A couple years ago, I was sitting at my desk when I got a text message from my dentist with an appointment reminder. So naturally, I checked Facebook, which encouraged me to “like” his page. Yep. Even my dentist has climbed aboard the social media bandwagon.
The truth is, I’m a customer, and these days, I text rather than talk and my smart phone works harder than my laptop. I check news on Twitter and connect with friends on Facebook. Good observation for a dentist, right?
But it’s not just my dentist. It’s my doctor, my employer, my grocery store, my gas station.
Times are changing. And this is how customers operate. In a 24/7 plugged-in society, businesses need to embrace change and welcome technology.
Some might say this is extreme. But is it?
This month, I’ll be writing about a couple trends that could help associations remain viable – perhaps even become more profitable – in a constantly changing world. I’ll talk to two experts in innovation, Jeff De Cagna, founder of Principled Innovation LLC, and Sarah Sladek, founder of XYZ University. Both strategists have graciously agreed to share some of their much sought-after advice.
De Cagna’s book, “Associations Unorthodox,” may one day redefine association operations. In the e-book, he lists six radical shifts toward the future. Especially of interest to association professionals: Go all in on digital.
De Cagna argues that face-to-face experiences are becoming obsolete. By offering more digital platforms, associations will better engage and serve their members in the methods they prefer. Gone are the days of 10-page newsletters and here to stay are the days of SMS alerts.
And it seems American Society of Association Executives is listening.
During its annual meeting, which will be held Aug. 3-6 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, ASAE will engage and connect members – even if they can’t attend physically. For example, ASAE Annual Meeting Daily Now will be blogging about the event. And, by the way, if you want to join the blog roll, you can do so.
The Twittersphere will be buzzing with tweets, Instagram photos and hashtags during the event. You can follow along on Twitter using #asae13 and the handle, asaeannual. Also, ASAE is collecting a list of Twitter handles, and is asking people to join the Twitter roll, even if they don’t plan to attend. And, of course, there’s Flickr.
I’ll ask De Cagna what he thinks about all this, so stay tuned.
Next up will be Sladek. Her book, “The End of Membership as We Know It” explores the new challenges and opportunities facing organizations. Membership isn’t dead, she argues, but associations must look toward the future.
This should be an exciting month of blogging! I know there will be counterarguments and hesitations, but fostering conversation is what this blog is all about. So until next week, I hope you’ll spill it here.
What trends are you noticing? Are you embracing social media? Is there anything you’d like me to ask these two great minds of change?