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Guest Posts

Generation Z: 12 Important Things Companies Need To Understand

Did you happen to see what the Forbes Coaches Council has to say about Gen Z?

Read more

A Closer Look at Associations

At XYZ University, we’ve spent a lot of time with association professionals over the years and we know how important these organizations are. This week, we’re taking a closer look at scary stats about associations.

Read more

Move over Millennials

Millennials have been in the spotlight as of late, but Gen Z-ers (born 1996-2012) are quickly approaching a pivotal role in the workplace and marketplace. Who are they?

Read more

What's Happening in the Workplace

Boomers, Gen Xers, a few Traditionals and the newest addition to the workforce, Gen Z, are all affecting the way we do business. This week scary stats are focused on how these factors are shaping the world at work.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

Why They Quit: XYZ University Researches Millennial Turnover

Millennials are notorious for job-hopping. These young adults, ages 21-34 and also known as Generation Y, change jobs three times more often than other generations. In fact, 48% of Millennials are planning to leave their jobs within the next 24 months.

Read more

3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

Read more

To Gen X, it was More than Purple Rain

The world is still reeling from the death of Prince Rogers Nelson, the multi-platinum-selling music legend who died on April 21. Prince was an influential artist in a recording career spanning 38 years, and his music became the soundtrack for Generation X (1965-1981) who grew up listening to his music.

Read more

Swift Lessons in Millennial Marketing

There’s no doubt 2015 was the year of Taylor Swift. Building off the success of her 1989 album, Swift’s world tour generated over $4 million per show.

Read more

Engaging the Modern Millennial Family at YMCA

For the past year, XYZ University has worked with the YMCA of the USA, surveying 5,250 Millennial members nationwide, presenting at YMCA conferences, and developing membership strategies and a Millennial membership-building toolkit to help Ys engage the membership of Millennial families.

Read more

Super Bowl Ads Try to Woo Millennials

The sports fans will talk about the game, the music fans will talk about the halftime show, and the foodies will talk about the food they ate during the game. But we at XYZ University look at an event like Super Bowl 50 from an entirely different point of view — the generational one.

Read more

The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

Read more

How Helicopter Parents Changed the Workforce

It’s back to school time, and as you prep your little darlings for another year of education, take some time to reflect on your own school experiences.

Read more

Gen Z and Your Business: BFFs or Snapchat?

Just as companies are coming to terms with the wave of Gen Ys, another generation is creeping up behind them. Generation Z — the oldest who are turning 19 — are moving en masse into entry-level jobs, colleges, and internships. Born in the late 1990s and early 2000s they make up a quarter of the population and have little in common with their Gen Y predecessors. Here’s what you need to know about Z.

Read more

Knowing Y in Holland

Generation Y. Millennials. Echo Boomers. Trophy Generation. Regardless of how you refer to them, organizations worldwide are really perplexed by the generation of young adults now moving into the majority of the workforce and consumer spending.

Read more

The World's Aging Workforce and What Your Business Should do About It

Despite projected growth in the global population from 6.9 billion to 7.6 billion in 2020, the working-age population is expected to decline. In fact, aging will likely add 360 million older people (Baby Boomers) to the world’s pool of those not participating in the labor force.

Read more

Rookie Talent: Avoiding a Kodak Moment

During most of the 20th century Kodak held a dominant position in photographic film, and in 1976, had an 89% market share of photographic film sales in the United States. Kodak began to struggle financially in the late 1990s as a result of the decline in sales of photographic film and its slowness in transitioning

Read more

What Would Scrooge Do?: Planning For Workforce Future

Tis the season for the celebration of one year’s end and another year’s beginning. Amidst all the champagne and time spent with family and friends, I encourage you to ponder the future–but perhaps a little differently than usual. Most of us are familiar with the famous story by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

Read more

Culture And The Bottom Line: Why Burritos Are Outperforming The S&P 500

You can’t put a price on culture. Or can you? Danny Meyer is a renowned New York City restauranteur and the CEO and founder of Union Square Hospitality Group. He believes success in any business is based on culture. In 2009 Meyer appeared on Jim Cramer’s show Mad Money.

Read more

Want To Ace The Interview? Strategies For Gen Y Job-Seekers

Did you know? One of the biggest complaints employers have about Generation Y (1982-1995) is that they’re not prepared for interviews, and many employers consider hiring Gen Ys a risk because they leave their jobs faster than other generations and they are difficult to manage.

Read more
View older posts →

Are you ready for the Snapchat generation?

Snapchat's parent company, Snap, has made headlines for the better part of the past two weeks since its IPO on March 2. Snap's market value increased by nearly $9 billion on its first day of trading; it's first day pop being bigger than even Facebook's or Google's. Perhaps you're still not sure what all the fuss is about. Here's the skinny:

Read more

What's Happening in the Workplace

Boomers, Gen Xers, a few Traditionals and the newest addition to the workforce, Gen Z, are all affecting the way we do business. This week scary stats are focused on how these factors are shaping the world at work.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

To Gen X, it was More than Purple Rain

The world is still reeling from the death of Prince Rogers Nelson, the multi-platinum-selling music legend who died on April 21. Prince was an influential artist in a recording career spanning 38 years, and his music became the soundtrack for Generation X (1965-1981) who grew up listening to his music.

Read more

Super Bowl Ads Try to Woo Millennials

The sports fans will talk about the game, the music fans will talk about the halftime show, and the foodies will talk about the food they ate during the game. But we at XYZ University look at an event like Super Bowl 50 from an entirely different point of view — the generational one.

Read more

Scary Stats 2014: 10 Terrifying Workforce Truths

Brace yourself. This is scarier than any hairy spider, mean clown costume, or horror flick you could possibly see this Halloween. Last year, XYZ University sent out its Scary Stats debut, and it’s baaack and scarier than ever. We’re counting the stats down, working our way to the scariest stat of them all.

