Bob Waller

Executive Leadership

In the wake of so much tragedy in 2020, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has finally taken center stage and many organizations are making strides to not just talk about how to address diversity, but to develop real actionable approaches to ensure that it becomes part of the organization at all levels. I predict that organizations will look to ensure that their board of directors is more reflective of their membership, meaning there will be more women and people who belong to under-represented populations, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color, in leadership positions. In addition, as opposed to simply appointing a DEI committee, organizations will go much deeper so that diversity is becomes part of the thread woven through the tapestry of everything they do as an organization.”

Bob Waller

Bob Waller Jr., CAE
President and CEO, AH

Mike Dwyer

AMC Industry

AMC Industry

2021 will bring more opportunities for association management companies to work with standalones or self-managed organizations who are looking to gain some efficiencies and possibly outsource some of the services that they currently keep in house; some of this is backed up by research recently published by the AMC Institute. From a full-service perspective, I think some standalone or self-managed organizations will consider going to the AMC model for full-service management, perhaps even having an expectation that the AMC will take on their staff, or at least some of their staff, but also exploring opportunities for the AMC to provide staff to backfill some of the existing staff.”

Mike Dwyer

Mike Dwyer, CAE
Chief Executive Relationship Officer, AH

Michele Buggy

Membership

Membership

The pandemic is both highlighting and expediting the process of moving to a customer-centric, digital, subscription-style of business and lifestyle. In 2021, successful organizations will start offering more options. Can we offer different levels of benefits and access at varied price points? Can we create a subscription-like feel where we send an offering on a monthly basis – association benefits packaged in a digital box? Can we bill monthly instead of annually for our membership? It is important to remember that association members are consumers. We need to look at consumer trends and adapt our associations accordingly.”

Michele Buggy

Michele Buggy, CAE, IOM
Association Executive, AH

Brooke Passy

Meetings & Events

Meetings & Events

I see the association meeting and events industry starting to lay the groundwork for what will be a new normal in 2022. While we all yearn to be together again, the safety and wellbeing of our communities will remain the priority, making most events occur virtually with some small in-person events coming back in the second half of the year. Strategy will be a driving force for all events as we have been challenged to evaluate how our events are best delivered, whether that is back to full in-person attendance with added safety measures, adding a virtual component to create a hybrid experience, or even keeping events virtual going forward.”

Brooke Passy

Brooke Passy, CMP, DES
Senior Meeting Manager, AH

Porter Rice

Non-dues Revenue

Non-dues Revenue

Digital advertising has become the must-have offering for associations. In 2021, demand for digital advertising opportunities will increase even more in response to tightening marketing budgets and the need to demonstrate ROI with data. This will be particularly important to vendors focused on direct-response, where clicks and impressions can be measured for each campaign.”

Porter Rice

Porter Rice
Industry Relations Manager, AH

Jodi Araujo

Board Management & Operations

Board Management & Operations

I expect that boards will be hyper-focused on refining their strategic initiatives with an eye toward post-COVID-19 industry impact and increased community engagement, and doing so through the lens of risk management. Understanding the challenges our association members have had to overcome, and the implications to their business models, as a result, will be the driver for one, three, and five-year plans.”

Jodi Araujo

Jodi Araujo, CEM
Vice President of Organizational Development, AH

MaryBeth Kurland

Credentialing

Credentialing

As we look ahead to 2021, remote proctoring, virtual training and virtual site visits will continue to influence and evolve credentialing bodies and their service delivery to reach more organizations and people. The use of these tools will persist long after the pandemic is over and grow more sophisticated and commonplace; however, post-pandemic, a hybrid approach to learning and community-building that combines in-person experiences and virtual opportunities will likely develop. Credentialing bodies also have an opportunity to review and evaluate existing programs and services to examine them for unintended barriers to certification and accreditation. Effective use of technology and a renewed focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion will enhance the value of credentialing, encourage workforce development activities, and ultimately improve service to multiple diverse populations.”

MaryBeth Kurland

MaryBeth Kurland, CAE
Chief Executive Officer, Commission for Case Manager Certification

Melissa Venditti

Video

Video

Social video optimization will be driving video strategy in 2021. Mobile/social video consumption has been doubling for the past several years with video accounting for 80% of global internet traffic, so video optimization is key to making sure your videos are the ones that are watched. By adding captions, headers and footers and resizing to square or vertical video sizes to take up more real estate on social news feeds, your videos can reach their full potential for views, engagement and lead generation.”

Melissa Venditti

Melissa Venditti
Video Producer, AH

Jenelle Kleiman

Graphic Design

Graphic Design

My design prediction for 2021 is connectivity, both visually and thematically. We all spent 2020 learning to connect in new and different ways, and I envision this being represented in 2021 by using intersecting and overlapping color, shapes, type, and even images in the artwork we create for our client partners.”

Jenelle Kleiman

Jenelle Kleiman
Creative Manager, AH

Sabina Gargiulo

Marketing & Communications

Marketing & Communications

As hyperconnected Gen Z begins to take stage as a major demographic audience of pragmatic and informed consumers with growing spending power, and a devotion toward social responsibility, volunteerism, and brand values, non-profits will need to embrace and master the art and science of providing more personalized and sophisticated digital experiences in marketing and communication to attract and engage next-gen audiences.”

Sabina Gargiulo

Sabina Gargiulo
Vice President of Marketing and Industry Relations, AH

Melissa Willhouse

Social Media

Social Media

We’re going to see a lot more video in 2021, including video-based advertising. I believe Tik Tok will emerge as a key marketing platform, so we’ll see more video advertising created for the younger demographic using the app.”

