Don’t Downplay Your Members’ Data Privacy Concerns

Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News, news-feed, Uncategorized

More than four-fifths of Americans surveyed by Pew said the risks of corporate data use weren’t worth the benefits. It’s an issue that associations should tread carefully on.

Data collection may be a fact of life for many Americans, but it doesn’t mean they have to like it.

And the fact that they don’t might be just enough to give you pause.

A recent study from the Pew Research Center found that more than 60 percent of people felt that it was not possible to go through life without being tracked by either corporations (62 percent) or the government (63 percent). Despite knowing that such privacy considerations come with the territory, many Americans are uncomfortable with it. A full 81 percent say they have no control over what companies collect, and an equivalent number says that the risks outweigh the benefits of such data collection, which is rampant on sites such as Facebook and Google.

“Americans’ concerns about digital privacy extend to those who collect, store, and use their personal information,” the report’s authors write. “Additionally, majorities of the public are not confident that corporations are good stewards of the data they collect.”

While government data collection raises similar concerns, Americans tend to be more accepting of those risks, with a third of respondents saying the benefits outweigh the risks in that case.

For associations, this state of affairs creates a number of questions, both for how they organize their membership and how they use data. Recent laws and policies such as the General Data Protection Regulation emphasize the need for groups to take the use and storage of data seriously, and they reflect the potential blowback that members could have in the case of a data breach.

But it also shows a place where associations can make their voices known in a big way. Last year, a number of library groups won positive nods after standing up against a policy from the social network LinkedIn, which was requiring users to log in to its learning platform rather than using an anonymized library card number to take online courses.

And there are cases in which data use may even be allowed or desired—the Pew study cites an example in which poorly performing schools share student data with a nonprofit looking to improve educational outcomes, which more survey respondents supported than opposed.

But there are concerns among members that associations may not take the data issue seriously enough—something underlined in a Community Brands study from last year.

“Members view data privacy and security as a top concern for both today and ahead, but there is currently a disconnect with association professionals who are underestimating members’ concerns,” the firm said at the time of the study’s release.

To put this all another way: Don’t underplay the issue of consumer data privacy, because much of the public isn’t doing that right now.

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Daily Buzz: How to Make Your Presenters Presentable

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What you can do to get your conference speakers ready. Also: Don’t ignore your social mentions; learn how to answer them.

Delivering quality presentations will always be a challenge, but organizations should do a better job preparing their speakers, says Dave Lutz, managing director of Velvet Chainsaw.

Several strategies can help you ensure a proficient performance from your presenters. Session-planning calls can be the most effective way to prepare speakers, Lutz says, and they should be about more than logistics. Use them to assess the presenter’s commitment to delivering a quality session, understanding the audience, and making the content relevant or provocative.

Organizations could also beef up their speaker portals and provide resources that will help presenters improve.

“Curate or create short videos or links to resources that cover such topics as writing winning session proposals, PowerPoint and image best practices, copyrights do’s and don’ts, attracting attendance to your session, livestreaming presentation tips, and incorporating audience response systems,” Lutz says.

He notes that the preparation process should vary depending on each speaker’s experience. “For your most trusted presenters, you may have a brief conference call and be soft on deadlines. Conversely, rookie speakers would require that you schedule several calls and be more of a stickler on deadlines.”

Responding to Your Social Mentions

When creating a #socialmedia strategy, there are two things you should focus on:
☝ How you’re talking to your customers
✌ How you’re getting them to respond

— Sprout Social (@SproutSocial) January 14, 2020

Audience engagement is a key social media strategy. That includes knowing how to respond to any mention of your organization on social channels, writes digital marketing manager Chloe West for the Sprout Social blog.

“Each time you find a mention of your business on social media, you should make an effort to respond to it. You’ll have an opportunity to interact with people who are already aware of and interested in your brand,” West says.

Whether the mention is positive or negative, it’s important to respond quickly and positively.