Read more

Xers, Ys Spur A Political Power Shift

I watched the televised coverage of the Iowa caucus with great interest, not only because I grew up in the state, but also from a generational perspective.

Read more

Retirement Is Not The Problem

An article published in today’s Pioneer Press reports that, despite beliefs that the current economy has prolonged retirements, Baby Boomers are indeed retiring. Based on Social Security data and projected population growth, the state demographer’s office projects 59,000 retirements this year, 62,000 next year, and then increases each year throughout the decade.

Read more

Their Decision To Volunteer: How To Influence X And Y

Last week I spoke for two associations in Washington, D.C. – the National Fraternal Congress of America and General Federation of Women's Clubs. Both of these associations are concerned about their aging memberships.

Read more

Work Redefined: The 21st Century Workplace

Generation Y is bigger than the Baby Boomer generation. As Boomers retire and more Millennials move into ranks of authority, the 21st Century workplace is going to see some major shifts. These shifts are already happening, and they are redefining the workplace.

Read more

5 Ways To Engage And Disengage Generations X And Y

At XYZ University, our area of expertise is teaching organizations how to engage Generations X, Y, and Z; those skeptical, instant-gratification generations who were raised on technology and credit cards and are often labeled socially inept, entitled slackers.

Read more

At Risk Of Aging Out: The Oldest Fortune 500 Companies And Industries

A recent report by RetirementJobs.com ranked Fortune 500 employers by the percentage of workers they have over age 50. RetirementJobs.com gathered data from public records and surveys of employers and employees, to illustrate for job seekers which industries tend to employ a disproportionately high or low percentage of mature workers.

Read more

The Boomers Are Leaving: Retain Their Knowledge

We need to be honest; we’re facing a workforce crisis. An average of 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every day, and they have knowledge you can’t afford to lose. With a good succession plan in place, you don’t have to. Instead, facilitate a transfer of knowledge–improve your organization support its future viability.

Read more

Recruitng The Nxt Gen In2 Ur Assn

Recrutng the nxt gen in2 ur assn doesn’t have to look like this. The key to boosting membership is to know what your members want from your association. If you want your members to find real value in being part of your association, it is your responsibility to make sure it addresses their needs, not what you think are their needs. This holds equally true for younger members. If you want to boost Generation X and Y membership in your association, you must cater to the value those members are looking for.

Read more

Newspapers Suffering From Generational Divide

As a former newspaper reporter and editor, I am observing with great interest the closure of city newspapers. Last week, the 146-year-old Seattle Post Intelligencer published its last print issue to become an exclusive on-line publisher–a move that left the Seattle Times the only major daily in that city.

Read more

Our Workforce: The Scary Truth And A Treat For You

It’s coming, and it’s bigger than Y2K and that asteroid NASA says “could” hit the earth in 2032. This is real, and you need to prepare; it’s going to change the way you, and everyone else, works. There will be no near-misses or “oops we were wrong”, and you’ll need to do more than buy a backup generator and bury your gold to get ready for the changes coming, so listen up; we’re talking about your workforce. We’re talking about the workforce crisis.

Read more

Your Bridge To Access

Read more

Age Doesn't Matter

It never fails. Wherever I go, whomever I’m speaking to, someone thinks Generations X and Y are a hopeless bunch of saps. Just recently I had a client tell me “those kids and their stupid iPods have no appreciation for anything great or meaningful in this world.” Ouch!

Read more

The Big Global Crack Up: Generational Shift Causes Economic And Political Shake-Down

Remember when associations and other membership organizations, like Rotary and chambers of commerce, enjoyed a lock on their markets? The Baby Boomers joined associations in droves. Now, participation is changing, fueled by social changes, generational shifts, a recession-prone economy, and rapidly-changing technology.

Read more

Great Leadership Requires Plenty Of Practice

The mass exodus of Baby Boomers from the workplace has already begun. According to the US Office of Personnel Management, between 2006 and 2010 Boomer retirement will have robbed American companies of nearly 290,000 full-time experienced employees.

Read more
View older posts →

Millennial Nomads, and how it could affect retaining employees…

According to a survey conducted by AfterCollege networking site, 59% of current job seekers look for a flexible work schedule from a prospective employer, while 70% said they’re more likely to accept a job if there’s the option to work from home at least one day a week. Both of these rank second to work/life balance. So, how is the Millennial Nomad life style possibly affecting your work culture?

Read more

Are you ready for the Snapchat generation?

Snapchat's parent company, Snap, has made headlines for the better part of the past two weeks since its IPO on March 2. Snap's market value increased by nearly $9 billion on its first day of trading; it's first day pop being bigger than even Facebook's or Google's. Perhaps you're still not sure what all the fuss is about. Here's the skinny:

Read more

Move over Millennials

Millennials have been in the spotlight as of late, but Gen Z-ers (born 1996-2012) are quickly approaching a pivotal role in the workplace and marketplace. Who are they?

Read more

What's Happening in the Workplace

Boomers, Gen Xers, a few Traditionals and the newest addition to the workforce, Gen Z, are all affecting the way we do business. This week scary stats are focused on how these factors are shaping the world at work.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

Why They Quit: XYZ University Researches Millennial Turnover

Millennials are notorious for job-hopping. These young adults, ages 21-34 and also known as Generation Y, change jobs three times more often than other generations. In fact, 48% of Millennials are planning to leave their jobs within the next 24 months.

Read more

3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

Read more

Swift Lessons in Millennial Marketing

There’s no doubt 2015 was the year of Taylor Swift. Building off the success of her 1989 album, Swift’s world tour generated over $4 million per show.

