The Guild of Sommeliers now creates membership value by keeping its digital community updated with the latest technology, custom fixes, and necessary third-party integrations.
The Guild of Sommeliers (GoS) is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the excellence and professional development of people working in the US wine trade.
The member-run group operates through events and an online community – created using the Telligent platform.
Valuable information can now be exchanged to help broaden knowledge of the world’s wine regions, improve service, and keep the members up-to-date on industry news and trends.
As part of its drive to offer members the highest possible service quality, the GoS needs its online community to be responsive to the needs of users. To ensure this, the site requires regular updates, appropriate customisations and integrations to enhance its usefulness.
One of the key developments overseen by 4 Roads was the upgrade of the existing customer database. For simpler and more intuitive user management, the GoS wanted to shift to a recognised CRM solution and have this integrated with its existing online community.
4 Roads took on the project of integrating the community backend with Salesforce. These two principal websites also then needed to be integrated with Authorize.net to enable a seamless payment solution for fees gathering.
In addition to the Salesforce integration, 4 Roads has upgraded the GoS community through several versions of the Telligent platform, created unique widgets, and customised third-party software and key design elements to ensure a good fit within the community environment.
There have also been further smart integrations through the addition of plugins for the Apple News publishing platform and to enable quizzes to run across the community.
The GoS makes use of all major features offered Telligent including blogs, wikis, media galleries, forums. Through these channels it offers expertise, a wealth of study guides, and up-to-the-minute information about the wine industry.
Membership entitles an individual to read every piece of content and make use of full community access to dig into the knowledge of others in the profession.
With an online community that’s always up to date – and by maintaining full access to useful features and content – the GoS ensures a high-quality user experience and keeps its membership growing year on year.
Within its first year, the online community attracted 500 new members. By year four this had grown to 3,500, and membership now stands at 13,000 with the Guild regularly growing the community by 20 per cent each year.