“Even if the person mentioning your brand is extremely unhappy, always manage to stay positive and reassure them that you’re going to do whatever you can to make things right for them,” West says.

Other Links of Note

Do your volunteers have little to do? Andrea Holthouser breaks down how to offer more opportunities on the Network for Good blog.

SEO tips. H1 tags aren’t as important as you might think, says Levi Wardell in Association Chat.

Marketing automation. Nonprofits should be leveraging new technology to reach out to their communities, argues Kingsley Allen in Blue Avocado.

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Daily Buzz: Why Event Pros Also Need to Be Event Attendees

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How event professionals can maximize their time as event attendees. Also: Tips to boost your email marketing efforts.

Event professionals shouldn’t just be planning events for others, they should be attending some themselves, writes Nicole Peck on BizBash.

“Regardless of your tenure in the industry, conferences and events are packed with education and activities to help achieve new goals. Where else can you learn, grow, meet new people, and encounter new ideas?” Peck says.

To make the transition from event professional to event attendee, start with a plan: Set a goal to attend at least one new event this year that you have never attended before. Look out for any events that pull you out of your comfort zone and challenge you to think differently, Peck suggests.

Once you’ve chosen an event, spend time on the event website and social media feeds to network ahead of time.

“See who is active in the social community and connect with them in advance. Sort out people and organizations you would like to meet with and set up meetings at the event,” Peck says.

Once you’re at an event, do your best to be present. For example, if you’re not using your phone to take notes or network, put it away. It might also help to break away from your group and find an empty seat.

“Even if you are attending an event with a colleague, do not sit with them! I have connected with the most amazing people because I sat next to [them] on a bus ride or filled an empty seat in the middle of a row,” Peck says.

Post-event, follow up with the people you met. Connect with them on social media and make an effort to get in touch.

Effective Email Marketing in 2020: Add a Personal Touch

Supercharge Your Email Marketing in 2020: 4 Tips – #assnchat

— MemberClicks (@MemberClicks) January 13, 2020

No matter the email marketing strategy, there are a few things any organization can do to make their campaigns more impactful, says Callie Walker of MemberClicks. One method is to write your email as if it is only going to one member as opposed to your entire membership.

“That one-on-one ‘feel’ is important when communicating via email. Hundreds or even thousands of people may have received that email, but the end-user wants to feel like it was written for them,” Walker says.

Other Links of Note

To hire the right people, interviewers should focus on who the candidate is as a person, says Laura Garnett in Inc.

What kind of content works best on Instagram? HubSpot’s Allie Decker compares the performance of images, GIFs, and video on the popular platform.

What is a blended workforce, and how do we prepare for it? Kaya Ismail breaks it down on CMSWire.

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Should Your Next Conference Have a Plant-Based Menu?

Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News, news-feed, Uncategorized

This year’s Golden Globes served an entirely plant-based menu for the first time. With more of your attendees going meatless and looking for meetings to have a smaller environmental footprint, should your conference menu be plant-based too?

You may have tuned in to the Golden Globes last Sunday night to find out if your favorite movie or TV show won, to see what the stars were wearing, or to check out who gave the funniest (or most long-winded) acceptance speech.

If you happened to catch Joaquin Phoenix’s speech after he took home the Golden Globe for his performance in Joker, you may have noticed he thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which co-produces the awards show, for serving a plant-based menu as part of its sustainability efforts.

The menu, the first of its kind for any major awards show, included an appetizer of chilled golden beet soup and a main dish of king oyster mushrooms presented and cooked to call to mind scallops.

According to The Washington Post, organizers said the move to go vegan “was meant to send a signal about the impact of animal products on climate change.”

While the menu and stance had its share of both fans and critics, I think it signals what’s likely to be a fast-emerging trend in the conference food and beverage space: creating more sustainable menus.

