Sector and AuSAE News

  • 21 Jan 2022 8:36 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the eighteen (18) AuSAE members who recently earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential and joined our growing cohort of CAEs in Australia and New Zealand.

    The Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential is the marker of a committed association professional who has demonstrated the wide range of knowledge essential to manage an association in today’s challenging environment. There are more than 4,700 CAE’s worldwide. There are currently 27 CAE's in the AuSAE membership.

    The CAE Program serves to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and designate those who have acquired and have demonstrated knowledge essential to the practice of association management.

    The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry.

    Among those who earned the CAE credential are several of our colleagues who have achieved this distinguished global credential. Please join AuSAE in congratulating:

    • Alana Nixon, CAE
      Business Manager, New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors
    • Andrew Hiebl, CAE
      Chief Executive Officer, Association of Australian Convention Bureaux Inc
    • Andrew McCallum, CAE
      Member & Community Engagement Manager, .auDA
    • Craig Young, CAE
      Chief Executive Officer, TUANZ
    • Donna Vincent, CAE
      Secretariat, New Zealand Paint Manufacturers Association Inc
    • Gillian Morgan, CAE
      Director, Morgo Online
    • Jeremy Irvine, CAE 
      Executive Director, Victorian TAFE Association
    • Leigh Catley, CAE 
      General Manager Communications, Federated Farmers NZ
    • Lyn McMorran CAE
      Executive Director, Financial Services Federation
    • Lynda Booth, CAE
      Director, Total Management Solutions Ltd
    • Melissa Ekberg, CAE
      Associate Director Industry & Government Relations, Civil Contractors Federation – SA
    • Michelle Weston, CAE
      Chief Executive Officer, Caravan Parks Association of Queensland
    • Paul Cargill, CAE
      Manager Fellowship Services, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
    • Peter Saffin, CAE
      Chief Executive Officer, The Mathematical Association of Victoria
    • Rebecca Mather, CAE
      Engagement Manager - Technical Groups, Engineering New Zealand
    • Robin Shepherd, CAE
      Head of Operations & Member Services, The Recruitment, Consulting & Staffing Association
    • Sally Bunce, CAE
      Director of Events, Infrastructure Sustainability Council 
    • Tania Cotter, CAE
      Chief Executive Officer, Physical Education New Zealand

    AuSAE, in partnership with ASAE, launched the first localised version of the CAE credential in New Zealand and Australia in February 2021 and are committed to championing this important credential for the sector and furthering the association management profession.

    AuSAE offers a study course twice a year to help professionals prepare for the exam. For more information about the credential or to register for the February 2022 study group, visit the AuSAE website ausae.org.au/cae

  • 19 Jan 2022 1:50 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    For the 14th consecutive year, Marketing General Incorporated (MGI) is conducting its in-depth research to benchmark the practices used by associations in recruiting, engaging, and renewing members. 

    This year’s survey will explore the impact on membership as associations continue to emerge from the pandemic. This year, we have incorporated more questions on dues policies and practices to answer many of the questions we receive from clients and survey participants. 

    The more data MGI can collect for this study, the richer the results for all associations. We ask you to please take some time now to complete this questionnaire. 

    Take the Survey

    To thank you for participating, MGI will provide you with a copy of our final printed report, and an opportunity to win one of 20 $50 Amazon Gift Cards. The 2022 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report will provide valuable findings based on results from this year’s research. 

    To begin this survey, please click on the “Take the Survey” button below.

    Take the Survey

  • 17 Jan 2022 4:37 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    AuSAE Premium Alliance Partner, Advanced Solutions International (ASI), the provider of iMIS — the world’s #1 SaaS solution for associations and non-profits — announced today that it has acquired Arlington, VA-based OpenWater.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed; there will be no change in OpenWater’s management, staffing, or day-to-day operations. 

    OpenWater’s platform is used by more than 500 associations to manage awards programs, fellowships, scholarships, and grants as well as accreditations, abstracts (call for papers), and hybrid/virtual events.

