Sector and AuSAE News

  • 12 Oct 2023 2:28 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) is thrilled to announce that applications are now open for the 2023 Emerging Leaders Scholarships, an opportunity for aspiring association professionals to advance their careers and contribute to the future of the industry.



    In partnership with the Adelaide Convention Centre, AuSAE is committed to nurturing the next generation of association leaders. The Emerging Leaders Scholarship program provides fantastic education opportunities for association professionals to enhance their leadership skills, expand their knowledge, and engage in collaborative learning alongside peers from diverse backgrounds and industries.

    The program brings together a dynamic group of emerging association executives to explore contemporary topics and challenges shaping the association sector today and, in the years, to come.

    AuSAE's CEO, Toni Brearley, says, "We are proudly investing in a new generation of future association leaders to challenge, explore, and set new benchmarks in innovation and association management.”

    “Our program is designed to encourage education and professional growth among emerging association executives, contributing to a strong and robust association sector for the future."

    Martin Radcliffe, General Manager, Adelaide Convention Centre adds, “Adelaide Convention Centre is proud to continue our partnership with AuSAE on this important initiative. As our past support has demonstrated, we’re committed to advancing professional development within the association sector, and proud to support and empower the next generation of association industry leaders.

    The Association sector is a major contributor to the business events industry. Association conferences and exhibitions provide a critical platform for knowledge transfer and collaboration, helping elevate and imagine the future of their respective industries.”

    The scholarships are open to current employees of non-for-profit organisations and associations with less than three years of association management experience, who reside and work in Australia and have demonstrated attributes of a future leader in the association sector. Further eligibility details can be found in the application process.

    Applications for the 2023 Emerging Leaders Scholarships are now being accepted and will close at 5:00 PM on Friday, 27 October 2023.

    To apply and for more information about the Emerging Leaders Scholarships, please visit our website www.ausae.org.au/emerging-leaders-scholarship or contact us at info@ausae.org.au.

    This is your chance to be a part of the future of association leadership. Apply now and join us in Canberra for the 2023 ACE Conference and Exhibition, where you will gain valuable insights, build lasting connections, and contribute to the growth and innovation of the association sector.

    About AuSAE:

    The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) is a leading organisation dedicated to empowering professionals in the association sector. Its mission is to foster excellence and innovation in association management by providing education, networking opportunities, and resources to association executives and industry leaders across Australia and New Zealand. AuSAE plays a pivotal role in the association sector by serving as a hub for knowledge sharing, best practices, and collaboration among professionals working in non-profit organisations and associations.

    About Adelaide Convention Centre:

    Adelaide Convention Centre is South Australia’s home of business events and enjoys a reputation as one of the world’s most modern, versatile and technologically advanced meetings and events venues. With a strong dedication to fostering knowledge exchange and collaboration, the Centre has consistently hosted events, conferences and initiatives aimed at empowering association professionals. Through strategic partnerships and a focus on delivering high-quality educational content, Adelaide Convention Centre has become a hub for innovation and skill enhancement in the association industry. Its unwavering commitment to supporting professional development and education reflects its belief in the critical role that well-trained and informed professionals play in shaping the future of associations and their impact on various sectors and communities.

  • 10 Oct 2023 9:35 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    Associations have a vital role in shaping public opinion and influencing societal change. However, the choice to take a stance on social issues isn't always straightforward. In light of the current Australian referendum, this has become a concern for many association executives.

    To contribute to this dialogue, the September 2023 Associations Matter Monthly Polll examined how association executives in Australia evaluate and respond to social issues, along with the factors that drive their decisions to speak out.

    Formal Decision-Making Processes
    Surprisingly, more than half of the associations (55%) surveyed do not have a formal process or protocol in place for deciding whether to take a position on social issues. Only 27% have established a formal process, while 6% are in the process of developing one.

    Nevertheless, associations do follow various protocols when tackling this conundrum. These typically involve senior leadership discussions, CEO briefings, and board evaluations and approvals. Some organisations mention involving committees or advisory groups, while others rely on their association's Code of Conduct.

