Monday, August 20, 2007

30 Association Management Tips I Learned at the ASAE2007 Conference (in very random order)

[UPDATE: links noted no longer active]

1. The word "invitation" in an email Subject Line makes more respond (to Calls to Action, other requests)
2. There are many free tools available online - check out this conference handout.

3. Can do free conference calls online for up to 10 people, and low cost for up to 100
4. Use Twitter to send out notices to your members attending national meetings - say where you are or news to their cell phones
5. "Contact a Friend" features on site can be easily misused/overtaken by spammers (but there are tools to fight that)
6. Programming your association name, your name, officer names into sites like Google Alerts and Technorati (click Watchlist) generates emails alerting you if names posted on web for any reason
7. Many ways to improve blogs - this summary of a blogger's conference by NAR's Hilary Marsh.

8. "Google is forever" - once something is posted on the web, it will be found forever
9. 87% of the public research online before buying
10. Set up an advisory board of younger members to review your ideas from their perspective
11. Keeping information in front of passwords, and welcoming negative comments, can
add to credibility
12. Potential "fun" events - Family Feud or Pictionary using industry topics
13. If you make the letter "o" with thumb and index finger of each hand and extend other fingers - it shows the letter b on left hand, and the letter d on the right hand. This reminds where your bread plate is, and where your water is placed at a table setting.
14. Worst practice with calls to action - sending out a negative message to someone already supporting you
15. Brevity is rewarded online, especially calls to action
16. Principles for Gen Y - let them co-create (give up control), Issue a challenge, invite content generation, put their peers in power, let them teach you
17. Ways to sell younger member involvement - will put name on site (will show up in Google), good for their resume/credentials
18. Facebook is a continuation of conversations by individuals who often already know each other - can be applied in associations
19. Need to be "multilingual" - understand texting, blogs, SecondLife, MySpace, Facebook, other social networking - speak in THEIR language
20. Gen Y can have 7 jobs in 10 years - want to do something different, not reflective of happiness in current positions - challenge for employers
21. Handwritten notes still powerful since so unique now
22. "Unconferences" are where discussions evolve without planned agenda; "ungovernance" is where control is given up -- both appear to have effective application to both meetings and decisions
23. Many great tips for communicating with members in this conference handout.

24. Diversity programs/marketing can include gay/lesbian focus - see this handout.
25. Send thank you email to reporters when they write something positive/accurate about your industry
26. Try separating spouses at banquet events - and assign table "hosts" to keep conversation active
27. It's okay to assign an intentional "provocateur" for specific purpose of generating lively discussion, debates and questions
28. Asking meeting attendees to print out their own handouts does work (and saves wasted paper)
29. Put all conference handouts on a zip drive for a low fee ($29 at ASAE)
30. It doesn't matter what the association, or what the event, a free buffet always works. But don't forget the desserts.

Things I learned that ASAE could improve: no more dancing girls in go-go boots at professional social events, put directional signs everywhere in enormous facilities, don't shut down the education too long just to improve trade show attendance, never eliminate the dessert. Great things about ASAE conference: tremendous networking everywhere (on shuttle buses, at tables before meetings start), shorter education sessions on wide variety of current topics, leaving online handouts up long after conference, including all courses on DVD and all handouts on zip drive for low fees, casual really can mean shorts. I also believe we are very fortunate that we don't have the typical membership recruitment and retention experiences of most associations. It's really, really hard for most groups.


GramE Pat said...

Great Blog! Very useful info!
Thanks for sharing your time, energy, experience and ideas... GramEpat

Ben Martin, CAE said...

Nice meeting you, Cindy. Thank you for the link!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Cindy for the great ideas - I look forward to trying them out! Terry

Anonymous said...

Thanks Cindy. You've got some great ideas here that I missed. Can't wait to give thema try. I appreciate your sharing with all of us!