    OpenWater has been an Authorised iMIS Product Partner for several years and integrates with all versions of iMIS. Data collected through OpenWater is available in iMIS, saving clients time, boosting productivity, and providing a single, comprehensive view of member activity. 

    “OpenWater has been a long-term partner with ASI and together we’ve provided innovative solutions for the association and non-profit communities,” said Kunal Johar, Co-Founder of OpenWater.  “We’re looking forward to joining the ASI family to explore ways we can provide even greater value to our clients in the future.”

    “I’ve always wanted to find the perfect home for OpenWater and I’m excited to have found that with ASI.  I first met Bob Alves during 2019 and I’ve come to be impressed with how ASI has kept their foot on the accelerator after all these years.  They continue to invest in their products and make sure their customers have top-level experiences.  The culture fit between the two companies is obvious and I’m excited for what the future holds,” said Timothy Spell, CEO of OpenWater.

    “Over the years, we’ve been impressed with OpenWater’s platforms, management team, corporate values, and commitment to client satisfaction,” said Bob Alves, Chairman and CEO of Advanced Solutions International.  “In partnership with them, we’ve been able to offer our clients best-of-breed application and review solutions and we can’t wait to work even closer with them to find new ways to expand and enhance our offerings to clients.”

    Learn more at www.advsol.com/imisinspire

    About OpenWater

    OpenWater is a software company based in Arlington, VA (Greater Washington, DC area) in the United States providing an application and review software that streamlines and simplifies award management.  It also offers a virtual event platform to manage online, in-person, and hybrid conferences. Visit www.getopenwater.com for more information.

    About ASI

    ASI is a leading global provider of cloud software and services for associations and non-profits. We help clients digitally transform, streamline operations, and grow revenue through industry expertise, best-practice advice, and high-quality SaaS solutions. Our portfolio of solutions includes iMIS — the only engagement management system (EMS) purpose-built for associations and non-profits — and TopClass LMS by WBT Systems — the #1 association and continuing education learning management system.

     ASI is proud to be an AuSAE Premium Alliance Partner.  Learn more at www.advsol.com/ausae


  • 13 Jan 2022 12:01 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    Professional education is changing.  With advances in technology, the delivery of online training has really come into its own. Once the poor cousin of face-to-face workshops, online delivery is now offering a much better experience with immersive learning environments and the ability to progressively assess understanding of key outcomes.   

    Professionals also increasingly expect to be learning via the internet. They expect on demand access to information including learning, to be able to take part in professional development wherever and whenever they need to learn - and on any device they choose, from traditional computers through to tablets and smart phones.  

    Research conducted by Professional Associations Research Network (PARN) of 1299 professionals about online learning found that the reason for choosing e-learning was clearly led by convenience. 

    Reason for Choosing E-learning  

    • I can do it at a time to suit me 76%  
    • It is cost effective 59%  
    • I don’t have to travel 57%   
    • The learning I wanted was only available via e-learning 28%  
    • I prefer this mode of learning 17%  
    • It is fun 10%  
    • I don’t have to talk to other people 6%  
    • Other 11%  
    • No reply 1%  

    Base 1299  

    The march of technology in elearning 

    The advances in online learning design tools as well as a raft of new technologies including Alexa, Amazon Comprehend, Google Natural Language, Augmented and Virtual Reality are driving a revolutionary change to the landscape of learning. And it is happening faster than we ever expected.   

    What were once abstract and futuristic ideas about education are delivering unexpected opportunities, with current and emerging technologies able to deliver deep, immersive learning experiences unlike anything that have come before.  In the near future, it will be commonplace to use a learning system that picks up that you have not understood a concept prior to moving onto the next idea. Instead of leaving you behind, the system may add in a series of questions to ascertain how much or little you have understood, and then design an individual pathway to the learning outcome that suits you.  It may even use that understanding to tailor the delivery method of the rest of the course to your personal cognitive proficiency. 

