One of the UK's leading equestrian societies has harnessed the services of Warwickshire-based internet solutions specialists, Networks newmedia, to help boost its membership services through the development of a new interactive website.
Stoneleigh-based British Dressage is the UK's governing body for all aspects of dressage, the fastest growing equestrian sport in the country.
The society, which has 11,000 members, already attracts around 2,000 new applicants each year, and this is set to grow by a further five per cent year on year.
The new website, says chief executive David Holmes, will transform the ways in which British Dressage communicates with its members, and enable staff to cope with the additional demand.
"Networks newmedia is using its expertise in association software to create an interactive website that will enhance our capability to maintain a regular flow of up-to-date news and information.
"By linking the site to our back-end office systems, members will be able to update their own records online, register their horses and renew their membership.
"We will also be improving access to information about forthcoming events, publishing competition results daily on a basis, and creating an online notice board for member-to-member news and chat.
"This will give a real boost to our marketing plans, and save time which can be spent instead talking to members directly and addressing their queries.
"We are confident that these improvements will help us retain our existing members, and attract new ones."
The site, which is being called www.britishdressage.co.uk, will be ready to launch in mid-September at the National Championships due to be held at Stoneleigh Park, near Kenilworth
Pete Waters, managing director of Networks newmedia, said: "All membership organisations face similar issues, and resources are often diverted unnecessarily to handling postal mailings and database management.
"Our aim is to design sites that exploit online opportunities to enhance the membership experience, and to free up valuable time that can be devoted to core activities."
Over the past two years, Networks newmedia has carved a niche in the association marketplace. It is currently working with more than 30 such bodies, and clients include trade associations, University alumni societies, as well as chambers of commerce.
British Dressage was founded in 1998 and is a member of the British Equestrian Federation and also manages Great Britain's appearances at international competitions.