Keeping Current with Technology: How Your Association Can Benefit
It’s no secret that technology plays an integral role in the success of any organization, and professional associations are no exception. As technology continues to evolve and the pace of change accelerates, the need to stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends is more important than ever.
That’s why today, we’re going to explore the importance of staying current when running professional associations; we’ll also be providing tips on finding the right technology solutions for your organization.
Let’s get started!
The Benefits of Staying Current with Technology
When done strategically, adopting the latest technology can bring a host of benefits to any professional association.
Some of the key advantages of staying up-to-date can include:
Technology has made it easier than ever to stay connected with your members. Keep them informed of association news, upcoming events, important updates, and more with the many opportunities the internet offers. Leveraging social media and email campaigns may be a given, but it’s also good to consider tools that work especially well with associations.
Think of your organization as a living, evolving community.
Offer members a way to communicate between themselves, such as with online forums and message boards, where they can discuss any number of industry topics in a simple, easy-to-understand format. This will allow members to share ideas and engage with each other in meaningful ways–giving members more value for their membership in the process!
Increased Member Engagement
Technology can be used to create interactive, engaging experiences for members. Through virtual meetings and events, associations can create an atmosphere of community engagement and connection.
An easy way for associations to boost member engagement (and excitement!) is to host live webinars.
Your organization can try holding short (but frequent), informative live discussions for members. You could invite industry experts to speak on their careers, or host “Ask Me Anything” sessions that allow the audience to have their questions answered–something that could be especially useful for those just starting out in their field!
As an added bonus, you can even record these events and turn them into helpful, on-demand continuing education!
Technology can help streamline and automate daily tasks, resulting in time and cost savings for your association. By investing in the right technology solutions, you can reduce resource expenditure and gain the ability to do more with less.
First, you want to look into what’s out there. A learning management system (LMS) can automate tedious administrative tasks and make the process of managing continuing education, issuing certificates, tracking member progress, and collecting analytics a breeze! You can also look into post scheduling apps like Hootsuite or calendar managers like Calendly to give your association staff a helpful boost.
By automating repetitive tasks, your staff will have more time to focus on what really matters: creating value for your members!
Tips for Staying Informed
The key to staying informed is to be proactive and flexible. Here are some tips to help you keep up-to-date with the latest technology trends:
Read Case Studies
Itching to find out more about how current technology can help your association?
You’re in luck!
There are many inspiring examples of associations that have successfully implemented new technology to improve their operations and engage their members.
A particularly good resource is the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). They offer a number of case studies where they share how other associations use technology for success. Browse their archives and you’ll be sure to find some additional tips and tricks on staying current!
Subscribe to Technology News Outlets and Blogs
Following industry news and trends is a great way to stay informed. You can subscribe to newsletters and blogs to stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends. We particularly like Associations Now–they have plenty of useful posts!
(And, of course, you can always check out Vocalmeet’s own Knowledge Hub to catch up on any articles from us you may have missed!)
Attend Industry Events
Industry events are great for networking and learning about the latest technologies. They can also help you form relationships with other professionals in the field who can give you valuable insight and strategies for helping maxmimize your association’s value.
Attend Demos from Technology Providers
Technology providers often host demo events to showcase their products and services. By attending these events, you’ll be able to better understand how technology can be used to improve your association. The more demos you take part in, the more you’ll know!
The Drawbacks of Not Staying Current with Technology
We’ve looked at why keeping up with technology is essential for any professional association, but what we haven’t yet covered is why lagging behind could cause additional issues that may hinder the success of your organization.
Not staying current with technology could potentially result in:
Loss of Membership
Members expect their association to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies; they come to you for expertise in all relevant areas, and that includes the technology you use! No one wants to use a platform that looks like it came straight out of the late 90s, so make sure you’ve got a sleek, intuitive interface that keeps members coming back for more.
Remember: if your association fails to keep up with the competition, members may decide to look elsewhere!
Decrease in Engagement
Your association needs to be able to engage members in meaningful ways. From your association’s social media to its online learning communities and more, you want to be able to interact with members on a number of levels. Don’t pass up the opportunity for creating additional member touch points–you could be losing out on easy engagement!
If you aren’t keeping up-to-date with your technology, your association may be stuck using outdated processes and systems. This can lead to decreased efficiency and higher costs. Remember: automation saves time and money, so by ignoring it in favour of manual labour, you’re taking valuable hours away from your staff–and value away from your members!
Additionally, if your current systems are hard to navigate, members wont engage with your association on the level you expect. You want your platform to be seamless and simple, so look into integrating your technology with SaaS (software as a service)–you may be able to make your site even more straightforward for users!
The Importance of Being Flexible
As technology continues to evolve, it’s important to be flexible and willing to adapt. While it can be daunting to adopt new technology, it’s often necessary to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced technological landscape.
Take a deep breath, ground yourself, and remember to have courage. By keeping an open mind, you’ll be able to consider new ideas and innovations while keeping the anxiety of change at bay. Evaluate the latest technologies your industry has to offer one at a time, and you’ll soon become an expert at determining which ones are the best fit for your organization.
You may also like: Taking the Fear Out of Updating Your Association’s Technology
It’s likely clear now how staying current with technology is essential for any professional association. It can be used to improve communication, increase member engagement, and streamline operations, while also helping you avoid the pitfalls of a flagging member base, waning engagement, and outdated process. Additionally, by staying proactive and flexible, you’ll be able to stay in-the-know about the various technology solutions the world has to offer–as well as which ones you want to look into for your own association!
If you’re looking to talk about technology solutions for your association with an expert, consider contacting a knowledgeable vendor today. With the right technology, your association will be better equipped to stay competitive and successful in today’s fast-moving landscape–no matter how much it changes!