Our team at Unleashed Technologies recently had the opportunity to engage attendees of the Association Media & Publishing Annual Meeting. The conference is the only comprehensive event serving association communications and publishing needs and our team was able to engage with hundreds of leaders from premiere associations across the country.
For the second consecutive year, Unleashed Technologies decided to forgo distributing the typical conference swag given out to attendees. Instead, our team focused our efforts on providing value to association professionals while also raising funds for The Literacy Lab. Our attendee survey at AMP17 engaged attendees on topics including their organization’s digital content, website, mobile apps and marketing automation platforms. For each survey completed, our team committed to donate $10 to The Literacy Lab to support its mission of combatting childhood illiteracy and raised over $600 during the conference. To read the results of our attendee from AMP16, click here.
In terms of digital content, our survey results closely aligned with what attendees told us the previous year. This year’s survey showed us that 59% of attendees at AMP17 responded that they consider their organization’s content to be “Above Average” or “Exceptional” (compared to 60% at AMP16). With an ever-increasing focus on the importance of content in the association world, it’s not surprising to see that attendees feel confident in the quality of the content they’re creating for members. With multiple sessions at AMP17 devoted to the topic of content and content strategy, we expect to see associations continue to invest time, resources, and skills to ensure quality content synonymous with their organization.
In terms of why attendees feel their content appeals to their association’s membership base, our data continues to see a rise in the importance associations place on being viewed as a thought leader in their respective field. Nearly 40% of attendees we surveyed at AMP17 responded that their organization’s content resonates with its members because it is viewed as a “trusted resource”. In this area we once again see close alignment with the previous year’s data, as relevancy of content to members remained the leading answer selected by attendees at 44% (albeit with a reduced share of the vote). As content personalization continues to become more adopted by organizations, the expectations of members will only continue to increase as they compare their experiences across the web.
When asked what aspect of their organization’s website they would most like to improve, content once again proved king as 47% of attendees we surveyed responded that updating their site’s content quickly and easily is a current pain point. This result speaks directly to importance of leveraging a powerful content management system to ensure association publishing teams can rapidly generate, publish, update, and distribute content. The ability to grow organizational programs and events and eCommerce both remained significant points of interest to attendees, but less so than what our data revealed the year prior.
One new area Unleashed Technologies expects to see growing interest over the remainder of 2017 is the need for association websites to meet 508 compliancy standards. Compliancy is rapidly gaining attention and we expect associations will soon be taking stock of how their organization’s website measures against these standards if they haven’t already. Attendees also told us that nearly 47% of their associations are currently in the process of a website redesign or are embarking on a redesign within the next 6 months. While this number dropped from our survey the previous year (79%), this data supports the notion that innovation on the web has become a significant focus of associations as they battle for member engagement.
Another area of technology we discussed with attendees at this year’s meeting was mobile applications and 58% of survey respondents indicated that their association currently offers members a mobile application or is in the process of building one. While the need for responsive design has been a common topic of our conversations in previous editions of the meeting, we found that associations are increasing their focus on providing a separate mobile experience for their members to leverage. With the rise of progressive web applications (PWAs) as an alternative to mobile applications, our team expects many associations will turn their attention to PWAs as a solution that meets their needs reduces their financial burden.
Unleashed Technologies is truly grateful to the attendees that offered us their time to take part in the survey at this year’s meeting and congratulations to all the EXCEL Award winners on your achievement! We look forward to engaging with attendees again at AMP18 and we would welcome the chance to discuss any of these topics with your association as you continue to maximize its presence on the web.