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  • 8 Feb 2018 10:24 AM | Belinda Moore (Administrator)

    One of my first jobs with an association was back in 1994 where I organised a study tour into China for a group of members seeking to do business in the region.

    When I mentioned this to someone recently it gave me a bit of a shock when I realised that was 24 years ago! Particularly as I still feel 21 on the inside! Things have changed so much (not just in the association sector) since then.

    Below are 4 that immediately spring to mind. Can you think of any? Feel free to add your own via my LinkedIn post.

    1. Faxes aren't cool anymore. In fact, a lot of organisations don't even have a fax number now. I used to love to hear the ring and then garbled beeps as a fax came in. Would it be a membership application? ... an event registration?... nope ... a random advertisement. And don't get me started on how quickly that thermal fax paper faded! RIP faxes. You were awesome while you lasted.

    2. Websites are expected, not special. I remember pitching the idea of a website at an association I worked in and getting a series of responses that included "It's a short term fad", "it's a waste of money as members will never use it", and "if everyone else jumped off a cliff would you?" (no, but if everyone else jumped into a giant pile of money I would). Today, people expect that any company has a website.

    3. Being "kept up-to-date" really means it. In the first association I worked in, we proudly told our members that we kept them up-to-date. What that meant was a magazine every quarter, a wages update letter once a year, and the odd bulk fax to members when there was something really juicy afoot. Today, if the news happened yesterday no one wants to know. The pressure is on to ensure members get the right information in a timely manner ... and in a way that they actually read the info (rather than get it, not read it, and complain that no one told them about it).

    4. Smelling the photocopies. When we used to remove a copy from the ditto copier with its bluish purple print you could smell the aroma of the freshly printed page (an aroma enjoyed by generations of school students and later found to be toxic). I can still remember it clearly. No double sided printing in those day. Today's photocopiers just make life way too easy.

  • 7 Feb 2018 10:53 AM | Belinda Moore (Administrator)

    There are lots of opportunities to improve the performance of membership, sponsorship, and events at your association through attending one of the events we will be presenting this year. The following list includes the highlights but we also recommend checking out the SMS Calendar of Events and the Answers Calendar of Events.  

    Great Association Meetings & Events Symposium

    The Great Association Meetings & Events Symposium will provide you with all the inspiration, tools and practical ideas you need to make your events massively more successful. Attend this event if you are interested in: Generating more delegates to your events, Increasing the profitability of your events, Improving your delegate experience, Reducing your event costs, Maximising your event income, Increasing your sponsorship, Integrating new technologies, and more. This event has been designed to provide insights from the point of planning your overall event strategy through to execution. We have sourced incredible speakers from near and far to ensure you are getting the best insights into the rapidly evolving world of association events. If you are involved at any stage of this process then you will benefit from attending this event ... find out more about Brisbane 17-18 April.

    Let's Get You Sponsored

    This two day event will leave you with everything required to approach corporate sponsors the very next day. In this event, Julian will work with you to write your proposal, he will give you an up-to-date sponsor database of who to approach, and a covering letting to attach to your proposal. This practical, interactive workshop will provide you with the invaluable insights, tools and advice necessary to make 2018 your most successful sponsorship year ever. This event is the best way to start - or reinvigorate - your associations' sponsorship program ... find out more about the Sydney (1-2 May) and Melbourne (8-9 May) sessions.

    How to Develop an Effective Membership Strategy

    In this workshop you will be guided through a step-by-step process to develop a membership strategy that serves the needs of your audience as well as generating a financial return for your association. You will also learn the fundamental concepts and skills necessary to achieve powerful membership growth. This program is a fantastic way to gain a broad understanding of the key faucets of managing a membership program and anyone who is tasked with developing or communicating the value of membership internally or externally will benefit from this workshop.  ... find out more about the Melbourne (20 Jun), Sydney (21 June), Brisbane (25 June), and Wellington (28 June) sessions

    How to Develop a High Value, Sustainable Sponsorship Program

    This one day workshop has been designed to provide you with the skills, structure and inspiration to develop a high value sponsorship (partner) program that will massively increase the income of your association or charity. Julian's interactive presentation will provide a fresh perspective to developing a lucrative sponsorship program that will bring benefits to your members, your association and your partner ... find out more about the Wellington (22 August), Sydney (24 August), Adelaide (28 August), Melbourne (29 August), and Brisbane (31 August) sessions.

