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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.
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.
Management consultant Peter Drucker posed the question 40+ years ago and it is more important now than ever. What does the customer (or member) value? As association leaders wrestle with budgeting for the next year in an economy that rivals that of the Great Depression, this is the critical question. Association resources - human, capital, physical, everything - must be aligned in response to the answer.
What products and services will members need to weather this storm? Key questions include:
What should the association continue to provide?What should the association double down on?
What should the association stop doing?
What should the association start doing?
[In-person meetings appear to be being pushed farther and farther out on the horizon. Complete information on ASAE’s Impact Research can be found here.]
For the average association without some qualifying circumstance, the proportion of overall revenue generated by meetings and education in associations will likely never return to its pre-COVID state. While I hope this isn't true, I suspect it is, and here's why.
In the years to come, in-person meetings and education will be hindered by several key limitations. In-person meetings will be more expensive to host due to necessary virus precautions. Attendance is likely to decline due to fear of inherent risk, restrictions on business travel, and, paradoxically, undesirable expectations on attendees (face coverings,etc.). I am not suggesting that in-person meetings won't still be an important business line for associations but rather a less prominent one. And, this problem is not solved by just shifting to virtual meetings.
Association virtual meetings and education as a significant business line are also under threat. The first threat is cost - taking content online in a meaningful way requires investments in staff training, software, and technology that associations with diminishing reserves may not be able to make. In the short term, association members have tolerated a somewhat awkward foray into virtual, but their patience will run thin. This will be hastened by contrast with the most significant disruptive threat...
MSAE's Board of Directors recognized two directors who are retiring from the board at its June meeting. Carey Goryl, MSW, CAE, and Mike Moss, CAE, are finishing up notable service on the board.
The board reluctantly accepted a letter of resignation from Carey Goryl, CEO of the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment, and thanked her for remarkable service to MSAE. Goryl's departure comes at the end of year two of a three-year term due to relocation - she and her family are moving back to the east coast so that her husband can pursue new career opportunities.
MSAE is excited to welcome Tobi Lyon, MBA, to our Board of Directors! Take a moment to get to know Tobi and what she brings to our organization.