It’s a new year. New predictions. New trends. New goals. New successes.
From memberships to learning to partnerships, software and services provider Abila just released its predictions for associations in 2016.
Of special interest? Learning and partnerships. (Note our new tagline – Learn. Network. Transfer.)
The demand for knowledge will continue to grow this year, specifically the focus on certification programs. In fact, Abila predicts certification revenue will surpass membership revenue in 2016.
“One of the most valuable resources you have is your association’s e-learning content,” Abila wrote in its whitepaper. “For many members, certification has greater perceived value and affords a significant career edge that mere membership can’t provide. This is particularly true for your millennial members who will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2020.”
As further evidence, according to Associations Trends’ TRENDS 2015 Report, about two-thirds of survey respondents receive less than half their revenue from dues.
At the same time, Abila predicts an increase partnerships. As the association industry continues to evolve, community engagement and networking among industry leaders will be key to success, which could include sharing of resources. So, will there be an uptick in swapping of online materials and open source documents? Maybe.
“Your association should look closely at similarly aligned organizations – regionally, nationally and internationally – to forge alliances for greater visibility and awareness,” Abila wrote. “All avenues, channels and opportunities should be explored to connect with potential new members and customers and generate revenue.”
This could mean partnerships between nonprofits and forprofits. Why? Such partnerships could offer new revenue streams and raise an organization’s profile on social media and among professional and personal networks.
So we’ve covered learning and networking. What about transfer?
Let’s say your staff completes a certification program or engages in e-learning. Or it learns how to better network.
How do staff members apply this newfound knowledge?
It’s about rethinking association management systems, Abila says.
As 2016 progresses, associations will increasingly use AMS for strategy – not just tactics. Mining the system for specific member information will allow associations to personalize customer experiences, which could very well include new networking and learning platforms.
“2016 will be a year in which many associations will take a deeper look at membership and the entire membership experience to better understand when and how to engage,” said Amanda Myers, senior product marketing manager for Abila. “Many organizations will also look more closely at revenue channels and partnerships as hybrid membership models continue to emerge, revenue from certification programs grows and associations will form new and different partnerships. The AMS will also re-emerge as a key piece of technology and play a far more strategic role.”
Do you have predictions to share? Think new trends will surface this year? Share your comments below!