SmithBucklin, one of the largest association management and services company in North America, released in late January its annual publication, Circuit, which includes “20 for 2019,” a series of articles about key trends, issues, and developments that will impact associations in the coming year.
Among the articles is a trio aimed directly at planners of association meetings and events. First is "The Power of Outrageous Fun," which emphasizes that experiences similar to those used in the retail sector are now required to maximize event attendance year after year. Examples come from the National Demolition Association, Financial & Insurance Conference Professionals, and the Research Chefs Association.
The second article, "A Niche Focus," emphasizes the unique ability of associations to match corporate sponsors with the specific types of audiences they desire. Examples of targeted, high-quality messaging opportunities and events come from the Building Service Contractors Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Lastly, the article "One-Size Education Does Not Fit All" stresses the need for variety in learning formats to hold members' interest and maximize their retention of content. Case studies about microlearning (highly focused sessions as brief as nine minutes, online or in person) and deep dives (sessions lasting several hours and using multiple formats to achieve comprehensive proficiencies and goals) come from the Legal Marketing Association and APRA, the association for philanthropic fundraisers.
For all 20 articles covering trends across the full range of associations' activities, read the report here.