Here’s the latest post in our “INDUSTRY INSIDERS” column, where we bring you the inside scoop from several awesome association technology vendors and consultants who will share the insights they have gleaned from years of working in our association industry.
Technology moves at an ever increasing pace and the ways members expect to be served through their association’s website are evolving. For-Profit website experiences and expectations carry over to non-profit sites such as professional societies and trade societies.
In fact it is reasonable to say that in many cases, a member’s only interaction with their organization may be through the website.
“When we went out and spoke with our members we realized that for many of them our website IS the association,” said Ceela McElveny, Chief Communications and Membership Officer at the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, in a session at the 2012 ASAE Membership, Marketing and Communications Conference.
Combine this sentiment with the fact that web technology moves quickly – and a website quickly becomes outdated. While responsive design is today’s hot topic, baseline technologies such as AMS integration, social sharing, search engine optimization and more are pain points for a number of associations as they ask their websites to compete in a crowded online world.
If this sounds like your association, it raises two important questions:
- How old is my website?
- How does this compare to other associations? Am I behind or ahead of the curve?
In my work at Vanguard Technology I speak with associations who come to us to redesign their website and are asked, “What do other associations do?” We can reply with what we see our clients doing. However that is only a portion of what is happening across the industry – and it is the portion currently considering a website project.
That is why we are conducting an Association Website Benchmarking Survey. The study explores questions related to how long ago associations did their last website redesign, when they planning on doing the next one, and factors driving project decisions.
Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and make your voice heard to quantify these questions.
We will use the survey findings for industry education including whitepapers, blog posts, infographics, webinars, and a learning lab session I will be giving in December at the ASAE Technology Conference. Of course, all survey participants will be sent the findings.
Stay tuned, lots of great data to be gathered and shared. And when it is all done, you will know how your organization stacks up to other associations.
Oh… and thank you for your participation.
Ray van Hilst is Director of Client Strategy and Marketing at Vanguard Technology – a website redesign and online technology service provider for associations and association management companies. Connect with him @rvanhilst or rvanhilst (at) vtcus.com.