eQuinelle Resident Club: A new world of interactivity and connection

Equinelle

Anna Best, Vice-chair and Strategic Planning

Technology services: Wild Apricot

https://equinelleresidentclub.com/ 

About eQuinelle Resident Club

eQuinelle is a one-of-a-kind residential community located in Kemptville, Ontario. eQuinelle homeowners can choose to join the eQuinelle Resident Club to gain access to a wide variety of activities, clubs and social events. The eQuinelle Resident Club Advisory Board enaged NewPath Consulting to implement Wild Apricot for their website. eQuinelle now offers their members better access to current information as well as new online interactive features.

From a stale-dated bulletin board to an up-to-the-minute calendar

The first iteration of the Resident Club website was more like a bulletin board, not interactive in any way. It was just a facility that allowed them to post information like a spreadsheet of upcoming events, minutes from the last board meeting, or the monthly newsletter.

They were eager to bring more interactivity to the site, instead of static documents like PDF files and Excel spreadsheets. With those they were getting into issues of version control, reconciling one document for another. They knew they could do a lot more with their site.

Tim McLoughlin, the Board’s volunteer content and technical advisor, was familiar with Wild Apricot and felt it could be a really good tool for them to handle membership registration, and also their calendar of activities.

He did a statement of requirements for a technical partner to help them with the project, and built a demo website with Wild Apricot to show the board. They found NewPath Consulting via the Wild Apricot Partner Directory and chose Alex and his team to help them get up and running.

Shortly after, Anna Best came onto the Advisory Board and took the lead on the new website project. For the first couple of weeks after signing the contract in late October 2017, it was just Anna and Alex, and then Tim and a third volunteer (Angela) joined and they were in full steam by mid-November.

Surpassed expectations for timing - unprecedented!

Anna notes that even with a 3-week hiatus over Christmas, they met their launch date of early February 2018 (“Unprecedented!” she exclaimed) and that the project felt unbelievably quick.

Aside from the timing, Anna also noted Alex’s superior support and customer service. As a non-technical person, she really appreciated being able to get her questions answered. “I never would have thought I could send an email at 2:00 p.m. to ask for an evening call that night and they were always there for us.”

Evenings, weekends, at the last minute, Anna says NewPath really came through for them.

Without the support from Alex and NewPath’s Wild Apricot expert, Ruth, they couldn’t have launched. NewPath also surpassed their expectations from the perspective of little extra things like the domain registration process, and transferring ownership of domain names. These things were not part of their contractual obligations but Alex stepped up to handle them. He also jumped in to fill a lot of the blanks in terms of the overall website design. “And you don’t usually get that,” Anna commented, “You’ll usually hear about ‘scope creep’ from most vendors that we worked with. There was none of that from Alex, and it was a very pleasant surprise.”

A new world of interactivity and connection

After signing into the members-only area of the new eQuinelle Resident Club website, members now have access to the membership database as well as to pertinent club operations. This includes the ability to edit their membership attributes (name, address, phone, etc.), join special-interest groups, browse events, and express their views in discussion forums.

Tim has heard a lot of people saying “well done,” and sees members using the new site to find other residents they know are in the club. This helps facilitate not just the dissemination of information, but personal connections between members. He also likes how the private and public sections of the site are clearly defined and separated.

Having the members’ database online is a key component of the new site, so it can be updated instantaneously instead of replying on out-of-date PDFs. Tim shared a story of someone who lost their key fob that lets them into the resident portion of the club. They didn’t know their membership number, but Tim found it quickly by searching the website to solve the problem.

Tim also noted that sending out email blasts and seeing if any bounced back helped clean up their database and improve its integrity.

Anna added that since they’re now using forms to collect easy feedback from members, people are coming up with ideas and really thinking outside the box.

And now that people can register for events via the website, it makes things much easier for the volunteers to set up times for people to come to the clubhouse to make their payments (eventually they’ll be able to pay online as well). They already know exactly who and how many people are coming, so they can be much more efficient with their time. They also save time and money not needing to print out tickets.

Technology that’s second to none

Anna says working with NewPath was a very pleasant experience. “The Zoom web conferencing technology [used for video conference calls and screen sharing tutorials] was second to none, and showed right away that Alex understands how to effectively use technology, and has the patience to help those who aren’t as technically savvy. I even learned how to share my my screen to everyone on the call!”

“If you are looking for great value for money, NewPath Consulting will surpass expectations.  NewPath has a team of professionals fully versed in the Wild Apricot development platform. They helped my small team of volunteers design, develop and implement our new eQuinelle Resident Club website. Whether we needed them over the weekend or in a pinch for a late evening meeting they responded. Their extensive knowledge of Wild Apricot was instrumental in the successful launch of our interactive website. The online training of Wild Apricot provided by NewPath experts elevated individual confidence and technical skills as we approached the website launch date.

Anna best
“If you need help with an integrated solution that brings together membership management, event registration and website design, I highly recommend NewPath — Alex and his team are incredible.” - Anna Best
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