The Associations Forum CEO & Chair Symposium has been on my schedule for years – first as an attendee then as a presenter when I worked with Fitness Australia. In 2016 I was pleased to attend as both sponsor & presenter representing Aptify.
Sharing some of the things I learned and remembered is only fair given the support and feedback I received. So, here goes…
- The mix of Association executives and sponsor/vendors presenting sessions is better now. As an association executive we used to lament how many vendors presented in return for their sponsorship dollars no doubt as a way for Associations Forum to keep their costs down. In 2016 there was a good mix of people, which is great for me now that I am also considered on “the dark side.”
- Enough with the bullet point power point slides! It is pretty obvious to the audience which presenters developed their presentation specifically for the event; and those that cut and paste content. And still, the majority of slide-decks were poorly formatted, hard to read with so many words, and lack of imagery. After seeing Day 1 presentations, I totally reformatted mine for my day 2 presentation on culture.
- I was surprised that many attendees were surprised I was not presenting on technology. Sure, I was there representing Aptify and we offer the most flexible and innovative association management system on the market. However, we take a much broader and deeper view of association success. When you have a true partner they should be able to help you in all facets of your association, not just provide the platform and walk out the door with your cheque.
- Culture is a hot topic. I received some great feedback, plenty of interest in my eBook and some fantastic advice (hat tip Dr Robyn Cox) as a result of my presentation –The Pillars of Culture by Design. Still, I fear, most of our association colleagues will do nothing in the face of overwhelming inertia to change the way we approach managing a 21st Century Association.
- I have a lingering question – are we getting any closer to “Association Management” being a profession? There are many who fall into the roles from other professions or through their own professional affiliations. Where are the graduates of Bachelors of Business in Association & NFP Management in our executive ranks?
With 20+ years in Association management I am stoked to talk to people who see the opportunity to leverage my experience and that of my Aptify team many of whom have extensive association experience. From Culture by Design, change management and the future of engagement there is a lot we can talk about that will contribute to my underlying core purpose – association success.
Let’s talk more here at www.associationsuccess.org