2018 AMCI Annual Meeting Event Recap

 

Several members of the Omnipress team made the trek up to Vancouver recently to participate in this year’s AMCI Annual Meeting. The event was packed with interesting sessions on a number of topics, but if you had to condense it all into one word, it would be “sustainability.”

The association world has seen dramatic growth over the past 20 years, and taking steps to sustain that growth into the future was an underlying theme of each presentation. The speakers at the event offered many ideas, but in general, there were three approaches to help associations build on the success of the past two decades:

Approach #1: Creating Excellence Within Your Organization

Several presenters at the conference suggested that organizational success begins by looking within. These speakers focused on making internal improvements to your culture, mission or processes.

Virtual workforces: This organizational structure is becoming increasingly common for both corporations and associations. For associations, there are some clear advantages in creating this type of environment:

  • Allowing employees to work off-site is an effective incentive in the hiring process. Millennials, in particular, are interested in non-traditional work environments, and the ability to work remotely is an enticing benefit.
  • Having a de-centralized staff creates greater flexibility for growth. In a traditional scenario, growing your staff often results in outgrowing your office space. When you have staff that works from home, you can quickly scale up without needing to find larger offices.

“The Givens”: This presentation focused on the culture within an association. “The Givens” refer to those aspects of your mission statement that are so common, they really are a given. Boilerplate values like integrity and honesty don’t need to be part of your mission statement because these qualities are assumed. Instead, your mission statement should include the values that only your organization can provide.

Approach #2: Promoting Your Association to New Members

Marketing continues to be another area that generates interest from association professionals. Using content marketing for promoting the value of membership is still something that many struggle to put into practice. As older members retire and leave the association, online content marketing is an effective way to reach the next generation of young professionals.

AMCs that can provide guidance and best practices for associations to reuse their content can add tremendous value to the organizations they work with.

Approach #3: Improving Member Engagement

For most associations, increasing member growth and engagement are top priorities. Educational sessions that delve into these topics are always crowd favorites, and one presentation combined both of these elements into one interesting hour.

Associations that have a large number of Baby-Boomer members are facing an interesting scenario: As members retire from the workforce, they may not be ready to retire from the association. In fact, retirement may allow these senior members an opportunity to participate in ways that were not possible while they were employed. One solution for these members is for them to serve as mentors to younger members. Mentorships offer a new kind of engagement for members and provides a tangible benefit for younger members that are looking to advance their careers.

In addition to these sessions, the 2018 AMCI Annual Meeting provided many opportunities to talk with peers about how they are working to keep the momentum going. Listening to the ideas presented at the event, it’s clear that the association industry is poised to continue the success of the past 20 years.

Biggest Mistake Associations Will Make in 2013: Postponing Mobile Strategy Development

The adoption rate of smartphones and tablets is not slowing down. In fact, nearly half of American adults own a smartphone, and the number of tablet owners has doubled since summer of 2011, to 18% of American adults
(Pew Research).

Yet, even with the overwhelming evidence that smartphones and tablets are not going away, many associations are still hesitant to implement mobile event apps.

.Why Associations are Putting Off their Mobile Strategies

Some of the greatest challenges we hear associations facing, and why they are hesitant to move forward with mobile event apps for their annual meetings and conferences are as follows:

  • The introduction of wide-ranging technologies. It seems like there is a new technology developing every day, expanding the number of ways you can reach your members at your annual meetings. But how do you determine the best way to reach your unique membership base? Is it through social media websites like LinkedIn and Twitter? Should you develop a mobile event app? Or, maybe you should create an online content library for your members and attendees, which you can also use to attract new members? Moreover, which technology will still be relevant tomorrow?
  • Your membership base is as diverse as it has ever been before (and so is the generational gap). Generations X and Y are tech-savvy, have a short attention span and not only want, but expect information and content when they want it and how they want it. At your annual meeting, they want to be able to access all of your conference content via their smartphones and tablets. And since, undoubtedly, the Internet connectivity is going to be limited at your conference venue, offline access via a mobile app better be available. BUT, if you get rid of your printed conference proceedings and session handouts, you better believe you’re going to receive phone calls from your Baby Boomer members about how they don’t want to download your mobile app to get the annual meeting proceedings; they’d very much prefer them in print. (If only your association budget was endless, right?)

