With 50 per cent of associations reporting that they are not experiencing any growth in membership, Boardroom looks at a new white paper created by Kenes offering advice for associations looking to grow. (more…)
How to grow your association
The associations sector is vast and hugely diverse. Association executives are involved in every sector imaginable, and some you might never have thought of. This incredible diversity has inspired the streamed approach to this year’s Associations World Congress scheduled to take place in Vienna, Austria on May 2-4, with content and sessions tailored to suit delegates’ wide-ranging interests and needs.
Damian Hutt, Executive Director of the Association of Association Executives (AAE), organisers of the Congress, explains: “We have worked hard over the last decade to really understand what content and types of sessions are most valuable to our delegates at our events and have evolved in response to their needs. There will be multiple streams and a variety of event formats to ensure there is something for everyone this year.”
With over 70 speakers discussing the latest thinking, future trends and key challenges facing international associations, Hutt describes the lineup for 2017 to be “the best yet”. Keynote sessions from Cynthia Cherrey, President and CEO of the International Leadership Association, Lodwijk Klootwijk, Director of the European Golf Course Owners Association and Sarah Sadek, CEO of XYZ University, will set the tone for this exciting and diverse programme.
The 2017 Associations World Congress is all about getting the most relevant content to delegates to assist in their development, addressing challenges and inspire lateral thinking. The Congress will start with this streamlined approach in mind, breaking into three focused pre-events:
The Association Leaders’ Forum, the first in the newly re-branded standalone event series, will address challenges and issues faced by senior leaders in a smaller, dedicated group.
The Aspiring Leaders’ Meeting is aimed at executives who are developing their association careers and looking to build their knowledge to explore the latest issues and make connections with other future leaders.
The Medical Associations’ Focus Meeting will address the challenges faced by specifically medical associations, including updates on the latest guidelines.
The main congress days break down into six key streams including: Strategies for Growth: How to Build Reach and Relevance; Development Strategies for Exceptional Events; Member Engagement: Putting Members at the Heart of your Strategy; Leading your Sector: Thought Leadership and Professional Development; Events: From Design to Delivery; and The Explosion of Video: Video Communications and TV Channel Strategy.
As part of the evolution of the Congress, new formats and approaches have been incorporated to help drive engagement. These include more facilitated sessions, smaller break out groups, and ‘Breakfast Brains’ meetings which will start each day with a coffee and informal chat around hot topics to get the brain in gear for a stimulating day of content.
Knowledge sharing is one of the key reasons association executives attend the Congress. In 2017, there will be an increased focus on case studies and real-world examples of how other associations have addressed key challenges, achieved great results and more. The popular association success stories series has been given additional time in the programme. Plus, a series of workshops have been designed to help delegates tap into the experience of specialists covering topics such as: Social media; Membership growth; Sales skills for non-sales people; Maximising your vital volunteer resources; and Strategic planning in a chaotic world.
The 2017 Associations World Congress offers a rich programme of content delivered largely by association leaders and executives in addition to subject specialists. There is much on offer, not only for those in their early careers but also for the more experienced association professional.
In January, I was very lucky: the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) invited me to attend its biggest education and networking event, called Convening Leaders”. Over 4,000 delegates from large corporates, associations and the meeting industry from 36 countries participated in the annual congress, this time held in Austin, Texas. Words Cécile Koch
I don’t think I’m mistaken if I state that PCMA is the authority in education, business networking and community engagement for leaders in the global meetings, convention and business events industry. It has more than 6,500 members and 50,000 customers, mostly from the US.
The conference at the Austin Convention Center featured numerous simultaneous and plenary sessions, each providing unique learning experiences filled with inspirational presentations, real-world case studies, peer exchange and access to leading solution providers. The conference theme, “Designing ColLABoration,” updated the attendees on trends and evolving behavior in which activity design and collaboration intersect. The sessions focused on how education helps innovate, inspire and connect people.
What impressed me most besides the quality of the speakers – I had never attended any convention with such a high level of education! – was the smooth way PCMA organised this enormous event. With a smile they not only flawlessly managed the flow of thousands of participants, but also the numerous simultaneous sessions, grand main stage plenaries and labs. Nearly 1,500 further delegates attended Convening Leaders live on-line, and an additional 180 Asian meetings professionals participated in a delayed rebroadcast of specific content for Asian audiences.
How did they do this? They had a very well-developed new app which was very user-friendly. Even I, a not- so-savvy IT person, managed to use it to its full extend! Big help also came from all the Austin voluntaries of course.
The sessions I enjoyed most were the so-called ‘Main Stage Plenaries’ which featured speakers who shared their insights on topics like collaborative economy and the meaning of trust in the digital age, the third industrial revolution—powering a greener more global economy, making ideas happen and achieving the extraordinary. Then there was “braindates”, an innovative platform that helps you find like-minded people to meet one-on-one and share knowledge in a structured way so you get more tangible results from networking.
Read the rest of Cecile’s report in Boardroom #1 – Launch Issue – out in March.
The World Obesity Federation has accredited the Vancouver Convention Centre as a Healthy Venue.
The federation’s Healthy Venue Award recognises venues worldwide who support their visitors and staff in making healthier choices in terms of nutrition and well-being. One of the key factors that lead to the Healthy Venue recognition was everything from dressings and stocks to bread and pastries being made in house and the kitchens offering healthy menu items that feature reduced fat, sugar and sodium.
The Healthy Venues Award is part of World Obesity’s Action Initiative that aims to stimulate and support practical actions that will help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight and reverse the global obesity crisis. The award focuses on steps that venues can take to support healthy eating and to encourage more activity. The venue worked in partnership with the World Obesity Federation for its international congress, looking holistically at the attendee experience, from healthy snacks in vending machines through to encouraging people to use the stairs rather than lifts.
Chris Trimmer, Executive Director of the World Obesity Federation, says: “The Healthy Venues Award was conceived to help combat the unhealthiness of meetings and conferences and the impact these can have on people’s lives.
“We chose to hold our International Congress on Obesity at the Vancouver Convention Centre because of the efforts they have made in this area. They were able to offer us and our delegates a healthy meeting, with hydration stations, a wonderful healthy menu, standing space at the back of session rooms, not to mention the wonderful location on Vancouver seawall for long lunchtime strolls!”