How Do Associations Need to Adapt in 2017?

In a new report, the tech firm Abila says software integration, consumerization of membership, and education evolution will be focal points for association strategy in the new year.

This year is just getting started, but there are already a lot of reasons to get busy in these early days of 2017. What should associations double down on?

In a new white paper outlining its 2017 predictions for the association sector, the technology firm Abila says associations need to adapt their strategies to new, faster environments and changing member expectations.

“2017 looks to be a pivotal and transitional year for many associations, especially as the scope and utility of education and online learning continue to expand,” Amanda Myers, the company’s director of product management, said in a news release. “Additionally, the Membership of Things really will force many organizations to re-evaluate their member engagement strategies.”

Just a few of the key trends they’re seeing in the coming months:

The importance of the API. With association management systems becoming more advanced, associations will have a growing need for software that integrates into a larger ecosystem, Abila argues. That means it will matter more than ever that your AMS has an application programming interface baked in. “This is a great time to inventory your existing technology, including applications made available via the web, as well as those installed locally on individual machines,” the report states.

“Membership of Things”? Abila is betting that consumerization of the member experience is going to gain steam—a phenomenon they call the “Membership of Things.” “Consumer behavior is changing in dramatic ways, and consumers expect organizations with which they engage to follow suit,” the report states. “The consumerization of the association/member experience will have a tremendous impact on associations of all shapes and sizes as members request more mobile, nimble, personalized, and efficient engagements similar to the experiences they have with Amazon or Netflix.”

Evolution of learning. Associations will need a stronger strategic focus on different elements of the educational experience. “The importance of on-demand, online, and mobile learning options, and the value of professional certifications, will be on the rise,” according to the report. “Educational offerings for not just members, but also the public at large, will be a big revenue driver for associations.”

You can get more details and insights from the report from Myers in this video:

Or download the white paper over this way.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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