Monday, April 15, 2013

Corporate Relationships & Non Profits

Corporations belong to non profits to gain greater or friendlier access to their customers.  Associations are able to provide captive target audiences to corporations within their industry.  During the hey dey of associations corporations would woo us and we were watching the money coming in.  Today, it's a very different arena.

It used to be you sent out an email and the exhibit contracts came flowing in, simply by virtue of the health of your association's memberships.  With the economic decline, and less people renewing their dues it's become a challenge to continue to deliver value to corporations who provide corporate support.

Here are some things that I have learned this year, while having this as part of my job responsibilities:

  1. History matters -- if you have consistently brought a target audience to a conference or event, you should let your corporations know. 
  2. Innovation matters -- it's not just about having the booth space, but also sponsoring the wi-fi, printer stands, and other things that attendees require while on site. 
  3. Planning matters - not just on your part, but the part of the company.  In order for them to get the most out of your event, they have to have their expectations set. 
  4. Relationships matter - talk to your exhibitors not just during the time of year to ask them for their money, but just to find out how they are doing as humans.  
What are some things that you do to keep your corporations satisfied with your events? 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Wave of the Future

Last month we tackled how we're going to move our organization forward using partnerships at our Board Retreat.  During our time together, board and staff rolled up their sleeves and delighted in their facilitator Mary Beyers.  She is one of the co-authors for the The Race for Relevance where she details the modern day challenges of associations.  She had us brainstorming, drawing pictures, laughing and of course throwing out new ideas.  At nearly two weeks post retreat, we're exploring new projects and initiatives.  It's exciting, and scary all at the same time!

One of the new projects is working to take our existing content and repurpose it for online use.  I have a few questions for my association professionals out there:

  1. What e-learning platform do you use? 
  2. What is the best and worse feature about it? 
  3. If you could do it all over again, what would you do? 
As a former professor, I have started the process looking at simple technology, more advanced technology and the top of the line technology.  When beginning a new project that is not your area of expertise, it poses many challenges!

I look forward to learning more about this aspect of the association world as I am a novice in this arena. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Resolve, Resolute, Resolutions!

As each year turns over, we contemplate what are we going to fix about ourselves.  Don't just make personal resolutions, also make professional ones.  While I haven't contemplated this extensively, here are a few areas that I can improve on.

  1. To continue to put the members of my association first.  The American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy provides a great service to their members, by delivering low cost-continuing medical education that the physician members need.
  2. Be more organized.  My desk right now is a stack of many different piles of paper.  I can always improve this.
  3. Actively listen to members concerns and needs. This is kind of a continuation of number one but I think it's an important distinction.  We are in the process of doing a both a data dig, and a needs assessment survey of our members.  Both of these items will help us uncover what our members want, and need from us today and in the future.
  4. Network with my medical marketing association professionals.  If you're a professional in the medical association space and you have some best practices you can share, I would love to hear from you. 
What do you want to fix professionally? Share your ideas and thoughts here.