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Trends 2018: How Meetings Can Strengthen Organizations

Meetings have power that goes beyond the events themselves, potentially building loyalty and longevity for organizations.

Making sure that association members remain members is critical to these organizations’ survival. Our sister publications group, MeetingsNet, takes a look at how meetings and events can build loyalty and longevity for a wide range of organizations. These are lessons that all planners should heed:

Loyalty. Education. Content. Attendee experience. According to a report in association management company SmithBucklin’s 15th annual Circuit publication, these will be among the key issues affecting associations this year. 

As I read through them, I thought that all but the last two of the “20 for 2018” trends company has gleaned through its work with associations serving a wide cross-section of industries and professions could have some impact on association meetings and events. Here’s how.

1. Inspiring more loyalty among members. According to a recent McKinley Advisors study, “The Health of Associations in the 21st Century,” associations rank in the bottom quarter behind for-profit organizations when it comes to members being likely to recommend the organization to friends or colleagues. While the report doesn’t specifically mention how meetings can help up the loyalty ante, many of its ideas apply to meetings. For example, the suggestion to ask current loyal members to serve as evangelists could entail inviting them to be special social media ambassadors for your meeting, giving them some added perks for tweeting, writing blog posts, and otherwise amping up the FOMO—fear of missing out—factor. Associations also can encourage more loyalty by tracking what members do at an event so it can tailor future event marketing to specific member interests ... MeetingsNet

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