AH client partner the Society For Biomaterials leveraged their strategic partnership to lead their association into the future
The Society For Biomaterials' (SFB) mission as a multidisciplinary society of academic, healthcare, governmental, and business professionals is dedicated to promoting advancements in all aspects of biomaterial science. In the summer of 2019 the Governing Council held a strategic planning session that centered on ASAE's ForesightWorks Initiative and the drivers of change therein. All members of the Governing Council were surveyed to determine what they felt were the most appropriate drivers of change for the society to focus on in the coming years. A compilation of those survey results was presented for discussion at the meeting, and several new initiatives were sparked as a result.
First, SFB identified diversity and inclusion, not only as a key driver of change for the society, but also an important part of SFB's culture and a core value. A Diversity and Inclusion Task Force was created, and their efforts resulted in the new Code of Conduct policy, participation in the society's Consortium for Sexual Harassment in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine). A formal statement on racial justice and a standing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee was codified in the society's bylaws with a vote of overwhelming membership support.
Second, SFB realized back in 2019 that virtual meetings were an important area for the society's growth as many societies’ reliance on journal royalties and income generated by a big annual meeting made the financial future heavily dependent on those two activities. With uncertainty in the publishing world related to the effects and trends of open access publishing, and the inherently location-based success of a big annual meeting, SFB realized it was time to diversify its membership benefits. The Society engaged their special interest groups and developed a series of topic specific webinars that were delivered throughout the course of 2020. With 10 webinars, over 1,200 attendees and with over 125 views of the recorded sessions, the webinar program is off to a great start.
Last, SFB identified next-gen professionals as a key target for SFB's growth. Following the success of the 2019 persona-based marketing membership drive, SFB redoubled their efforts to reach out to new audiences by placing targeted web display advertisements, as well as native advertisements within the LinkedIn and Facebook platforms. SFB also reinvigorated its student chapters by soliciting their participation in the webinar program and supported the formation of a Young Scientist Group. Though the fruits of this effort have yet to be fully realized, engagement among student members and young scientists has remained strong and is currently increasing.