Thursday, June 14, 2007

Time for Some Sun

I leave for Anaheim tomorrow for our big trade show. Afterwards, the wife and I are headed to Hawaii for some much needed R&R. Most likely, you won't hear from me until July.

One nugget to get you thinking for the next 2 weeks:

If you were just starting out in an industry, what is the one thing you need to really make your career/business grow? Is your association providing that thing to your members?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Membership Developments Newsletter

The Membership Section Council of ASAE (to which I belong) has a quarterly e-newsletter - Membership Developments. The June issue is out and I was the guest editor. That basically means I had to chase people down for content. I volunteered to write one article linked here. The theme was repurposing, the same as the idea swap I hosted here last week. I tried to time it as well as I can. One week apart isn't bad.

As I get ready to leave for Anaheim this week to meet up with 28,000 of my closest friends in the AV industry, I put my June challenge to you: Find one piece of content you already have that members love and figure out a way to mix it/mash it/change it/deliver it in a new way that will get another segment of your membership to enjoy it.

Another nice piece from Membership Developments was done by my Membership Coordinator, Shana Rieger. It summarizes a list of the top 10 things that Membership professionals would like their executive teams to understand about Membership. Do you have any others to add?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Which Hump is Your Association In?

Seth Godin has a great post today. He talks about 4 models of pricing. In essence, this could be pricing related to any good or service.

  • There is free - you'll move large volume, it will spread fast, but you make no money.
  • There is really low pricing - You won't have money to market heavily or do big campaigns, but you might get some folks who would have never even seen your category.
  • There is reasonable pricing - pretty normal, standard stuff. Everyone expects a certain amount +/- 10%. Slight changes effect numbers slightly.
  • Then there is really high pricing - Think Donald Trump. You pay more for experience or cache of the brand name.
Godin says most firms play with only one option and are scared of even trying the others. Associations should try to play in every bucket to maximize their reach. Varying your offerings and delivery methods will help you extend your mission. But pricing is just as important.

Take a risk. Play in another bucket. What you find might surprise you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Great Brain Dump

Today I hosted the GWASE Membership Idea Swap. Yesterday, I attended the Social Media Unconference. So right now, I am awash in ideas and thoughts regarding all aspects of associations. Normally I have one topic I feel like I should write about, but today there is just too much, but I need to get it all out in one place. So here comes the potpourri of thoughts...

Cool use of blogs, without actually blogging - http://blogs.abiworld.org/

If you are going to start to replace your old guard/boomers, you need to embrace the new, young members and get them involved in championing a new project or technology. And don't fret, it may take a year to get it to catch on.

Can you really, honestly and truthfully answer this question - What value/advantage/knowledge/can't live without thing does someone get from being a member of my association? If you can't, you aren't going to have members for much longer.

There is no one great communication tool to get your message to your members. You have to use them all: phone, email, in person, web, direct mail, blogs, social media, tin can and string...

"If not us, then who? If not now, then when?" If you don't give your members what they need, someone else will and you lose your value. If you wait too long, they'll get it from somewhere else and you lose your value. If you lose your value, you lose your members.

Everyone should make time to go to an Idea Swap or networking event. You'll get at least one good idea or contact that will help you justify the time away from your laptop or blackberry. It will also help to reinvigorate your spirit as to why you do what it is you do.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

LiveBlogging from the Social Media Unconference

I am writing this post primarily because Jamie Notter dared me to do it. Fifteen or so association folks are here at the Marriott Learning Center discussing how they may want to incorporate various bits of social media into their groups. Topics have ranged from wikis, to blogs, to e-learning and more.

It has been interesting to hear what people are doing, what people know, and what people know they don't know. The main thing I have picked up is that you learn through communities, whether formal and in-person or virtual. We have the right people in the room for the discussion, so we are getting out of it what we need.

Does your associaiton's conversations have the right people at the table?

Monday, June 4, 2007

ASAE Idea Swap

To help get great Membership ideas flowing outside the beltway, I volunteered to host the June Idea Swap for ASAE. If you are in NOVA, head on out to Fairfax this Wednesday. The topic is Repurposing Membership Programs (which I write about in the upcoming June Membership Newsletter for ASAE as well).

Details and RSVP instructions can be found here:
http://www.asaecenter.org/ProgramsEvents/EventDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=19229

It is from 12-2 and will be a brown bag lunch affair. Hope to see you there. If not, maybe I will see you tomorrow at the Association Social Media Unconference.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Does Your Association Blog?

One of my tasks today was to setup a blog for our association. This blog will feature 4-5 members as authors and be open for comments. We, as the association, will be there to moderate if need be (delete spam, vulgarity, etc.), but this will be user generated content at its best. Our members have always wanted a way to talk openly about issues, and listservs just didn't seem to cut it. So we are giving it a shot with a neutral, industry topic. The blog/message board/community will be open to the public, but mostly marketed to our members.

If associations aren't doing this for their members, who is? Because I have a feeling that your members want this ability, even if they aren't telling you. And if you, as the association, aren't providing it, then someone else will and your members will be that less inclined to look to you as the source of information.

Joining the Blogoclump

I have been blogging about different things (wine, sports) for a while now. I try to keep up with several of the association blogs and comment when possible as well. After reading friend and fellow blogger Ben Martin's post today, I decided to finally join the conversation. I also have to give credit to Lisa Junker's post about Millenials.

I am a Gen Xer, but towards the younger side. However I would say my profile fits the Xer mold rather than the Millenial mold. Hopefully I can add something to the Blogoclump. If not, then you just aren't trying hard enough.