Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rambling Thoughts About Association Management


I gave three presentations last week at a Green Industry Conference near Milwaukee. It involved a lot of airline and rental car travel which offered time to ponder.

First, I LOVE giving presentations on generational tendencies and social media! I love engaging with the audiences and watching them have “light bulb” moments about the topics.

I posted all  three presentations -- all topics valid for most association members -- on Slide Share.  Here are the links:
Second, some attendees (think your members) have great content for social media and don’t realize it. 

Some in my audience were landscape contractors who work with homeowners (and companies.) 
  •  After my session – which included talking about the importance of using photos and videos – one person came up and told me he had “tons” of photos from his work. I asked if he had them on his website? “No.” I asked if he had pinned them on Pinterest. Again, “No.” What about posting them to Instagram? “No.” I suggested he should share these photos with customers and potential customers on his website and social media. 
  •  I asked who in the household makes decisions about landscaping. He said, “almost always the wife.” What an opportunity. Showcase photos of your work on your website and Pinterest! That gives others ideas of what you might do for them.
  • This reminds me of a point that Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant make in their new book, When Millennials Take Over ... we all must have a digital mindset!
Third, Reinders – a large, regional distributor – hosts this Green Industry Conference. They had more than 1,100 attend! The conference included a trade show, educational sessions and lunches. If I didn’t know better, it looked like an association event. But, it was not.
  • The attendees paid a registration fee, lodging, travel and time away from business.
  • Thus, this corporate-sponsored event competes with association conferences that the attendees could have attended.
  • Are there similar corporate-sponsored events within your profession or industry that competes for the time and money of your members?
With four hours to wait at the Milwaukee airport, I discovered ...
  • Some airports still fail to provide enough power outlets for travelers who need to charge their gear. Really? It is 2015 not 1995. Get outlets and get wireless! (Same goes with hotels who fail to provide power outlets in ball rooms and meeting space!)
  • The Miller Brewhouse here at MKE has an interesting feature ... beer on tap at your table. I was not drinking so I asked how it works. Well, it’s like pre-paying for gas at a service station: you tell the help staff how much beer you want and they program the tap to provide you with that amount of beer. Interesting.
  • Southwest Airlines and its staff live the “luv” motto. About an hour before our flight departure, the gate agent got on the PA and announced, “You’re the last flight tonight, so let’s have some fun! We’re going to have a paper airplane flying contest. The winner will get a $50 Southwest gift certificate; second place, a $35 gift certificate and third place, a $25 gift certificate.” Well, with 35 or 40 kids on the flight, the contest was a huge event and great success. What a great way to live your corporate culture!

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