Read more

Engaging the Modern Millennial Family at YMCA

For the past year, XYZ University has worked with the YMCA of the USA, surveying 5,250 Millennial members nationwide, presenting at YMCA conferences, and developing membership strategies and a Millennial membership-building toolkit to help Ys engage the membership of Millennial families.

Read more

Super Bowl Ads Try to Woo Millennials

The sports fans will talk about the game, the music fans will talk about the halftime show, and the foodies will talk about the food they ate during the game. But we at XYZ University look at an event like Super Bowl 50 from an entirely different point of view — the generational one.

Read more

The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

Read more

How Helicopter Parents Changed the Workforce

It’s back to school time, and as you prep your little darlings for another year of education, take some time to reflect on your own school experiences.

Read more

Knowing Y in Holland

Generation Y. Millennials. Echo Boomers. Trophy Generation. Regardless of how you refer to them, organizations worldwide are really perplexed by the generation of young adults now moving into the majority of the workforce and consumer spending.

Read more

Culture And The Bottom Line: Why Burritos Are Outperforming The S&P 500

You can’t put a price on culture. Or can you? Danny Meyer is a renowned New York City restauranteur and the CEO and founder of Union Square Hospitality Group. He believes success in any business is based on culture. In 2009 Meyer appeared on Jim Cramer’s show Mad Money.

Read more

Want To Ace The Interview? Strategies For Gen Y Job-Seekers

Did you know? One of the biggest complaints employers have about Generation Y (1982-1995) is that they’re not prepared for interviews, and many employers consider hiring Gen Ys a risk because they leave their jobs faster than other generations and they are difficult to manage.

Read more

Scary Stats 2014: 10 Terrifying Workforce Truths

Brace yourself. This is scarier than any hairy spider, mean clown costume, or horror flick you could possibly see this Halloween. Last year, XYZ University sent out its Scary Stats debut, and it’s baaack and scarier than ever. We’re counting the stats down, working our way to the scariest stat of them all.

Read more

The State Of Advocacy For Associations: What Are The Challenges?

Here at XYZ University, we recently conducted a study of more than 125 association executives to gather insight on the state of advocacy in associations. In our survey, we asked you what the major challenges were relating to providing advocacy as a service to members, here’s what you had to say.

Read more

The New Workforce: Young, Rich And Female

Picture a picnic blanket, laid out beautifully on the green grass set with a wooden picnic basket and plates, napkins, and delicious food on display.

Read more

Marketing To Gen Y

Marketing to Gen Y might sound scary, but understanding what kind of consumers they are and what motivates them will help you build a marketing plan that will have the younger generation pulling out their wallets to support your brand. You can do this.

Read more

Xers, Ys Spur A Political Power Shift

I watched the televised coverage of the Iowa caucus with great interest, not only because I grew up in the state, but also from a generational perspective.

Read more
View older posts →

Generation Z: 12 Important Things Companies Need To Understand

Did you happen to see what the Forbes Coaches Council has to say about Gen Z?

Read more

Move over Millennials

Millennials have been in the spotlight as of late, but Gen Z-ers (born 1996-2012) are quickly approaching a pivotal role in the workplace and marketplace. Who are they?

Read more

What's Happening in the Workplace

Boomers, Gen Xers, a few Traditionals and the newest addition to the workforce, Gen Z, are all affecting the way we do business. This week scary stats are focused on how these factors are shaping the world at work.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

Gen Z and Your Business: BFFs or Snapchat?

Just as companies are coming to terms with the wave of Gen Ys, another generation is creeping up behind them. Generation Z — the oldest who are turning 19 — are moving en masse into entry-level jobs, colleges, and internships. Born in the late 1990s and early 2000s they make up a quarter of the population and have little in common with their Gen Y predecessors. Here’s what you need to know about Z.

Read more

Scary Stats 2014: 10 Terrifying Workforce Truths

Brace yourself. This is scarier than any hairy spider, mean clown costume, or horror flick you could possibly see this Halloween. Last year, XYZ University sent out its Scary Stats debut, and it’s baaack and scarier than ever. We’re counting the stats down, working our way to the scariest stat of them all.

Read more

Work Redefined: The 21st Century Workplace

Generation Y is bigger than the Baby Boomer generation. As Boomers retire and more Millennials move into ranks of authority, the 21st Century workplace is going to see some major shifts. These shifts are already happening, and they are redefining the workplace.

Read more

Newspapers Suffering From Generational Divide

As a former newspaper reporter and editor, I am observing with great interest the closure of city newspapers. Last week, the 146-year-old Seattle Post Intelligencer published its last print issue to become an exclusive on-line publisher–a move that left the Seattle Times the only major daily in that city.

Read more

Post 9-11 Generation Gets An Introduction To Osama Bin Laden

On September 11, 2001, shortly after I walked into work in downtown Minneapolis my boss made an annoucement: terrorists have attacked The World Trade Center in New York City. I clearly remember her telling us to leave work immediately.

Read more

Our Workforce: The Scary Truth And A Treat For You

It’s coming, and it’s bigger than Y2K and that asteroid NASA says “could” hit the earth in 2032. This is real, and you need to prepare; it’s going to change the way you, and everyone else, works. There will be no near-misses or “oops we were wrong”, and you’ll need to do more than buy a backup generator and bury your gold to get ready for the changes coming, so listen up; we’re talking about your workforce. We’re talking about the workforce crisis.

Read more

Your Bridge To Access

Read more

Age Doesn't Matter

It never fails. Wherever I go, whomever I’m speaking to, someone thinks Generations X and Y are a hopeless bunch of saps. Just recently I had a client tell me “those kids and their stupid iPods have no appreciation for anything great or meaningful in this world.” Ouch!

