Meeting face-to-face has been the core and backbone of the association model for decades. Remember the days before the internet? The only way for associations to deliver on their mission of shared knowledge, advancing science, or creating industry standards was to meet physically or distribute the collective and authoritative research via printed journals. But associations have flourished with the freedom and flexibility of the digital era – outreach is limitless, and there are no boundaries or time constraints.
Nevertheless, the 2020 pandemic and economic downturn has eroded associations’ traditional revenue streams. Many associations – particularly small ones – do not have the reserves to sustain the organization. So there’s a simple choice – reinvent the association and thrive or bury your head in the sand and fail. There are boundless opportunities for associations to thrive by embracing intelligent technologies, becoming customer obsessive (this means all those who touch your organization – not just those who choose to engage as a member), adopting an agile governance model, designing new integrated revenue strategies, focusing on core competencies and identifying new efficiencies and speed to market.
It is the perfect time to relook, rethink and renew relevance. If you have put off asking those painful questions or have been ignoring challenges, now is the moment to explore new engagement models, design a targeted and customized experience for your stakeholders, and underpin your operations with intelligent technologies.
Relevance is all about hyper connectivity, customization, collaboration, co-creation, coopetition, community – think of it as never-ending circular engagement. It is not just about transforming your hard-hit face-to-face meetings into a virtual experience, to ride the storm – your entire association operation and value creation needs a rethink to thrive in the new normal.