New Association Start-Up: When “Do-It-Yourself” May Not Be the Best Option

When organizations see a need or opportunity for a new industry group or consortium, they sometimes wrestle with the conundrum of how to resource the formation and launch of the organization. For some, the prospect of taking this work on themselves is attractive for several reasons, including the perceived ability to tightly control decisions, realize
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Winning Lessons from the World of Sports

In Boston sports, these are “the good old days.” With the Sox winning championships, the Bruins contending for the Cup and Tom Brady slinging passes, it’s pretty fun to be a sports fan here. In honor of Boston sports, here’s what our four teams can teach associations: From the Red Sox: “Know your role.” When
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The Three “I”s of Successful Tech Associations

As someone who’s worked around technology associations for a long time, I often get asked: “So what are the secret traits of the groups that are the most successful?” Quite honestly, these secrets traits aren’t really so secret. In fact, I like to call them the three “I”s. All of the better-performing organizations I have
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Your Choice: Change or Irrelevance

One of my favorite quotes was when Eric Shinseki, then the Army Chief of Staff, now Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, said “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” I love that. But boy, is it tough for a lot of associations to heed this advice. Many organizations are well on
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Old soldiers never die, they just fade away. So goes the adage.

Well, for many Board members, “fading away” means unceremoniously dropping them off the Board. That’s why former Board members are often a trouble spot for organizations—someone goes from being “in the know” to “out in the cold.” The result: a one time key member—and often still influential one—becomes disenfranchised. But it doesn’t have to be
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Meetings 5.0: Five Ways to Improve Your Events

This week I’m speaking on a panel at the New England Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting. I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the session title is. But I know it has something to do with “innovations in meetings and programs.” And while I’m not entirely sure of the topic, I’ve got some
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Lessons in Association Management: How to Communicate Your Group’s Vision

I recently read a great article in The New York Times about how challenging it will be for Microsoft to find its new CEO, given the diversity of businesses that the company represents. The article ends with a quote from Harvard Business School professor, David Yoffie: “I think the fundamental question for the next CEO
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Simple Truths About Strategic Planning for Your Professional Association

Too many professional associations function without a strategic plan. And whether they know it or not, they suffer major consequences. Without strategic planning, an organization lurches from priority to priority, depending on who has the loudest voice at the Board table; volunteers are frustrated, and critical goals go unmet. If you ask these groups why
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Why Your Professional Association Needs a Strategic Plan…Right Now

What’s an eight-letter word for association management? Strategy. And even though it should be the driving force behind your professional association’s agenda, strategic plans are often lacking in their most basic elements—including the imperative to stay current. Meg Whitman once described the evolution of eBay’s strategic mission in observing that strategy meetings went from being
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CXPA Caselet


Challenge

CXPA, a brand-new member association, needed to go from zero to full member service in under a year while delivering on its mission of connecting professionals and promoting best practices.

Solution

Virtual worked with the new Board to create a financial plan, start marketing the first annual event, provide member service, and create a brand identity and web site.

Result

CXPA has become the premier networking and education source for customer experience, with 2,000 members in the first year and a successful first annual conference.


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