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Sector and AuSAE News

  • 29 Jul 2020 3:55 PM | Kerrie Green (Administrator)

    In an unpredictable and shifting landscape, the Fragrance Creators Association changed its associate members to active members to create a stronger, more unified community to better respond to extraordinary global challenges.

    The Fragrance Creators Association recently announced that it is elevating its finished-product manufacturers from associate to active members in a move aimed at giving members better ways to break down silos, share ideas and points of view, and create a safe place to engage on topics that advance collaboration and innovation, according to Farah K. Ahmed, Fragrance Creators president and CEO.

    The decision to change its membership model was driven by an understanding that for Fragrance Creators to achieve its mission, all participants in the fragrance value chain need to work together, Ahmed said. The association reaffirmed a commitment to “listening, respecting, and engaging all stakeholders,” she added.

    Previously, as associate members, finished-goods manufacturers (makers of products that use fragrance ingredients) collaborated with fragrance manufacturer members to support state and federal advocacy efforts and on key projects such as FCA’s consumer education website, The Fragrance Conservatory. The pandemic heightened the need for collaboration, as fragrance creators and finished-product manufacturers worked together to share ideas and keep critical cleaning and disinfecting products accessible across the country.

    WHAT WILL THE CHANGE ACCOMPLISH?

    “This change will benefit all Fragrance Creator members. It will support a greater diversity of perspectives—not only on a project basis, but in the overall strategic thinking of the organization,” Ahmed said. Elevating finished-product manufacturers to active status, she said, will help the association increase its influence with key stakeholders, legislators, the Congressional Fragrance Caucus, nongovernmental organizations, retailers, and allied trade associations.

    The new active status of the finished-product manufacturers provides the advantage of a broader perspective, which, Ahmed said, will help increase awareness and appreciation for fragrance and promote better understanding of the industry’s safety programs.

    That kind of wider industry perspective can bring new vitality and impact to many associations, Ahmed noted, although achieving it can be challenging.

    “My advice is to work simultaneously with all levels of membership—board, executive, and technical—to ensure all parties have clarity on the purpose of the association (i.e., serving the industry as a whole) and its mission, and understand that a pivot is a change in strategy, not a change in the mission,” she said.

    A trade association’s relationship with its membership is built on mutual respect, trust, and leadership, Ahmed said, and is strengthened by a shared understanding of purpose. “We strive to elevate that common purpose, instill a culture that promotes consensus building, and strengthen teamwork among the members, so that when great challenges arise, industry can come together to meet the moment and be a force for good.”

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Lisa Boylan. 

  • 29 Jul 2020 3:51 PM | Kerrie Green (Administrator)

    At a time when not much feels certain about the world, having someone in your corner to turn to can help to make work life a little more manageable.

    Mentoring is often a key part of what associations help foster, and what many younger professionals are looking for.

    And it turns out that’s particularly true now, even though people can’t be in the same room to accept such mentoring.

    Given the current state of the world right, it’s worth underlining exactly why that is, and why your organization should emphasize it, even if it means phone calls and Slack chats rather than handshakes and lunch meetings.

    A few insights:

    Mentors help boost confidence during difficult times. In an article for Harvard Business Review, David G. Smith and W. Brad Johnson note that mentors can prove a calming presence during a difficult period. “Every growth-fostering interaction in a strong mentorship bolsters a mentee’s professional and personal growth, identity, self-worth, and self-efficacy,” Smith and Johnson write. In a Forbes piece, organizational psychologist Rebecca Newton notes that mentorship also helps to foster trust. “In a business environment where competitiveness and pressure can certainly lead to some negative interpersonal dynamics, we can’t underestimate the impact of relationships built on trust and empathy, grounded in active listening for professionals’ psychological strength and well-being,” she writes.

