Many associations focus heavily on members who are new to the profession, new to their role, or new to the industry. The association fills knowledge gaps with training and support gaps with networking. Talk to these new members and they will tell you that it was at a New (title here)’s Conference they realized the full value of the association. Because of the association and their association training they have the resources, information, contacts and maybe most important thing, the confidence to tackle their new role.Read More
The Association Blog: News and Resources for Association Executives
What truly separates associations from our for-profit competitors besides the non-profit designation? For-profits are churning out some of the industry’s best conferences. For-profits are offering online-communities and other ways to network. For-profits are developing educational opportunities and certificate programs. They are getting into benchmarking research, publishing guides and sending out newsletters. They are engaging members.Read More
Who is in charge of providing an exceptional member experience at your association? The director of member experience? Member services? The membership manager? Marketing? Business development?
How about every staff person? Certainly every single member facing staff person impacts member service and our members’ experience. It used to be easy to define member facing but now, with digital, member facing has expanded.Read More
Our fate is sealed from the start. The moment members walk into the conference area and find registration they unconsciously start deciding if they are going to like it. Do they like the conference and by association our association? As one event professional told me, if registration is less than perfect for attendees the whole conference will be less than perfect.Read More
Seemingly overnight, technology and customer preferences can change our need for formerly popular goods and services. Think about the fates of: Smith Corona typewriters, Kodak cameras, and the five-and-dime giant Woolworths. For the folks working in these companies, in the last few years of their existence, it must have seemed like customer allegiance suddenly flipped but, was that really what happened?Read More
We love engaged long-time members. Engaged long-time members feel they belong. They find affinity. They want to give back.
Your members want to matter. They want to be respected. Many of them also joined with the intention of belonging to a community. The first impression your members have of your association will stay with them for the lifetime of their membership. For all of these reasons and more developing a strategy to whole-heartedly welcome your members can significantly improve the value you deliver to them.
I am standing at the entrance gate of the zoo with the line piling up behind me trying to do some quick mental math to figure out whether membership is worth it. As my young son is tugging on my arm as I figure that family membership equals approximately the cost of three individual trips. Quickly I scan the other nine benefits and see they don’t apply to us. We won’t take advantage of things like $25 off of summer camp (yet) or the 10% discount at the concession stand (often). Regardless membership is worth it, I am pretty sure we will take more than three trips to the zoo in a year.
We are super adept at making snap judgments. In seconds we can size up a person, organization, thing, animal or situation. Our brains very quickly tell us if it is good or bad and whether we should go forward or run away. Experts say this is a survival instinct developed during the time our ancestors were busy running away from saber-tooth tigers.
Have you ever felt great about receiving a cold call? Even if it’s an institution that I do business with or feel affinity with those calls leave me feeling annoyed, guilty, and inconvenienced. I know that charities champion worthy causes and use our money for research and for helping affected families. Your university gives college-aged kids opportunities with your pledge. Associations have to have enough attendees to make a conference viable. We know the cause is a good one and we know that their request is legitimate however some marketing tactics leave us cold.