Read more

The Big Global Crack Up: Generational Shift Causes Economic And Political Shake-Down

Remember when associations and other membership organizations, like Rotary and chambers of commerce, enjoyed a lock on their markets? The Baby Boomers joined associations in droves. Now, participation is changing, fueled by social changes, generational shifts, a recession-prone economy, and rapidly-changing technology.

Read more

Examples Of Successful Twitter Engagement With Generations X, Y And Z

As social media continues to evolve companies, associations and brands are searching for ways to connect with their employees, members and target markets–and vice versa–employees, members and consumers are using social media to connect, communicate and correspond with their employers, associations, brands and celebrities.

Read more

The Battle For Relevance: Stick To Your Mission And Engage The Next Generation Of Leaders

Your members are with you because you have fulfilled an expectation for them and can provide them with something valuable they feel paying membership is worth. It probably had something to do with your mission. At least it did. Are you happy with your new member recruitment? If not, you need to consider relevance.

Read more

Generations Working Together For A Change

In my work with generations, I’ve heard so much about how employers fear change, even loath change. Well, maybe they haven’t described it in exactly those terms, but when employers say things like: “Why do these younger employees expect praise just for showing up?,” or “We can’t have people working from home because we don’t know that they are actually working,” and “Do I really have to tweet?” — they are really voicing their opposition to change.

Read more

Is Your Industry Aging Out?

FACT: In the wake of the Great Recession, some Baby Boomers are delaying retirement, hoping that a few extra years of work will help them replenish nest eggs devastated by the economic downturn.

Read more

Quick Glimpse At The Generation Gap In Your Office

Over the next five years, we will be a part of an unprecedented generation shift as Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers in the workforce. Today’s post is a quick visual glimpse at the breakdown of what your office may look like generation-wise in the next five years. Are you prepared for this shift?

Read more

Which Generation Works The Hardest?

Last week I spoke at a corporate event where younger generations were getting a tongue-lashing from their Baby Boomer counterparts. The Boomers were scolding Generation Y for needing constant feedback, being unable to prioritize, and wanting to have (gasp!) fun at work.

Read more

Marketing To X And Y: How To Reach The Next Generation Of Consumers

How do you reach an audience that can choose their own music without listening to a commercial radio station, can block outsiders from their social circle—which revolves around cell phones and online networks like Facebook and MySpace—and only refer to newspapers when they need packing material to move on to their next venue?

Read more
View older posts →

A Closer Look at Associations

At XYZ University, we’ve spent a lot of time with association professionals over the years and we know how important these organizations are. This week, we’re taking a closer look at scary stats about associations.

Read more

Leaves Aren't the Only Things Changing

Its officially been autumn for over a week and that means its time for XYZ University’s annual scary stats campaign.

Read more

3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

Read more

Engaging the Modern Millennial Family at YMCA

For the past year, XYZ University has worked with the YMCA of the USA, surveying 5,250 Millennial members nationwide, presenting at YMCA conferences, and developing membership strategies and a Millennial membership-building toolkit to help Ys engage the membership of Millennial families.

Read more

Online Communities And Member Retention

The only way way your association is going to be able to retain members is by making them feel connected to you and by providing them value. Why else would they pay membership dues? If they can have the same experience elsewhere, there’s nothing to keep them from going elsewhere.

Read more

Tools For Member Recruitment And Retention

In 1965, 75 percent of all physicians belonged to the American Medical Association. Today less than 25 percent do. This decline can be attributed to six major issues: technology, generational differences, value expectations, market structure, competition, and time constraints. In these challenging times, how can trade associations recruit and retain members?

Read more

What The 2012 Pulse Report Means For Your Association

The 2012 Pulse report by Greenfield Services Inc. is out, a sort of crystal ball for associations. What does the report show and what does it mean for your association? Well, things are changing: the economy, technology, social media tools and paradigms for using them, generation shifts. Your members and stakeholders have new expectations, but your associations aren’t changing fast enough to keep up. We captured a snapshot of the report in the following infographic:

Read more

New Ideas For Old Meetings

It’s a new day in the association meetings industry. For the most part, gone are the 5-day gatherings, full-day presentations and lecture-only sessions. Replacing them are shorter meetings, shorter sessions within a conference, and participatory lectures.

Read more

How To Get Your Association Members Excited About Advocacy

Often, advocacy is touted as a benefit of joining an association. Yet, many association members find every reason in the world not to get involved.

Read more

Association Demographic Trends For 2012 (And What To Do About Them)

Association TRENDS released a snapshot of the current demographic state of associations at the beginning of February 2012. Comparing data from the 2011 and 2012 National Trade and Professional Association directories, Association TRENDS found significant changes in associations by industry as well as an increase in association headquarters across the majority of the United States. When it came to association leadership at the executive level, the change was less significant. Take a look at the break-down of information below. Does the information seem to jive with your own association demographics?

Read more

Keeping Non-Members Engaged, Email-Style

How many readers of this blog get emails from various organizations inviting you to an upcoming conference or event? Or, as an association executive, how many times have you used your non-member list to promote attendance registration for one of your educational opportunities? When was the last time your list was tidied up?

Read more

Is Your Association’s Culture Helping Or Hurting Member Recruitment And Retention?

As an association executive, you may have the power to change your association’s mission with the stroke of a pen. And you may have the ability to hire, fire, promote and demote people with relatively little effort.

Read more

Recognizing Membership Success: Examples From Ontario Library Association

In September 2011, I had the pleasure of meeting Beckie MacDonald, M.L.I.S at the CSAE (Canadian Society of Association Executives) National Conference & Tradeshow in Saskatoon, SK.

Read more

Will Social Media Kill Membership Associations?

According to CNN, approximately 75% of people get their news from social media sites. This includes information about upcoming events, the pulse of business and yes, even your association.