    Finding the capacity to harness elearning opportunities has never been more important. As larger global players, unconstrained by a borderless digital world, move into local markets, Australian professional bodies are challenged to assert their own ability to deliver professional training.  

    AuSAE has partnered with Pointsbuild, an Australian owned e-learning company to design, build and deliver the new Learning Hub and new staff induction course, ‘Association Essentials’ and have more courses in development. 

    Pointsbuild works with associations to develop to transform learning content into engaging online learning experiences, delivered on a robust, online platform that puts learning at the forefront of thinking.  To find out more about Pointsbuild, visit www.pointsbuild.com.au.  


  • 10 Jan 2022 10:03 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    AuSAE Premium Alliance Partner, Advanced Solutions International (ASI), a leading global provider of software and services for associations and non-profits, has released a new whitepaper “3 Critical Steps to Digitally Transform Your Association”.

    If you have been thinking about creating a Digital Transformation Strategy but aren’t sure how to get started, download this complimentary new whitepaper from ASI at: https://content.advsol.com/digitally_transform_association

    The whitepaper provides best-practice advice from association clients that have successfully transformed their organisations and will show you how a well-executed plan will impact every aspect of your organisation — streamlining how you operate and how you deliver value to your members.  

    • How to structure an effective strategy
    • Where to focus your initial efforts 
    • What you need to build an innovation group that will challenge the status quo
    • Which technology can best support your objectives  

    Download a complimentary copy

    About ASI
    ASI is a leading global provider of cloud software and services for associations and non-profits. We help clients digitally transform, streamline operations, and grow revenue through industry expertise, best-practice advice, and high-quality SaaS solutions. Our portfolio of solutions includes iMIS — the only engagement management system (EMS) purpose-built for associations and non-profits — and TopClass LMS by WBT Systems, the #1 association and continuing education learning management system. 

     ASI is proud to be an AuSAE Premium Alliance Partner.  Learn more at www.advsol.com/ausae

  • 10 Dec 2021 8:59 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

    Understanding the importance of continuing professional development, or CPD, and its role in furthering the progress of individuals, professions and professional associations encompasses a range of factors.  

    Among them are regulatory shifts, consumer/client expectations and wider changes to the techniques and practices of professions. However, there is also the drive to improve competencies, enhance competitiveness through the use of new technologies and grow an association’s reach and revenue base. 

    One of the key steps in developing an effective CPD program is gaining a clear picture of how it can benefit members and practitioners, and how these benefits will be tracked and measured over time.  

    There are two main pressures driving CPD: 

    1. Your members’ clients, employers and general public – who need to trust your members are up to date and competent in their professional skills and judgement.  
    2. Governing bodies – who will impose regulation if they feel a profession is not meeting required professional obligations and standards.  

    When thinking through your professional development and compliance programs, the outside view of your profession is an important starting point. There are also commercial pressures on your organisation, with a growing number of local and increasingly international companies eyeing off the CPD market with profits in mind. It is no longer safe to believe being the natural repository of standards and knowledge gives you an additional advantage in the new environment.  

    Your members will also create pressure to drive the development of your CPD Programs. They will rightfully look to your organisation as a leader in their field and want to see a clear pathway of learning which will help them develop their knowledge and skill base, so they can be at the cutting edge of their profession. They are also looking to support their own internalised ethic of professional integrity and reputation. 

    AUSAE has partnered with Pointsbuild, a leading online CPD provider, to help members to understand the opportunities that continuing professional development can benefit both your organisation and your members. Pointsbuild will work through the elements of and process for developing a CPD program for your organisation. 

    A great place to start is with AUSAE’s new an online learning platform and CPD course, “Association Essentials”, which was developed with Pointsbuild. This course provides associations with an effective new staff induction tool, providing staff with key background and foundational knowledge as they start their journey in association management. The course provides practical examples of the support and activities associations provide to their members and their collective contribution to society. 

