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Changes and Trends in Association Management: Technology

Posted By Murphy Pickett, Thursday, May 19, 2016

Changes and Trends in Association Management: Technology 
By: Mary Le, Intern
There are many changes and trends that affect association management, but none more than technology. Technology is changing how associations engage and communicate with their members in a very real way. Bryan Mowry, an Account Executive at Ewald Consulting, explains how technology is affecting association management.
Most notably, technological advances make it easier to engage with members. These advances impact emails, newsletters, and social media. By triangulating these three marketing channels, it makes it easier for associations to bridge the gap between the plugged-in inner circle of staff and volunteers with the otherwise less-connected member. Critical to this outcome is the creation of a two-way conversation. Technology allows organizations to keep members in the loop about what’s going on and provide input and feedback along the way. 
Technology also enhances the member and meeting attendee experience. “I see people bring tablets and type notes on their laptops or phones in meetings,” mentions Bryan. “Technology makes it both more convenient and more efficient to communicate for both parties: your members and your leadership.” However, some individuals can be uncomfortable with new technology at first. 
“There are some people who are more comfortable with traditional ways of communicating. They miss getting mail, magazines, and newsletters in the mail,” explains Bryan. These same members may feel that by communicating through a screen, there is a loss in personal connection. This is why it is important to add an even greater customized, personal connection when engaging with members electronically. Bryan reminds us that going the extra mile and offering everyone a personal connection goes a long way.  Associations can do this with volunteers and member inquiries by responding with a phone call instead of by email, or thanking volunteers face-to-face at meetings and events.
When you have one group that prefers everything be done electronically through technology and one group that prefers everything directly mailed to them, take measures to accommodate both. For example, have a few paper copies of meeting materials on hand to give those who don’t like to use devices. This can allow everyone to feel more engaged and comfortable in a meeting. 
If you are interested in learning more about engagement, association management and our services, please visit us at www.ewald.com.

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