    It may be the best tactic you have to develop internal talent right now. The talent management news site TLNT says that talent development can be costly right now—but that mentorship can offer an inexpensive alternative for helping strengthen resources internally. “Let’s get practical: mentorship is one of the most cost-effective ways you can invest in training and promoting diverse talent,” contributor Katherine Plumhoff writes. “You don’t need to shell out for expensive conferences. You probably already know who the rising stars at the junior levels of your organization are. You just need to set them up with someone more senior who can help them navigate the transition to a leadership role.”

    It can help fight back isolation. In a recent Forbes piece, contributor Tanya Tarr makes a case that one reason that mentoring programs are so important currently is due to lingering factors of loneliness, which she says is costing businesses billions of dollars yearly. Seena Mortazavi, the CEO of Chronus, underlined that the pandemic may highlight areas where employees may not have a support network to lean on. A mentoring program can help to strengthen that. “Imagine what’s going on now,” Mortazavi said. “I can’t even fathom what that cost will be in terms of impact to our lives or health conditions or mental health.”

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Ernie Smith. 

  • 22 Jul 2020 10:07 AM | Kerrie Green (Administrator)

    A recent survey by Tradeshow Logic confirms that many exhibitors consider virtual events risky compared to in-person events. But there are ways to win them over.

    Associations are well along in pivoting to virtual meetings this year, but there’s no guarantee that their exhibitors will follow suit. In fact, many won’t, according to a new study from the show management company Tradeshow Logic, which surveyed nearly 350 exhibitors.

    According to Redefining Value for Today’s Exhibitors and Sponsors, more than a third of respondents (35 percent) said they don’t anticipate participating in any virtual tradeshows in the next 12 months, while another third (32 percent) anticipate attending between one and three. In comparison, just 14 percent of respondents said they don’t plan to attend in-person events, and 38 percent expect to attend up to three events.

    Exhibitors were significantly more likely to say they’ll take part in in-person events on a repeat basis: 17 percent of respondents anticipate attending at least 10 in-person events, compared to 8 percent that expect to attend 10 or more virtual events.

    The report’s authors suggest that the results highlight how risky moving exhibitors to a virtual event by default could be. The firm recommends offering multiple options to exhibitors who would traditionally take part in an in-person event, including refunds.

    “Based on this response, it’s not a given that your exhibitor/sponsor base will engage in your virtual event. Internal budget restrictions or reduced staffing are indicated barriers,” the report states. “Automatically re-allocating your customers’ deposits to your virtual event will alienate a certain segment of your market who are simply unable to participate.”

    EASING VIRTUAL EVENT DOUBTS

    One major challenge is that virtual events are still largely an unknown quantity for exhibitors, who often aren’t convinced of their value.

    “Even though virtual platforms are touted as ‘turnkey,’ they still require significant marketing and promotion investment from your exhibitors and sponsors in order to get a worthwhile return,” the report notes.

    The report offers advice for easing exhibitors’ doubts about the virtual format:

    Maximize face-to-face time. Direct interaction with potential customers matters for exhibitors at virtual events, who want to offer education or product demos to attendees.

    Ask for guidance. Keeping exhibitors in the loop can help ensure better engagement for sponsors.

    Make the value of participating clear. Exhibitors want to gain leads and make sales, and they’re not sure a virtual experience can deliver them. Articulating how those results are possible will help ensure exhibitor investment, the report notes.

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Ernie Smith. 

  • 22 Jul 2020 9:56 AM | Kerrie Green (Administrator)

    For associations that are still looking to fill job roles, especially in the C-suite, different rules apply. It’s a time for distanced interviewing and “culture buddies.”

    The “new normal” at associations means that though they still have to go about the business of hiring and onboarding new employees, they have to do it in a virtual environment. As I write this, a fifth of the jobs posted at ASAE’s Association Career HQ allow telecommuting, and all of them, at least in the short term, will require an unprecedented level of comfort with managing and collaborating with colleagues virtually.

