Why Events Are More Vital than Ever for Professional Associations
With the membership to some professional associations on the decline, more and more professional bodies are struggling to impart their relevance to businesses and individuals in their sectors.
The Arras People 2014 Project Management Benchmark Report revealed that over 40% of professionals within the Project Management sector did not belong to any professional association (principally Association for Project Management and PMI) at all. Furthermore, 40% of those who were lapsed members ‘saw no personal benefit in their membership of a professional organisation’ – a worrying point that needs to be addressed.
In the UK events industry, there has also been a decline in association membership. In the C&IT Magazine State of the Industry Report 2014, it revealed a decline in membership to events professional bodies. Between 2011 and 2014 (before merging with IVCA), Eventia was already experiencing a 20% decline in membership. The Chartered Institute of Marketing and ISES both saw a 5% fall off in association membership according to the C&IT report.
However, there is hope. Association events are the best way to showcase all the unique services your association offers, allowing you to support your members and demonstrate how vital you are to your industry.
What is going to make your association stand out from the crowd? How do you keep your current members satisfied as well as recruiting new members? These questions are more relevant than ever and the answer is by organizing cost-effective events.
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in – the professional body remains key and events are the way to demonstrate this. We take a look at the importance of events for industry trade groups and professional associations.
Why Events are Vital for Associations?
With ever increasing demands on our time, the importance of associations putting on world-class conferences and events is more important now than ever. A professional association has a number of facets that allow it to support its members from training to advancing the industry as a whole. Association events are important for a number of reasons as they allow you to:
- Grow Your Association
A well-planned event can help you attract new members by showcasing the numerous benefits of belonging to a professional body. By inviting non-members as well as current members, you can increase your association’s exposure and highlight just how important it is to individuals and your industry as a whole.
- Support Your Industry
Association events allow you to share and discuss industry best practice and examine trends. Bringing together industry leaders and newer individuals with fresh ideas, it can act as a fertile ground for discussion and development. An association should function as an industry support system and nowhere is this more pertinent than in an event or conference environment where questions can be answered.
- Provide Training
Associations are in the best position to provide the most relevant training – either through dedicated training days lead by industry professionals or as breakout sessions from a larger event. Association training events and workshops are the perfect platform to provide relevant industry training to your members and encourage career development.
With fast-moving industries, there is now more reason than ever to bring industry professionals together to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge necessary to keep abreast of the latest developments. If there have been major changes in your industry such as legislative change then an association event is a great way to get people up to speed and develop strategies together. With access to the best and most relevant speakers in your specific industry, you have a platform to demonstrate just how vital you are as a professional body.
In a digital age, it is rare that industry figures get the opportunity to interact in person and make genuine connections. Association events allow your members to put faces to names and make connections that can help progress their careers and the industry as a whole. Your members will have a chance to build a wide network of professionals and have contact with industry leaders. By fostering networking, association events encourage peer learning, sharing of best practices, opportunities to analyse trends and even contribute in a healthy amount of debate. These types of events provide valuable insight into the industry and help businesses grow. Standalone networking events are also a good option for industry bodies.
- Ideal for New Agencies/Graduate
Associations have access to an impressive amount of collective knowledge and industry-specific resources. It is therefore indispensable for new businesses, start-up agencies and people making their first steps on an industry career path to benefit from this wealth of knowledge. An event offers them a chance to learn from peers and industry experts, getting the kind of practical advice that you won’t find in books or online. Being able to ask questions and have them answered by experts is vital for business development.
- Address Challenges Head On, Together
Whether its media relations, governmental issues, legislative changes, a decline in sales or any of the numerous other issues an industry can face, an event or conference is a great opportunity to deal with them as a collective. By doing this you can future-proof your industry and ensure that ideas and innovation are
- Invest in the Future of Your Industry
Many people still see belonging to a professional body as a great way to further their careers, become aware of job opportunities, enhance their knowledge and contribute to pushing new and innovative ideas
If you are looking to join a professional body then this document from HMRC lists all professional bodies in the UK.
Association Events Venue
As a flexible fully-equipped events venue, 20 Bedford Way is an ideal professional association events venue. We offer affordable event spaces including our 930-seater Logan Hall as well as breakout spaces and training rooms for professional associations in a central London location. With budget an ever-increasing concern for many associations and professional bodies, we offer competitive rates for the hire of our halls and our training spaces. For more information, speak to one of our expert team today on 020 7612 6143 for more details. We also offer conveniently located meeting spaces for associations.