How would you define a best-in-class industry association?
Whether you have been involved in an industry association or only thought about joining (association any industry) - what in your opinion/judgment would you say are the hallmarks of a superior industry association? Asked another way, define the perfect industry association.
Interesting question, particularly when I'm in the midst of working on a feature article for the trade magazine I edit, which is exploring this very topic (sort of) in our May/June issue. I've interviewed a couple of association presidents over the past couple of days. I asked them this question a slightly different way. Here's the basic perspective I got: in a nutshell, it's an association that understands its members' needs and wants; an association that adds value for its members (whether that's offering professional development programs, or lobbying for their members' interests, etc.); and an association that proactively communicates its initiatives and efforts, to the membership.
happy greets and regards,
To my experience people call you best in class and no matter what industry it is but when we do clients job or our product with quality, price promising, time delivering, work managing, upgrading work to upcoming market trend or crisis, Zero Defective, Complain process with proper solution and taking best reviews on clients or customer point of view for your product or work.
More important 91% of world rate it on your product or work not company or industry size or number of employee.
I agree with Ray that it's critical to ensure the association runs itself, communications and any meeting professionally or it'll annoy and lose members who do not have time to spare for non-value added activities. As your potential sponsor notes, John, he doesn't want people sitting around in a room being ineffective. This means the association needs to pick and guide good volunteer leaders to follow agendas, achieve action steps and get results.
Also, best practice deliverables depend on the needs of members and scale of the organization. I've been involved in an airline and a retail association during my career. The former had a small membership base. The latter had a significant membership base. From my observation of these well run, value-add organizations, the critical value-adds had to be 1) the member contact list; 2) an annual short but effective face to face networking opportunity where members provided their recent actions and concerns; 3) collaborative work around developing written position papers on industry impacting legislation, taxes, and regulations; and 4) as needed, conference calls to address common legislative changes--particularly proactive comments that can provide input that may mitigate some of the more unwieldy impacts of law changes.
I was one of the main founders of the industry association for my current industry and spent 15 years as an officer or board member of the association for my previous industry. One of the most important things is that there is enough benefit to make the cost an investment not a cost. If you can find a way help the members be more profitable that is a good thing. Otherwise you need to offer enough benefits such as education, certification, discounts, promotion, perks such as insurance.
What else makes a perfect association. Being professionally run. Calls answered, things that are requested sent promptly, regular communication.