    Regardless of the method, most associations contemplate whether the issue aligns with their core values, objectives, and if they possess the necessary expertise to contribute meaningfully. Often, they also gauge their members' perspectives on the matter.

    Alignment with Organisational Values and Goals
    When deciding which social issues to comment on, more than seven in ten associations (71%) consider the issue's relevance to their mission and values. They assess how it aligns with their strategy and how applicable it is to their business and their members.

    These associations also consider how it may impact their credibility and reputation. If the issue fits within their strategic framework and carries significant implications, associations may take a leadership role. Conversely, if the issue doesn't align with their goals, they may choose to remain silent or let other organisations lead the way. By aligning their positions with their values and strategic goals, associations ensure their advocacy efforts remain consistent and purpose driven.

    Consideration of Expertise and Credibility
    Approximately 28% of associations base their decision on an assessment of their expertise and credibility before taking a position. They evaluate whether they possess the necessary knowledge about the issue and whether their stance would carry weight.

    Associations may also scrutinise their capacity to genuinely influence the issue and drive positive change. Some mention that they only comment on issues where their members have expertise, or so they can be considered credible thought leaders.

    If associations have the needed expertise and credibility, they craft a plan and execute it accordingly. However, if they lack the expertise or if the issue doesn't pertain to their field, they refrain from taking a position. This approach ensures associations focus their efforts where they can have the most significant impact.

    A recent example of this approach is the joint statement in support of the proposed Voice to Parliament referendum, signed by over 50 Victorian and national health organizations, including the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP), and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF).

    Consultation with Members
    It's pleasing to note that many associations recognise the importance of engaging their members in the decision-making process. Overall, 16% of associations report that member feedback often shapes their stance on social issues, with 35% stating that member input is one of several factors considered, and an additional 28% reporting that member feedback is considered, though not always essential to the decision-making process. Only 9% of responding associations say decisions are typically made without significant member input.

    When deciding whether to take a position on a social issue, many associations conduct membership polls or surveys to gather opinions and perspectives. The executive board then drafts a position statement based on the survey results, which is circulated to the board of directors for further input and amendments. Once a majority approves, the statement is shared with the members. This process ensures associations make informed decisions that resonate with the interests and values of their members.

    A Policy of Non-Engagement
    At the other end of the spectrum, some associations maintain a clear non-engagement policy when it comes to commenting on social issues. Several explicitly indicated they "do not comment on social issues." Their reasons vary, with some citing it's not within their remit, others pointing to their constitution prohibiting commentary on political matters, and some noting a lack of authorisation from their Board of Directors. Additionally, some associations avoid involvement because they believe that taking a position that supports some members may lead to antagonising others.

    Conclusion
    The decision to take a stance on social issues remains a multifaceted challenge for associations. To navigate this complexity, many consider the alignment of the issue with their organisational values and strategic goals, along with their expertise and credibility to make a meaningful impact. Other associations engage with their members to ensure their positions align with the broader community's values and interests.

    In this dynamic landscape, associations must balance their responsibilities as advocates with their commitment to representing their members' diverse perspectives. By doing so, they can continue to play a pivotal role in shaping Australia's social discourse and contributing to meaningful societal change.

    About
    The Association Matters Monthly Poll is supported by AuSAE and conducted by Survey Matters.  The September Poll received responses from association executives across various sectors. 

    Rebecca Sullivan is the Co-Founder and Research Director at Survey Matters, the only research agency in Australia exclusively focused on providing services to associations, membership and for purpose organisations.  Survey Matters provide associations and for purpose organisations with evidence-based insights that deliver change that matters.

  • 28 Sep 2023 1:58 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The Associations Matter Monthly Poll – September 2023 Results

    Alignment with strategy and member expertise are key drivers of associations’ responses to social issues.

    Given the current referendum in Australia, some discussions at this years’ AuSAE MX events centered around how associations determine whether to formally announce a position in relation to various social issues.

    To contribute to this conversation, the September 2023 Associations Matter Monthly Poll examined how association executives evaluate and respond to social issues, and the factors that influence any decisions to make public comments. The survey, supported by AuSAE and conducted by Survey Matters, received responses from association executives across various sectors.

