June 11, 2015
Last week, we held our second annual Associations: 2020 and Beyond event in New York City. The one day conference gathered 100 senior association leaders to discuss the trends that impact their organizations. This year’s program focused on the changing nature of networks.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the event, and we’ve shared some photos below.
Breakfast keynote Michael Williams, chief marketing officer for Grand Prix of America, Formula 1 kicked off the event with a speech encouraging attendees to “think differently” about their organization’s brand.
After the keynote, a panel of executives discussed revenue generation. The panelists were Karen Chupka, senior vice president of the International CES and corporate business strategy for the Consumer Electronics Association; Louis Coletti, president and CEO of the Building Trades Employers’ Association; and Mary Roth, executive director for the Risk and Insurance Management Society. The group discussed strategies for generating revenue outside of membership dues, and the importance of adapting to changing times. One of the attendees asked about how the panelists’ organizations have adapted their governance models to respond to external changes. Roth said that RIMS has reduced the size of its Board of Directors in order to be more nimble and effective in decision-making. Chupka noted that CEA had expanded membership categories to be more inclusive, including adding “disruptors,” which are startups and companies that don’t fit into their traditional industry categories.
Attendees then selected one of two breakout sessions to attend:
1. Advocating for Your Industry’s Cause and Understanding
- Panelists Paul Nathanson, founding partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP; Reynaldo Tariche, president of the FBI Agents Association; and Ralph Vasami, group vice president at Kellen held this session.
- Vasami explained to attendees that advocacy isn’t about knee jerk reactions, it is about being prepared, setting your strategy and then investing in relationships on a state and/or federal level. It is those relationships that will be of most value to you when the need arises.
- Nathanson also explained to attendees the differences between state and federal advocacy, and how you cannot expect to use the same lobbyist for both. State-level advocacy is a completely different ball game, and it is critical you have connected people on the ground. You cannot expect to manage a state issue from DC
2. Understanding and Communicating with Your Membership Segments
- This session included panelists Jeremey Donovan, chief marketing officer at American Management Association International; Sarah Angel-Johnson, chief digital cookie executive for Girl Scouts of the USA; Loretta Cranbourne, managing director of membership, marketing and sales at the American Society of Civil Engineers; and Meredith Taylor, account executive and membership specialist at Kellen.
- Most associations have subcategories within their membership, and offer different benefits to each of them. Donovan shared how the AMA has developed its female-focused programming as women seek specialized content for leadership development.
- All of the organizations featured are seeking ways to capture and engage that “next generation” member, and each group offers specialized programs for young members. Cranbourne shared how ASCE manages programs for students, from grade school all the way to college, and seeks to encourage students to become civil engineers, and to become members of ASCE.
- The panel discussed how they communicate to each of their membership categories. Angel-Johnson described how Girl Scouts of the USA has created online platforms for their volunteers to access resources and the digital cookie platform for girls to participate online 24/7.
After the breakouts, Arianna Huffington, editor-in- chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, discussed ‘fearless leadership,’ and shared key insights from her latest book, Thrive. She warned against burnout and encouraged leaders to “digital detox” and to get adequate sleep.
Check out #KellenConference to see highlights on Twitter, and see photos below.
To learn more about the event, visit kellenconference.com.