For example, a North American market research study published late last year found that 35 percent of millennial guests are looking for more vegetarian options on menus. And the International Food Information Council’s 2019 Food and Health Survey found an increased interest in plant-based diets.

Some associations already have been working toward more sustainable menus. After embracing a “meatless Monday” campaign at past annual conferences, the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education introduced an all-vegetarian menu in 2017 for its 2,000 attendees. And Kara Ferguson, a meeting planner with the American Society of Anesthesiologists, told my colleague Tim Ebner in the Fall 2019 issue of Associations Now that it’s part of her job to create a sustainable menu for attendees.

“Associations and groups should absolutely team up and work together to source food that has a low carbon footprint,” Ferguson said. “Plant-based food options are an excellent way to do that. Of course, you’ll always have a few meat eaters, but you can limit items like beef or pork [whose production processes are high greenhouse gas emitters] and do something more environmentally friendly like chicken or turkey.”

In addition, meeting planners should no longer be concerned that caterers and convention centers won’t be able to deliver delicious plant-based meals and menus. For example, Desiree Neal, executive chef for Distinctive Gourmet, the Virginia Beach Convention Center’s onsite caterer, recently told Convene magazine that she’s getting more requests to create plant-based menus and that some of those dishes are cultivated from the venue’s onsite garden. And large convention center caterers like Levy and Centerplate are also putting more focus on plant-based foods. From the looks of it, associations will have a lot more options when it comes to building entirely plant-based menus.

As sustainability becomes more of a priority and as attendee dietary preferences change, how are your conference menus evolving? Please share in the comments.

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Daily Buzz: Develop a Visual Identity to Strengthen Your Brand

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Attracting modern audiences means putting visual content first. Also: Cybersecurity is important for associations, too.

Standing out in a sea of content and raising brand awareness can be a challenge for organizations. To catch the eye of potential members or donors, put an emphasis on visuals, says Amy Balliett in Inc.

“Text-based content isn’t enough if you want to engage today’s audiences,” she says. “To truly thrive in a world that puts visual content first, you need to adopt a visual-first mindset.”

That means taking a new approach to your content marketing strategy. “If you write the text or messaging before planning what types of visual content you’ll be deploying, you’re not really putting visuals first. You should start planning every campaign by asking what types of content your audience is most likely to engage with, and on what platforms,” Balliett says.

As you develop your visual content, establish clear brand guidelines to follow. A consistent style across all platforms will give your organization a visual identity and help raise brand awareness. Balliett recommends developing a visual workbench: a collection of predesigned assets that you can reuse.

“Maybe you need a set of icons that represent your fundamental products or services. Or maybe there’s a stat that you share often because it proves the value of what you have to offer,” she says. “There’s no sense in redesigning an asset from scratch every time. Even if you did so, the different look and feel of each could actually prevent you from developing a more recognizable brand.”

Preparing Your Association for Cyberattacks

We check that our doors lock behind us and zip our bags in heavy crowds. So why aren’t we so good at making sure our online lives are just as secure?

— (@assn_success) January 6, 2020

If you think cybersecurity is only a concern for large organizations, think again. According to CPO Magazine, half of all cyberattacks are targeted at small businesses.

“Having a conversation about cybersecurity is imperative for any organization,” says Association Success’s Chelsea Brasted. “There is no association that doesn’t have something a cybercriminal would be interested in having, or cutting you off from in exchange for a hefty ransom.”

To combat this, Brasted recommends discussing cybersecurity with all employees, not just the IT department. “Regardless of who gets involved in the conversation, those conversations are required in today’s digital, well-connected world,” she says.

Other Links of Note

Member orientation doesn’t have to be boring, says Tatiana Morand on the Wild Apricot blog.

How can your organization stand out on LinkedIn? Optimize your company page, says Allie Decker on HubSpot.

Experiencing content burnout? Christine Crandell offers four steps to turn your content strategy around, in CMSWire.

