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ASAE Annual MeetingUnleashed Technologies recently joined over 4,700 participants at the 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Salt Lake City. For our firm’s second appearance participating as an exhibitor, we decided to offer attendees insight into how association professionals view their organization’s digital landscape by completing a brief survey at our booth.

As a thank you for participating, Unleashed Technologies pledged to donate $10 to Girl Develop It (a non-profit focused on providing affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development).

Our attendee survey centered on two major topics: an attendee’s perception of the state of their content and the attendee’s feelings about their existing presentation of that content on the web today. 

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Content Is King

Attendees as a group felt confident about their digital content’s overall quality in comparison to the landscape as a whole. Only 9% of attendees classified their content as “Weak” and 42% told us their content was “Better Than Average” in their response.

As technologists, we feel confident that this data is properly aligned with the long-term movement we’ve been witnessing in the association space. With an additional 41% rating their content as “average” we can confidently say that quality content is now top of mind for association professionals.

We also asked attendees to identify why their content specifically appeals to their association’s membership and a clear winner was chosen with 44% of responders selecting “relevancy” as the driving factor. Attendees also indicated that being viewed as a “trusted resource” was important to their membership bases with 25% of the share of the vote.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. An overwhelming 65% of survey responders told us that their organization’s current website features a responsive design (with 22% indicating their website is not responsive and 13% unsure). As the shift to interacting online via smartphones and tablets continues to explode, associations will need to invest in responsive websites to truly meet the expectations of their members.

Areas of Improvement

We observed a decisive winner when we asked attendees to identify one aspect their association’s website they would choose to improve with 56% indicating a lack of ability to grow programs/events/communication. 24% of attendees selected eCommerce capabilities and 20% chose the actual management of content on the web platform.

When we asked attendees to identify their website’s largest area of improvement, the results were evenly split among the four answer choices offered:

  • 27% indicated poorly functioning integrations are a pain point
  • 25% advised us their website is difficult to navigate for users
  • 25% reported their website offers weak content to visitors
  • 23% responded that an inferior or outdated design is a major drawback

Based on these results, it becomes clear that associations are tasked with balancing a multitude of different criteria in regards to their digital presences. Without ongoing support and innovation, it becomes incredibly difficult to stay current in each of the outlined areas.

Interest in Digital Publishing

With regard to exporting content from their publication directly into a mobile application or into their website, attendees indicated in both cases that they were not ready to tackle those initiatives in the near future. We expect to see movement in these areas as more and more associations begin to focus on making their print publications available digitally to their members. 

Unleashed Technologies enjoyed participating in the 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition and we look forward to attending next year’s edition in Toronto.  If you would like to learn more about any of the topics covered in our attendee survey, please contact us and our team will be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding your digital presence.