VIDEO: Creating a Pandemic Management Strategy for Your Association

This is a recording of the 45 minute webinar run on Friday 27 March. In the association sector, the wide-spread cancellation of events is having a major impact on the financial sustainability of many associations. We are already experiencing a massive flow across the economy as a myriad of jobs and other opportunities that associations support are being lost. Association staff are having to grapple with cancelling major events (some at very short notice), moving CPD online, and managing member concerns. “Business as usual” isn’t an option. Most of the people I’ve heard from are concerned about balancing helping members with the need to ensure their financial sustainability. Without a doubt, these are challenging times. But now is also an opportunity for associations to fulfill their primary purpose by being a beacon of hope and support for their communities. In this webinar, Belinda discusses the practical steps associations can take to effectively assist their members and secure the sustainability of their association.

Click here to watch the video.

Click here for a PDF copy of the slides.

Webinar: How to Create Your Partnership Recovery Program

Friday 3 April. 1pm-1.45pm QLD time.

COVID-19 has created a perfect storm for associations. Members need more servicing than ever before to assist them through this crisis at a time where traditional funding sources, mainly events and sponsorship, have been decimated. Associations are scrambling to deliver enhanced services to members – remotely – in a financially sustainable way.

Our sponsors are also facing their own challenges. They are seeking to leverage existing partnerships to assist them to achieve their new objectives and assessing new opportunities on their ability to generate a strong measurable return.

For associations willing to be innovative, there are opportunities available. This is not a time to be shy with your sponsors and your sponsorship strategy.

With the removal of face-to-face events, associations are now engaging with members by more measurable channels such as telephone, online, and direct mail. They can now run programs where a direct return on investment can be easily calculated – enabling sponsors to measure the success of their investment, and the association can allocate an appropriate price to these opportunities.

These new channels are often far less costly than face-to-face events which enables the association to generate a greater surplus from partnership activities that can then be reinvested to benefit members.

Now is the time to be developing and implementing your partnership recovery program to ensure you are ideally placed to retain your existing sponsorship and, as appropriate, gain new ones.

In this webinar, Julian Moore, Australasia’s foremost partnerships practitioner, will discuss how other association are successfully adapting their offerings as well as some of the key steps you need to undertake to create your partnership recovery program and ensure strong revenues into the future.

Time will be allowed for questions and discussion.

Click here to register.

Webinar: Creating a Pandemic Management Strategy

Friday 27 March. 1pm – 1.45pm QLD time.

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt by everyone throughout our community. We are all dealing with challenges we could not have imagined just a month ago. The whole toilet paper shortage was funny at first. Then I ran out of paper. It got dramatically less funny with each additional store I visited. It became deadly serious when it was apparent that many of the most vulnerable in our society were not able to access this essential item.

In the association sector, the wide-spread cancellation of events is having a major impact on the financial sustainability of many associations. We are already experiencing a massive flow across the economy as a myriad of jobs and other opportunities that associations support are being lost. Association staff are having to grapple with cancelling major events (some at very short notice), moving CPD online, and managing member concerns.

“Business as usual” isn’t an option. Most of the people I’ve heard from are concerned about balancing helping members with the need to ensure their financial sustainability. Without a doubt, these are challenging times. But now is also an opportunity for associations to fulfill their primary purpose by being a beacon of hope and support for their communities.

In this webinar, Belinda will discuss the practical steps associations can take to effectively assist their members and secure the sustainability of their association.

Time will be allowed for questions and discussion.

Click here to register

Free Pandemic Management Strategy Template for Associations

Business as usual is not an option in 2020. Associations wanting to navigate through this crisis need a clear, simple, and focused strategy that delivers powerful value for members while also securing the sustainability of the association. To assist with this, we’ve developed a free Pandemic Strategy for Associations template for associations to use as a starting point for developing their plan for this crisis. Click here to download your copy.

These are the times associations are made for

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt by everyone throughout our community.

We are all dealing with challenges we could not have imagined just a month ago. The whole toilet paper shortage was funny at first. Then I ran out of paper. It got dramatically less funny with each additional store I visited. It became deadly serious when it was apparent that many of the most vulnerable in our society were not able to access this essential item.

In the association section, the wide-spread cancellation of events is having a major impact on the financial sustainability of many associations. We are already experiencing a massive flow across the economy as a myriad of jobs and other opportunities that associations support are being lost. Association staff are having to grapple with cancelling major events (some at very short notice), moving CPD online, and managing the concerns of members.

