Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Where Did the Summer Go?

I can't believe I haven't posted in 9 days. That's what happens when you are out of the office for a while...and then will be out of the office again. I have a wedding and 2 work trips to Atlanta coming up. 3 straight weekends of travel, plus a few days on either side. And of course, it is time to start thinking about 2008 budgets. This summer seemed to fly by. Different events changed their dates slightly which changed my summer entirely.

We know how a slight change can make everything around it change greatly. We experience the Butterfly Effect all the time. Are you making sure that when you do something or change something, that you are looking at the bigger picture on how it changes things for your members?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Really Back in the Office

Today is my first full day in the office in 2 weeks. Kind of crazy. After getting back from Chicago, we had our leadership forum for about 75 members. That was followed by another member summit. I was very happy to sleep in my own bed on Saturday night. Today I did my voluminous expense reports, and started going through my learning journal from ASAE Annual. Here is a snapshot of some of my ideas:

- Share our association photos that we took at our trade show using Flickr, or something similar
- Repurpose some video we have and create a video members can put on their websites about careers in our industry
- Create an Evangelist toolkit we can give to our evangelical members to help them spread the word
- Do more smaller, regional events to cover more area
- See which members are blogging about our industry

Some seem like no-brainers, but sometimes you just need that shot in the arm. Anyone doing any of these?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back in the Office from ASAE Annual Meeting

I got back from Chicago yesterday around noon, and headed straight back into the office. Lots to catch up on. In fact, as I type this in the office today, I turn around this afternoon and head up a Leadership Conference for some of our members up in Bethesda. I am excited for next week, when I can actually go through all my notes and figure out how I can implement some of the ideas that the sessions sparked. I think I have a manageable amount coming out of Annual Meeting, which is less than the Great Ideas conference, but might be easier to deal with.

Which brings me to this question. Would you rather have a boatload of ideas and only be able to act on a few, or have a few ideas where you can act on all of them?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Great Terms from ASAE

I saw an interesting session today by Douglas Rushkoff. He gave a graduate-level Sociology class in one hour. Great stuff. My favorite part was three different terms. I am sure you can figure out the definitions.

Commodification (or commodified)
Ass-Holic
Complexification

Gotta love it.

BTW - an earlier post of mine was featured in today's Daily Now.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Thanks to Anaheim VCB

I appreciate the dinner they hosted tonight in Chicago. It was wonderful. Smith and Wolensky right on the water. Thanks Anaheim Visitors and Convention Bureau. In the interest of full disclosure, I found out about it through a pesky postcard. However, it came on a day where I didn't get any others, and it came from a source I already had a relationship with. Either way, thanks to Anaheim.

ASAE 2007

We are 2 days into the ASAE Annual Meeting. I had a great Membership Section Council meeting on Saturday. My session: A Membership Idea Swap for Trade Associations was well attended. I think folks got a lot out of it. Saw a wonderful White Sox game Saturday night. Today, I saw a great session by Jackie Huba, who has a couple books and a great blog. I have several pages of ideas to take back to the office.

Isn't that what this is for? I know there are exhibits, but I don't do a lot of meetings where I need to talk to CVBs. I am not in the market for a new AMS. So for me, I just want some ideas and A-HA moments I can apply back at my association. So far, so good.

Friday, August 10, 2007

True Purpose of a Membership Professional

As I am sitting in the San Francisco Airport ready to leave for Chicago, I was thinking. Scary thought, I know. What is the true purpose of a membership person? And you are not allowed to say "all of the above." Choose one. Go out on a limb.

1) Represent the industry
2) Represent the current membership
3) Represent the association

Yes, they cross over. And by represent, I also mean "do what is in the best interest of..."

Pick one to guide your daily decision making process. Who wins?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Holy Postcards Batman!

I was off on Friday to go to Ohio for a wedding. I came back today to check my mailbox to find several dozen postcards. I can't believe how many ASAE exhibitors are sending pre-show postcards. Come visit booth #XXXX to learn about whatever. I am curious. Does anyone have any ROI numbers on these types of things? You have a pretty good handle on your both ROI, but I can't imagine you are getting much bang for your buck out of the postcard trick. Maybe a few people stop by that wouldn't have, but then you still have to sell your product at the booth. Yikes.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Pay vs. Free

I am hoping to get some input and some opinions on this one. When it comes to various courses, seminars, consumer products, etc., there is an assumption that if something has a high price that it is more valuable than something with a lower price. There are numerous examples of people getting slow sales, only to raise prices and get more sales. In the association world, we are expected to provide value in various ways to our dues paying members. Some of that is with free member-only benefits, some with member discounts, and some are other varieties (advocacy, goodwill, etc.)

So how do you decide what is free versus discounted versus full price? Are you willing to take a loss on certain things? What is your criteria?

Do share...