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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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How to Deal with a Board In Limbo

Posted by Sarah Hill

You have a great idea! It’s going to change your association, boost membership numbers, add money to the budget, engage members, and make your next event be a can’t miss party.  You carefully craft a pitch, crunch numbers, find examples of other successful plans of this type and present it to the board. A meeting goes by, and no decision is made. It’s brought up again at the next meeting where it’s discussed for a few minutes, and again no decision. Months go by. Still nothing. Your board is in decisional limbo, and your great idea is right there with it.

Now what?

How to deal with a board in limbo

Listen to the dissenters: Find out who is stopping the progress and why. Answer those objections and if it’s something you haven’t already considered, take it as an opportunity to further fine-tune your plan and troubleshoot your last few issues.


Find out what else is going on: Often it’s not your idea specifically that is holding up the works but something else. Is your project’s success dependent on something else working out? Find out what’s truly at the heart of the delay then tackle one problem at a time.


Emphasize the timeline: Is this urgent because it’s a great idea, or is it truly something that your association needs to get on in a timely matter? Pull together some data on money saved or potential for more income. Highlight instances where more time for this kind of project is a benefit. If something like printing costs, reservations, or travel plans come into play make sure you point out that the sooner the better in those instances!


Don’t let it drop: The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and eventually the board is going to have to vote one way or another; your project can’t be tabled forever. But be careful and address those hanging issues first! If you push a vote and all of the concerns haven’t been addressed you run the risk of a “no” vote and really being in trouble.


Keep coming at them with good ideas: When you prove yourself (and that brilliant brain of yours) to be an asset to the association then you’ll have more success in the future. Perhaps your board is just a little hesitant to make some big changes, so start with smaller ones that have a great impact. Establish your own reputation for success and innovation and your ideas will follow!


It’s a frustrating thing, getting your board to green light an idea. Then, of course, your work is just beginning; you go through the challenge of actually implementing your plan. Don’t give up! Change is crucial to any organization to keep things fresh and appeal to the emerging professional crowd. “Business as usual” won’t work anymore! Keep those big ideas coming and they’ll pay off eventually.


If your big idea is getting an AMS to help out with all of those membership management challenges, this guide will help! Download it for free by clicking below today!

Download our guide to Picking An AMS

Topics: association management, association leadership, small staff association, Small Staff Chatter

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