Download a free Pandemic Management Strategy Template

Register for the free webinar on Creating A Pandemic Management Strategy

“Business as usual” isn’t an option. Most of the association leaders I’ve heard from are concerned about how to balance helping members with the need to ensure their association’s financial sustainability.

Without a doubt, these are challenging times. But now is also an opportunity for associations to fulfil their primary purpose by being a beacon of hope and support for their communities. Associations are doing this by:  

  • Demonstrating strong leadership – People are scared. Their businesses, livelihoods and loved ones are at risk. Through your daily actions and communications give them the confidence that you are in control of the situation.
  • Being the source of truth – People need up-to-date information on the issues that affect them. Be the source of truth by proactively gathering and validating information – then share it quickly on all possible mediums. Become the hub of information on what’s happening. Sharing the government’s latest health information with added messaging as it pertains to your members is a great start.
  • Facilitate connections between members – Your community don’t just want to be passive recipients of information. Provide a mechanism that enables members to share their stories, ask for help, and offer support. This could be something as simple as a Facebook group specific to the pandemic.
  • Actively manage your cashflow – If you don’t have the reserves to carry you through, now is the time to work on your cashflows. Negotiate with the tax office for a delayed payment on your BAS, remove unnecessary upcoming costs, and organise payment plans for other bills. Take the opportunity to shed costly programs that are no longer relevant to members.
  • Deliver tangible value to members that need it most – Identify the most significant challenges each of your member segments must overcome in the coming months. Develop and deliver solutions for those members who need it most. Potentially, there may be opportunities to generate new revenue streams from developing innovative solutions to contribute to you being able to achieve this sustainably.
  • Plan your sponsorship recovery strategy now – Your sponsors will be experiencing the same negative impact as your association and are currently pulling back. When they return to the market their objectives will be different, and you will need to adapt your offering accordingly. There will be significant opportunities available for those who have tailored solutions to answer these needs ready to go. You should already be planning your sponsorship recovery strategy.

There are some silver linings to this crisis. For us, it’s a re-evaluation of how we deliver our services. Jumping on a plane is not an option right now, so we’ve had to make changes. We’ve supported clients via video, teleconference, and email occasionally in the past. Now, with social distancing an imperative, we’ve moved all our services to these platforms for the time being, and it’s working well so far.

If you’d like to talk to us about sponsorship, partnerships, strategy, revenue generation, or membership for your association (or even just have a chat about things) email belinda@smsonline.net.au and we can arrange a time for a chat.

There are tough times ahead and by working together we will get through this. I hope that you, too, will find your silver lining amongst everything that is happening.

Association Annie: Herding Cats – Purchase Your Copy

Australasia’s first comic strip for Association Executives is now a book! Join Association Annie as she traverses the highs and lows of leading an association. Share the wonders and frustrations of dealing with Boards, staff, members, volunteers, sponsors, and other stakeholders while trying desperately to turn a struggling association into something relevant and sustainable. Order your copy today

The Other Side of Sponsorship

Associations are taking immense strides in the way they are approaching sponsorships and partnerships, often being more strategic, innovative and focused. But what happens when a prospective partner makes the first move? Read on to find some solutions to the hurdles that can arise as corporates approach associations…

The Association Apocalypse Has Arrived

The operating landscape of associations is undergoing a seismic shift. Associations need to act now to ensure they can navigate these shifts to emerge stronger and more relevant than ever before. In my new whitepaper, Association Apocalypse, you can read more about the:

  • Six fundamental shifts occurring in the association operating landscape,
  • Three key models associations will need to re-invent, and
  • Eleven core operational enablers associations must get right along the way.

This whitepaper has been designed to assist association leaders to understand the scale of the change coming and create a platform for productive discussions within their associations about appropriate pathways forward. If you have more questions please feel free to contact us to find out how we can assist.

Recommended Reading for Association Professionals

There are a number of great resources for association professionals wanting to understand more about how to make their organisation more successful. We recently compiled a recommended reading list for association professionals for the Answers for Associations. We are keeping this list up to date so we recommend taking a look if you are wanting a good place to start … read the list.

Creating a Sponsorship Program that Sucks

A Guide to Creating Your Own Half-A**ed, Completely Unsuccessful Partnership Program. 2018 was a very successful year for many associations building and running high value sponsorship programs. There were some awesome associations who managed to achieve some fantastic results. But … there were a few who struggled to get even the basics right. If you would like to be similarly unsuccessful, please try some of the following handy tips … read more.