Once again, it is the holiday season, which also means time for the annual ASAE Technology Conference and Expo 2016. Since this is the season of giving, whether coming as an attendee from an organization or a vendor, this show should be approached in the spirit of the season. The holidays and the impending New Year is an ideal time for personal and professional reflection. As both associations and vendors, we all need to ask ourselves, what can we be doing better and how do we plan to do so?
As an association, the members should always be at the top of your thoughts. It is a great time to evaluate the value proposition you provide to your members. There are different ways of giving to members beyond the traditional form of giving, which usually includes early bird rates, campaign codes, discounts, group pricing, etc.
Prior attending the conference you may wish to consider the following questions by asking how you can enhance your member or constituents’ experience:
- Is your association the primary source of content regarding the profession or industry you’re in and what do you hope to learn and communicate to improve systems or processes?
- Is involvement in your organization providing a place where your members can become ambassadors and present themselves as the faces of your profession?
- Where applicable, is the certification from your organization well respected and does it provide an additional level of credibility to those who have achieved your industry’s credentials?
- Do you make it easy for your members and constituents to communicate with your paid leadership and staff?
- Is your organization a great source of networking and what are you doing to explore new and varied ways for your members to collaborate?
- Is your association a place where your members come to seek day-to-day value?
AMS software vendors in the association space are in a unique position to assist the community in ways previously not envisioned. By partnering with industry experts, your staff can free-up their time to focus on their association’s core missions. For example, I highly doubt one of the core missions of any organization is “to get our renewals out on time.” All associations have a larger purpose, and every offering and benefit provided should have this in mind. As an industry partner, you role is to be cognizant of where and how you can add value so your staff is more fully focused in accomplishing the core missions of your association clients.
From the partner/vendor perspective, prior to the show and going into the New Year, we should consider reflecting on the following questions:
- Are your products and services providing the level of functionality with the level of simplicity which allows your clients to easily offer the essential services to their members?
- Is your roadmap reflective of the desire to assist your clients with their ability to increase their value to constituents? Have you asked or told your client what they need?
- Are you constantly focused on improving the efficiency in which you engage your clients?
- Are you fixated on revenue versus presenting extraordinary outcomes?
- When you are working with new and existing customers, are you fully aware of their short-term and long-term visions? Do you engage with your clients annually or more frequently to determine if there are changes in their business needs and, if so, how you can support this new focus?
As far as making the tech show a valuable experience. Have these questions in mind as you approach the sessions you are going to attend and which vendors you would like to learn more about. Rarely is there an opportunity to network with so many insiders within an intimate space. Take advantage of this rare opportunity. Prior to heading to National Harbor, speak with some of your members and colleagues on what they think you can be doing for them. Align your activity with what you want to be doing better and the additional benefits you are looking to provide.
Let’s make this a great show and have the spirit of giving in our hearts and minds. Most importantly, have a happy and healthy holiday season and year full of kindness and gratitude.
Wondering what sessions to attend while you’re there? We’ve got you covered. Check out our must see sessions.
Can we expect to see you at #Tech16?