Under Pressure: Navigating Extreme Association Trends


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Scott Oser and Aaron Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA delivered this presentation during the ASAE Great Ideas Conference on Sunday, March 9, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando.

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Under Pressure: Navigating Extreme Association Trends

  1. 1. Under Pressure: Navigating Extreme Association Trends Sunday, March 9, 2014 2:45 – 4 PM Hashtag: #ideas14 LO1 Scott Oser, Scott Oser Associates Aaron Wolowiec, Event Garde
  2. 2. Aaron Wolowiec MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA The Meetings Coach @aaronwolowiec
  3. 3. Scott Oser President @scottoser
  4. 4. Like Me
  5. 5. Handouts
  6. 6. Roadmap • • • • Membership models Face-to-face meetings Social media Wrap-up
  7. 7. Membership Models
  8. 8. Membership is Dead! The era when associations could count on members joining and renewing has passed. --Sarah Sladek, XYZuniversity.com
  9. 9. Membership is Dead! Over 52% of the 690+ associations participating in this study report a growth in membership, versus only 31% reporting a decline in their membership. And the reported growth is vigorous, with nearly 24% of associations reporting a gain in membership of 6% or more. --2013 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, Marketing General, Inc.
  10. 10. Membership is Dead! While associations boasting 80% renewal rates or higher are significantly more likely to indicate they have not made changes to their membership model (70%), findings show that associations reporting increases in new members and increases in overall renewals are significantly more likely to have made such changes compared to associations with no change or declines in new members and renewals. --2013 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, Marketing General, Inc.
  11. 11. Membership is Dead! The membership model will continue to be a viable option for associations. At the same time, associations need to be open to new audiences and ways of doing things that will enhance their members’ experience. --Lori Gusdorf, CAE, Point-Counterpoint: Is Membership Dead? ASSOCIATIONS NOW, February 2009
  12. 12. Membership is Dead! Five reasons why membership is killing association business models: 1. Organize all value around the membership relationship. 2. Tend to focus on association outputs instead of stakeholder outcomes. 3. Often depend on cross-subsidies that create unintended consequences. 4. Ask members to make the most important decisions about new value creation. 5. Require a significant investment of human effort for an insufficient return. --Jeff DeCagna, Principled Innovation Blog, July 2012
  13. 13. Personal Reflection
  14. 14. Table Discussion
  15. 15. Group Discussion
  16. 16. Action/No Action
  17. 17. Face-to-face Meetings
  18. 18. The Demise of Face-to-Face Meetings Face-to-face experiences serve a comparatively small minority of stakeholders in most associations, and no matter how financially successful these events have been in the past, there is good reason for concern about their long-term sustainability. --Associations Unorthodox: Six Really Radical Shifts Toward the Future, Jeff De Cagna
  19. 19. The Demise of Face-to-Face Meetings Across all demographic segments, respondents reported a strong preference for in-person education programs over distance formats. --The Decision to Learn, Lillie R. Albert, Ph.D. and Monica Dignam
  20. 20. The Demise of Face-to-Face Meetings A range of factors—from the economy to technology advances to younger generations entering the workforce—point to growth in the use of technology for learning and to a clear opportunity for technology to transition into a more significant, more strategic part of the mix of education and professional development associations provide to members. --Association Learning + Technology 2014, Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele
  21. 21. The Demise of Face-to-Face Meetings In a global survey of 2,300 Harvard Business Review subscribers, 95% said that face-to-face meetings are both key to successful long-term relationships and to building strong relationships. --Harvard Business Review Report “Managing Across Distance in Today’s Economic Climate”
  22. 22. The Demise of Face-to-Face Meetings Adults in online conditions performed modestly better, on average, than those learning the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction. --U.S. Department of Education, Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies
  23. 23. Personal Reflection
  24. 24. Table Discussion
  25. 25. Group Discussion
  26. 26. Action/No Action
  27. 27. Social Media
  28. 28. No Social Media? Are You Crazy?!? Among our panel of association executives (several dozen), 58 percent indicated they would invest at some level in social media in the next (2013) budget cycle. --Social Media Use By Associations, One Orange Feather Inc., 2012
  29. 29. No Social Media? Are You Crazy?!? The direct effect of social media on your audience can be difficult to determine. --The Why and How of Social Media: An Introduction for Associations, Association Management Center
  30. 30. No Social Media? Are You Crazy?!? Social media has the potential to revolutionize your association’s impact with member communications, event marketing, advocacy and networking. It also promises to make outreach less expensive. --associationtrends.com
  31. 31. No Social Media? Are You Crazy?!? Many organizations launch their online community without conducting needs assessment interviews or customer surveys to help align their community with their target audience’s core problems. --Paul Schneider, Socious Online Community Blog, April 12, 2012
  32. 32. No Social Media? Are You Crazy?!? If you haven’t started to implement social media into your marketing mix, now is the time to start. --Sarah Sladek, The State of Social Media in Associations and What to Do About It
  33. 33. No Social Media? Are You Crazy?!? Only 10% of respondents said that social media is the single most exciting opportunity for your organization (or for your client) in 2014? -- Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2014 Digital Trends, Econsultancy in conjunction with Adobe
  34. 34. Personal Reflection
  35. 35. Table Discussion
  36. 36. Group Discussion
  37. 37. Action/No Action
  38. 38. Wrap Up
  39. 39. 10 Things to Do Before Implementing Something New 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Co-workers Colleagues Member benefit Squirrel! Constituents 6. Pilot program 7. Bottom line 8. Research 9. Sleep on it 10.Consultants
  40. 40. Contact Us Scott Oser President Scott Oser Associates scott@scottoserassociates.com @scottoser 301.279.0468 Aaron Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA The Meetings Coach Event Garde aaron@eventgarde.com @aaronwolowiec 616.710.1891