I was working on a report and realized I was really watching a show about women selecting wedding gowns called "Say Yes to the Dress." It's really incredible how dramatically different something along the exact same theme (white wedding dress) can be to each individual bride.
And I was completely relating to the wedding dress consultants:
1. Listen to the bride. Listen to the members. Guess what? They don't want the same thing. Sure, they want a long white dress. It's always the details.
2. What's your budget? At the end of the day, they will pay for what they really want. Any budget number can magically "work" when there's something that genuinely excites a bride - or an association.
3. What they say they want is often entirely different from what they end up loving (or they know exactly what they want). The wedding dress consultant will say, "please, just try this" or "I think I have what is perfect for you". Don't we do that too? Sometimes it takes showing the members, and asking them to try it on. Not just describing. BUT ... sometimes when they say exactly what they want, they mean it.
And if the dress seems bad to the consultant, but the bride really loves it - hey, here comes the bride. The bride's the one who has to wear it. I get that too.