Top Questions Asked About the Association Value Trigger Point Concept

Smooth The Path

One of the best ways to engage members early is by ensuring they have contact with your Association’s Value Trigger Point. How do you identify your Association’s Value Trigger Point? Many times staff don’t know if their association has an Association Value Trigger Point (AVTP) or what it might be. In phone conversations, I ask 3-5 year members this question: when did you first realize the value of this association?

Overcoming the association value gap: part I

Principled Innovation

This post originally appeared on the Associations Now Leadership Blog on March 7, 2013. In a recent post , Associations Now blogger Joe Rominiecki shared what both he and I regard as a startling fact: 53 percent of associations surveyed in 2011 had raised their dues in the previous three years. To put it another way, during the most severe economic decline in most of our lifetimes, more than half of associations surveyed still moved forward with a dues increase.

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Overcoming the association value gap: part II

Principled Innovation

This post originally appeared on the Associations Now Leadership Blog on March 28, 2013. In Part I of this series earlier this month, I identified the association value gap as an underlying structural problem within membership-centric business models. Put simply, associations are unable to drive profitability solely by delivering on the membership value proposition and must find alternative ways to monetize membership to maintain their existing business models.

Overcoming the Barriers to Association Innovation

Smooth The Path

Innovation is a difficult strategy for any organization past the startup phase to adopt, and associations are no exception. When association executives talk about innovation, we talk about the possibility and how much more we can help members. But, we also talk about how risky change can be, how difficult it is, and how much time and money innovation efforts can use. We want to innovate, but we may be afraid to get started.

Making Virtual Exhibiting and Sponsorship Worthwhile

Smooth The Path

There is a common thread in the research across many associations, and that is exhibitors are tired of feeling like “the wallet.” In many associations, there is almost an adversarial tone between the association and exhibitors/sponsors.

Too Much is Riding on This Next….

Smooth The Path

Some associations have a single value proposition—just one thing, like an event, that delivers most of the value of the membership. Sure the association may offer a handful of benefits, but when you ask members, they get their value primarily from one source.

Members Might Need a New Way to Solve Problems

Smooth The Path

Related: Soon it will be time for association leaders to envision the future. Effective association to innovative association at light speed. What will you do with your association of the future?

Team 95

Overcoming the Association Value Gap: Part II

Associations Now

Building sustainable business models depends on association leaders adopting a 21st-century sensibility as they imagine and co-create new forms of value in collaboration with their stakeholder networks. In Part I of this series earlier this month , I identified the association value gap as an underlying structural problem within membership-centric business models. The problem for associations is that the member market does not really exist.

When to Make Innovation a Priority for Your Association

Smooth The Path

All of these member focused indicators should tell us when the value of our offerings is not quite valuable enough and when we should make innovation a priority. If not in our data, how do we know when it is time to make innovation a priority in our association? There are other soft-indicators that tell us when: Related posts: How to get an association on the innovation path. Association change doesn’t come without practice.

I am Not a Fan of Most Membership Structure Change Projects

Smooth The Path

The association landscape has been slowly changing for at least the last decade. Associations with individual membership see the opportunity to reach more members with organizational membership. Navigating each association’s two-way trust street.

The First Step to Increase Your Association’s Value

Smooth The Path

Related: Associations need to swing more. The problem with association problems. Before you can change the organization you have to… The post The First Step to Increase Your Association’s Value appeared first on Smooth The Path. Association Value association change association value change management delivering value innovation champion innovation culture key value proposition membership value perception of value

Team 65

Associations that Overreact or Underreact in a Crisis

Smooth The Path

Right now, some associations are overreacting. The trouble is, these leadership teams might cut and layoff so severely there may not be enough person-power to figure out how to add member value in this new environment. Other associations find themselves paralyzed.

Team 101

Why You Might Want to Add an Online Summit to Your Association Innovation List

Smooth The Path

Which means that 70 to 90 percent of our members do not experience one of the top benefits the association has to offer. Instead, let’s talk about how we get a conference-like value to members who never attend. Today’s online summits are finding ways to provide other value too. An online summit just might be the way to get a conference-like value to your members. And Association Success is gearing up for SURGE Spring 2018.

Our Members are Burning Out

Smooth The Path

We can raise up the ideas of our innovators. Your association might be the balm for your members’ burn out. Innovative association leaders borrow and apply ideas. By chance, are you feeling a mite bit burnt out?

