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June 27, 2006

Post-conference blues

Here's a wrap-up post from ASAE & The Center's Membership & Marketing Conference.

Overall, I thought the conference was excellent. I felt there was a more advanced feel to this year's event as compared to last year. A side effect of this was that I'm feeling a bit incompetent right now. Some of the sessions were extremely challenging. I was really impressed by some of the programs that my colleagues were presenting about. It's easy to lose sight of the work I'm doing after a conference like this one.

The unsession David and I did on the attention economy went well. We have an audio interview from Ed Batista, Executive Director of the Attention Trust, a nonprofit devoted to attention data, that I'll share in the next couple of days. Thanks to Jeff De Cagna for live-blogging the event (two posts). My favorite parts of our session were the slides (see pictures) and our introduction, where David and I simultaneously launched into our remarks, providing a metaphor of the challenges we face with respect to a scarce supply of attention and competing sources of information vying for it.

Biggest take-aways from the conference:

  • Marketing based on generational differences is hugely overrated.
  • Don't give Gen X and Y a "seat at the table" because it's "the right thing to do." Do it because they are good enough to deserve it.
  • Staff need to take a more front-seat approach to volunteer appointments. Volunteers don't know as many members as staff do.
  • WOM marketing for associations needs to be more all-encompassing (i.e. don't do WOM for conferences and membership and certifications separately. Craft an association-wide WOM campaign).
  • That Association Ecosystem session is still ringing true and clear for me.

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