    Pointsbuild empowers professional organisations to deliver flexible, tailored and engaging educational experiences to members, helping them advance careers, enhance credentials and meet their regulatory requirements all the while helping lead conversations that advance the wider industry as a whole. To find out more about Pointsbuild, visit www.pointsbuild.com.au 

  • 03 Dec 2021 4:20 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    Think back to the last time you joined a new group, professional or otherwise — it was probably a little intimidating. Everyone seemingly already knows one another and what to expect, and the unknown can be a bit scary. It feels a little bit like showing up to a party where you don’t know anyone else there. 

    Your association’s new member welcome and onboarding process sets a valuable first impression for your recently joined members. A strong start gives you an advantage in facilitating long-term happiness and success as part of your community. 

    Here are some tips on how to welcome new members to your association or membership-based organization. 

    Start with a helpful welcome letter to new members

    Have you ever been thrilled to become a member of a group, only to feel ghosted and lost after signing up? This doesn’t exactly create the best first impression. One major mistake that associations make is neglecting a comprehensive onboarding process for members. 

    The new member welcome letter may be the first piece of direct communication your members have with your association and is critical for increasing the odds of retaining them in the long run.

    9 Things to include in a new member welcome letter

    1. A personalized greeting

    Always be sure to include a personalized greeting in your welcome letter, as opposed to a generic one like “Valued Member.” Using a first name in your greeting fosters a friendly and caring atmosphere for the new member to feel comfortable getting to know you more. Being called a “valued member” will make them feel significantly less valued!

    2. Gratitude for joining

    Let your new member know how much you appreciate them joining your organization — after all, members keep you running! The earlier you can thank a member, the better they will feel. This is a positive step in building a long-term relationship. 

    3. A recap of the benefits they receive for being a member

    In the same vein as providing access to a member portal early, you want to make sure to highlight any benefits your new members may want to use immediately. This is also a great way to remind them why they decided to sign up.

    4. Instructions on how to log into their account and access the member portal

    Show your members how to get engaged right from the start! Include brief, easy-to-understand instructions on how to access their member portal inside the welcome letter. The earlier this is done, the more likely your new member will dive into all of the resources you have available. 

    5. An overview of next steps or upcoming events

    Remind members that there’s more to their membership! Let them know what to expect next from you, whether that is a new member packet in the mail or a full onboarding series of content. Let them know of any upcoming events that they may want to attend. 

    Pro tip: if you know their specific interests, tailor this list to events that you think would be of particular interest to them. You may also want to tell them about special committees or councils they might be interested in joining.

    6. Links to important resources and/or training guides

    Give your new members a roadmap to becoming informed, established members. However, be sure to keep this list of resources short to avoid overwhelming them. 

    7. Information on where to go to for help

    In case your new members hit any snags while looking through the resources you provided above, provide an easy, straightforward process for where to go for help to avoid any early frustrations with members. You want your members to feel like your association is easily accessible and always there for them.

    8. A request to whitelist your domain so they don’t miss your communications

    Now that you’ve provided value to your new members early, take this opportunity to remind them to whitelist your domain so they won’t miss any future emails! Many associations’ emails get blocked by email firewalls, so requesting they save your email address as a contact can help improve email deliverability.

    9. An invitation to ask questions or share why they joined

    Just in case there is any pertinent information that your email didn’t cover, invite members to ask you questions directly. This is also a good opportunity to ask them to share why they joined your association! 

    New member welcome letter template

    Need some more help getting started? Here is a template for a new member welcome letter you can tailor for your own association or membership-based organization:

    Dear [new member first name],

    Thank you so much for joining [your association’s name]! We’re so excited to have you on board and can’t wait to get to know and serve you.

    We invite you to log in at [website URL] to complete your membership profile with the following information:

    Email: [email]

    Password: [password]

    Once you log in, you’ll be able to access these exclusive, members-only resources!

    [list top resources available in member portal]

    To help you get involved, here are a few upcoming events we think you’ll enjoy. Attending our events is a great way to learn, meet other members, and have fun!