Read more

Next Generation Association Highlight: Choose Chicago

This post is part of XYZ University’s “Next Generation Association” blog series, highlighting associations around the country who are making strides in engaging the next generation of members and leaders. If you would like to nominate an association for our “Next Generation Association” series, please contact Melissa Harrison.

Read more

5 Must-Have Strategies For Successful Membership Recruitment

Ever feel like you’re reacting to low membership numbers rather than working through an established, proactive plan to recruit and retain your members? Do you know why you do the things you do as they pertain to reaching out to new members for your association?

Read more

4 Membership Marketing Trends Your Association Can't Afford To Miss

In a time where a new social media platform seems to explode every month, and business professionals spend more time on their smartphones than on their desktop computers, associations need to step up their game if they plan on being top contenders for membership.

Read more

Getting Personal: Why Your Association Needs To Do It For Members

Membership sector online personalization is a huge topic. In 2014, it was the key online challenge facing the membership organizations and associations. I’m defining online (member) personalization as the delivery of targeted and personalized online content based on what we know about a website visitor or member. We need to talk more about what online personalization is and why your membership organizations should be doing it.

Read more

The Battle For Relevance: Stick To Your Mission And Engage The Next Generation Of Leaders

Your members are with you because you have fulfilled an expectation for them and can provide them with something valuable they feel paying membership is worth. It probably had something to do with your mission. At least it did. Are you happy with your new member recruitment? If not, you need to consider relevance.

Read more

Top 10 Ways European Associations Are Harnessing The Web

In the first of two guest posts, we caught up with association professional and chair of the MemberWise Network, Richard Gott. By day he is the Head of Membership Development at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and by night he develops and runs his 1,400 association professional-strong (free to join) network.

Read more
View older posts →

Millennial Nomads, and how it could affect retaining employees…

According to a survey conducted by AfterCollege networking site, 59% of current job seekers look for a flexible work schedule from a prospective employer, while 70% said they’re more likely to accept a job if there’s the option to work from home at least one day a week. Both of these rank second to work/life balance. So, how is the Millennial Nomad life style possibly affecting your work culture?

Read more

Are you ready for the Snapchat generation?

Snapchat's parent company, Snap, has made headlines for the better part of the past two weeks since its IPO on March 2. Snap's market value increased by nearly $9 billion on its first day of trading; it's first day pop being bigger than even Facebook's or Google's. Perhaps you're still not sure what all the fuss is about. Here's the skinny:

Read more

A Closer Look at Associations

At XYZ University, we’ve spent a lot of time with association professionals over the years and we know how important these organizations are. This week, we’re taking a closer look at scary stats about associations.

Read more

Why They Quit: XYZ University Researches Millennial Turnover

Millennials are notorious for job-hopping. These young adults, ages 21-34 and also known as Generation Y, change jobs three times more often than other generations. In fact, 48% of Millennials are planning to leave their jobs within the next 24 months.

Read more

Swift Lessons in Millennial Marketing

There’s no doubt 2015 was the year of Taylor Swift. Building off the success of her 1989 album, Swift’s world tour generated over $4 million per show.

Read more

Engaging the Modern Millennial Family at YMCA

For the past year, XYZ University has worked with the YMCA of the USA, surveying 5,250 Millennial members nationwide, presenting at YMCA conferences, and developing membership strategies and a Millennial membership-building toolkit to help Ys engage the membership of Millennial families.

Read more

Super Bowl Ads Try to Woo Millennials

The sports fans will talk about the game, the music fans will talk about the halftime show, and the foodies will talk about the food they ate during the game. But we at XYZ University look at an event like Super Bowl 50 from an entirely different point of view — the generational one.

Read more

The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

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Rookie Talent: Avoiding a Kodak Moment

During most of the 20th century Kodak held a dominant position in photographic film, and in 1976, had an 89% market share of photographic film sales in the United States. Kodak began to struggle financially in the late 1990s as a result of the decline in sales of photographic film and its slowness in transitioning

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Generation Screwed: Will You Help The Millennials?

As part of the Millennial generation, we make up a quarter of America’s population. Many of us are pursuing higher education in fields that our parents never knew existed. Being that we are the most educated generation in history, it’s safe to say we should be creating our own milestones.

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We Can’t All Blame Ourselves: Why Millennials Need To Pull Their Own Weight

I was part of a recent conversation at a book club where we debated whether or not society gives too many “passes” to Millennials (those born between 1982 and 1995). You know, customizing everything for their needs rather than having them work for it “like we had to do” and changing the whole structure of workplaces based on their needs (yes, very “back-in-my-day” type of a conversation, I know)

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Millennials And Brand Loyalty

Adroit Digital recently published a report detailing how Millennials view and adopt brand loyalty. They surveyed 2,000 U.S. Millennials (in this particular survey classified as between the ages of 18 and 33 years old) who own both a smartphone and a personal computer. What they found can help you better your strategy for connecting with Millennials. To help you out, we’ve created the following infographic from some of the survey results:

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Association Email Marketing: Millennials And Member Engagement

In the world of online marketing, two statistics tell you a lot about the effectiveness of an email: the percentage of recipients who open it, and the percentage of those who click through to explore at least one of the links.

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Creating Loyalty: What Works With Millennials

Being a Gen Y, I can personally attest to my generation’s dislike of being sold to. I dislike sales so much I chose a career path to avoid it! If the only way I can purchase something is by forcefully spending my precious time with a gym membership or car salesmen, I am immediately turned off from the company.

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Work Ethic: Lost Cause For Millenials?

You aren’t even sure you want to hire those lazy Millennials, so why should you worry about keeping them productive? Well, Millenials are going to be 75% of the workforce by 2025. So, the truth is, if you aren’t recruiting and engaging with Gen Y, you won’t have to worry about keeping them at all. And that will be an even bigger problem for you.

