In McKinley Advisors’ 2023 survey of association executives the following three things were identified as a focus for nearly all Associations:
- Discussions on major changes occurring in the field/ industry
- New innovations to associations programs or service lines
- Financial planning related to economy/ possible recession.
Exploring the first, there is a systematic way for associations to facilitate discussions on major changes occurring in their field or industry. By implementing a structured approach, associations can effectively establish and manage these discussions. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Research and gather information on the latest trends, developments, and changes happening in the field or industry relevant to the association. Utilize industry reports, research papers, news articles, and expert opinions to gather comprehensive information.
- Create a task force or committee comprising members who have expertise and interest in the specific area of focus. This group will be responsible for overseeing and leading the discussion process.
- Define clear objectives and goals for the discussions. What does the association hope to achieve through these conversations? Understanding the purpose will guide the process.
- Decide on the formats for discussions. Depending on the association’s size and resources, these could be virtual roundtable sessions, webinars, online forums, or even in-person conferences.
- Reach out to experts and thought leaders in the field or industry to participate in the discussions. Their insights and perspectives will add value to the conversations.
- Encourage active participation from the association’s membership. Use your online community and invite members to join the discussions.
- Foster an environment where diverse viewpoints are welcomed and respected. Different perspectives can lead to more comprehensive insights.
- Identify the major trends and changes that emerge from the discussions. Determine their potential implications for the association and its members.
- Develop action plans to address the challenges or opportunities presented by the major changes. These plans can include new initiatives, resources, or strategies.
- Keep the association’s membership informed of the progress made in response to the discussions. Provide regular updates on how the association is adapting to the changes in the field or industry.
By following this systematic approach, associations can ensure that their discussions on major industry changes are well-organized, informative, and lead to actionable outcomes that benefit their members and the industry as a whole.