These challenges have left many association professionals at a standstill, sticking to the technologies they know and are comfortable with and ignoring the fact that advancing technologies like mobile are not going away.

Jump Start Your Association’s Mobile Strategy

It is time to stop postponing the inevitable, and start implementing your association’s mobile strategy. Start small by testing out a mobile app for your annual conference. If your members adapt well, you can consider a mobile app for your association later.

Need Help Getting Started?

Check Out Our Latest White Paper

Implementing a Mobile Event App: 7 Steps to Choosing the Right Mobile App For Your Conference
Download Now

Visit Us at One of These Upcoming Events

CEO Mid-Winter Meeting
February 22-27, 2013 | Santa Ana Pueblo, NM
About CEO Mid-Winter

CalSAE Elevate
April 17-19, 2013 | San Francisco, CA
About CalSAE Elevate

ASAE Springtime Expo
May 16, 2013 | Washington, DC
About ASAE Springtime

Contact Us Today

Omnipress has helped associations deliver educational content to their members for over 25 years. We offer print, flash drive, online and mobile solutions. More importantly, we will help you find the right solution for your associations.
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5 Resources to Prepare for the Mobile Technology Takeover

tips for mobile appsAccording to Morgan Stanley Research, by 2014 Mobile Internet usage will surpass desktop Internet usage.

Is your association ready for the mobile takeover?

Don’t worry; there’s still time to prepare.

5 Must Read Resources on Mobile Technology

  1. [Infographic] Mobile Content: Usage and Expectations
    Get the facts on mobile content: What’s happening now and what’s going to happen in the future.
  2. Mobile Technology and Associations – Still Confused?
    Does your association want to embrace mobile technology, but just not sure how? You’re not alone; many associations are still scratching their chins. Here are four things we DO know about mobile technology.
  3. Going Mobile: Websites and Apps
    Did you know more people own a mobile phone than own a toothbrush? Despite the disturbing nature of this fact, we cannot question the importance of making sure the content on your association website or in your digital publishing platform is mobile-friendly.
  4. 5 Reasons to Build a Mobile App
    Need a reason to justify building a mobile app? We’ll give you five.
  5. The Attendee Addiction to Smartphones and Mobile Apps
    Are your annual meeting attendees more focused on their smartphones than your keynote speaker? Learn how to turn this problem into a solution!

Do you know of more helpful mobile resources? Please share in our comments section below!

Pinterest for Associations – Visual Content is Key

With travel budget cuts affecting your meeting attendance, engaging members year round with your association content is more important than ever.

Finding the right way to deliver educational content is critical, and more and more associations are taking advantage of social media sites to reach their members and attract new membership. Chances are if your association is doing this, Pinterest is already on your radar.

Pinterest is a popular virtual pinboard where users can bookmark all the fun and inspiring content they find on the Internet. But just because it’s popular, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for your association.

3 Questions: Is Pinterest Right for Your Association?

  1. Do you have visually appealing content?
    Does your association have fun infographics, engaging eBooks and free on-demand webcasts to share? It may be the perfect time to consider making over the first page of your association eBooks, or the cover page of your white papers. If your content is extremely text heavy, stick to Twitter and LinkedIn. Pinterest is all about creating a visual representation of your association content.
  2. Do you have somewhere to link out to that makes sense?
    Remember… You’re dealing with visual learners, so you don’t want to send them to a page with long paragraphs and little white space. Make sure you’re linking your “pinned” content out to visually appealing websites.
  3. Are your members using Pinterest?
    If your current members aren’t using the new social platform, chances are your target market isn’t either. Make sure the social sites you are choosing to present your association on are the ones where new membership can find you. But remember, just because your members aren’t using Pinterest or other social media sites today, doesn’t mean they won’t be using them in the future. Keep these social sites on your radar.

If you’re still not sure if Pinterest is the right social media platform for you (or maybe you’re a visual learner who needs an infographic rather than a blog article to decide), check out this decision tree by Column Five Media and published by Intuit : Should Your Business Be On Pinterest?

