The European Society of Association Executives (ESAE) started the year in a dynamic way with an interactive workshop discussing the critical factors necessary to deepen member relationships and increase retention.
The first of the two-part workshop was sharing ‘hot off the press’ (as MCI’s Global Vice President Engagement – Associations & Communities Nikki Walker put it) data from the recent Association Engagement Index, organised by MCI.
With 51 associations (both professional and trade) participating, the results of the Index serve as hard data helpful to ignite discussions on member engagement among association board members.
Measuring performance, benefit and preference, associations scored 88 (out of 150), a moderate score allowing room for improvement towards member satisfaction and relationship strength with their association.
Conclusions based on the analysis of the data urge associations to focus on the 3 Cs, that is choice (between online and offline engagement), channels (online networks for community building and knowledge sharing) and customisation (understanding member needs and personalising their journey within their organisation).
The discussions that followed in the second part revolved also around the importance of including young members in all activities and decisions of the association board, as their future depends on those.
The very energetic room filled with association executives shared member participation and engagement shift, challenges and potential solutions with panelists and with each other, concluding (among other things) that consistency in digital activity and customisation to meet member needs are key to satisfaction and retention (with ESAE itself being a bright example of that).
The evening concluded with the annual ESAE New Year’s reception, a time to network and hear about the association’s plans and events around leadership as is the theme for 2023, as well as the new ESAE Awards (where Boardroom will be on the judging committee).