    [list upcoming events here]

    In addition, we want to make sure you’re taking full advantage of all the membership benefits now available to you! Here are a few other things you can get started with right away:

    [List primary membership benefits]

    We’ll be following up next week with our full membership welcome package, so keep an eye out for that! Be sure to add this email address to your contact list to avoid missing out on any important messages and exclusive content!

    Should you need any assistance or have questions about your membership at any time, please feel free to contact us at [phone number] or email us at [email address]. 

    Got everything you need? We still welcome you to reach out and let us know your thoughts on your experience so far!

    Best of luck to you, and thank you for being a part of the [association name] community.

    [Your name]

    [Your title]

    Follow up with personalized information

    If a new member indicated they are interested in a particular member benefit, be sure to follow up and direct them to those specific resources and how to access them. Be sure to do this in the earliest stages of their membership so they can find exactly what they’re looking for, right from the start. 

    Hold quarterly new member social gatherings

    New member socials are a great way to facilitate networking and foster a sense of community among those who recently joined your organization. New members can ask questions and meet each other in a non-intimidating environment. The frequency of these new member socials will depend on your individual association — if you have a lot of new members each month, monthly events might be a better fit.  

    Check in with your new members

    Checking in on new members a few months into their membership not only provides your association team with insights on your member onboarding process, but also helps you build meaningful relationships with members that will keep them a part of your organization for the long haul. 

    Provide an online forum where members can welcome and interact with one another

    Your association should have some sort of digital forum where members can connect with one another. This is a great place to introduce new members with a short bio and open the doors for existing members to welcome them into the fold. Another nice touch would be to add a new member’s welcome section to your email newsletter. 

    Create a buddy system

    A great way to make new members feel comfortable and connected is by creating a buddy system that connects new members with veteran members. This will automatically make them feel like they’re not alone and they have an experienced person to whom they can direct their questions. It’s always less intimidating to attend an event when you know someone who will be there!

    Keep the communication going 

    It is easy to let communication with new members fall by the wayside once they have completed initial onboarding. However, in order to keep them engaged and happy in the long-term, be sure to continuously make members feel valued and appreciated!

    How you welcome new members to your association sets the tone for their overall membership experience, so don’t neglect this important part of the process.

    Posted Here 

  • 03 Dec 2021 4:17 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    The pandemic’s impact has been inconsistent—affecting people in vastly different ways. One association came up with a plan to keep dues revenue steady, while also giving its members a part to play in building—and sustaining—the community in crisis.

    By Lisa Boylan Nov 30, 2021

    Making the decision to raise dues is an ongoing dilemma, exacerbated by financial uncertainty—and at times inequity. The American Sociological Association found a way to help its members—and give them a chance to help one another—with an inspiring initiative that ended up increasing membership.

    With the pandemic raging by mid-2020, it was clear to Margaret Vitullo, Ph.D., CAE, ASA’s deputy director, that the group could not proceed with a business-as-usual approach to membership dues because its members were not impacted equally by the crisis.

    Some members were facing extreme financial straits, including those at smaller institutions that were cutting staff, while others were able to continue their practices in home offices. Not only were those latter members able to maintain their salaries, they also lowered their expenses because they were not commuting or incurring any other in-office-related expenses. “It’s a very complicated situation,” Vitullo said.

    In discussing what to do with her team, three things became clear.

    • ASA had no way of knowing who needed financial help and who might be able to help others.
    • The community of sociologists needed each other more than ever.
    • ASA’s mission—to support sociologists in their work, advance the discipline of sociology as a science and profession, and promote the contributions and use of sociology to society—was paramount.

    Pay-What-You-Want Pricing

    So, ASA developed the Pick Your Own Sponsorship program to respond to a complex reality. Under PYOS, ASA was able to keep membership dues steady. The group gave members the opportunity to either take a sponsorship—reducing their dues by 10, 20, or 30 percent, or give a sponsorship and add a donation of 10, 20, or 30 percent on top of their regular dues payment.

