Your association feels many roles in the eyes of its members—networking opportunity, professional development resource, the final word on standards and policy issues, author of publications that shape the industry, and provider of relevant goods and services at discounted prices. But what about teacher? Do you consider your association an acceptable alternative to higher education, or is it best seen as a supplement to the traditional college experience?
Associations Now discussed this issue in an article by Katie Bascuas. With college tuition up by over 500% since 1986, it makes sense to consider whether professional associations should take up the role of educator as well as its other crucial functions. Are associations equipped to play a bigger part in the education of their members?
Providing more educational support to members represents an opportunity for associations, always struggling to prove their relevance. Associations can help further real-world education for young professionals by developing mentorship programs. And timing is key—establishing mentor-mentee relationships before more baby boomers retire will help programs thrive.
Position your association as part of the ongoing education of professionals, rather than focusing on networking and one-off professional development opportunities, and you’ll recruit and retain more members. Those with college degrees know they have much more to learn in the field, and those without are particularly eager to fill in the gaps.
No matter what role your association plays in the education of its members, there will always be opportunities to learn more, through conferences and meetings, workshops, classes, and webinars. And where there’s education, there is content. Whether you provide printed manuals for continuing education training, an event website to give members access to conference materials (before, during, and after an event), a digital publishing platform with years of association content, or a mobile event app to get information to attendees (fast!), content is at the heart of education. Even if the continuing education class or the conference session itself is more interactive, the research and main points behind the presentation should be noted and available for review afterwards.
Providing content in a convenient, usable format is critical to the success of your educational mission. We are proud to join you in this endeavor, no matter the scope, no matter how you choose to deliver content to your members. Learn more about our suite of services and how Omnipress can help you association reach its goals.