Associations of the Future

Smooth The Path

She is brilliant” We struck up a friendship via the phone, during which we often talked about the future of associations. It seemed a shame to keep all these big thoughts to myself, so we decided to collaborate on the Associations of the Future series. Associations of the Future.

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Are You Addressing Member’s Top Worry Today?

Smooth The Path

What more can your association do to help members with these issues right now? Business owners and leaders may want to collaboratively innovate to survive the downturn and meet new market demands. Related: Back to school for associations and members.

How to Exponentially Improve Member Engagement at Any Association

Smooth The Path

At some associations, members do feel this way, and your members can feel like this too. The good news is size is not holding associations back. The only thing preventing our association from becoming the top of mind resource, the organization members are trying to figure out how to become more engaged with, and the one members rave to their colleagues about is… Simply, our understanding of members. My sleep study illustrates the problem with association data.

Our Careers Are a Big Part of Our Identity

Smooth The Path

Navigating these challenging transitions is another way associations can help members. How can associations help? What are associations really selling? . Understand the three professional stages to improve the value. Association Value association value creative problem solving delivering value innovation mindset key value proposition membership value perception of value solving members' problems

Associations Please Help Fix Time-Poverty

Smooth The Path

From university presidents to CFOs, to fundraisers, to engineers, to financial planners, to association professionals, none of us have enough time. Being involved in an association usually takes time. But what if our association could give back time to our members? And this is something many associations already do. Association online communities can save members time because they don’t need to sift through the mess of some public communities.

Who is Solving the Member Engagement Problem?

Smooth The Path

”, an association CEO and big thinker in our industry asked me yesterday. Many indicators point to a member engagement problem for associations. Many associations are facing shrinking annual revenues, low retention ratings and, are having a harder time recruiting volunteers and quality volunteer leaders. I do not know of one person, or organization, or firm, or consultancy out there solving the association engagement problem for our industry.

The Hidden Problems in Membership Marketing That Are Stopping You

Smooth The Path

Related: Storytelling is the new association marketing. Member strategy, marketing and innovation are not… The post The Hidden Problems in Membership Marketing That Are Stopping You appeared first on Smooth The Path. Association Marketing Member Marketing association benefits association story telling association value association value trigger point channel developing a story marketing story member benefits member marketing storytelling

Member Benefits Take a Back Seat to Member Experiences

Smooth The Path

Members also feel valued because they give to the community. Value is necessary, but so is cultivating exceptional member experiences. Related: Behind the mask of the association. Innovative association leaders borrow and apply ideas. What is it like to be a member?

How to Get Members to Do What You Want Them to Do

Smooth The Path

Related: Potential members do not hear about associations anymore. The 40-year-old association problem. Association Value association innovation delivering value member value membership value new product development process perception of value value propositionHave you ever noticed that members often do not do what we think they should do?

Every Professional Feels Very Alone Sometimes

Smooth The Path

Association Innovation Association Value alone belonging leader lonely member experience mentor new member new-to-the-profession sponsorMost professionals in most organizations feel alone some of the time. They are right; they are alone. They are the only person like them. Almost every professional can pinpoint some aspect of their day to day lives at their organization that is unlike anyone else. They are the only CEO. They are the only new hire.

Mismatches Between New Strategies and Problems Happen at Associations

Smooth The Path

An association’s board had been talking about how young professionals were the least engaged of all the member segments. In fact, offering a free first year of membership has unintentionally created more problems for the association and its newest members. These strategies might even be working well for other associations. Before investing time and effort into a new strategy, define your association’s problem.

The 40 Year Old Association Problem

Smooth The Path

Some associations are busy solving the problem their members had 40 years ago. But the innovators in your industry or profession will want to solve the new challenges, and they will work on addressing these new problems with or without the association. Their answers are likely the problems the association should be helping members solve right now. Associations please help fix time poverty.

Developing My Dream Association

Smooth The Path

If I were to build an association, I would pull the most significant insights from all of the research I have conducted. Here is what I would focus on as I created my dream association. One of the core staff values would be to be intensely member-focused. We would use all the member insights we gain to develop our member communications, set our strategy, and create an innovation plan. Another core staff value would be to get insanely good a customer service.

Big is Good, but Small is Better for Associations

Smooth The Path

Huge associations have found that when you serve everyone, you end up helping no one. Recognizing the benefits they provided were too generic, these large associations divided their organization into smaller groups with each group serving a particular member type. Essentially they have many small associations under one roof. Big often means slow, but your association can be nimble. Big associations have silos, but you know and work with everyone.