    Overall, the survey revealed over half of associations (55%) do not have a formal process or protocol in place to guide decisions on whether to take a position on social issues. Only 27% of associations say they have a formal process in place, while 6% are currently developing one. The remaining 12% were unsure if such a process exists within their association.

    As a result, feedback suggests associations follow various process and protocols when deciding whether to take a position on social issues. These processes typically involve senior leadership discussions, CEO briefings, board assessment and approvals. Some organisations mention the involvement of committees or advisory groups in evaluating social actions, while others are guided by the association’s Code of Conduct.

    While the decision-making processes vary depending on the association's structure and values and the nature of the social issue, many associations follow a process to determine whether the issue “aligns with our strategy” or “how applicable it is to business”.

    Member consultation also plays a role in the decision-making process for many associations, although the extent of member engagement varies. While some associations show a reluctance to “put out a statement on behalf of our members unless our members are consulted”, others suggested that as the “Board is member elected and made up of members, their position represents the membership and profession”. Overall, 16% of associations report member feedback often shapes their position on social issues, 35% say member feedback is one of several factors considered and a further 28% report member feedback is considered but not always essential to the decision-making process. Only 9% of responding associations say decisions are typically made without significant member input.

    When deciding which social issues to comment on, associations primarily consider factors such as relevance to their mission and values (71%) and impact on members and stakeholders (48%). A further 28% mention their decision to take a position on social issues depends on whether they can meaningfully influence the issue, and whether their expertise is directly relevant to the issue at hand. These respondents suggest “they only comment on issues where our members have direct expertise” or where the issue “intersects with our mission such that we can be a credible thought leader”. A recent example of this approach is the statement in support of the proposed Voice to Parliament referendum, which was signed by more than 50 Victorian and national health organisations, including the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF).

    Other factors, such as legal or regulatory implications (22%), ethical or moral imperatives (16%), feedback or requests from members (13%) and the capacity to make a positive change (10%) are considered by some associations.

    There were also several associations who indicate they “do not comment on social issues”. Comments indicate this is often because it is “not part of our remit”, that the association’s “constitution prevents [them] from commenting on political issues” or that they “are not authorised by its Board of Directors to comment on social issues”. Others suggest they do not get involved because “a position supporting some members will often antagonise others”.

    Overall, while a significant number of associations do not have formal processes in place, and many believe it is not their position to get involved, member consultation and alignment with mission and values are key considerations when deciding whether to take a stand. Associations strive to make informed decisions that reflect the interests and values of their members and stakeholders.

    “We use a process that considers three issues: Does the issue align with our strategy? What are our stakeholders’ views on the issue? Can we meaningfully influence the issue?“, CEO, Industry Association.

  • 20 Sep 2023 1:19 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    This year saw the successful delivery of AuSAE’s inaugural Women in Association Leadership Retreat, supported by Tourism New Zealand and Business Events Wellington.

    The experience saw 16 women leaders in associations enjoy a programme of inspiring women speakers, external leadership experts, stories of success, panel discussions, and interactive workshops while exploring the excellent restaurants and wine village of picturesque Martinborough, New Zealand.

    Staying at The Martinborough Hotel and Parehua Resort, the group embarked on a series of empowering workshops and education sessions facilitated by author, speaker, and MC Lisa O’Neill on female leadership challenges and opportunities.

    Attendee Monique Penton, HR Manager for the AFCA (Australian Cabinet & Furniture Association) says: “Attending the Women in Leadership retreat was a truly transformative experience. Surrounded by brilliant and inspiring women, I found the perfect space to embrace my own leadership potential. The sessions were empowering, the discussions were insightful, and the support was unwavering. This retreat not only enhanced my skills and confidence but also forged lifelong connections with incredible women. I walked away from the retreat with a renewed sense of purpose and a clear path to achieving my goals."

    Amongst the sessions, guests enjoyed local experiences including networking dinners at the Karahui Wine Bar and Eatery, Moy Hall Vineyard and Wharekauhau Resort; a Greytown Honey beekeeping experience, candle making at the Social Scent Company, a Schoc Chocolate tasting at The White Swan, cycling to a wine tasting with Palliser Estate, and a spectacular stargazing experience.

