Daily Buzz: How Trend Analysis Can Benefit Associations

Your organization might not engage with every viral trend, but you should pay attention to what fads show about human behavior. Also: how boards can help new leaders.

When trends come and go quickly, it can be easy to dismiss them as a passing fancy. But whether you engage with them or not, it pays to study them, says Colleen Dilenschneider on Know Your Own Bone.

“Trends can allow your organization to peer into the minds of current and potential audiences, making your organization aware of challenges and opportunities,” she says. “Think of it this way: It’s helpful to know if there’s a tornado warning in the area, even if you aren’t sure if it’s rolling down your specific street. Just knowing with confidence that there’s a tornado in your midst can help you decide how to prepare and respond.”

Trends can help associations learn about the perceptions, behaviors, and motivators for engagement that current and potential members hold—all of which can unlock key insight and strategies that will push organizations into the future.

“A primary benefit of data isn’t that it allows us to look backwards and congratulate ourselves on past decisions (although it’s nice when it does), but that it removes guesswork and informs our direction moving forward,” Dilenschneider says. “Instead of declaring that trends do not apply to or impact them, we encourage leaders to ask, ‘To what extent do these realities apply to us, what do we need to know about our own institution given this critical information, and what is the best way forward?’”

The Board-New Leadership Connection

The search for a new leader can leave boards feeling exhausted, but that new leader will need support as he or she takes the reins. This is not the time for the board to disengage, writes Jim Rendon in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

To ensure an effective leadership transition, consider creating a board committee separate from the search committee to work directly with the new leader. “That committee can help anticipate priorities in the first 90 days—key meetings, fundraising events, legislative deadlines, or other important issues,” Rendon says.

Because that committee wasn’t involved in the search, it’s likely that its members will feel less drained and more ready to orient a new leader in his or her role.

Other Links of Note

Need event inspiration? Take a cue from your favorite TV shows and movies, from BizBash.

Embarking on a chatbot strategy? The Buffer blog offers a beginner’s guide.

Speaking of artificial intelligence, should planners create more AI-friendly events? Meetings Today considers that question.

(Maxger/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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