International meetings are the best way to grow foreign membership, experts say, but consider a local partner to reduce risk
By William Ehart
If your association wants to expand overseas, call a meeting.
No, not just any meeting: an international meeting.
While some organizations try to build up international membership before holding overseas events, that is the wrong approach, experts say.
From Association Event Planner
by Abigail Wills
Are associations making the most of exhibitions, asks Abigail Wills.
Speaking at the ICCA World Congress, Paul Woodward, managing director of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, said: "There is a very close relationship between associations and exhibitions and they need each other to work well."
One of the highlights of the ASAE Annual Meeting, opening today at the Dallas Convention Center, in downtown Dallas, Texas, is the ASAE Book Store. The vast array of really useful resources and information never disappoints. And ASAE uses this opportunity to showcase its newest books and studies.
Just off the ASAE presses is the new “A Practical Guide to Globalization for Associations,” written by Dick Blatt, President of Planar Consulting, a firm that specializes in helping associations develop international strategy, and Donna Hasslinger, World Wide Director of Volunteer and Member Services, Drug Information Association (DIA).
From CEO Update
By Mark Tarallo
“Going global” has become one of the most discussed concepts in associations these days, but some groups – and the executives who lead them – have been actively engaged for decades
One of the hottest topics in the association world today is taking business around the world. Dick Blatt, founder of Planar World Consulting, LLC, said that the single most important element of going international is knowledge about the people you will be working with in a new country. His Learning Lab, “Top 10 Things You Need to Know When Going Global,” kicked off with questions from the audience about the challenges they face as they consider growing their associations globally.
When assessing potential opportunities, Blatt said to think about what kind of association you have, such as a trade or professional organization, and also if you already have members in a country where you’re thinking about expanding. When deciding how to prioritize steps when you’ve already expanded to other countries, Blatt said to consider the industry, profession, or products and services that you are extending to those countries and decide if they are relevant. Also consider how important it is for your association to expand to an English-speaking country. Blatt also said to think about why and when your association should go global, as well as the tactical commitment it will take to expand internationally.
President Jimmy Carter once said “Globalization is a policy and not an act of God.”
If that’s true, associations are in a powerful position to shape the future of the globalization of economic and intellectual capital, and the American Society of Association Executives is fighting to help them understand how to exercise that power constructively.