5 Steps Associations Need to Take to Remain Relevant to Millennials

Posted by Kevin Iwamoto on 02/18/2016

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I just read a great article on professional associations, and how they may need to consider rebranding in order to remain relevant to their membership.

The current data on association membership reveal something that all associations need to pay attention to: declining membership. Associations provide a value to their membership, and when their relevance diminishes, so do membership numbers.

Couple that with industry consolidation and shrinking supplier memberships – travel and meetings associations have to look for more power suppliers (ahem, big budgets) to make up for the shortfall in key sponsorship dollars. Supplier sponsors logically support associations where the buyers are.

The increasing numbers of millennials in our industry is also becoming a factor in driving association boards to rethink their membership and supplier solicitation campaigns – as well as their overall not-for-profit revenue generation models!

Millennials were brought up in a social media world.  They are very adept in building up their personal and professional networks online – they don’t need a big, annual convention to network. They can easily find digital webinars and other online means of getting information. Millennials virtually educate themselves.

The spirit of altruism and willingness to give up personal time to volunteer for a leadership or board role for the various associations is becoming an obsolete notion. With bigger workloads and responsibilities, no one has the time to volunteer to be in an association’s functional roles.

Moreover, some associations have stagnant boards and a lack of new and fresh ideas – boards and committee chair positions don’t change or rotate. By creating barriers and roadblocks to volunteer leadership roles, an association starts to atrophy. When association leaders stop evolving, members will do one of two things: find another association that fulfills their needs or become apathetic.

If I were an association leader, I’d be reviewing the membership metrics and surveying the impressions of members frequently. As a mentor, I frequently call for a “relevance check” – if you are failing the relevance check by not maintaining value for your members and supplier sponsors, you’ll soon see membership numbers decline.

Here’s five prescriptive recommendations for associations to consider to remain relevant to members:
  1. Perform regular “relevance checks” to ensure you are aligned with your membership needs and goals.
  1. Develop and cultivate next generation leaders by creating future leader programs and mentorship programs
  1. Maintain fresh ideas and relevance to the membership by rotating volunteer leader positions.
  1. Decide whether a large volunteer leadership governance is still feasible, or if you need to have fewer elected positions. Keep in mind: if your association is not for profit, hiring outside headcount is not going to reflect the same commitment to low cost, and if you want experience you’ll have to pay for it.
  1. Pay attention to by-laws. Review them annually to maintain relevance as well as safeguarding the association’s charter and positioning.

The competitive landscape for the association world is brutal. Survivors of this generation shift will be the associations that are well-governed, well-funded and healthy.

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Meetings and Conventions Magazine — 5 Tips to Make Your Event More Environmentally Friendly — May 2016

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Earth Day fell on April 22 this year. As happens every year, people from around the world agreed on that day to turn off lights, reflect on ways to make our planet cleaner and take steps to reduce waste. 
As we in this industry know, bringing together thousands of people can create a great deal of waste and emissions. However, we can make conscious decisions every day, at every event, to make sure we are doing all that we can to make our events environmentally friendly.

Read the original article here.


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Dallas, Texas (April 28, 2016) — Lanyon, a global leader in meetings, events and travel software, today announced that the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has selected the company’s RegOnline® software to power their global events. The agreement reinforces Lanyon’s commitment to provide best-in-class software to the association marketplace.


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PCMA Convene – 5 Tips to Max Out Your Mobile Event App – April 2016

Posted by Lanyon Staff on 04/11/2016

If you’ve attended an event, or even walked around any street recently, it’s a safe bet you saw a lot of folks walking around with their heads down, eyes trained on their smartphones, thumbs busily scrolling up and down their screens.

What’s so awesome about their phones? Most likely, they were engaged with an app. 


...read the original article here.


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