Melissa Willhouse

Melissa Willhouse
Digital Marketing Coordinator, AH

Pete Caniglia

The social media trend that I see shaping 2021 is audio, but specifically, I expect podcasts to grow exponentially. We’re seeing hints of this already with Twitter beta testing audio posts and the rise of new audio-only platforms such as Clubhouse.”

Pete Caniglia

Pete Caniglia
Associate Marketing Manager, AH

Melissa DiMatteo

AMS Data Management

AMS Data Management

Well-documented processes and procedures improve service, quality, and efficiencies, while also clarifying roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders in a project. In 2021, we’ll continue to build on needs uncovered in 2020 to optimize associations’ data management processes.”

Melissa DiMatteo

Melissa DiMatteo
Project Manager, AH

Jon Kinsella

Automation of operational processes, specifically within the AMS data management spectrum, will lead to an increase in data quality, which in turn, will allow associations and nonprofits to better capture pertinent information about their members and prospects, allowing them to shift from a traditional one-size-fits-all approach to marketing with a more personalized, segmented, and tailored approach.”

Jon Kinsella

Jon Kinsella
Director of Digital Marketing, AH

Sarah Black

Content & Publishing

Content & Publishing

We’re going to see associations start to personalize their content more for their different audiences in the year ahead using data to shape topics for those audiences. There will always be a need for artistry when it comes to content, but data will be a defining element in 2021 that helps associations understand not only who their audiences are but what they want from their associations, and how they want that content. Publishing will respond accordingly, though I anticipate members will seek to simplify and look to their associations to streamline content delivery.”

Sarah Black

Sarah Black, MS
Director of Content and Creative, AH

Christina DeRose

Sponsorship, Exhibits & Advertising

Sponsorship, Exhibits & Advertising

In 2021, we're going to see more of our association partners look for comprehensive, year-round exposure outside of the typical spend that they would apply to an annual meeting or a convention. This will likely translate to an uptick in either digital advertising, webinar revenue, or digital resources like digital buyer’s guides.”

Christina DeRose

Christina DeRose
Industry Relations Manager, AH

Component & Chapter Management

Component & Chapter Management

Components, chapters, special interest groups, and regional groups oftentimes are the lifeblood of an association. Especially after in-person events were forced to go virtual last year, many associations’ members missed connecting in person with their colleagues and friends. In 2021 and beyond, it will be important for associations to emphasize networking opportunities and highlight how they are bringing their members back together, even if that means doing so in virtual environments. Keeping everyone engaged across chapters and components will be paramount.”

Veronica Sullivan
Account Executive, AH

Amy Williams

Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning sessions themselves will be held virtually. We were pleasantly surprised in 2020 that we were able to effectively facilitate virtual strategic planning sessions, and I think that will continue in 2021 because people are not going to be able to or want to travel. In addition, I think the plans themselves will focus on the shorter term. Previously we would conduct sessions looking three to five years out, but in 2021 I think we’ll be crafting plans that are realistically just one to two years. Last, I think the goals will focus on organizational priorities, such as financial health, operational excellence, membership, growth, and engagement, because now is the time for associations to be focusing on those areas. Associations will take what they learned in 2020 and apply it to their strategic planning and 2021. Specifically, being nimble! Associations proved that they could be nimble in 2020 and I'm hoping that continues into their strategic planning efforts that where they set goals but are able to achieve them more quickly than in the past.”

Amy Williams

Amy Williams, CAE, MPA, IOM
Vice President of Sales and Consulting, AH

Beth Mauro

Foresight

Foresight

If 2020 taught us anything, it's that the world can change overnight, and the association world adapted. A year ago, we never could have imagined a 100% remote workforce, 100% virtual conferences, and remote proctoring a virtual certification exams, but it happened. My prediction for 2021 is associations and certifying bodies will embrace the ASAE ForesightWorks trends research and use it as a starting point for discussions about how to prepare now for trends that are playing out faster than we expected. Whether the focus is new membership models, non-dues revenue resources, innovative education products, or simply how to provide services and benefits for our diverse communities, volunteers will be coming to the table to talk and to practice foresight.”

Beth Mauro

Beth Mauro
Senior Director of Client Services, AH

Gene Terry

Strategic Partnerships

Strategic Partnerships

The worldwide COVID-19 crisis has crippled many associations and nonprofit organizations. While federal relief funding has provided some support, for many organizations, it simply hasn't been enough. Looking ahead, a key path to sustainability and relevance for associations and non-profit organizations will be to leverage or enter into strategic partnerships with allied organizations. Many association and non-profit organization volunteer leaders and staff will choose strategic partnerships to improve efficiency, build capacity, and take their best products, programs, and services to create a new, more successful organization.”

Gene Terry

Gene Terry, CAE, IOM
Executive Director, American Society of Hand Therapists

Mike Dwyer

Association Mergers & Acquisitions

Association Mergers & Acquisitions

In 2021 we may see smaller, “fringe” organizations with similar missions unite under collaborative partnerships. We may also see more mergers between competitive organizations with similar missions to take advantage of the efficiencies to be gained by combining staffs, while others increasingly look to AMCs for additional support.”

Mike Dwyer

Mike Dwyer, CAE
Chief Executive Relationship Officer, AH

Kelly Mariotti

Shifting Identities/Staffing Changes

Shifting Identities/Staffing Changes

As we enter 2021, we're still existing in a time of incredible change, and therefore, associations are still operating in crisis mode. I believe the most successful associations this year will have three things in common: 1) a strong volunteer board and staff leadership that can act decisively and strategically; 2) a reliance on subject matter experts so we have the best possible information when we're making decisions; and 3) the ability to rely on cross-functional teams so that every part of our operations is in alignment and supporting our major programs and initiatives.”

Kelly Mariotti

Kelly Mariotti, JD, CPA, CAE
Executive Director, Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association