When it comes to technology, I think we can all agree that the only constant is change. Once we get comfortable with one platform/device, bam! Another 10 pop up.
Now the key to adapting to these changes is to understand which trends impact your members the most. (Not all should be given equal weight.) Then from there, you can figure out unique ways to incorporate those trends into your association.
Ok, speaking of trends, what ARE the major tech trends for 2017? Well, Results at Hand, an event app provider for associations and nonprofit organizations, put together an infographic highlighting the top eight. (And not just listing what they are, but explaining how to use them to your organization’s advantage.)
Below is an overview:
- Virtual & Augmented Reality
- Wearable Technology
- 3D Printing
- Live Streaming
- Software Integration
- AI Technology
- Big Data
Do any of those stand out? In other words, have you noticed any of your members gravitating towards any of those trends already?
Three in particular caught my eye. First, wearable technology. How many of your members have you seen wearing Apple watches and/or Fitbits? I’ve seen a ton, particularly at association conferences. That said, can you do something unique at your next event or conference knowing several of your members have tech at their fingertips (or more accurately, their wrists)? It’s worth some thought.
The second trend that caught my eye? Live streaming. This has blown up in the past year, and according to Results at Hand’s infographic, it will only get bigger. And it makes sense. With Facebook Live and Twitter’s new live-video feature, it’s easier to live stream, meaning more people are doing it and users are expecting it more. Now this is a trend your association can DEFINITELY embrace. At your next meeting or event, consider live streaming a minute or two of your keynote or an interview with one of your sponsors. It’s a quick, easy way to engage your members and attendees (and especially those who may have not been able to attend).
Last but not least, there’s software integration. As technology advances, your members are becoming more and more accustomed to having sites and information integrated. They’re used to submitting information in one place and seeing that info pre-populated somewhere else (in an email, on a form, etc.) It enhances usability, and who doesn’t like that?!
Now again, this is a trend your association can embrace, it just requires a little technology. Have you considered an association management system? It integrates your database with everything - email marketing, dues renewals, event registrations...the list goes on and on. So not only does it make your life easier by housing everything in one place and streamlining various processes, but it makes your members’ lives easier as well. (Hello added value!)
Not sure what an AMS is or how it works exactly? Check out our free guide, What Is an AMS?, below.