    Those challenges, combined with a major economic downturn, can make C-suite hiring unusual for both employers and candidates alike. According to a recent report at Fast Company, employers are learning to address questions about their organizations’ financial stability when reaching out to potential hires, and the perks packages are changing as well.

    “Explain in job postings things like mental health days, expected hours ‘on-screen,’ stipends during work from home, equipment, or other related benefits,” one HR manager explained. Some companies have gone so far as to limit hiring to referrals only, according to the article, for fear that it’s too hard to get acquainted with a candidate you can’t meet in person. But companies have found ways to get to know a candidate remotely, according to Fast Company, whether it’s through social-distanced interviews or short-term projects that help candidates and employers get to know one another.

    But the challenge doesn’t end with hiring. Even if that process goes smoothly in the new environment, onboarding is going to have to look different as well. The kinds of in-office check-ins that managers are used to won’t be as common or organic as they once were, which has led to some new technological approaches. According to a recent CNBC article, the consulting firm Genpact has been using chatbots to keep tabs on its 95,000 employees, asking questions that produce “mood scores” that are sent to managers.

    I get that employers, especially large ones, need to do what they must to manage from a distance, but chatbot management feels a bit more HAL-9000 than I’d like. Smaller organizations can still do remote onboarding in ways that feel human and nuanced. Earlier this year I spoke with a handful of companies that work mostly or entirely remotely—and had been doing so before the COVID-19 pandemic hit —and I gleaned a few helpful lessons from those conversations.

    First, understand that organizations have cultures, even virtually, and provide orientation to newcomers to help communicate it. The company Buffer, for instance, has new hires spend their first 90 days assigned to a “role buddy” related to their department and a “culture buddy” to guide them through the “how we do things around here” stuff.

    Second, know that different people have different approaches to virtual meetings, which can be especially acute with international organizations. Willis Turner, CAE, CEO of Sales and Marketing Executives International, says that because SMEI has employees with different comfort levels with English, he allows plenty of time for staff to prepare for meetings, and that there’s more “air” in the virtual room for them to speak. That’s valuable advice even if there isn’t a language barrier: New employees need the opportunity to feel comfortable with the particular virtual environment your organization is cultivating.

    Third, know that remote work requires a certain kind of temperament, and employers need to support it. Cynthia Chand, HR generalist at the tech firm Harvest, said it helps to develop employees’ self-awareness about their needs. “Do you know yourself well enough to understand the advantages or disadvantages that you might have in joining a distributed team? Do you understand your work style? Do you know when to reach out for help?”

    Transitioning new employees into an office that isn’t a physical space isn’t easy. But a clearer sense of potential hires’ needs—and the organization’s—can reduce anxiety.

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Mark Athitakis. 

  • 20 Jul 2020 4:16 PM | Abby Fields (Administrator)

    AuSAE Industry Partner, Enterprise Care recently announced a new strategic alliance with REMSMART, launching Australia’s most comprehensive online remuneration portal for the Not for Profit (NFP) sector. 

    The alliance will see the digital transformation of Enterprise Care’s esteemed annual NFP remuneration report to a dynamic online salary portal powered by REMSMART. 

    Enterprise Care’s new cloud-based dashboard report will continue to collate research from the hundreds of organisations across the NFP sectors.

    Special Offer for AuSAE 

    As a valued member of AuSAE, we are excited to provide you with an introductory offer of 12 months unlimited access on the new purpose-built, specialised Enterprise Care Not for Profit Remuneration Portal for just $99, when you participate in the 2020 Enterprise Care Not for Profit Remuneration Survey.

    You gain access to flexible reporting in the cloud, and benefit from instant accessible remuneration data, searchable across specific criteria, including role, sector and location.

    All you need to do is provide your organisation’s board and employee salary data via the online survey click here to begin survey

    Alternatively, provide salary data for 20 or more board and staff, via a de-identified data dump of the relevant information from your payroll system and receive, at NO COST:

    • 12 months unlimited access to the Portal and NFP Remuneration data
    • A complimentary Pulse Audit of your choice (valued at $957.00) and
    • Executive Summary Report.