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What’s on the Horizon for Meetings in 2020?

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A new year often brings change. Here are three ways that association meetings may transform in 2020.

The beginning of a new year comes with lots of industry predictions, and there’s no shortage of them when it comes to meetings and events. So, how different will association meetings look in 2020? Here are three possibilities:

Meetings Tech Will Move Beyond Apps

According to the 2020 Global Meetings Forecast Report [PDF] by American Express Meetings & Events, meeting pros think that this will be the year when technology gets fully integrated into the event experience.

And that means moving beyond event apps, which have become so ubiquitous that one meeting planner referred to them as the “new lanyards.”

“In 2020, I think there will be a renewed focus on utilizing solutions that will help increase attendee engagement, streamline post-event follow-up, and help organizations fuel their sales pipeline through live events,” said Cvent CEO and Founder Reggie Aggarwal. “While tradeshows, conventions, and other event types may not have changed format much over the years, the tools to maximize their impact certainly have, and I think the need for better and more actionable data will continue to drive the technological developments in the year ahead.”

One idea to consider: using facial-recognition software to speed up registration. For example, at IAEE’s Expo! Expo! last month in Las Vegas, attendees could use a facial recognition check-in process onsite. According to a press release from Streampoint Solutions, whose FaceReg software was used at the event, 35 percent of attendees took advantage of it.

“Investing in this technology in the event space opens the doors to not only advancing the check-in process but also creates new opportunities to enhance audience engagement experiences,” said Sam Louie, director of operations at Streampoint Solutions.

Speaker Diversity Gets Prioritized

In late 2018, I wrote that I really wanted to see “manels” go away in 2019. While they’ve yet to be completely eradicated (a recent Bizzabo study showed that almost two-thirds of conference presenters are still men), we have seen some strides.

For example, National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins said in June 2019 that he would no longer be a part of all-male speaking panels.

“Starting now, when I consider speaking invitations, I will expect a level playing field, where scientists of all backgrounds are evaluated fairly for speaking opportunities,” he said in a press release. “If that attention to inclusiveness is not evident in the agenda, I will decline to take part.”

Then, in November, Shoptalk announced that its March 2020 conference would feature an all-women speaker lineup—a decision that some praised and others thought was extreme.

“We believe this groundbreaking move—a first in events to our knowledge—is necessary to propel our industry forward and showcase many incredibly talented women who are working to transform retail in every way,” said Zia Daniell Wigder, Shoptalk’s chief global content officer, in a blog post. “Starting in 2021, Shoptalk will feature 50/50 male and female speakers every year.”

Sustainability Moves to the Forefront

More associations are facing this reality: A greater number of meeting attendees want to reduce their carbon footprint by flying less, and some companies are limiting how often their employees can fly.

In the EventMB report “10 Event Trends for 2020” (registration required), one of the trends highlighted is an increase in virtual meetings due to “flight shaming.”

“As the meetings industry embraces a stronger commitment to sustainability …, unnecessary flying will be a key target of green company policies in 2020,” wrote EventMB Editor Julius Solaris. “Unnecessary travel … will be cut in favor of online delivery methods.”

What does it mean for associations?

For one, they will have to diversify their conference offerings. That may include creating regional events or even bringing education to members by hosting roadshows across the country. And, of course, associations can add a virtual component to a meeting for those who can’t be there.

Associations can also start examining ways to reduce the environmental impact of travel to their conferences—something my colleague Tim Ebner explored in the Fall 2019 issue of Associations Now.

What changes do you think meetings will or should undergo in 2020? Tell us about them in the comments.

The post What’s on the Horizon for Meetings in 2020? appeared first on Associations Now.

Daily Buzz: Stay in Touch With Lapsed Members

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Encourage membership renewals from lapsed members with these three strategies. Also: how to drown out the distractions and improve concentration at work.

Has your hard-earned membership count dropped? Seeing members lapse is frustrating, but they may not be gone forever.