    AuSAE CEO Toni Brearley says: “It was a truly unforgettable experience. The attendees’ insights and willingness to share enriched our discussions and made the retreat incredibly meaningful. The connections we forged and the lessons we learned from one another will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on our professional journeys.”

    Tourism New Zealand Australian Business Events Manager Helen Bambry adds: “This was an incredible opportunity to gather and support the women leaders of the association sector. Martinborough was the perfect showcase destination, with its stunning surroundings and warm welcome fostering an atmosphere of connection and openness. We are excited to see the continued impact these women will make in their respective fields.”

    A Women in Association Leadership Dinner will be held on 27 November in Canberra, co-hosted by Tourism New Zealand and Business Events Wellington. This will feature an exclusive audience with Dalia Feldheim, opening keynote speaker for ACE 2023. For details please contact Helen.Bambry@tnz.govt.nz

     
      
         

  • 24 Aug 2023 12:46 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    Two thirds of associations have grown their membership over the last 12 months, with strategies focused on brand building and personal connection driving the most success.

    The August Associations Matter Poll examined member acquisition, and the strategies and marketing channels associations are using to attract new members.

    Two thirds of associations have seen their membership base increase over the last 12 months (63%), with 13% noting a significant increase in numbers. One in four (23%) reported slight or significant decrease in their membership base, with 14% maintaining a stable membership.

    Associations who have been successful at increasing their membership reported that increasing brand awareness and visibility is the most successful strategy they have employed (53%). Around one in five associations have found success with social media advertising (22%), offering special membership discounts (20%), dedicating internal resources to focus solely on member acquisition (20%) and promoting the profession and industry in the media (19%).

    Strategies that aim to address cost concerns have proven successful to around one in ten associations, with 13% successfully offering a discount for first year fees, and 10% bundling professional development and conference fees into the first-year fee or offering flexible payment options. Partnering with educational institutions has proven to be successful for 12% of responding associations.

    When asked about different marketing channels used to attract new members, channels that use a more personalised approach are the most successful. A little under half (48%) of associations have found referrals from other members deliver the best results. Some spoke about the importance of “increasing focus on the existing members experience” to make existing members comfortable and willing to promote membership. A further 43% of associations have seen an increase in member numbers after in-person conferences or events, and 42% from personal outreach efforts.

    Around one in five associations find their email campaigns (23%), social media channels (23%) and social media advertising often deliver the best results, with a further 16% finding the best results from hosting webinars or online presentations. Less than one in ten responding associations have found that more generalised or passive advertising (such as advertisements in magazines, radio, TV or billboards) deliver the best results.

    This suggests that new members want to start their relationship with an association already feeling that they are a valued member. This is much more likely to come from a personalised approach to marketing and communication, or from praise and word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied existing members.

    Interestingly, those associations who have found a decrease in new members largely attribute it to “cost of living pressures”. “Financial pressures” and “tight budgets” have led to both organisations and individuals questioning the value of membership fees alongside other cost pressures.

    In addition, with financial pressures leading to many questioning the value of membership, providing “high visibility, media and advocacy on what our profession sees as vital” may be critical to the successful membership growth for many associations. This high visibility makes it easier for potential members to understand the value of belonging to the association, and what their membership fees can help to achieve.

    “By providing great support to our existing members, the word in spreading that our association is a key partner for businesses in our sector.”

    About the Associations Matter Monthly Poll

    The Associations Matter Monthly Poll is an initiative by AuSAE and Survey Matters. We think it's important to stay up to date with the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities facing associations. The Associations Matter Monthly Poll aims to provide insights into the thoughts and opinions of association leaders, giving them a better understanding of how others are responding to current situations and developments. The Associations Matter Monthly Poll is conducted by Survey Matters, experts in association and membership research.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Associations Matter June 2023 Poll. You can register to receive future polls here.