    If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Tracy Portarianos from Enterprise Care at portarianost@enterprisecare.com.au or 03 8862 6315.

    Your trust is of utmost importance to Enterprise Care and their proven commitment to the Australian Privacy Principles (the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)) means they take care in the way they collect, use, disclose, store, secure and dispose of any personal information.  Their reputation for integrity is second to none.  The Enterprise Care NFP Remuneration data continues to be aggregated and no identifiable information is disclosed.

    AuSAE are pleased to continue our partnership with Enterprise Care for another year and share their product enhancements with the association community. We encourage the AuSAE community to take part in the 2020 Enterprise Care Not for Profit Remuneration Survey

    Click here to begin survey


  • 16 Jul 2020 1:25 PM | Kerrie Green (Administrator)

    Welcome back to our AuSAE Member Chat Series – Half an Hour of Power. This week we are delighted to have sat down with AuSAE member, Lynette Pinder, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Training and Development. In a short 30 minute interview we discussed four key questions with Lynette to reflect on the last four months and look forward to the future post this crisis.

    What do the next 6 months look like for your association and your members 

    As an association we are trying to focus our collective effort on positive projects and new initiatives. I think it’s important to have a common goal and something for our team to look forward to. We know the next 6 months will continue to challenge us, so seeing new projects come to fruition will have the ability to reenergize the team and keep us moving forward. We are launching a new website, CRM and new brand – these projects were on our plan prior to COVID-19, but have since been accelerated.

    As a national organisation, we are mindful of the variations and differences between states and territories and how each are faring in their COVID-19 responses. We are monitoring the situation in Victoria closely and managing the feelings and needs of members in those affected areas. We do need to be very careful with our marketing, messaging and transparency across each state and territory.

    Areas of concern 

    Our membership is very social, one of their key reasons for being a member with us is the ability to network and meet likeminded colleagues. For that reason, we do have considerable concerns about when we can return to face to face events safely. We are planning for the return, a highlight on our events calendar every year is the Annual Excellence Awards Gala Dinner, we currently have this scheduled for 3 December 2020 in Sydney. With the changes in Victoria last week, we are preparing ourselves and planning for contingencies. As a team we are looking at all possible options whether this be live streaming, hybrid or organising gatherings in each state. Another important focus for us is how we keep that energy and excitement that usually surrounds our big events given the restrictions in which we are operating.

    From an organisational perspective, the uncertainty of the future is weighing on us. We are lucky to sit in a strong financial position, but our usual revenue streams are slow, and no one knows when this will return to normal levels or if they will at all. I’m sure all CEOs of Associations are feeling the same and asking the same questions: what does the long term viability of the organisation look like, how long will this impact us, what do new possible revenue streams look like and what do the next 5 years hold for us.

    Areas of opportunity 

    We do sit in a lucky industry, training and reskilling will be vital as we move through this crisis and into recovery mode. As the world has shifted and changed our members will be more important than ever. As an association we need to ensure we are there for members to support them through this, we have the opportunity to provide purposeful facilitation and networking and deliver real value to our community.

    The new world in which we are all operating has allowed us to engage with our international and remote members more than we ever have. I think a real opportunity for our association is continuing this engagement and connection with these members and ensuring we strengthen and harness this membership group.

    We are positive as we look towards the future, next year we are celebrating our 50th birthday and we look forward to those conversations around what we can do and provide to members in the next 50 years.

    Celebrated moments in the last four months 

    We have become known as those crazy people who flipped their face to face conference to a completely virtual conference in 72 hours. I am extremely proud of this moment with the team, it was something to be celebrated. As well as providing members with the value of the conference, another positive to come out of this exercise was the ability to share our learnings with the broader association community. We really were first in to do this, and we were thankful to be able to share the good, the bad and the ugly during this process which we hope helped associations as they moved through their own journey.

