If the last two years has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. Making predictions for the year ahead with a continuing high level of uncertainty is probably difficult at best and impossible at worst. However, there are some things we can predict with a reasonable level of certainty, some we think are a reasonable bet for 2022 and then there are the “who knows”. These are the unknowns over which we couldn’t have predicted and have little or no control over. As we head into 2022 with the same uncertainty as 2021, below is the TAS Directors predictions for Associations.
2022 will be the year when the word “trust” becomes of even greater importance than the norm. As borders re-open and the world begins to try to return to some level of “normality” (whatever that is), trust will become all important. Whether that is trust in what politicians are saying and doing, trust in what your colleagues are doing or simply trust in our fellow human beings to “do the right thing”. Associations that thrive will be those who can be trusted to deliver real tangible benefits to their members. This may take the form of advocacy with government that achieves results, increased credibility with relevant stakeholders or simply providing high quality learning and networking opportunities. Members now want tangible results delivered by an organisation that is respected and listened to. Now is the time for associations and their leaders to focus on building a brand that can be trusted to make a difference.FRANCIS CHILD, EXECUTIVE CHAIR
Revenue streams – how to maintain and how to increase them, have and always will be the key focus for Associations. 2021 saw the continuation of a year filled with risk, challenges and the need to think outside the box with regards to traditional revenue streams due to the ongoing implications of COVID-19. The absence of Face to Face conferences and the conversion to virtual events changed the way Associations sought sponsorships and key funding from their partners and stakeholders. In 2022, Associations will need to think beyond the conference, they will need to get creative and collaborative with their partners and change their sponsorship offerings. The trend to a 365 day approach of delivering value to key partners will need to be adopted and just as Associations ask ‘how do we increase the value proposition’ for our members’, this key question will extend through to Association’s sponsorship and partnership strategies.NELL HARRISON, MANAGING DIRECTOR
Towards the end of 2021 we saw associations start to redirect their focus to marketing. I see this trend continuing and expanding in 2022 as Associations realise the importance of communicating their value to potential members, engaging and retaining current members and putting in place a detailed lapsed member communication strategy. I expect 2022 will see a huge increase of outsourced professional marketing services as associations compete for attention as well as starting to use their marketing data more effectively. For larger associations, I see marketing automation software becoming more popular in late 2022 to assist with consistent, brand messaging and communications.LYNNE GREENAWAY, DIRECTOR SALES AND MARKETING