  • 27 Jul 2023 7:09 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The July Associations Matter Poll examined member engagement with online communications, if it is easier or harder to capture attention, the impacts to associations as a result, and the strategies being deployed to maintain or increase engagement.

    Overall, there was a 50/50 split between associations finding it harder to engage their members online, and those who believe there is either no change to engagement (47%) or it is easier to attract attention (3%).

    The impacts for associations finding it harder to engage members with their online communications is largely felt in lower attendance at in-person events and professional development (49%), and increased workloads or inefficiencies because messages have to be constantly repeated (39%). This leads to reduced revenues and productivity. Associations with lower online engagement are also noticing lower overall member satisfaction (33%), and greater difficulty reaching potential new members (27%).

    Conversely, associations who find it about the same or easier to capture members attention online are experiencing higher open rates, click throughs and content sharing (62%), resulting in higher overall satisfaction (48%), more new members joining (37%) and increased internal efficiencies (33%).

    When asked what strategies have been deployed by those who indicate it is easier or about the same to engage their members online, 50% have improved the visual appeal of their communications, and 44% invested in website improvements to make it more intuitive and user-friendly.

    A further 31% went directly to their members through online surveys or focus groups to seek their feedback about how to improve online engagement. Some associations indicate that personalisation or targeting of their messages to specific member profiles or using member-generated content and contributions has helped retain online engagement (both 23%).

    With comments that it is “hard to break through the noise when instinct is to delete everything …” and recognising “members are increasingly time poor and swamped by so many channels of information in their day-to-day”, cutting through the online “clutter” is increasingly challenging.

    By considering even small changes to online communications, like ensuring consistency of timing, improved visual appeal and a documented communications strategy may help improve engagement with members.

    “There are a couple of specific communications pieces we use with Members, and they are very effective. We've learnt not to fiddle with them too much!  We are also cognisant of how we use them as not to take advantage and lose the very good traction we have with them.” Membership Director, Professional association.

    About the Associations Matter Monthly Poll 

    The Associations Matter Monthly Poll is an initiative by AuSAE and Survey Matters. We think it's important to stay up to date with the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities facing associations. The Associations Matter Monthly Poll aims to provide insights into the thoughts and opinions of association leaders, giving them a better understanding of how others are responding to current situations and developments. The Associations Matter Monthly Poll is conducted by Survey Matters, experts in association and membership research.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Associations Matter June 2023 Poll. You can register to receive future polls here.

  • 12 Jul 2023 10:38 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) is thrilled to announce the addition of three new Certified Association Executives (CAEs) to the growing cohort in Australia and New Zealand. Anne Livingstone, Gregory Harford, and Kylene Schlebusch have achieved this distinguished global credential, representing the highest level of professional recognition in the association industry.

    The CAE Commission of ASAE, a leading global organisation for association professionals, has been at the forefront of recognizing and promoting excellence in the field. With the addition of these three accomplished individuals, the total number of CAEs worldwide now surpasses 4,500. This milestone is a testament to the increasing significance of the CAE credential and its impact on the association industry.

    Congratulations to Anne Livingstone, Research & Projects Director at Global Community Resourcing/Aged Care Industry Technology Council, Gregory Harford, CEO at Retail NZ, and Kylene Schlebusch, Administration Manager at the Hire Industry Association of New Zealand, for their outstanding achievement in earning the CAE credential. They have demonstrated exceptional dedication, knowledge, and commitment to their respective fields. Their achievement of the CAE credential speaks volumes about their expertise and the impact they have made within their organisations and the industry.

    AuSAE, in partnership with ASAE launched the first localised version of the CAE credential in New Zealand and Australia in February 2021. This localised CAE program has provided association professionals with a unique opportunity to enhance their skills, knowledge, and professional standing within the industry. AuSAE remains committed to championing the CAE credential and furthering the profession of association management.

    Recognised as the highest professional credential in the association industry, the CAE designation signifies a deep understanding of association management principles, ethical standards, and best practices. CAEs possess the skills to navigate complex challenges and drive positive change within their associations. By earning this credential, Anne Livingstone, Gregory Harford, and Kylene Schlebusch have established themselves as industry leaders, equipped to drive their respective associations forward and make a lasting impact.