    As an organisation, we are proud to have kept business as usual as much as possible for our members. I think during a time with so much uncertainty and stress, we really wanted to anchor ourselves as a consistent and familiar friend for our members.


  • 15 Jul 2020 11:26 AM | Kerrie Green (Administrator)

    Even if workers aren’t in a physical space, they still want a sense of how an organization behaves. Leaders need to find ways to communicate it.

    There’s a familiar line in the management world that one simple definition of an organization’s culture is “the way we do things around here.” At least it was simple when we all agreed on what “here” meant.

    Offices have proven to be remarkably resilient this year in terms of getting used to Zoom conferences and remote strategy sessions. But the pandemic also has also put pressures on leaders to develop new ways to put their emotional intelligence to use and engage with workers. There’s some evidence that the task is taking a toll. Last week, Gallup reported that compared to May, in June U.S. employees felt substantively less prepared to do their jobs, and that their employers weren’t showing clear action plans in response to COVID-19, or demonstrating concern about employees’ well-being.

    “The protracted, dynamic nature of the pandemic has left many feeling weary and longing for the finish line,” says the Gallup report. “But for the employees who look to leadership for communication and direction, COVID-19 challenges are still alive and well. Leaders must reinvigorate their efforts to ensure employees are well informed and prepared.”

    Part of that effort can involve communicating to employees what your organization’s culture is, and seek out ways to put that into practice in a remote context. In a recent article for MIT Sloan Management Review, Cambridge Judge Business School Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville makes a point that reinforces Gallup’s findings—that the shift to remote work presents a threat to the culture that’s been established, which in turn risks eroding productivity and engagement. Now that we all know that we can work over Zoom, leaders need to clarify how best to do that work.

    Howard-Grenville writes that part of that task should involve leaders reminding their workers of the kind of culture they’d established before remote work became the norm. “A manager might remind team members that they arrived at a certain approach because they are so skilled at drawing on multiple perspectives for input,” she writes. “Laying bare this aspect of the cultural tool kit not only reminds people of its existence but also signals its value.”

    On the flip side, those same leaders need to call out cases where the organization isn’t following its established values, to “visibly censure practices that depart from the desired culture.” Remote work is no excuse for dispensing with the established pillars of your culture, though there are certainly opportunities to make adjustments. We’re all learning new ways to connect, communicate, address social issues, homeschool, and more in this environment, and leaders ought to welcome input about how to bring what everyone has learned to remote work. “We now understand organizational cultures to be much more open and interactive with their surrounding environments—responsive to expectations to be more socially and environmentally responsible, for example—and aligned with other aspects of employees’ experiences beyond the workplace.”

    People like remote work, and they say they’ll want to hang onto it after the pandemic is over: A survey late last month from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that nearly three-quarters of office workers will want to work at home at least two days a week. But they don’t want to give up the kinds of things that offices provide: opportunities to network, and the sense that they’ve flicked the off-switch when work is done for the day. Many employers in the survey say they’re understanding: Roughly half say they’re providing more help managing workloads and building relationships. Wherever COVID-19 takes the office, more leaders will need to do that kind of soft-skills work to create the culture they want.

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Mark Athitakis. 

  • 15 Jul 2020 11:09 AM | Kerrie Green (Administrator)

    A lot has changed in the events industry, particularly in the past few months due to the impact of COVID-19. As the industry evolves, so will the skills and job roles required. A look at some possibilities.

    A few weeks ago, I came across a blog post I wrote seven years ago about new staff roles for meetings and events.

    In it, I called out three that I thought could benefit association meetings at that time: an attendee concierge who would call participants after a meeting to see what they liked most and least, a conference connector who would help attendees engage and network with one another, and an exhibit hall experience manager who would be dedicated to both the form and function of a tradeshow.

