When I talk to associations about having us sell their memberships, sponsorships, ads, or exhibits, it is almost always met with some form of...
This is a big question, folks. A good friend in the association world was speaking with a corporate member who put forth the following scenario – “What if Our company quit all associations for a year – drop our membership with the many trade associations we are currently a member of. I’d like to see what happens.”
Questions considered: “Would our presence and influence in the industry suffer? Would our intelligence and specialized information about the industry wane, and business suffer? Would the associations engage me and try to get me back? What would the association do to encourage our company to re-join after that 1 year?”
This scenario has already begun to play out. My point is not to frighten, but encourage you to consider a plan of action if your members begin to drop memberships for a year. Would you add to your association offerings to improve its value proposition? What programs would be eliminated? How would you engage former members during that year?
The opportunity is to address this scenario before it even happens and proactively address a crisis. Something for us all to think about. We may start to conduct our membership programs differently.
For additional content how to address current association challenges, I encourage you to read Your Business Model Might Require a Second Look.