    The achievement of these three remarkable professionals is a celebration and also an inspiration for others in the association management industry. It serves as a reminder of the importance of continuous professional development and the value of the CAE credential. Aspiring association executives can follow in their footsteps by registering for the AuSAE 10-Week September Spring CAE study group. For more information about the credential or to register for the September Spring study group visit the AuSAE website www.ausae.org.au/cae

    Congratulations again to all!

  • 07 Jul 2023 9:43 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The future of the association sector is in good hands, and one shining example is Tracey Rudd. She's the recipient of the 2022 Future Leader Scholarship program, a joint initiative by AuSAE and the Adelaide Convention Centre. This program is all about nurturing emerging leaders, creating a network of dedicated individuals, and propelling the association sector into a brighter future.

    Meet Tracey Rudd 

    Tracey is currently the General Manager and Company Secretary of the Australian Rheumatology Association (ARA). Her journey to this leadership role is a fascinating one. She started with a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Sydney University in 1993, laying a strong foundation in healthcare.

    In addition to her pharmacy degree, Tracey holds a Certificate in Marketing and Management from Macquarie University. This commitment to continuous learning showcases her drive to evolve and excel in her career.

    Diverse Professional Experience

    Tracey's career path is a testament to her versatility. She has held various roles in the pharmacy field, ranging from community pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry to contributing to the National Prescribing Service. She even ventured into entrepreneurship, running her own medication review business.

    However, her current role as General Manager at ARA marks her debut in the association sector. This transition is a testament to her adaptability and leadership potential.

    The Future Leader Scholarship Program

    Being selected as a 2022 Future Leader Scholarship recipient underscores Tracey Rudd's promise and dedication to the association sector. This program, powered by AuSAE and the Adelaide Convention Centre, equips emerging leaders with resources and a supportive network.

    Tracey's participation in this program signifies her readiness to assume leadership roles that will shape the future of associations. Her diverse experience and commitment to innovation make her a leader to watch.

    As Tracey Rudd continues to lead the Australian Rheumatology Association and a recipient in the Future Leader Scholarship program, she stands as a role model for aspiring association leaders. Her journey, characterised by education, adaptability, and innovation, promises to drive positive change in the association sector, both in Australia and beyond. 

    For more information about the Future Leaders program, visit www.ausae.org.au/Future-Leaders-2022.

  • 22 Jun 2023 11:39 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The Associations Matter Monthly Poll – June 2023 Results

    The June Associations Matter Poll looked at the current economic situation, and association leaders' perspectives about how economic uncertainty, increasing interest rates and inflation might impact their association, including the challenges they face and their expectations for renewal rates.

    Overall, association leaders are quite pessimistic about the impacts, with three in ten saying they are concerned about the current economic situation, and over half (52%) somewhat concerned. Only 5% express any optimism.

    The biggest challenges facing association leaders are concerns about the cost-of-living impact on membership renewal (42%) and conversely, managing the increasing costs to provide products and services (36%). Closely tied to these issues are meeting revenue targets, and an inability to invest in additional staff to deliver the products and services used by members. Some are concerned about the impacts to other revenue generating activities like attendance at events and conferences, with around a quarter citing this as one of their primary issues.

    While the quantitative results present a somewhat gloomy outlook, the verbatim comments show associations are more concerned about the effect the current economic situation will have on their members, saying “the biggest challenge to us is the increased demand for member assistance when those same members are doing it tough in the current economic environment”.

    Other free text comments are largely neutral, with some association’s renewals not due until the end of the year, therefore “it's hard to know what the impact will be yet”, while around one in five suggest a more positive outlook, saying “initially we did believe renewals would drop as cost of living increased, however this has not been the case with overall membership still growing slowly…”.

    It is clear from these results that the sector is experiencing much of the same impacts as many others. It remains to be seen how this plays out over time, particularly if the predictions of further interest rate rises are realised.

    “Renewals are about to go out now so the response will be interesting to see in coming weeks… and financial pressure on us as a business is ever increasing - wages, overheads, insurances etc. and the margins just get tighter” CEO, Professional association.

