The Importance of Planning Your 2021 Retention Program Now – Association Field Report (June 12, 2020)



There’s a phrase that’s going around right now that I know we all don’t really like that much: in these uncertain times.
Let me tell you that there are a few things that I think are quite certain right now.
The first is this: you’re going to need to have a great retention program in place for 2021. You may have avoided a renewal catastrophe because your renewals came in during the first quarter of 2020, before the pandemic hit. However, you should keep in mind that your association members are evaluating what you’ve done for them during this pandemic. They’re evaluating how you provided them resources during the shutdown and how you helped them reopen. At the same time they’re evaluating what 2021 going to look like for them. For the first time, possibly ever, people are going to be making decisions about which association they’re going to be a part of. We know most companies have multiple memberships and they’re going to make some decisions, one way or the other, whether they stay with you or not. If you have a great retention program, one that continues to communicate with them about the value of the membership and how you were there for them during the pandemic and moving forward, you’re in a great position.
The second thing is, I am certain, you’re going to need to amp up your recruitment game. You’ve delivered unprecedented value during this time and you’re going to need to go out and recruit members because a lot of them have smaller budgets. They’re probably not going to seek you out and you’re going to have to go and pull them towards you as a new member. It’s critical for your associations to have professional and consistent sales activity.
Finally, another thing that I feel pretty certain about, is that you need some kind of virtual meeting platform. Whether it’s webinars – or something else – virtual events need to be an ongoing part of your meeting and convention portfolio for the foreseeable future.
Hope you find this report from the field helpful!


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