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Webinar Recap: Attracting Young Professionals to Your Association

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on March 27, 2020 at 11:52 AM | 5 minute read

To attract young professionals to your association, you have to understand what matters to them in their early career stages and what really drives them to succeed. Wondering how to get in the mindset of a young professional in today’s world? 

This week, Higher Logic teamed up with Community Brands to host a webinar on just that – strategizing for the next generation. 

Discussion hosts Vivian Swertinski, Higher Logic Sr. Strategist, and Tara Pawlak, Community Brands Director of Marketing, shared top strategies that associations are using to grow their young professional membership, including: 

  • Young member priorities, like job opportunities and professional development
  • Building a network of peers and mentors within your industry
  • Personalizing your communications during recruitment and retention 

Fun fact: Job opportunities are one of the most sought-after benefits associations can offer. As Tara noted in the webinar:

“In times of economic uncertainty, association job boards see an increase in job seeker traffic, as professionals turn to them as a resource to help fortify against risk or find new job opportunities.”

Let’s go over some actionable insights from our experts, based on industry data, that can help you reach professionals earlier in their careers.

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Topics: Communications, Millennials, Member Communities, Associations, Member Retention, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Online Community

MTI's Story: Harnessing Community to Digitally Transform

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on February 24, 2020 at 8:30 AM | 7 minute read

The Metal Treating Institute (MTI) is a nonprofit trade association built to support its members, companies in the heat treating business. It has 370 member companies across 40 U.S. states and Canada. MTI adopted an online community in 2009. This is their digital transformation story.

Wondering how your association can stay relevant, effectively connect with younger members, save staff time, increase revenue, and boost retention? We’ll let MTI tell you. 

Before MTI adopted an online community, it was short on staff, didn’t have an AMS, and its revenue was decreasing. The trade association needed to update its value proposition dramatically to thrive again. That’s where the value of communities came in.

MTI chose community as a tool for digital transformation, and has achieved the following successes with less than 4 full-time staff members: 

  • 50% decrease in transactional requests due to community
  • 2600% revenue growth in 14 years
  • 97% member retention rate

How do they do it? We sat down with Tom Morrison, MTI CEO, and Kristen Speer, MTI Director of Member Experience, to hear their story and learn about how they’ve harnessed the power of online communities to tap into the future of their membership and provide maximum value. 

“We’ve used technology, including our online community, our learning management system, and our benchmarking database to empower our members, help them do more for themselves, connect with them, and expand services without expanding staff. We’ve turned MTI around.” -Tom Morrison, MTI CEO 

As you scroll on to soak up lessons from MTI’s strategy, be sure to watch the videos featured throughout to hear about MTI’s digital transformation directly from Tom and Kristen.

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Topics: Communications, Millennials, Associations, Member Retention, Customer Success, Online Community

10 Association Communications Stats with Tips to Reach Younger Members More Effectively

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on February 4, 2020 at 6:45 AM | 9 minute read

A cheer for 2020: 

📣 What do your members want? [Personalized content customized to their interests!] 

📣 Where do they want it? [Delivered to their inboxes, online community dashboards, and everywhere they consume content.] 

📣 When do they want it? [...Yesterday.]

But don’t fret - today works, too!

The sooner associations wake up to the reality that their multigenerational membership base isn’t going to retain itself with an outdated communications strategy, the sooner they can break through to emerging generations and maximize overall engagement and retention.

Here’s what we know: Recent data shows associations are increasingly struggling to engage young professionals, effectively utilize technology to cut through the clutter, and clearly communicate membership value.

Here’s what else we know: You can reach and retain younger members by exceeding their expectations with a customized member experience that meets them where they are in their careers, and positions you to grow together. You’re on the same team. Cheer for each other.

Let’s explore 10 of the newest industry statistics revealing various association communication challenges, and thus, opportunities for strategic improvement.

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Topics: Communications, Millennials, Associations, Member Retention, Member Engagement, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation, Online Community

Introducing the 2020 Community Movers + Shakers

Written by Elizabeth Bell on January 27, 2020 at 12:48 PM | 13 minute read

Online communities are powerful. Not only are they complex solutions for complex organizational problems, but communities can create real lasting friendships, powerful professional connections, and loyal brand advocates.

Today, we’re recognizing 20 influential people for their work in the online community industry.

Our 2020 Community Movers + Shakers are champions of communities, who see the value in the community movement, and we wanted to highlight, honor, and share the work of their creative and innovative minds with the rest of the industry.

Because online communities can transform any organization, you’ll see a range of industries. Because real change can start at any level of an organization, you’ll see a range of titles.