“The thing is, they may not necessarily be choosing not to renew,” says Callie Walker of MemberClicks. “They may not be thinking about it at all, which is why communicating with them—both leading up to the member expiration date AND after—is so critical.”

To encourage renewals, Walker suggests reaching out to lapsed members at three key points after their expiration date arrives:

Expiration day. “It’s crucial to reach out to your members the moment they lapse,” Walker says. In the email, remind recipients that their membership expires today and highlight the benefits of remaining a member. Demonstrate where members can renew, and provide a link to make it easy.

Three months past renewal date. Thank recipients for being members and remind them that their membership fees are 90 days past due. Give them a date by which they need to pay their dues in order to continue their member benefits. Provide a representative’s contact information in case they have questions or need assistance. This can also work 30 or 60 days past the renewal date, Walker points out. “The more you can communicate with your lapsed members, the better!”

Membership dropped. “Still no renewal? It’s time to send one final message. But you can still make it convincing!” Walker says. Inform recipients that their membership has expired. Make it clear that their participation is always welcome and tease a few upcoming initiatives. To cap things off, provide contact information in case they would like to discuss rejoining.

In all three email templates, Walker recommends highlighting benefits that members receive from your organization, such as networking opportunities, training, and education.

Going Deep

16 strategies to improve focus, minimize busywork and find time for deep work | WBT Systems #assnchat #associations #productivity

— TopClass LMS by WBT Systems (@WBT_Systems) December 31, 2019

With daily distractions and interruptions on the job, it can be difficult to find time for deep work, a form of concentration without distraction that opens up new kinds of productivity, according to the WBT Systems blog. How do you avoid procrastinating and filling your days with busywork? The WBT team says it’s a group effort.

“Work out a system with your boss and coworkers so you can enjoy blocks of uninterrupted quiet time. Put on your headphones and tape a sign to your door or cubicle along with a notepad and paper so visitors can say why they stopped by and when they’re available to talk later.”

Other Links of Note

Need to find the right work-life balance? Ashley Faus of HubSpot offers a new approach.

Social studies. Dennis Shiao of the Content Marketing Institute offers seven tips to up your social media game in 2020.

Free webinars. The Wild Apricot Blog identifies 40 free nonprofit webinars happening in January.

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Three Trends to Boost Nondues Revenue in the New Year

Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News, news-feed, Uncategorized

As 2020 dawns, many associations are looking to make sure they have a steady influx of revenue streaming in. From focusing on customers to adding value, an expert shares three trends you should embrace this year.

If you’re the superstitious type, you might have eaten black-eyed peas or undertaken some other tradition purported to bring money in the new year. You may even have showed up at work (which, while not superstitious, is effective at bringing in money). If you’re looking to boost the revenue at your association, don’t rely on superstitions. (But, yes, you should show up at work.) While you’re there, lean into the top trends in nondues revenue for 2020 offered up by Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE, president and CEO at Avenue M Group:

Focus on Customers

The first trend represents a big ideological shift: focusing on customers, whether they’re members or not.

“For as long as I’ve worked in associations—20 years—people have always said membership is the heart and the lifeblood of the organization; It’s what everyone talks about,” Jacobs said. “I think there is going to be a pivotal shift, where you no longer think about membership as lifeblood. The real focus is outreach and customers.”

Jacobs said she is not undervaluing members, but rather acknowledging that associations serve people in addition to their members. This strategy is often lucrative because nonmembers pay more. Jacobs’ company did an analysis of sales for a large association, looking at purchases by members and nonmembers, and came to a startling conclusion: “If they had converted these people to members, they would have millions of dollars of lost revenue.”

It’s OK for customers to choose the association’s products, but not its membership. “The shift is, we don’t have to capture everyone as members,” Jacobs said. “It’s OK if membership stays small. For many organizations, if you look at their mission statement, it doesn’t have the word member in it. The mission is to advance the profession.”