    While some of these roles may still be useful to your association, a lot has changed since 2013—and even more so in the past few months given the impact COVID-19 has had on the industry. In the current economic environment, hiring new staffers is probably not on the table for most organizations, but here are two roles—one related to the pandemic and one not—introduced recently that may be worth considering if you do have the opportunity, even if through partnering or expanding a current staffer’s role:

    Event health advisor. Earlier this month, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that it was partnering with Dr. David Nash, dean emeritus of the Jefferson College of Population Health, to serve as PHLCVB’s chief health advisor. In this role, he will provide advice and guidance to meeting and event planners about health guidelines and protocols.

    “By instituting the proper public health protocols, our hospitality industry should be able to safely and effectively support and protect travelers when the time comes …,” Dr. Nash said in a press release. “By incorporating the already sound and thoughtful guidelines presented by the CDC, as well as state and local public health officials, I’m confident we can develop a safe and healthy plan for all visitors.”

    He’ll also work closely with PHL Health Advisors, an 18-member committee of experts from the city’s medical community. Together, they’ll relay updates to PHLCVB regarding medical information and local medical advancements in the fight against COVID-19. The team will also be tapped as an internal review board for the PHLCVB on public health and safety best practices and protocols.

    Meetings accessibility coordinator. Last summer, the American Anthropological Association brought Nell Koneczny on board as its accessibility and meetings coordinator. In this role, Koneczny is responsible for accessibility and accommodation initiatives for AAA’s meetings, conferences, and communications. She also supports logistics and the call-for-papers process for several of AAA’s meetings.

    In an interview with CEO Update last month, Koneczny said her role is about more than complying with the legal requirements for accommodating people with disabilities.

    “My position actually goes a step beyond that, to include disability culture and to actually think about accessibility more broadly … instead of waiting for a disabled person to reach out to us and request an accommodation,” she said.

    Since joining the team, Koneczny has done several things, including updating the associations’ poster session guidelines for accessibility, creating an annual meeting location accessibility and health information webpage, and expanding the accessible presentation guidelines.

    In addition to these roles, as more associations host virtual and hybrid meetings, I imagine we’ll see current meetings teams learn new skills and take on new roles like event producer or virtual meeting concierge.

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Samantha Whitehorne. 

  • 15 Jul 2020 11:01 AM | Kerrie Green (Administrator)

    The recently released 2020 Association Communications Benchmarking Report found that while the pandemic has dampened expectations of nondues revenue, associations are making changes to bridge the gap, including more webinars and tailored communication to members.

    While generating revenue has long been a concern for association communications teams, the COVID-19 pandemic has ramped that up and led to changes to the way those teams do business, according to Naylor Association Solutions’ 2020 Association Communications Benchmarking Report.

    The report surveyed associations during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a real-world glimpse at the way communication efforts have been affected by the crisis and some of the changes they’ve made in response.

    “We’ve been doing the report for nine years, and revenue has always been a worry for associations,” said Sarah Sain, CAE, Naylor’s director of content and member communications. “It saw quite an increase, about 10 percentage points from previous years.”

    The report noted that the pandemic caused a decrease in nondues revenue generated from advertising and sponsorships. Associations also expect the revenue declines to last for a while. “Most believe improvement is not going to happen in one day, where things are going to open up and revenues will be back to where they were before the pandemic,” Sain said.

    To help counter those revenue losses, association are getting creative and trying new ways to use communications to bring in revenue. “Associations have had to pivot so quickly,” Sain said. “It’s had them make out-of-the-box, courageous decisions in terms of trying new things [like] customized sponsorship packages and new digital communications. … In the past, they would have taken months to decide. Now, they say, ‘Let’s try it. We have to give ourselves permission to try this new opportunity. If we fail, we’ll fail fast and test the next thing.’”

    Not surprising, one thing associations are doing more of is webinars. “Webinars ranked as the number-two communications channel,” Sain said. “It has been in the top 10 before, but it made a huge jump this year.”

    With the virus forcing people to stay at home, associations have stepped up the number of webinars and the complexity, Sain said, moving beyond just a speaker and a PowerPoint, to more interactivity.

