Takeaways from the 2020 elections and how you can apply those lessons to your association.
Hello and welcome to JP Moery’s Association Hustle Podcast. President of The Moery Company, JP’s mission is to arm today’s associations with insight and strategy to thrive and a progressively complex and competitive business landscape. 21st century associations must move forward with a little bit of hustle and revenue development at their core.
Hey, it’s great to be with you this week. November 11, 2020. A historic week for our country. An election held during a pandemic. There are unbelievable takeaways and things that I’ve learned that I want to pass along to you.
What are the lessons that association can take away from the most recent election?
Do we look at – and utilize – all of the options that we have available to us to engage our members? Are we, as associations and organizations, going to continue to rely on a legacy model to pull across the finish line and expect our members to get value from you? Donald Trump used an Election Day strategy that focused on people showing up to the polls on the day of and voting in person. That strategy has worked for a very long time. However, over the years, that has become a narrow strategy. There are now numerous ways that we can vote here in the United States: absentee, mail-in, and early in person.
There now needs to be a more diversified strategy to get us more votes, engagement, and activity. And, you have to work hard to implement it. It takes new strategies, optimization, and engagement efforts.
Now, I don’t care really who you were pulling for, however, I think what we have learned from that is that it’s not all about advocacy. If you’re just an advocacy organization, that’s a pretty narrow strategy. If your non-dues revenue stream is determined by a singular meeting that brings in a lot of people for one week out of the year – and you’re not diversifying the delivery system – you might lose opportunities when it comes to membership and engagement with your members.
Are you looking at the playbook and the rules of the game and are you doing all the things that you can to connect with your membership and to deliver value?
A recent Marketing General study revealed that 70% of all associations reported increased membership engagement this year. Read that again. An increase in membership engagement during a time when we have to be socially distance and cannot meet in person. That amazes me! Your members need more value from you than ever before. Your industries want more services from you! You have to be able to deliver them in a different way – rather than just in-person, during a certain timeframe of the year, during your three-day event, during your Superbowl, during your election day. That’s what I learned from the election.
The other thing that I’m very excited about this week is that I attended my first in-person meeting since March of this year. It was fantastic. Limited attendance. Well executed by the hotel with masks and social distancing. The social events were held outside and the doors were open for air circulation when possible. Every safety precaution was taken into consideration and implemented.
I was more eager to participate in the content than ever – hear people live – than I have been in a very long time. It was just like my first meeting ever! I was taking notes and very engaged. I will say this, though, the networking felt a bit clumsy, especially with people that I didn’t know well. It’s hard to connect, speak with, and read people when they’ve got a mask on and they’re six feet away. It’s a little stiff and a bit less organic. Most felt more comfortable connecting with the folks that they already knew.
It was a breakthrough for me. It is possible. Meetings can be done safely for some of your membership segments. My guess is we’re going to see smaller, more exclusive groups. My expectation is, hopefully, you’ll get to see those in the next several months. However, it’s going to be different than what we’re used to and it’s likely to be different for some time.
What an incredible democracy we live in. The process does work. This past election wasn’t disorderly. In fact, it was very orderly. It followed the steps that it was supposed to, regardless of how and if people wanted to change things midstream. The system doesn’t work that way. We’ve got a lot of counterbalances. We are not used to handling the volume that came through the system, that’s why it took longer. It still worked.
And, for our associations – especially those that have active government relations programs, now that this is being settled – my guess is that it’s likely going to be an amazing opportunity for all of us. One of the most exciting years full of different strategies and implementations, new Congress, and possible a new presidency. An amazing time and opportunity for your groups. And, we’re going to be with you all the way, giving you insights and thoughts.
Hey, I’ve got a thought for you today. If you would like a complimentary copy of my first ever book, Association Hustle, email me at JP@MoeryCompany.com or head over to this page to enter your information. I’d love to send you a copy. We’ll talk next week. Bye bye.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of JP Moery’s Association Hustle Podcast. We’d love to connect with you. Check out our blog at moerycompany.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. You can also connect with JP on LinkedIn and Twitter at @JPMoery, as well as The Moery’s Company’s Instagram and Facebook page. To purchase a copy of JP’s book, Association Hustle: Top Strategies for Association Growth, go to JPMoery.com.
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