    About the Associations Matter Monthly Poll

    The Associations Matter Monthly Poll is an initiative by AuSAE and Survey Matters. We think it's important to stay up to date with the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities facing associations. The Associations Matter Monthly Poll aims to provide insights into the thoughts and opinions of association leaders, giving them a better understanding of how others are responding to current situations and developments. The Associations Matter Monthly Poll is conducted by Survey Matters, experts in association and membership research.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Associations Matter June 2023 Poll. You can register to receive future polls here.

  • 20 Jun 2023 2:19 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    The AuSAE MX 2023 event series has come to a close, and what an incredible journey it has been! From the vibrant city of Sydney to the bustling streets of Melbourne and the charming vibes of Adelaide, we embarked on an incredible journey deep into the realm of association management, focusing on the critical aspect of membership. The events brought together membership professionals from various industries, providing a platform for connection, collaboration, and learning. 

    We kicked off the event with a bang, thanks to the brilliant Sarah Sladek, CEO of the Membership University. She took the virtual stage and blew our minds with her keynote on membership strategy. Sarah dove headfirst into the fascinating world of MemberShift, where she explored the reasons behind why members leave associations and shared invaluable tips on how to bring them back. Her keynote set the tone for the rest of the event, igniting curiosity, and sparking meaningful discussions. 

    But that was just the beginning. Brenda Mainland, the Co-Founder and Director of Survey Matters, took over and wowed us with her presentation on membership insights. She dug deep into what truly matters to members, the secret sauce that drives engagement, and the reasons why individuals join and stay connected with associations. The "aha" moments were aplenty! 

    And let's not forget about the awesome workshop led by Felicity Zadro, the Managing Director at Zadro. Communication is everything, my friends, and Felicity showed us just how crucial it is to effectively communicate the value of an association to its members. We brainstormed and explored various strategies and techniques to ensure that our members truly understand and appreciate the amazing benefits they receive as part of their membership. 

    Of course, we can't overlook the epic session by Lindsay McGrath, the CEO of SPASA Australia. He took us on a thrilling deep dive into the art of mastering member experience. Lindsay emphasised the importance of delivering exceptional experiences to our association members and shared some tips and real-life examples to inspire us all. We left that session ready to take our member experience game to a whole new level! 

    But it wasn't just the incredible speakers that made this event series a hit. We had the privilege of hearing remarkable case studies from associations - Australian Institute of Project Management, Australian Traditional-Medicine Society, Local Government Professionals NSW, Canegrowers, Speech Pathology, Family Business Australia, Water Research Australia, Australian Boarding Schools Association, and Civil Contractors SA, that are truly making waves in their industries. From redefining member value propositions to successful advocacy and engagement campaigns, to engaging younger members and building online communities, and using learning as tool for growth and navigating the ESG journey, we were treated to a buffet of inspiration. The dedication and impact showcased by these associations reminded us why we do what we do—it's all about making a difference for our members and communities. 

    To all the attendees, speakers, partners who joined us on this journey, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude. Your passion, expertise, and commitment created an atmosphere of growth, learning, and connection that made this event series truly unforgettable. You are the true rock stars of association management, and we salute you! 

    As we wrap up this event series, we carry with us a renewed sense of purpose and a deep appreciation for the power of associations. The MX 2023 events in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide have left an indelible mark on the association management community, equipping professionals with the knowledge and inspiration to drive positive change and enhance the experiences of our members. 

    So, here's to the future! Let's continue to flourish, adapt, and thrive as associations, championing the needs and aspirations of our members. Until we meet again at the next AuSAE event, let's carry the spirit of collaboration and innovation, transforming the landscape of association management one step at a time. 


The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)

Australian Office:
Address: Unit 6, 26 Navigator Place, Hendra QLD 4011 Australia
Free Call: +61 1300 764 576
Phone: +61 7 3268 7955
Email: info@ausae.org.au

New Zealand Office:
Address: 159 Otonga Rd, Rotorua 3015 New Zealand
Phone: +64 27 249 8677
Email: nzteam@ausae.org.au

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