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Why Your Company Needs Millennials And How To Keep Them

In fewer than 10 years, nearly half the working population will be Millennials (born between 1982 and 1995). If you think your organization will be able to get along without them, you aren’t being realistic. Even if you know you need Generation Y, do you know who they are?

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Recognition 3.0: New Rules For Making Millennials Feel Like They Matter

The Millennials (a.k.a. Generation Y, Digital Natives and Echo Boomers) have arrived with a very different work agenda than preceding generations. Prepared to stay with their employer for 2-5 years, their average tenure is only 1.5 years according to the Department of Labor. With 75 million Millenials entering the workforce, employers must understand this disconnect and close the gap if they want to attract, retain and encourage better performance from Gen Y employees.

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Will A Shift In The Economy Trigger A Shift In Millennial Values?

Events a generation lives through certainly affect that generation’s values. Events like wars, high-profile criminal cases, hostage crisis, environmental disasters, recessions. Oh, and good things too, I suppose, but my Gen X is showing (I’m on the cusp) and I can only think of disastrous stuff.

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Attract Millennials With Your Good Cause

Millennials want to make the world a better place. They even eat with a social conscience. A recent poll shows that a majority of people under the age of 30 want to do that by volunteering for charities or organizations.

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3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

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The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

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The World's Aging Workforce and What Your Business Should do About It

Despite projected growth in the global population from 6.9 billion to 7.6 billion in 2020, the working-age population is expected to decline. In fact, aging will likely add 360 million older people (Baby Boomers) to the world’s pool of those not participating in the labor force.

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What Would Scrooge Do?: Planning For Workforce Future

Tis the season for the celebration of one year’s end and another year’s beginning. Amidst all the champagne and time spent with family and friends, I encourage you to ponder the future–but perhaps a little differently than usual. Most of us are familiar with the famous story by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

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Scary Stats 2014: 10 Terrifying Workforce Truths

Brace yourself. This is scarier than any hairy spider, mean clown costume, or horror flick you could possibly see this Halloween. Last year, XYZ University sent out its Scary Stats debut, and it’s baaack and scarier than ever. We’re counting the stats down, working our way to the scariest stat of them all.

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Our Workforce: The Scary Truth And A Treat For You

It’s coming, and it’s bigger than Y2K and that asteroid NASA says “could” hit the earth in 2032. This is real, and you need to prepare; it’s going to change the way you, and everyone else, works. There will be no near-misses or “oops we were wrong”, and you’ll need to do more than buy a backup generator and bury your gold to get ready for the changes coming, so listen up; we’re talking about your workforce. We’re talking about the workforce crisis.

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Get Your Succession Plan Up To Speed

Succession planning is a lot like getting exercise. You don’t just do it once and call it done. It’s something that needs to be revisited regularly to keep you healthy. Succession planning, like exercise, also seems to fall into the category of something everyone knows they should do but no one actually does. But you want your organization to be healthy, so let’s get your succession plans up to speed. We say “speed” because it needs to move.

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Succession Planning Tips From The Family Business

Family owned and operated for (insert impressive number of) years certainly has an appealing ring to it. Business owners who’ve worked hard to develop and maintain a healthy organization want to see that business continue to strive when turned over to the relative successor.

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Forget About Top-Down: Your Succession Plan Includes Everyone

Are your leaders about to retire? Are you prepared to deal with it? For a smooth transition, you need to know where your company’s next generation of leaders will come from before you need them.

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How To Develop A Succession Plan In 6 Steps

If you want to protect your organization’s future, you need to develop a succession plan. With the flood of Baby Boomers retiring, succession planning now is critical to future success.

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Trends In Succession Planning

Your employees are an extremely valuable asset to your organization. Investing time into mentoring, training and giving them stretch assignments to build their leadership skills will pay off for your organization when it comes time to filling upper-level positions down the road.

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5 Keys For Building A Solid Succession Plan

Succession planning is good for the health of your organization. It ensures you are prepared to fill vital roles in your organization should people leave unexpectedly or otherwise, and it engages and helps retain your best employees.

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Corporate Leadership Development Must Include Generation Y

We already know Gen Y (born between 1982 and 1995) is technologically savvy, uses social media to stay connected, and are the most well informed generation of all time; however, is it possible for them to become great leaders? Yes, it is!

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Are You Ready For The Talent Shift? 3 Ways To Develop Leaders For 2014

Companies invest millions of dollars in developing employees at all levels of the organization from the senior executives to the entry level employees straight out of school. The real challenge that all companies are facing is building ‘the bench’ and preparing for the greatest shift in human capital of our time.

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Could You Work For Your Kid?

In 2011, this blog featured an article that posed the question: Would you hire your own kid? And now, just three years later, the question has become: Could you work for your kid or someone your kid’s age? What on earth happened between 2011 and 2014? And how on earth is it possible for someone who is 50-something to be managed by someone who is 20-something?

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Millennial Nomads, and how it could affect retaining employees…

According to a survey conducted by AfterCollege networking site, 59% of current job seekers look for a flexible work schedule from a prospective employer, while 70% said they’re more likely to accept a job if there’s the option to work from home at least one day a week. Both of these rank second to work/life balance. So, how is the Millennial Nomad life style possibly affecting your work culture?

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Why They Quit: XYZ University Researches Millennial Turnover

Millennials are notorious for job-hopping. These young adults, ages 21-34 and also known as Generation Y, change jobs three times more often than other generations. In fact, 48% of Millennials are planning to leave their jobs within the next 24 months.

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3 Steps to Solving a Workforce Crisis

When Danny Hearn contacted XYZ University five years ago, two daunting issues loomed over industries throughout the region of Hickory, North Carolina: how to attract and engage Millennials, and how to solve for the aging workforce crisis and talent shortage.

