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If you joined us for our Annual Meeting on August 4, you know that we had some very exciting changes to announce. Perhaps the most important piece of business was the passing of the gavel from last year’s Chairman, Cynthia Maher, CAE, to Jared Burkhart, CAE.
After Cindy’s steady hand during a global pandemic, and the resulting disruptions, Jared’s leadership during this “new normal” and into a post-COVID world will be crucial to our organization’s future.
To be sure - we’re in good hands. Jared has a strong track record of leadership, collaboration, and innovative thinking that will help MSAE emerge from the COVID crisis stronger, more sustainable, and better suited to serving what’s most important - our diverse membership.
Jared shares that perspective and is enthusiastic about the future of Michigan associations.
“I believe MSAE is perfectly situated to advance the profession of association management in Michigan. Everything is changing at an accelerated pace and will be for many months to come. I am excited to help Michigan associations make the rapid changes that help their members do what they do best. There will certainly be many pain points for associations in the near future. MSAE can help our community make those changes in an educated fashion and we can be a stronger association community because of it.”
Burkhart has an excellent history from which to draw the leadership qualities he’ll need to lead our Board and our staff. After serving in the Michigan House of Representatives on the staffs of several lawmakers, Jared spent over five years as the Executive Director at the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers. He then moved to his current role as Executive Director at the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition to his CAE designation, Jared also has an MBA from The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University.
Chairman Burkhart has considerable experience on MSAE’s Board. He’s served on the Board of Directors for four years, which was a period of many changes in the association’s staff, bylaws, and initiatives. This first-hand insight will be key in continuing to make MSAE more member-focused in the years ahead.
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COVID-19 has completely changed how members view meetings and events. For as long as there are still new cases across the country, potential conference attendees are going to hesitate to join a few hundred (or thousand) of their peers in a singular location and sit in big rooms with other people. While we’re certainly headed in the right direction in many locations (particularly Michigan!), we’re not anywhere close to being out of the woods.
Over the last few months, we’ve all likely spent a considerable amount of time on Zoom calls. If you’re at all like me, you’ve quickly realized that virtual meetings and events quickly separate attendees who know how to be engaging and prepared participants from those who, well, very much aren’t.
As events and meetings have gone virtual, event sponsors have had to change their approach to getting the most out of their sponsorship dollars. Adapting to virtual events has been a boon for sponsors who have brought innovative ideas to the new platform, proving that just because we can’t be face-to-face, doesn’t mean sponsors can’t see excellent ROI on their investments.
As is the case with in-person events, sponsors who lean into the event with energy and innovation will have far more success than those who remain flat-footed. Besides, it’s more fun to be part of the action, so why sit on the sidelines and hope for the best?
Here are five ideas to differentiate your business, fill your sales funnel, and get more out of your investment in virtual event sponsorships!
Event Promotion on Social Media
If you’re sponsoring a virtual event, let the world know about it! Write a blog post about the event and its importance to the industry and share it on social media. Create event-specific profile pictures for your social accounts in the weeks leading up to the event to let your audience know you’re sponsoring and attending. Your event promoters will love the help spreading the word about the event and will happily share your content with their own social media audience. It’s a win-win for sponsors and promoters alike.
Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem fair. As an organization, you spent some big money on a new website to make your association (or company) shine online. But, it’s been a few years now. That shine has begun to wane, as design trends have inevitably changed. The site doesn’t load like it used to, and organic search, once your domain’s strong suit, has become anemic for even the most apt search terms.
So, are you sunk? Probably not. We’ve found two excellent tools to help you gauge where your website’s weaknesses are and how to address them. Best of all? These tools are 100% free.
On August 4, we had one of the most well-attended Annual Meetings in recent MSAE history via Zoom. The reasons for high attendance were many; we welcomed a new Chairman, new Board members, made changes to our by-laws, and had a nationally-recognized thought leader on organizational culture provide us with a keynote.
When it comes to membership marketing, it’s easy to assume you know the one value proposition that resonates with your membership the most. But as many marketers have discovered, the only way to confirm a value proposition’s effectiveness is to compare it with another.
We recently had a conversation with Marketing General’s Tony Rossel, who discussed this very topic. Tony called it the 80-10-10 method, and it made such an impact with our group, we thought we’d share the method with everyone.