In this episode we welcome back David Ewald, CEO of Ewald Consulting, to review association trends of 2023 and discuss what we may see in 2024.
- Hybrid Events are (Still) Here to Stay
Hybrid events, combining in-person and virtual components, have evolved into a significant and lasting trend. The adoption of virtual meetings, particularly during the pandemic, has demonstrated the benefits of extending reach, accessibility, and flexibility. Organizations now see the value of offering hybrid options, providing attendees with the choice to participate in-person or virtually, making events more inclusive and reaching a broader audience.
- The Future of Technology in Associations
The discussion emphasizes the need for associations to stay on top of technological advancements beyond just AI. David anticipates continued evolution of mobile technology in the association space, encouraging organizations to embrace and optimize the mobile experience for members. Additionally, the potential integration of virtual reality in conferences and events is highlighted, posing a question about the future possibility of attending virtual meetings using VR technology. The constant evolution of technology is seen as a significant factor that associations must navigate to stay relevant and effectively serve their members.
- Ongoing Challenges and Strategies for Associations
David underscores the enduring challenges faced by associations, such as budget constraints, changing demographics, and the need to diversify revenue streams. As associations navigate these challenges, the focus is on maintaining financial stability and operational effectiveness. Strategies discussed include meeting members where they are, understanding and adapting to demographic shifts, and finding innovative ways to generate revenue. Associations are encouraged to proactively address these ongoing challenges to ensure their sustainability and continued impact in the years ahead. Organizations also continue to face changes in workplace dynamics as we continue to determine what work will look like post-lockdown. All these things are important for associations to consider as they set goals for and navigate 2024.