October 2, 2014
Last week my sales engineer Paul and I headed out to the Higher Logic Super Users Forum (HUG Forum) in Virginia. The event was awesome, with tons of people attending, networking and learning new things. Here are our takeaways from the Higher Logic HUG Forum.
We saw this in August at the ASAE Expo, and we saw this again at the HUG Forum. Just like Higher Logic facilitates connected communities, through this event they connected association executives to one another. And they are passionate about learning from one another, networking with another and becoming the best professionals they can be. In fact, Rob Kaighn, Director of Partnerships at Higher Logic, said, “This was our biggest and happiest Super Forum yet, with 375 attendees, 24 sponsors and tons of ideas on how to improve member engagement.” The fact that this was the Forum’s largest display so far highlights the level of commitment that association execs have to being the best they can be.
Community is important to people, and that especially applies to people in the association community. Creating communities that people want to be a part of is a key component in increasing your members’ happiness and increasing overall member engagement within your organization. GIving your members the ability to communicate directly with one another, member to member, is one of the foundations of increasing this member joy. In fact, this is what a large part of the event was about - helping associations understand how they can facilitate their members truly connecting with one another, one on one, by providing the latest in technology and demonstrating leadership.
If you want to be omnipresent as an organization, branding is key. Higher Logic is an organization that understands that a strong brand can ensure your presence is felt everywhere. Higher Logic is a friendly bunch of people. And people like friendly people. From their bright orange shirts, to the hugs that are given out freely, happiness and warmth are a part of Higher Logic’s culture. It’s a part of their brand. And this brand is reinforced everywhere you turn, from their website, to their events, to the content they put out, to the way they carry themselves and their team interacts with you. If you want your message to come through loud and clear and feel like it’s around every corner, make sure it’s a strong brand that’s consistent everywhere.
"If you want to be omnipresent as an organization, branding is key. #association #marketing”
There have been many AMS companies that have tried to build what Higher Logic has achieved with Connected Community. As for us, we realize that some things are best left to those that do them best. We rely on our integration with Higher Logic because they’ve perfected creating the connected social community within the association industry. The lesson here? Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Focus on what you do best. Focus on what you’re good at and be yourself.
MemberSuite is an AMS. That’s what we do. We rely on our relationships with respected third party vendors with proven solutions when customers ask to point them to solutions for particular issues they face. At the end of the day, an association is a community of like-minded members that are connected with one another. It’s equally important for vendors to be connected to one another, to learn the latest trends association members are learning, and to keep their finger on the pulse of the industry. This industry is about relationships, whether you’re a vendor or an association.
As always, we have a blast whenever we get together with others in the association community that are passionate about the work we’re all doing. If you have a takeaway from this event or an event that’s served the association industry, feel free to share in the comments!