Blog FPO

Looking into the future of associations

For the seventh consecutive year, Association Laboratory has completed its Looking Forward series, which captures sentiments from senior association executives for a variety of factors.

Association Laboratory says its series is the most comprehensive environmental scan of the association industry.

“Without understanding the future in which your members live and work, it is impossible to develop successful, sustainable long-term strategy,” wrote Dean West, founder and president of Association Laboratory, and Meg Whedbee, analyst, who are co-authors of the study.  “Whether through strategic planning or value proposition design, our research confirms that associations must develop strategy based on an anticipated future industry or professional state if they want to be successful.”

The survey asked respondents to weigh in on the following factors:

  • Economic Factors - identified as having substantial impact on the industry and professional structure of association members.
  • Information and Technology Factors - identified as having substantial impact on the technology and communications underpinning industry and professional activity.
  • Workforce Factors - identified as having substantial impact on the movement, use and competencies of individuals.
  • Government Factors - identified as having substantial impact on the relationship between association members and local, state and federal governments.
  • Global Factors - identified as having substantial impact on relationships between individuals, companies and governments across international boundaries.

For Looking Forward, Association Laboratory surveyed 52 business environmental factors, which gauged the top concerns of association leaders. The top three factors:

  • Identifying, recruiting and retaining qualified staff
  • Data analytics
  • Changing laws and regulation

Information and technology concerns are of great concern, the survey found. Technology touches on nearly all operations of an organization, so it’s becoming increasingly important to develop a strong infrastructure to ensure the safe gathering of data.

The study also measured potential impacts that could affect association strategy. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed said member retention, acquisition and engagement is the most important concern. Coming in second: Customization of content for various distribution channels and specializing educational and credentialing materials.

“Although there is a clear emphasis within the business environment on technology, information and data management, the top environmental factor and the top strategy impact both have less to do with tools or structural issues, but with people - hiring the right staff and engaging members,” the report says. “Association Laboratory suspects that within an increasingly complex and competitive environment, connecting and communicating effectively with the right audience is more difficult and more critical.”

Association Laboratory will hold a webinar at 1 p.m. EST on June 6. Click here to register.

Participants who register will receive a copy of the report before the virtual workshop.

10 Ways to Create Event FOMO and Encourage Members to Attend

FOMO, or fear of missing out, can be a useful strategy to get members to attend in-person and virtual events. Here are 10 ways to instill urgency and engagement into events.

Read More >
Blog FPO

Partnership vs. Membership: Defining Terms

I see partnership and membership as being founded on the same broad idea: individuals or organizations that seek some type of a relationship with an association.

Read More >

Thought leaders: Don’t take them for granted

Thought leaders can impact the bottom line. They are drivers for success and can be some of the most effective and inspirational teachers.

Read More >

Sponsorship trends for 2019

Event Manager Blog analyzed 350 events over the last two years to find the most unique sponsors in the healthcare, luxury, finance and luxury industries.

Read More >

Department of Labor proposes new overtime rule

On March 7, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule that would allow more employees – perhaps as many as 1 million – to earn overtime wages.

Read More >

Bright Idea: Ask and you shall know

The Digital Analytics Association started Ask DAA Anything, during which Executive Director Marilee Yorchak and usually one additional staff person are on the call.

Read More >