Jacobs said she has noticed a trend among employers to not reimburse employees for membership fees, whereas they will pay for products that help employees improve. “Customers are just as valuable as members,” Jacobs said.

Focusing on all customers and your organization’s reach will help improve nondues revenue from other sources, such as corporate sponsors. “I know an association that has maybe 14,000 or 15,000 members, but when they talk about their reach, it is three or four times as strong,” Jacobs said. “They get people in the room who are important for networking in their industry, even if they don’t become members.”

Use Data

Data can help associations figure out which programs and services are growing and which are declining.

“You might have an audience segment that is retiring or graying,” Jacobs said. “They may be the largest user of something you have. Another segment may be really small, but that segment is growing.”

Even though the big segment may be spending money now, Jacobs said it’s important to see the writing on the wall and pitch to those growing segments accordingly. Customer or member journeys can be helpful by using data to guide customers to the next product they’ll need. “As they join or renew, they are given incentives to use other things we have,” Jacobs said. “People who used this are happy with or seeking these kinds of things.”

Show Value

Customers will spend money if they value the product associations are offering.

“Individuals [ask], does this create value for me?” Jacobs said. “Does this offer me something I can’t get anywhere else?”

Offering both online and in-person options for meetings will continue to trend. While some worried that providing online access would cannibalize sales for in-person seats, Jacobs said that generally isn’t the case. “People don’t choose an online meeting because they initially were doing the in-person one and this was cheaper,” she said. Instead, logistics meant they could never do the in-person training, but online made it feasible. “If you don’t offer the online opportunity, there is an entire audience whose needs aren’t being met,” Jacobs said.

She also noted that some associations are requiring nonmembers who take advantage of their offerings to subscribe. “A lot of organizations take member content and put that behind a member wall,” Jacobs said. “This is taking your free content that’s out there, and saying if you want access, you have to become a subscriber. That subscription can be free or charge a nominal fee. It’s a way to build your customer database.”

Once people are in the database, the association has an opportunity to show its value through the content it provides. Jacobs said the subscription models she has seen do not provide additional discounts or other perks reserved for members.

Which trends in nondues revenue does your association plan on tackling this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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A Last Look at Leadership in 2019

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Strategic thinking, bold moves, the end of narcissism, and a few other takeaways from a busy year.

Congratulations! If your association is in any way a reflection of larger economic trends, you probably had a pretty good year as a leader. The economy is generally doing well, so most organizations have been able to avoid belt-tightening with staff. There are heartening reports that associations have increasingly embraced strategic thinking. And if the old association model is becoming unsettled, there are also more ways than ever to connect and engage with members and stakeholders.

But, as ever, there’s still work to be done. Much of what I wrote about in 2019 for this blog revolved around the challenges and opportunities created by these upsides. Leaders may not be able to address every problem they face. But take a look at some of the themes that emerged for me, and see if there aren’t ideas for what your next move as a leader might be.

One of the weakest areas of leadership in every organization is the ability to define success with precision.

Staffers are looking for more reasons to engage. Association staffers do their best work when they feel successful—but they need leaders to clearly articulate what success looks like. “One of the weakest areas of leadership in every organization—and this is across industries, not just associations—is the ability to define success with precision,” consultant and author Jamie Notter told me in February. For some staffers, simply promoting them may not be enough, and it might be the wrong answer entirely. But you won’t go wrong by being as transparent as possible with staff about where your association is and how you’re meeting your goals. It’s impossible to overcommunicate, many CEOs say, especially when it comes to more disruptive changes.

Boards need to be pushed out of their comfort zones. The CEO doesn’t run an association’s board; indeed, it’s typically the board that conducts the CEO’s performance review. But CEOs are uniquely positioned to champion new ideas before the board, and it’s a role they should embrace. One of my favorite association stories of 2019 was the American Astronomical Society stepping up in a hurry to purchase Sky & Telescope magazine, a foundering publication that found new life through AAS. Making the move, with some expensive upfront costs, required some selling on the CEO’s part, but that effort was ultimately worth it.

