared to a traditional country club.

I've worked with great organizations on a national level but never before met a group of managers who share such a strong passion and camaraderie for what they do, so bringing this unique forum online was absolutely vital.

ACUC reciprocal directory

To speak to the reciprocal club member audience, Mironovich and the team at MemberFirst developed an online club directory. It's so easy, Mironovich said. Now any member from any of these clubs can visit the site and search for clubs by location and amenities.

The online club directory is my favorite part of the project, Herzog added. I can easily log in to add club photos and make changes on the fly, and we've already heard from our members that they love it. It's given us a professional avenue to connect reciprocal members with the clubs they are interested in. It also doubles as a powerful selling tool; you don't have to log in to see all the clubs and amenities you could get access to by becoming a member.

Branding brought into the design

Erin made clear she wanted to grow the association's network, Mironovich said, and would need selling features like the club directory to really succeed. Obviously it was also vital we update the design. It was from a much earlier era of the web and more importantly it didn't fit the organization's brand at all. Our designer, Thomas Whitehead, created something smart and elegant. We created a large showcase area on the homepage to show off how beautiful the member clubs are, and did a bit of name dropping too.

We've only been launched a month now and I've already, from a sales perspective, been able to bring in a number of new clubs.

MembersFirst is one of the more professional companies I've worked with, Herzog commented. You can tell the design team is working closely with the operational team on our goals. It's extremely comforting to know you're being taken care of to that degree. We've only been launched a month now and I've already, from a sales perspective, been able to bring in a number of new clubs. The site is working for us on many different levels.

About the ACUC

The Association of College and University Clubs (ACUC) is a non-profit organization of campus-based clubs. Founded in 1978, the organization boasts a successful multi-club reciprocal program and creates a network of university club professionals to promote an interchange of ideas and information. ACUC currently maintains a membership of more than 80 clubs, 38% of which are located outside of the United States in Canada, Australia, Sweden, United Kingdom, Israel and the Netherlands. For more information visit www.acuclubs.org.

Topics: Press Release

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