    ASA refined the idea for the program by studying business management literature on pay-what-you-want pricing and then built risk-ratio modeling for what might happen if they did implement the program. Research into pay-what-you-want pricing revealed a need for a suggested price point. ASA used its 2020 dues rate and then gave members a range they could choose from—but limited that range.

    The support of ASA’s elected leadership was a critical element in making the program a reality. “PYOS could not have happened without their vision and willingness to take risks at a time when courage was needed,” Vitullo said. The board’s willingness to go out on a limb was rewarded: More than a quarter of members participated in the program, and ASA’s membership grew by 14 percent in 2021.

    An Intangible Member Benefit

    ASA developed a three-question pulse survey and 70 percent of members who took a sponsorship said they likely would not have joined without the sponsorship options. “They said the sponsorship option made them feel seen, valued, and that they weren’t alone,” Vitullo said. Sponsorship donors also praised the program: “They commented on how happy they were to help their colleagues, build community, and contribute to keeping the association strong.”

    The importance of community, especially in times like this, cannot be overstated. “When you start to focus on concrete membership benefits, you can lose sight of the intangible benefits of membership like community,” Vitullo said. The PYOS program reinforces that sense of community.

    “In the midst of a pandemic, that’s one of the things we all need,” she said. “We all need community to make our way through this.”

    Posted Here 

  • 03 Dec 2021 4:14 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)

    Associations can leverage the mission-driven nature of their work to help employees find meaning at a time when many are struggling to rediscover their passion for their work.

    By Michael Hickey Nov 30, 2021

    National trends indicate that at least some of your team is suffering from burnout. Some of the issues that drive burnout are a part of today’s work life: a stressful public health environment, questions around remote work, and isolation.

    But there’s one factor behind burnout that associations are uniquely positioned to combat: a loss of purpose. After all, associations are built on a mission.

    “The work that we do is mission-driven, purpose-driven, serving certain industries and communities,” said Mariama Boney, president and CEO of Achieve More LLC. “Recognizing the impact we make in the world is absolutely critical.”

    How can associations help their employees revitalize their sense of purpose? Consider these tips from Boney.

    Connect Employees With the Community They Serve

    Associations often do work on behalf of a particular community or group, but employees may not always be able to see that impact firsthand. Organizations can revitalize employees’ sense of purpose by sharing member stories that demonstrate that impact. Have you received correspondence from a community member lauding the work that your organization does? Pass that on to the entire staff to give employees a chance to connect to the community in a way that doesn’t add to burnout by placing additional demands on their time.

    “[Connecting with the community] is helpful so long as it’s not giving employees one more thing to do. That’s where we get to burnout, because people already feel like they have enough stuff to do,” Boney said.

    Dan Cable, author of Alive at Work, presented a real-world example of this in Harvard Business Review: A leader at pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG shared a story of the profound impact a new technology had on a patient with diabetes, which made those who developed the technology “feel more purpose” for months afterward.

    Let Employee Voices Be Heard

    If workers feel their concerns and suggestions aren’t being heard, they may start to believe that their hard work and long hours are for nothing, further disconnecting them from your organizational sense of purpose. Show employees that their input matters by providing plenty of opportunities for them to voice their thoughts: town halls, all-hands meetings, one-on-ones with direct reports, surveys. From there, show the impact employees have by working to implement their ideas.

    “Pulling people together, asking them for their ideas, allowing them to utilize their expertise, and taking some of their ideas creates a sense of connection, belonging, purpose, confidence, and pride,” Boney said.

    Provide Opportunities for Continual Growth

    One of the hallmark signs of burnout is a feeling of cynicism or hopelessness toward one’s career, which could arise if someone doesn’t think there’s any possibility for growth or advancement. Organizations can keep this feeling at bay by consistently giving employees opportunities to learn new things, pick up new skills, and develop relationships with senior leadership.