Read more

The Most Unexpected Gift: Millennials

Close your eyes and think of the first word that appears when you hear “millennial.” Words likely to pop up are: entitled, self-absorbed, difficult, unengaged, or high-maintenance. Why do we criticize and avoid Millennials the way we avoid Aunt Matilda’s fruitcake?

Read more

How Helicopter Parents Changed the Workforce

It’s back to school time, and as you prep your little darlings for another year of education, take some time to reflect on your own school experiences.

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Gen Z and Your Business: BFFs or Snapchat?

Just as companies are coming to terms with the wave of Gen Ys, another generation is creeping up behind them. Generation Z — the oldest who are turning 19 — are moving en masse into entry-level jobs, colleges, and internships. Born in the late 1990s and early 2000s they make up a quarter of the population and have little in common with their Gen Y predecessors. Here’s what you need to know about Z.

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The Tech Your Association Needs

The world is changing, your membership is changing and your association needs to make some changes too. Technology is not something limited to a single department anymore, it’s playing an important role in every member’s life. Tapping into the technology that members use will help you better connect, recruit and retain members.

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The Boomers Are Leaving: Retain Their Knowledge

We need to be honest; we’re facing a workforce crisis. An average of 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every day, and they have knowledge you can’t afford to lose. With a good succession plan in place, you don’t have to. Instead, facilitate a transfer of knowledge–improve your organization support its future viability.

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Sustain Your Organization Through Employee Mentorship

Your organization is unique. You are successful because there is something different about what you do and how you do it. Now, how can you best communicate that to your next generation of leaders?

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Conquering The Digital Divide

According to research by Pew Internet, 55% of U.S. adult cell phone owners use their mobile phones to access the internet, nearly double the rate from three years ago. And 31% of American adults own a tablet computer. This means that more than half of your members may interact with your association while they’re on the go. Yet the average association is still behind the digital curve when it comes to being mobile friendly.

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Going Rowe: What You Need To Know About Results Only Workplace Environments

Ever wasted time at work trying to look busy while counting the hours until you could head out the door? Ever wondered how to engage and empower your workforce while simultaneously providing them a perfect work/life balance and getting the most productivity? If you answered yes to either of those questions, the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) is for you.

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Internships: The New Rules

Interns can be a great resource for your company because they bring you fresh perspectives, are eager to learn and take on projects, and typically work for cheap, or free. Interns like internships because it’s a great way to make connections and gain some real-world job skills to put on a résumé. Internships are great for the community because they provide students with jobs and opportunities that keep them from moving out of town with their talent.

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Kick Your Organization's Old Habits: Tips For Creating A Better Work Culture

Your organization is doing what it does because it’s always worked for you; or has it? It’s time to look to the future instead of putting too much stock in the past. Your old habits might actually be holding you back. Kick ’em to the curb and develop a future work culture that will sustain your organization and grow future talent.

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Volunteer Food For Thought: Shape Opportunities For All Ages In Your Organization

When I was in middle school the thought of volunteering for any school activities where I could spend time with my best friends and twin sister made me want to jump up and down with joy. As I entered high school, those same feelings of excitement were still there – and encouraged by teachers and peers in grades older than me. Seeing upper-classmen volunteer in organizations both in school and around the community made volunteering the “cool” thing to do. I kept those same thoughts in mind as I attended college and joined several organizations at the University of Texas here in Austin, and I am today, at the age of 30, still active in several organizations around the community.

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Losing The Employment Game

Pretend for a moment you’ve been awarded a spot on a reality television show titled, Let’s Make a Hire. In a race against the clock, you are tasked with hiring skilled workers to complete a project on budget and on time.

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It's 2010: Do You Know Where Your Employees/Clients/Members/Volunteers Are?

I continue to be amazed by how many organizations I work with who either do not use or do not value social media. They refer to social media as a tiresome chore (Do we really have to be on Facebook?) and consider it a silly pastime (I don't want my employees chatting with their friends all day!).

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Preventing The Brain Drain

The other day in a conversation with a recent college graduate, I realized that she was probably going to take her degree and move halfway across the country. In fact, the only reason she’s still in town at all is an unpaid internship she found. She’s hoping she can take the experience she gains from interning and turn it into a local job, hoping she doesn’t have to move back home with her parents while she looks for paid work. But she’s prepared to leave.

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Do You Know Where Your Leaders Are?

We’re about to experience the largest shift in human capital this country has ever seen. It’s happening within the next year. Do you know where your leaders are?

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Changes In Technology Mean Changes In Policy

While in a meeting with my boss I noticed she seemed a bit stressed. I asked if she had a lot on her plate this week. She said that she did and maybe there was a way I could help.

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Succession Planning Tips From The Family Business

Family owned and operated for (insert impressive number of) years certainly has an appealing ring to it. Business owners who’ve worked hard to develop and maintain a healthy organization want to see that business continue to strive when turned over to the relative successor.

Read more
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Knowing Y in Holland

Generation Y. Millennials. Echo Boomers. Trophy Generation. Regardless of how you refer to them, organizations worldwide are really perplexed by the generation of young adults now moving into the majority of the workforce and consumer spending.

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Come See Us At #Asae14!

We are gearing up for a fun-filled weekend of networking with association professionals as part of the ASAE Annual Meeting and Expo in Nashville, August 9-12. We’re so excited that we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at some of the great reasons to come visit XYZ University at this year’s event (Booth #1713). Don’t miss it!

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Gen Z Has Arrived: Get To Know Them

They are competitive, passionate, connected and they are here. Although the largest percentage of Generation Z (1996-2009) isn’t old enough to drive yet, they do have a growing influence over businesses. Gen Z is influencing their parents’ purchases, making their own purchases, and entering the workforce. It is time for businesses to start paying attention to them.

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Associations Are Going Mobile. Really?

For the purposes of this post, I’m defining “the mobile web” with a focus specifically on an association’s provision of and members’ use of web content made available via a mobile smartphone and/or tablet devices.

