Professional Associations of the Future

It is essential, in this current economic climate, for associations to explore how they can remain relevant by embracing and exploring innovations in communication technologies and by looking for ways of reducing costs by off-loading many non essential functions, and outsourcing essential ones.

How will associations attract and retain members and develop leadership? Many associations are facing a familiar challenge: the “young” people aren’t as interested in joining, so, the association membership is aging. They recognize the challenge but need help in strategizing — there are no easy answers, but that is what strategy is all about–dealing with the challenging questions.

Instead of producing reams of paper, and periodicals, associations our now turning to innovative online electronic newsletters, and blogs. Board members no longer need to make a long trek to attend a monthly meeting, but can attend via web conference. Even conferences and trade shows are going online, saving associations and their members thousands of dollars in travel and hotel expenses.

We have embarked on a new journey, into a new world of communication and information possibilities, which, if used intelligently, could make professional association membership more relevant and far reaching than ever.
Ariel O’Donnell