Without further ado, we’ll introduce the people you’ve been waiting to meet: Our 2020 Community Movers + Shakers.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Member Communities, User Group Communities, Associations, Online Community, Company News

5 Tips for Implementing an LMS to Increase Productivity

Written by Amber Winter on January 23, 2020 at 8:15 AM | 6 minute read

One of the main functions of an association is facilitating the professional development of your members. This could mean providing networking opportunities (maybe through an online member community), posting job openings, and even providing continuing education (CE) programs. Today, we’re going to focus on CE opportunities.

It’s vital for industry professionals to stay up-to-date on their learning, whether that’s renewing certifications or diving into the latest innovations in their industries. However, it’s no secret that perpetual learning is less-than-engaging to some.

It’s vital to provide content that’s truly engaging to increase members’ productivity with continuing education programs. The easiest way to do this is by implementing a Learning Management System (LMS). Check out the following tips for doing so:

  1. Choose the right LMS for your association’s needs.
  2. Promote social and live learning opportunities.
  3. Create timely courses and keep members informed.
  4. Analyze trends surrounding your course offerings.
  5. Integrate your AMS and LMS for heightened abilities.

Continue reading to learn more about incorporating an association learning management system (LMS) to increase the productivity of your members.

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Topics: Associations, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Online Community, Learning Management Systems

Association Growth Strategy: 6 Tech Tools to Drive Member Recruitment + Retention

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on November 12, 2019 at 12:48 PM | 4 minute read

For associations focusing on strategically attracting new members (and keeping them engaged for the long haul), it’s important to package your tech stack for ample growth and retention

Association membership in the modern age is all about providing people with real value on their terms, and strategically leveraging technology is an effective way to attract and retain those members who you’ll transform into your trusty advocates. Give people indisputable reasons to renew.

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Topics: Engagement, Volunteer Management, Associations, Member Retention, User Group Management, Member Engagement, Collaboration Tools, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Learning Management Systems

Association Management Systems (AMS): 5 Software Strategies

Written by Jake Fabbri on October 22, 2019 at 10:00 AM | 7 minute read

Your association provides your members with many different opportunities to develop as professionals and grow in their careers.

But to do this effectively, you need to have a system in place for gathering, organizing, and accessing the member information that provides you with insight into their goals and preferences: an association management system, or an AMS. As you get larger or want to offer more advanced programming, managing your membership through spreadsheets or disconnected databases just won’t cut it.

(Already use an AMS for your association? These tips will help you make the most of your investment.)

Let’s take a look at how your association can use your AMS to engage and provide for your members with these five strategies:

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Topics: Associations, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Integration, Events

3 Add-on Tools to Drive Association Revenue + Amplify Member Engagement

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on October 17, 2019 at 2:07 PM | 7 minute read

Is your association leveraging technology to its fullest potential? You can elevate the success of your online community and marketing automation activities by integrating solutions that fuel long-term engagement, like data collection, mobile apps, and volunteer management programs. 

If you know data exists within your online community and marketing automation activities, but you aren’t leveraging it to inform your ability to provide a targeted, valuable member experience, well - it’s as if Charlie Bucket found a golden ticket then decided he didn’t feel like going to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory that day. 

Magical experiences are earned on the other side of diligent courage and execution. Embrace change. Identify what you need to deliver the member experience you want, and learn how to make the data work for you.

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Topics: Member Communities, Associations, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Integration

6 Must-Have Learning Management System (LMS) Features

Written by Bobby Kaighn on October 3, 2019 at 9:58 AM | 6 minute read

Advanced education (certifications, specialized job training, professional development programs, and competency-based learning) is an area where associations thrive. Not only does this content establish you as a thought leader and invaluable resource in your industry, but it also can be a huge revenue-generator.

You can deliver advanced education for both new and experienced professionals through an easy-to-access, effective Learning Management System, or LMS. But when you’re comparing different LMS software, how do you know which features are essential?

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Topics: Member Communities, Associations, Online Community Software, Member Experience, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Learning Management Systems

EdTA’s Online Community Energizes + Inspires Theatre Educators

Written by Elizabeth Bell on August 13, 2019 at 9:45 AM | 5 minute read

“No man is an island entire of itself; every man

is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”

John Donne

Members flock to the Educational Theatre Association’s (EdTA) public member community, the Theatre Education Community. EdTA uses the community to bring theatre educators and professionals all together, with the ultimate goals of boosting their careers, igniting their passion, and helping them help students pursue theatre.

We caught up with Ginny Butsch, community engagement manager at EdTA, to hear more about how the community connects and empowers members.

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Topics: Engagement, Member Communities, Associations, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Online Community

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