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How To Network With Generation Y

Networking with Generation Y is a whole new ball game. Unlike Baby Boomers or even Generation X, Gen Y has grown up in a technological, competitive and egocentric world. Whether you are reaching out to Gen Y as a way to recruit new leaders or to build young members into your organization, be aware of the differences in communication.

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New Ideas For Old Meetings

It’s a new day in the association meetings industry. For the most part, gone are the 5-day gatherings, full-day presentations and lecture-only sessions. Replacing them are shorter meetings, shorter sessions within a conference, and participatory lectures.

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How To Get Your Association Members Excited About Advocacy

Often, advocacy is touted as a benefit of joining an association. Yet, many association members find every reason in the world not to get involved.

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Onboarding Gen Y College Grads: Channeling New Values, Energy, Enthusiasm

Today’s typical Gen Y college grad yearns to make a difference in your business and beyond. How will you embrace, nurture and channel their confidence, energy, enthusiasm and academic achievement into helping them achieve your goals and theirs? Commencement speeches reflect a generational evolution in values over the past 40 years.

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Getting Rid Of The Freeloaders In Your Association: Is It Realistic?

I was recently asked the question “How do associations turn freeloaders into paying members?” I personally think this is a loaded question. While you may be able to convert some of your members through the right marketing and recruitment plans, the idea of converting everyone is unrealistic. “Freeloaders” who show up to events, participate in webinars, and benefit from the great work your association does is just something you have to deal with. But this can work to your advantage.

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9 Ways Your Association Can Make The Most Of An Election-Year Congress

Around this time of year, government relations professionals are meeting in their respective associations and coming to the same conclusion: because it’s an election year, congressional productivity will grind to a halt sooner rather than later. However, this doesn’t mean that your work has to suffer.

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Segmentation Recommendations For Membership Associations

I belong to a few membership-based organizations and nothing frustrates me more than getting too many emails from them. Often, they are about information, products or services that I am not interested in, or their timing between departments is way off, and I end up getting multiple emails in one day.

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Creating Loyalty: What Works With Millennials

Being a Gen Y, I can personally attest to my generation’s dislike of being sold to. I dislike sales so much I chose a career path to avoid it! If the only way I can purchase something is by forcefully spending my precious time with a gym membership or car salesmen, I am immediately turned off from the company.

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5 Ways To Engage Your Association’s Members

XYZ University has defined member engagement as the emotional commitment the member has to the association and its mission. As such, many association executives pose the question: “How do I engage my members in a meaningful way?” The following are five ways (that are relatively inexpensive and not overly time-consuming) to engage your association’s members:

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Is Your Website Bringing Your Members Closer Or Pushing Them Away?

Your website is more than just the voice of your membership association. If you’re not using your site to bring your members closer, you’re probably pushing them away from your organization and from each other. One of the reasons people join member-based organizations to be a part of a community, so it’s your job to make sure your community meets their needs.

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Is Email Still A Valid Way To Engage Members?

Member engagement is such a buzz word these days. Associations are struggling to engage members, in an effort to retain current members, and be set up for success in the future. Email has become one of (if not “the”) simplest way to reach out to your community. You create a message and send it to hundreds (or thousands) of people in your network at a click of a button.

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Young Staff, Big Results

I recently transitioned from the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association to the young and energetic team at the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. After 20+ years of Baby Boomer generation leadership, a 30-something Matt Gruhn took the reins at MRAA in 2011. Since then, membership has grown 188%! Prior to his leadership at MRAA, Matt played a crucial role in reviving the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo (MDCE). Under his direction, participation grew from 97 in 2007 to more than 1,000 in 2012 and we expect continued growth this year.

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Recruiting Members: Reach Them Where They Are

I recently learned that a Baby Boomer turns 65 years of age every 7 seconds in the United States. Up until now, Baby Boomers have been the majority and been able to successfully provide associations with a continuous pipeline of members.

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Happy Together: The Value Gen X And Y Bring To Your Association

Last time we were together, we discussed the disconnect between Baby Boomer centric Associations and Gen X and Gen Y membership recruits. Mainly, X and Y are not joining Baby Boomer centric associations.

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What’s Your Point?

Whether you are trying to recruit an employee, or a member to your association, you likely have a lot to say in a short amount of time. You need to have a relevant “elevator pitch” that does not sound canned, or like you are reading a brochure. And, it needs to be consistent across various methods; whether it is online, or whether you are speaking to someone by phone, face-to-face, etc.

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Diversifying Your Association's Membership: Know The Answers Before You Begin

These days, many associations are looking to diversify their membership in order to survive. Diversification into additional markets outside your association’s original industry may provide some advantages—increased revenue from membership dues, additional outreach into other communities, increased sponsorship or exhibitor revenue opportunities—but also bring about the “cons.”

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The World Will Be Saved By The Western Woman

When the Dalai Lama famously spoke those words, he prefaced them with a warning that “some people may call me a feminist.” (As if that were a bad thing.) Still, what the D.L. meant is that women inherently bring a greater focus on nurturing and connection – i.e. love – which is the cure for the wounds of our time.

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The State Of Social Media In Associations And What To Do About It

We hear over and over again that associations are struggling to recruit, retain and engage young members in their organizations. And, according to Marketing General’s 2013 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, 74% of responding associations indicated that increasing member engagement is a top membership goal. Yet, according to the report, among the top three reasons cited for members not renewing is lack of engagement with the organization.

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Women Were Raised To Be Nice. So What?

It’s been said that men view business as a sport and women view business as a picnic. In other words, men want to win while women want to make sure everyone has a sandwich and a good time. As you may have noticed, women have been repeatedly bashed for this, as if “playing nice” were a pathetic and career-limiting move.

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