    “Having that balance between live and online learning is going to be really important,” she said. “Associations have had to embrace webinars and online learning out of necessity. Even once live events return, members are going to want to have both of those options.”

    Another way communication departments are pivoting is by sending targeted emails to certain groups or interest areas. This is something that has been increasing each year the survey has been conducted, but it has been particularly effective in recent times.

    “With all of the event cancellation, and movement to an online format, they found they had to reach their members in a new way,” Sain said. “They had to reach them quickly and communicate important information, often related to COVID or legislation like the CARES Act. They had to get that information out quickly and made a big leap in the last six months.”

    In addition to webinars and improved targeting, associations are also embracing podcasting—and Sain suspects the medium will see more prominence in the future. “It is a communication channel where you could meet someone where they’re at,” Sain said. “You can listen to a podcast when it’s on your time. That is very attractive to members. They can fit some of this education into their schedule with more ease. It allows them to stay engaged.”

    The report also had a couple of other findings worth noting: While so much has gone digital in today’s environment, the third most appreciated type of communication was the association’s printed magazine.

    “It’s always in the top three,” Sain said. “It is very clear that print is held very valuable by associations.”

    Another item Sain saw as a bright spot was a willingness of communication departments to outsource some tasks. She noted that only 8 percent of associations said they intended to permanently lay off staff, so the outsourcing wasn’t to replace staff. Rather, it was a recognition that some of the newer, more creative things communications teams want to do may require outside help.

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Rasheeda Childress. 

  • 15 Jul 2020 10:56 AM | Kerrie Green (Administrator)

    A new report from PwC finds that consumer spending took a dramatic move away from in person thanks to COVID-19, moving up the timetable on digital transformation in the process.

    The world has shifted in a lot of ways over the past six months, and that’s changed how consumers behave, too.

    And a new report from PwC aims to help businesses make sense of the shift. The latest edition of the company’s long-running Global Consumer Insights Survey leans heavily on coronavirus-related information, driven by two surveys—one pre-outbreak, with more than 19,000 respondents, and one post-outbreak, with around 4,400.

    The results are telling. The report finds that 36 percent of consumers globally are spending less due to the outbreak, a sharp shift from the earlier survey, which found that nearly half of consumers (46 percent) were likely to spend more in the next year. And the outbreak has shifted what consumers are more likely to spend money on.

    “Since the outbreak, people are spending the most on groceries, in-place entertainment and home projects,” the report states. “For food items, they’re making fewer shopping trips—45 percent say they are shopping less often for groceries—but filling up bigger baskets. For most nonfood items, consumers are buying online and, with the exception of entertainment and media, spending significantly less.”

    A SHIFT TOWARD DIGITAL SPENDING

    Beyond groceries, digital spending has surged in the past year, with 45 percent reporting more online purchases via smartphones and 41 percent buying more via their laptop. Previously, mobile shopping was below in-store options, but respondents say that their in-store shopping has decreased by roughly half.

    The report finds that consumers across the globe are going out far less, which is leading them to spend less. To make up for the lost in-person access, roughly half are spending more time using social media and 56 percent are watching more television. And signs seem to suggest that people’s habits are likely to continue in the more digital-friendly direction even after social distancing practices have ended for good.

    PwC says that, as a result, “companies with the technology and imagination to design great experiences in the home” are likely to excel in the given environment.

    PwC’s Steve Barr, who heads up their global consumer markets department, says that the results show evidence that trends already on the rise have been pushed forth at an accelerated speed.

    “While certain trends have been on the upswing for quite some time, our research shows that the pandemic has sharpened consumers’ desire for transparency, sustainability and convenience,” Barr said in a news release. “The companies that will reap the most rewards are the ones that have established trust with the consumer, invested in a seamless and frictionless end-to-end customer purchase journey and prioritized the consumers’ health and safety.”

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Ernie Smith. 

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