Strategy is still a challenge. Many associations have dispensed with their outdated “leadership ladders,” where even eager volunteers find themselves waiting the better part of a decade to attain a board seat. But speeding the process has meant that more board members need better education about strategy, and CEOs can lead that education. And while more association execs and staffers are engaged in strategic planning, boards still need some help when it comes to strategic thinking.

Top-down leadership is out of style, if not antiquated. As New Power authors and ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition speakers Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans pointed out, the command-and-control model associations have used with members needs to give way to more inclusive, flexible, and collaborative relationships. That may have an impact on what leadership style is most effective with your stakeholders. Hard-charging extroverts and narcissists may need to take a lesson from servant leaders: Be the leader who doesn’t wield power so much as empowers others.

The needle still isn’t moving much on diversity. A report earlier this year found that while a solid majority of nonprofits say their boards should be more diverse, only about half have taken any real action to increase diversity. That “real action” will rely on a change in mindset: As one executive pointed out in Deloitte report on the lack of women board leaders, “without strong, proactive leadership from the board chair and nominating committee, some boards will continue to bring in people like themselves.” With D+I at the bottom of the list of priorities at associations, according to one recent report, it’s a conversation that still requires urgent attention.

Thanks for reading, and see you in 2020.

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Daily Buzz: Is Social Media Getting Less Social?

Daily Buzz: Is Social Media Getting Less Social?

Written by GSF Editor on . Posted in Federation News, news-feed, Uncategorized

New research shows that users are moving away from public social platforms. Also: revamping meetings in 2020.

It’s no surprise that social media is—well, social. But come next year, platforms might start to trend away from that, says Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes on Fast Company. His insight comes on the heels of the company’s annual Social Media Trends Report.

“Considering the controversies that have surrounded social networks of late, it’s no surprise to see that users are fleeing public platforms for the relative privacy of messaging apps and closed groups,” Holmes says.

In fact, 63 percent of people prefer sharing and talking about content in private channels, according to research from GlobalWebIndex. Holmes says this trend will only grow: “Expect to see private and one-to-one platforms continue to thrive in 2020,” such as Instagram’s newly launched Threads platform.

Another callout of Hootsuite’s report: the evolution of social media incentives. More recently, signature features, such as “likes,” have been criticized for creating larger problems.

“Algorithms to surface interesting updates end up prioritizing provocative and misleading news,” Holmes explains. “Metrics like followers and likes encourage mindless sharing and undercut meaningful engagement. A commitment to open dialogue gives free rein to bullies and trolls.”

Come 2020, Holmes says platforms will confront these issues. Instagram, for example, has already started testing hidden like counts.

“The motivation: Encourage users to engage with videos and photos on their own merits, rather than simply following the herd,” Holmes says.

Up Your Conference Culture

2020 tuneup: Six #marketing insights from our 2019 #B2BDreamTeam #eventprofs

— Event Marketer (@EventMarketer) December 20, 2019

Kicking off the next decade with a roster full of events? Make meetings memorable by re-evaluating conference culture, says Ojas Rege, chief product officer at One Concern, in an interview with Event Marketer.

“With the nontraditional events, it’s about thinking minute by minute, hour by hour, what’s the experience, what are the interactions, what do I do as a user, how do I flow through the space—not just where I sit and watch a presentation,” he explains. “If you give the audience something that lets them do their jobs better, they love it, and they value it, and they become loyal.”

Other Links of Note

Dealing with end-of-year stress? Forbes shares strategies to help you cope.

Make your website accessible with these six tips from Convince & Convert.

Once a member joins, it’s time to start on your retention efforts. MultiBriefs outlines five ways associations can create an inclusive environment and offer value from the start.

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