3 Mistakes Associations Make With On-Site Training

Association’s on-site training events play a critical role in building relevancy and increasing membership value and satisfaction. In fact, in our recent survey out of 280 respondents, 97.8% told us their on-site training seminars are valuable/extremely valuable for attendees.

But with dwindling training budgets (60.3%), frequent content changes (57.1%) and inventory management (44.3%) being the top challenges many associations are allocating more of their funds from on-site to online training.

Allocating more of your association’s budget to online training is not a mistake, but there are a few you should avoid in the process…

3 Avoidable Mistakes for On-Site Training

  1. Ditching Printed Training Materials. Even if your association is moving some of your educational training content online, certain materials like training manuals or instructor manuals still hold their value in print. According to our recent survey, printed materials were said to be nearly 90% effective for on-site training. So it may not be time to ditch the plastic coil student workbooks, but it might be time to complement them with online availability.
  2. Lacking Interactivity. One-way lectures are sure to draw your attendees’ attention from learning to daydreaming, texting and checking email. Make your association training fun and engaging. Interactive learning can help participants relax and feel comfortable within the environment which ultimately leads to a more effective trainings seminar.
  3. Archiving Training Content in a LMS. If you’re looking for a place to store last year’s training materials online, your LMS may initially look like a great option, right? Ehhh… If you’re looking to create an ongoing online archive of your dynamic training content, you need to have a robust digital publishing platform (which will also benefit your SEO). Just because your LMS is great for administering eLearning and issuing credits doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a great place to store your content.

Remember: It’s all about optimizing the learning and networking experience for your members.

What are you doing to optimize their experience? Talk to us on Twitter: #omnipress

Learning About The New Body Language With Janine Driver

As Janine Driver, Body Language Expert, made her way from the back of the Grand Ballroom to the front at HSMAI’s MEET Mid-America, she shared with us just how much we say before we even open our mouths to speak.

“This guy’s legs are so far apart under the table it’s like Britney Spears getting out of a limo.”

During her session, “You Say More Than You Think: How to Use the New Body Language to Get What You Want,” Driver explained that before we even speak, we tell our friends, co-workers and current and potential clients exactly how we’re feeling, which sets the tone for the conversation to come.

Sworn to Secrecy: The CIA Oath

Before sharing the secrets of the new body language, Driver made every session attendee stand up, hold up their hand and take the CIA Oath:

“I swear to use the new body language for good, not for evil. I swear to keep the new body language within the walls of this room. And for those MEET participants who choose not to come to this session, but could’ve, screw them.”

Since I took the oath, I can’t share all the secrets I learned, but I’m willing to share a few…

What’s Wrong With The Old Body Language?

Before we get into how Janine Driver defines “new body language,” it’s important to take a look at how we generally view body language and why that’s wrong.

The problem with old body language, Janine explained, can be exhibited in two examples:

  1. “Bill Clinton’s ‘Yes’ Nod”: As Bill Clinton stood before millions of Americans and said he was not having inappropriate relationships, he shook his head “yes.” He said no as he was shaking his head yes.
  2. “Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘No’ Nod”: Martin Luther King stood on top of the Lincoln Memorial shaking his head “no” while he was changing the way we would forever look at the world.

The problem with the old body language is that it tells us A=B when this is not always true.

Janine Driver’s Formula for the New Body Language

Janine Driver tells us to:

  1. Identify the Baseline: The normal behaviors an individual displays
  2. Identify Hot Spots: When an individual deviates from their baseline behaviors and exhibits a change in their normal mannerisms
  3. Ask Powerful Questions: Ask the right questions when someone exudes a hot spot. A great way to turn a bad situation around is by simply stating, “Maybe I’m wrong here, but it seems to me…”

Janine’s formula tells us to stop being mind-readers and to start paying attention to people’s normal behaviors, notice when they exhibit a change and ask a powerful question to turn a bad situation around quickly.

Implementing the New Body Language

Whether you’re trying to establish stronger relationships with your association members or increase attendance at your annual meeting, implementing the new body language can help you. We often focus on saying the right things, but how often we do focus on what we are already saying with our bodies?

How can you implement the new body language to drive sales or establish stronger relationships with your attendees or members?