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May 1st, 2023 By Chris Laskey

As associations grow and expand their membership base, managing member data can become a daunting task. That’s where AMS (Association Management System) software comes in – it can help associations manage their membership data, events, and other functions. But how do you choose the right AMS system for your association? During the ASAE Demo Days introduction, Reggie Henry, Chief Information and Performance Excellence Officer at ASAE, shared his insights on how to choose an AMS system that works best for your organization. 

1. Outline your requirements and prioritize them 

Before you start evaluating AMS systems, it’s important to outline your requirements. What do you need the AMS system to do? What features are essential, and what are nice-to-haves? Once you have a list of requirements, prioritize them. This will help you focus on the most important features when evaluating different AMS systems. 

2. Develop a script for your demos 

When evaluating different AMS systems, it’s important to have a consistent approach. One way to do this is to develop a script for your demos. This script should be based on the priority of your requirements. For example, if online transactions are a top priority, make sure you allow enough time in the script to explore this feature. This will help you compare different AMS systems more effectively. 


3. Consider your members’ needs 

AMS systems are designed to help you manage your relationship with your members. It’s important to consider your members’ needs when evaluating different AMS systems. What features will help your members get the most value from your association? For example, if your members attend conferences, they may want to be able to connect with other attendees from their area. Make sure the AMS system you choose can support these needs. 


4. Minimize customizations 

Customizations can be tempting, but they can also be a double-edged sword. While they can help you tailor the AMS system to your specific needs, they can also make it harder to upgrade the software in the future. In general, it’s best to minimize customizations and stick to the out-of-the-box functionality as much as possible. This will make it easier to upgrade the software and avoid costly customizations. 

5. Focus on what gets done, not how it’s done 

Finally, it’s important to focus on what gets done, not how it’s done. Don’t get bogged down in the details of how a particular feature works. Instead, focus on the end result – does the feature help you achieve your goals? Too often, associations get caught up in the minutiae of how things are done and end up with over-customized software that is hard to maintain. Instead, focus on the big picture and choose an AMS system that helps you achieve your goals. 

In conclusion, choosing the right AMS system can be a complex process. However, by outlining your requirements, developing a script for your demos, considering your members’ needs, minimizing customizations, and focusing on what gets done, you can make an informed decision that will help your association manage its membership data more effectively.


Selecting the right AMS can be an overwhelming process. We’re here for you! Need more information? Look at Altai’s Buyers Guide for in-depth guidance, information, tips, and tricks on making an informed decision on selecting your association’s next AMS.