    “People want to continue to grow,” Boney said. “They want training and learning around what they do every day.”

    Professional development can take many forms—training courses, webinars, workshops, certifications—but Boney emphasized coaching, where managers and senior leaders mentor younger employees and guide them to the next stages of their careers.

    Humanize Your Organizational Culture

    Because the pandemic has brought on challenges that may erode one’s connection with others, organizations should focus on humanizing their cultures so that employees can develop genuine connections with each other, which will help reinvigorate their sense of purpose. And the job starts with leadership, who should be checking in frequently to get a pulse for how employees are feeling, what they’re struggling with, and what they need right now.

    “It’s key that we have inclusive and compassionate leadership, because of the way in which the world of work is changing and the trauma we’ve seen on a number of different levels,” Boney said.

    It’s also about finding ways for your staff to come together, such as planning staff retreats or events outside the workplace.

    Posted here: Burnout Recovery & Prevention: A Sense of Purpose Rekindled - Associations Now
  • 03 Dec 2021 4:10 AM | Brett Jeffery, CAE (Administrator)
    I was riding on a bus in Rotorua the other day and thought about associations and how they interact with society. If you ride on a bus – you’re dealing with the Bus and Coach Association.

    As you step off the bus and walk on the footpath…

    Let’s think about the footpath for a moment. There have been multiple associations that have assisted in developing and building one important product. Architects NZ, Planning NZ and Engineering NZ for designing the concrete. The Concrete NZ Association for ensuring the correct concrete is supplied and laid. Civil Contractors NZ members build the footpath. The Building Officials Institute of New Zealand trains and supports the local council that signs off the finished product. Taituarā and Local Government NZ supports the council. Retail NZ and Business New Zealand members supply the products and tools that were purchased to make the footpath. I’m sure I’ve missed other associations along the supply chain that have also assisted in some way to build that footpath.

    With all processes there must be standards, both in delivery and specifications. This is one of the most important explanations as to why trade and professional membership organisations exist in New Zealand and around the world. And this is just the footpath. As I walked down the street I saw fences, houses, cars – every single one of these items have had multiple dealings with associations. Associations touch every single item in our daily lives.

    Think about when you’re sitting down at your desk, looking at a magazine or book. How was it produced, how was it delivered to you? It is of a high standard to ensure the best user experience. How many associations assisted in this? Even your ability to read the magazine – how many associations have touched your education? Early Childhood New Zealand, kindergarten associations, NZEI, Primary and Post Primary Schools Association, New Zealand School Trustees Association and many more.

    Conferencing and meetings touch all associations. They are held to discuss new ideas and be educated by subject matter experts and their peers. When we hold our conference, there is an expectation of delivery standards. Think about how many associations a delegate / client uses when they are at a destination. From the airport, to using a taxi or transportation vehicle, to a hotel or motel, to a restaurant or bar, to the venue, to the products and services that are utilised when running a conference. That’s just at the conference – how many people purchase gifts or go shopping when they’re in your destination? Every single one of these services that delegates use is attached to an association. When associations can finally meet safely, hopefully in the early part of 2022, the big questions need to be asked of the conferencing community, as many organisations have not delivered many face-to-face conferences and meetings for numerous months.

    What support are you going to give delegates to ensure that they can meet safely, over and above any government-mandated policy? Are you communicating this to the respective associations to ensure delegates have confidence in coming to your venue / hotel or destination? I believe the most important question is what do the delivery standards look like for delegates that are conferencing at your place? Like the footpath we don’t want it to crumble when walking on it. And at the same time, we don’t want our conference to fall over because of delivery and service standards. The question for the industry is who you are looking to, to ensure that your standards are not compromised when we lead back into recovery mode from this awful mess where are in at the moment?

    What standards are you striving to achieve? Think about that when you’re walking along the footpath.

    Truly yours Brett Jeffery

    Brett Jeffery Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) Phone 027 249 8677

    December 2021



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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