The state of our association industry has been heavy on my mind lately. I truly believe in the next decade – we may not even have that much time – we must become extraordinary organizations. We MUST offer extraordinary programs and services to our members to thrive in a new world.
The world today demands excellence. I don’t go to a movie that doesn’t have 4 or 5 stars. I research it – I read the reviews. Hey, if it’s not at least 4 stars, I’m not showing up. This level of expectation is the environment in which we live. Newsflash: your members and prospects continuously review what your organization has to offer in the same way. If not now, soon.
The bottom line? Mediocre association products and services will not survive, because the companies that support them won’t prosper with mediocrity and will look elsewhere for the exceptional. Associations need to offer the spectacular, the 4 & 5-star products and services. This requires a hard look at the state of your organization and how you can improve programs and services to be of incredible value to your members.
Government Relations: Your GR staffer has just returned to HQ from a hearing on The HIll. Is he or she personally calling your top 5 members who will be affected by the issue with a status update? That would be an exceptional move.
The Sponsorship Prospectus: Do you continue to roll out the same tired coffee break and registration portfolio specialty sponsorships every year? Try to bring something new and different, maybe even extraordinary, to connect your audience with their business objectives.
Your Significant Event – the Annual Conference. Are you featuring for attendees an experience incredibly different this year? Something that makes your meeting a can’t-miss event? Or, are you holding the same old programs with a different picture of the venue and a different date on the marketing materials?
This is where I want to challenge you.
As many of you know, our company sells memberships, sponsorships, exhibits and ads. We can’t work magic if the programs we sell and the value proposition are just average, ordinary, and run-of-the-mill.
If what you offer is exceptional – we’ll knock it out of the park. But if it’s the same old thing with a different shovel, it’s just not going to work.
We strive to be spectacular at our company and excellent at how we approach business. I was listening to our sales team today exchanging ideas on sales language, effective email development, and ways to differentiate ourselves because we strive to be very best at how we sell.
Together, I think we can be excellent if we both strive to do so. Mediocrity will get squeezed out. We can no longer to rely on our legacy. It’s a new day and for future success, associations and their partners MUST strive for excellence at every level of their organization.
If you need advice on moving forward, I invite you to check out my new 1:1 Association Consulting Program.