Trade associations are always looking for ways to continue delivering value added services and remain relevant to their membership. They need to find innovative ideas to promote their membership cause and also new ways to connect buyers and sellers of their membership products.
The era of publishing and distributing hard copy product directory has gone the way of Yellow Pages and is no longer very effective. Associations must embrace and harness the world of social media and instant search results to find the modern consumer and connect them with their membership.
To remain viable during 21st century, associations must learn to leverage their unique knowledge of their industry and create dynamic platform for connecting suppliers and consumers. Thanks to advances in cloud computing and search technologies, what used to be cost prohibitive service can now be launched quickly and cost effectively.
Membership product promotion may not have been the primary mission of many associations in the past. However, the realities in 21st century are changing fast and associations are looking beyond printing directories, organizing annual meetings and advocacy in order to remain relevant to their membership who are struggling to remain competitive in this age of mega cyber malls, social media and search engine optimization.