    Please note that all SMS events are running through the Answers for Associations from 2018.

  • 7 Feb 2018 10:50 AM | Belinda Moore (Administrator)

    SMS is proud to announce it is a founding partner of Answers for Associations. Answers is network of specialist suppliers to associations dedicated to facilitating the sharing of innovative ideas and practices amongst the Australia and New Zealand association community. Answers has a free hard copy newsletter available to associate executives interested in hearing case studies from local associations about the innovations that have made their associations more successful. If you would like your copy, please click here to subscribe on the Answers website. The first edition of The Association Report is due out in early March.  While you’re on the site, check out their calendar of events and make a note of the ones you'd like to attend.  The first one is the Great Association Meetings & Events Symposium (GAMES) which will provide attendees with practical ideas that will make your events massively more successful. 

  • 7 Feb 2018 10:49 AM | Belinda Moore (Administrator)

    In April 2015 SMS completed a 30-month project to successfully turnaround the Australasian Society of Association Executives. Over that time, Belinda took the organisation from just over 100 members to 876 financial members and built a community of over 10,000 subscribers. When Belinda started at AuSAE their turnover was just over $40,000 per annum, and there was no staff support. When Belinda left the association in April 2015, it was on track for a turnover of around 1 million dollars and had 6 full time staff working in the organisation. In the following article Belinda Moore, Director of SMS, shares the step by step process they apply when undertaking an emergency turnaround ... read the whitepaper.

  • 7 Feb 2018 10:48 AM | Belinda Moore (Administrator)

    Potential sponsors don't sit at their desks all day waiting for your proposal to arrive on their desk. For many, sponsorship is one part of a larger role which keeps them very busy. This means your proposal isn’t just competing with other sponsorship proposals (of which there will be many) but also with many other distractions for a share of their attention. Having a well-crafted, compelling partnership document is a critical first step in getting the attention of a potential partner... click here to read the whitepaper.

  • 7 Feb 2018 10:42 AM | Belinda Moore (Administrator)

    There are a number of great resources for association professionals wanting to understand more about how to make their organisation more successful. We recently compiled a recommended reading list for association professionals for the Answers for Associations. We are keeping this list up to date so we recommend taking a look if you are wanting a good place to start ... read the list.

  • 7 Feb 2018 10:41 AM | Belinda Moore (Administrator)

    A number of powerful generational, cultural and economic forces are colliding to create a perfect storm that will make the next 5-20 years some of the toughest ever faced by associations. Associations who don’t adapt face a slow decline into obscurity as they are replaced by newer, more innovative, less bureaucratically challenged, less change resistant competitors. While the idea of membership will continue, the antiquated models of recruiting, retaining and engaging members cannot survive in an increasingly challenging and ever-changing operating environment ... read the full whitepaper.

  • 7 Feb 2018 10:41 AM | Belinda Moore (Administrator)

    When I started at AMAQ in 2013 our new members were being sourced through events and various non-member campaigns.  It is quite difficult to answer specifically where they were coming from as no detailed records tracking new member sources were kept at the time. I had used the Member get Member concept in my previous roles and it had been very successful, so I brought it into my new role ... read the full article.

  • 7 Feb 2018 10:40 AM | Belinda Moore (Administrator)

    The most successful membership organisations are those who clearly demonstrate their passion for their cause, industry, profession, and/or trade in both word and action. They are committed to their purpose and work hard to provide tangible benefits and positive outcomes to the members they serve. One of those organisations is the Electrical Trades Union Victoria’s who have a highly successful member engagement strategy ... read the full article.

  • 7 Feb 2018 10:39 AM | Belinda Moore (Administrator)

    In a world where disruption is creating havoc at every turn, wouldn’t it be great to have some quick and easy ways to raise revenue for your association? Sure, it would! So, here’s a few ideas (and we have a lot!) to get you started ... read the full article.

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