Hi folks, it’s Ask JP time. I’m JP. Here’s the question, “What has been the biggest change when working with associations from when you started ten years ago to now or change in the association industry?”
Ah, this is a good one and I love this question!
Here’s what’s changed. When I started the business, and when I started in the business almost three decades ago, associations were much more non-profit oriented from a business procedure and a business pace perspective. They were much slower to make decisions, they were more bureaucratic, they were more, “Hey, we’re a little non-profit, we’re not here to generate revenue.”
Associations are beginning to operate more like businesses. Hey, I realize they aren’t, but I think there are a lot of positive components in that. They’re much more market driven, they are much more likely to drop services and benefits that do not resonate with their constituencies, they’re becoming more industry and market focus. And here’s the reason why: they don’t work off the assumption that members are going to continue to come back year after year or that the industry players are going to join your association just because you exist in their industry. That assumption is starting to really go away. First of all, the businesses decided this a number of years ago and, secondly, the associations are really starting to embrace it so that makes for a much more business centric and member centric organization in the association world.
That’s been the biggest change and I absolutely embrace it and salute the associations that are responding to that and quickly.
Hope that’s helpful, thanks for the question!