As technology becomes better at removing the distance between people globally, will more chapters morph into special interest groups? Perhaps at some associations.
Special interest groups (SIGs) deliver unique value to members. SIGs:
- Allow members to shortcut the process of networking and get connected with the group who cares about the same issues.
- Connect members who are working on what they are working on, and who may be one step ahead of them in their project; this generates solutions and camaraderie among members.
- Help members get to solutions or resolutions more quickly or more successfully together than they would have alone.
SIGs also deliver unique value back to the association; SIGs:
- Might create content which increases the value of membership.
- Can become an incubator which tests experiments and disseminates the winners to the rest of the membership.
- Could be a catalyst for the forward-thinking, strategizing, and planning the future of the industry or profession.
It is also worth noting that if your association struggles with long-time member engagement, SIGs could be of great value to long-time members because many are naturally focusing on the success of the industry or profession at this point in their careers.
Will chapters morph into SIGs? Maybe, and this transition might be positive for many associations.Amanda Kaiser is a member engagement specialist for the association community. Amanda writes a popular weekly blog at SmoothThePath.net.