New Money: Talk It Up

A no-frills weekly chat proves relevance beats bells and whistles.

It’s pretty no-frills, but it works for us and our members.

A no-frills weekly chat proves relevance beats bells and whistles.

If asked to choose, which would you say is a larger nondues revenue producer for an association: its annual meeting or a weekly webinar series?

While statistics and survey results show the former, the latter also happens to be one of the top generators of revenue for the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).

Launched in November 2009, IP Chat Channel is a weekly one-hour webinar series in which experts talk about recent changes or best practices in areas of intellectual property law. It is hosted by Pamela Sherrid, former editor of IP Law & Business magazine and a reporter and writer at Fortune, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report.

“It’s hosted by an expert who knows the questions to ask the panelists that matter most to participants,” says Megan Griggs, IPO Director of Meetings and Events. “But what keeps people coming back time and time again are the relevant topics we feature that matter to the work they’re doing at the moment.”

Recent webinar topics have included the impact of new patent and trademark examiner guidelines, the ins and outs of federal trade-secret law, and antitrust in Asia.

The cost ($135) is the same for members and nonmembers who participate on a one-off basis. In return, participants earn one hour of continuing legal education credit.

IPO also offers a package deal for its member companies and law firms. They can purchase an annual pass that allows an unlimited number of their employees to participate in an unlimited number of webinars.

“Our members who have purchased the pass have saved, in some cases, thousands on continuing-education costs for employees,” says Griggs. “So it helps not only IPO’s bottom line but also theirs.”

While almost everyone listens to the webinars live since participants can ask the experts questions, IPO records them and allows people to purchase three webinars from its catalog for the price of two, which serves as an additional revenue stream.

“It’s pretty no-frills, but it works for us and our members,” she says. “And that’s key. It doesn’t matter how fancy or expensive your professional development opportunities are. What matters is that your members actually use them and get value from them.”

(D Milovanovic/Thinkstock)

Samantha Whitehorne

By Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now. MORE

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