Are You feeding your members regularly?
It’s our human nature to consume information on an ongoing basis, as we have all heard the saying “Knowledge is Power.” Therefore, as humans, if we continue to want to gain knowledge through the consumption of information, I couldn’t help but wonder if Associations are doing their part in contributing to this basic human need. If not, then where do your members go to get their information?
If you are in the meetings industry, you know that for the most part your efforts to educate your members have revolved around the production of an annual meeting. I have firsthand experience with this as I have worked at over 500 annual conferences and have over 30 years experience in capturing the education from these conferences. For the most part, associations have not needed to think beyond their annual meeting to keep their members engaged, but all that is changing.
In the early days, just capturing the education and providing any means of accessing it after the fact was an achievement. As these capturing techniques got better and the formats moved from audio based products, IE: cassettes and audio CD’s, to multimedia formats, such as video, the value of the educational experience became greater and greater. Thus the explosion of YouTube and the educational video market.
I too took a big part in this evolution of products and truly felt in 2000 that once we were able to host these videos online and provide courses that tracked the educational path of the user, we would finally end the great migration to greener fields. But, I too was surprised with the results when we started delivering content through a live online platform. The immediate shift that took place was the results from the surveys of the users. No longer were the survey comments based around the content, but they revolved around the user’s experience. “This was a great online experience” became the usual comment from the end user. Thus began a complete shift in an association’s ability to engage beyond their immediate membership and start to reach out to the world community as a whole, extending the live annual meeting to a 365 opportunity.
Engaging Association Members
Today, these end users are starving for not only the content that you can offer but also for the experience of networking and engaging with others while they consume this content. With the advancements in High speed bandwidth and robust content delivery platforms, your organization can and should be delivering an ongoing stream of content, monthly at least and weekly at best, that will satisfy those professionals looking to consume more and advance their professional careers throughout the entire year. “Session rebroadcasts have been a successful tool for engaging members and the broader international community” says Eileen Kiley of the Material Research Society. Session rebroadcasts have become a very successful way of re-purposing your annual meeting content, providing a simple, yet, effective use of this content all year long. The annual meeting “feed them once a year” mentality is dead and associations need to feed their community in an ongoing basis or risk becoming obsolete to an organization that is willing to do so.Contact us to learn more…