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Friday Top 5

It’s the return of the Friday Top 5! I was at the annual digitalNOW conference last week – and seriously, if you’re at all interested in tech in associations (and if you work in associations, no matter what you do, you really should be), you need to figure out a way to get there next year – and these are my top five takeaways:

  1. “Speak the language of who you want to become.” – Adam Braun, Pencils of Promise
  2. Higher Logic, Marketing General, and ASAE teamed up to correlate engagement practices and see what connection there might be between engagement and overall member satisfaction and likelihood of renewing. There was a rumor that a report is coming out, but in the meantime you can check out the slides – LOTS of good data here on member engagement, and some of what they discovered is counter-intuitive, so you should really check it out.
  3. IEEE is coming out with a product other associations can jump on called Contextiv. The idea is that users can hover over highlighted terms either on your association’s website (via a code snippet you add) or on ANY website (via a browser plug in) and see related information from your association. This is bad-ass, and I’m trying really hard to convince one of my current clients to apply to be in the early adopter group. You can, too, by contacting innovation@ieee.org.
  4. The Project Management Institute (PMI) had a genius idea. They were looking to expand into a new universe of people in the project management world. Rather than arduously reaching out to them one at a time, they found an existing community of people that is that audience, and bought it. They’re allowing the other community to retain its unique identity and culture, and also using it as safe place to try experimental things without risking the main association’s brand – like a freemium membership.
  5. We have to be willing to “sacrifice our long-held dysfunction” in the name of real change and real progress. That was said in a panel presentation, so I’m not 100% sure of the attribution, but I think it might have been Chris McEntee, CEO of the American Geophysical Union.

Finally, digitalNOW engaged in a fundraising campaign to benefit Pencils of Promise, an organization that builds schools in lesser-developed countries. You can still donate, and even $10 or $20 would help.

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About Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, M.A., CAE, is CEO and Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting LLC. Elizabeth has over 19 years of experience helping associations grow, in membership, marketing, communications, public presence, and especially revenue, which is what Spark is all about. She speaks and writes frequently on a variety of topics in association management. When she's not helping associations grow, Elizabeth loves to dance, listen to live music, cook, garden, and blog about the Philadelphia Eagles.
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