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Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Rumor has it, in some association circles, trade show attendance is struggling. This could spell trouble for how vendor members find value in belonging to your organization. While some industries may be feeling the pain more than others, it is never a bad time to think about the ways you are engaging your vendor/supplier members. Read on for a handful of ideas on engaging your vendor-side members in effective and successful ways.

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The AMS and the Lawnmower

Posted by Sarah Hill

I just bought my first lawnmower. I am 29, have been a homeowner for three years, and am just now getting around to buying a power tool with which to cut my grass.

Pathetic, I know. But for years I had help with my lawn, until recently it just got too expensive.  I decided it was just time for me to (finally) cut my own grass.

 Lawn Mowers and your AMS

I’ve compared an AMS to owning a home before (check out our guide to buying an AMS to see that exact metaphor) and when I was going through the lawnmower purchasing process it occurred to me that Small Staff Association Executives really, truly are just like home owners when running their associations. 

Sure, you can hire people to fix your plumbing and get friends to help you paint, but really you have to have at least a basic working knowledge of every room in that house that is your association. You need to be able to handle a burst pipe if it happens, even if you don’t fix it with your bare hands. You need to be able to cut the grass.

The good news is there’s a lot of help out there! You have a strong board and engaged and active members to help, not to mention the machine of your AMS. Your website, your AMS and certainly your social media can do some of the heavy lifting when it comes to promotions, planning, and management. Sometimes all you need to do when association disaster strikes is call the right phone number.

But normal maintenance is a whole different ball of wax, and it’s tougher (and expensive) to delegate those regular tasks, like membership engagement, budgeting, and the entire event planning, to someone else. All of those things can be handled by your AMS (the “lawnmower” in this scenario) and even though everyone should be able to use it, you’re the one who needs to actually buy it, put it together, and teach everyone how to use it.

You are a qualified association professional who is more than equipped than anyone to handle any disaster that comes along. Just make sure you have the tools and if necessary, you can pick up the duties yourself!

Topics: association management, association leadership, association software

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