Who Are the Stephanies in Your Association?

Smooth The Path

Related: Identifying innovating members. The post Who Are the Stephanies in Your Association? Association Value Member Experience association strategy association value first impressions forward thinking member experience member value new members thoughfulAfter spending time with my friend Stephanie I feel like I’m funny, smart and successful. Well, she is an adder not a detractor.

Mini-Course for Association Professionals: The Optimization Trap Many Associations Face

Smooth The Path

Associations tend to lean toward optimizing. Learn how to avoid this trap in the newest mini-course for association professionals: If the embedded YouTube video is not working for you go directly to YouTube. Associations that only optimize are in danger of not being future focused. If you work for an association that is defined by what it provides: articles, research, the conference; the association may be too heavily focused on optimization.

Mind the Member Gap

Smooth The Path

When I talk to relatively new members there is almost always a 3-5 year gap between when the member started in the profession or industry and when they actually became a member of the association. This is why younger members don’t join our association: Awareness – They don’t know about the association. Not for me – They know about the association but they think it is for someone else, usually someone more advanced in their career.

Case Study: In-depth Member Interviews Feed Association’s Strategic Plan

Smooth The Path

What else should the association do to support members during these extremely challenging times? This was the nagging question one association VP had. In preparation for other strategic planning processes the association conducted quantitative member surveys but found the results were not all that actionable because there continued to be so many unanswered questions. If you became the CEO of the association tomorrow what is the first thing you would focus on?

Do Members Feel Like They are Coming Home?

Smooth The Path

Associations can reduce the anxiety caused by networking. Association Value Conference association innovation association strategy conference creative problem solving problem solving risky safeRelated: Making conference networking more inclusive. Setting the tone to help members solve their problems. The post Do Members Feel Like They are Coming Home? appeared first on Smooth The Path.

Most Associations Are not Solving the Problems of Long-Time Members

Smooth The Path

Members long in their career will rarely come to your association asking for help. They do need help, and they will find great value in whoever helps them. Related posts: Is the association providing enough value to long-time members? A big opportunity: associations can help members with emotional support. The post Most Associations Are not Solving the Problems of Long-Time Members appeared first on Smooth The Path.

Your Members Want Your Association to Do the Hard Work of Forecasting Trends

Smooth The Path

This leaves associations in a bind because predicting future trends is tricky. So what role should association’s play? What if we extend this framework to associations? Often, associations report on what the average member is doing or the processes of most members. How about if we find our most innovative members, our most successful members and find out what they are doing? The CEO’s behavior dictates how innovative the association will be.

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Association Blunders Make Us Want to Stick Our Heads in The Sand

Smooth The Path

I could have been a politician, organization, group of people, CEO, or even an association. If you have ever been inside an association during a public blunder you likely saw that it was just thoughtlessness. If your association is out there pushing the boundaries (like it should be) blunders will happen. How to set a new tone at your association. Association trend watch: member experiences. Think about a recent blunder you witnessed someone make.

Teaching Whole Life Skills to Our Members

Smooth The Path

In these conferences a how-to-rapidly-innovate session can live right next to a how-to-perform-radical-self-care session. I don’t know if these exact ideas will work for every association, every member or every conference but, I do think we are starting to point in an interesting direction. Related posts: The 4 skills associations should be teaching. A big opportunity: associations can help members with emotional support.

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Common Trap for Association Professionals

Smooth The Path

” This happens all the time in association leadership because we are coming at everything with a different perspective than our members. “I am upset because I can’t drill down and see the benchmarking data from the 15 companies just like mine, the association should have made this study more robust,” members say. ” “Every year my membership is becoming less of value,” thinks a member. He should be grateful.

Why Long-Time Members Are Reluctant to Leave Your Association

Smooth The Path

They say there’s a lack of value for them. The association is not covering topics they care about or the issues that apply to them at their level. They say the association is getting stale. Or the association is focusing on another segment of membership which does not include them. Or the association is moving too slowly or is filled with old-school thinking, while they want to explore new ideas. They fondly recall the value they once received.

Industry Study Brings a New Way for Association Professionals to Think About Member Engagement

Smooth The Path

It was that members who engaged very early in their membership were more excited about the association than members who reported that “the association just grew on them.” Some associations have far more early engagers than others, and these early engagers tended to engage with the same benefit. Depending on the association it could be a new-to-the-profession academy, a webinar series, the mentor program, a research report, or any other benefit.