What’s Out, What’s In For 2013

Here’s our take on a year-end staple. What’s on your list?

It just wouldn’t be the end of the year without a “what’s out, what’s in” list. Here’s how we see it, based on our coverage of the association community in the three months since the launch of AssociationsNow.com.

So here, without further ado, is What’s Out, What’s In: Association Edition.

Member Data

Out: Accumulating data.
In: Business intelligence.

You may have data up the wazoo, but is it doing anything for you? If it’s not helping you connect better with your members or develop strategic knowledge that your members need, then all you’ve got is a bunch of information. In 2013, say the experts, you need to put it to work.

Social Media

Out: Facebook
In: Almost any other social network

Starting with its IPO, Facebook took a few knocks this year, but we learned in a recent Nielsen study on social media trends that it’s still king of the hill. Even so, the challengers are making a major move. Keep an eye on what your members are doing on Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, and Instagram, then decide if it’s time for you to be there too.

Work Environment

Out: Cubicles
In: Collaborative workspaces

Thinking outside the box about office space can pay off handsomely in creativity and collaboration. While flexible workspaces may not yet have widespread buy-in at association HQs, all those Gen Y workers you’re hiring may change that—and soon.



Out: Standalone conferences
In: Co-location

Is there a secret formula for meetings growth? If it’s co-location, its cover is blown. In recent months, associations in a variety of sectors have been discovering the healthy symbiosis of co-location, where two or more organizations gain efficiencies from sharing space and resources while showcasing their events to potential new audiences. Even ASAE is jumping on the bandwagon.

Diversity & Inclusion

Out: D&I is the right thing to do.
In: D&I is good for business.

Now, don’t get us wrong: Being diverse and inclusive is always the right thing to do. But association executives are increasingly recognizing that there’s so much more to it. As we learned from the U.S. Tennis Association’s D.A. Abrams, D&I is also a smart business strategy for building engagement and reaching new markets.


Out: Staff shirts
In: Staff shirts

We just can’t make up our minds on this one. If you love ‘em, you’re glad you don’t have to think too hard about packing for your next conference. If you hate ‘em, you’d really like to stuff them in the nearest shredder.  The staff shirt shows no sign of going the way of free checked luggage, so let the debate rage on.

The Mood

Out: Pessimism
In: Optimism

What fiscal cliff? From meeting planners to restaurants to state government officials, it seems almost everyone has a sunny outlook on 2013. Are we whistling past the graveyard? We’ll find out soon.

What’s on your in-and-out list? Please share in the comments. And from the whole AssociationsNow.com team, Happy New Year!

(Images via Thinkstock)

(Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock)

Julie Shoop

By Julie Shoop

Julie Shoop is the Editor-in-Chief of Associations Now. MORE

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