This week’s food bill could have financed last year’s luxury vacation. The grocery store receipt is an emphatic reminder of the need to provide member value. Interest rates are rising, and fears of a recession are spiking concern across the economic horizon. Are membership dues on the chopping block?

If you aren’t giving members professional development, products, and services that make a noticeable impact on their careers, they might surprise you by opting out of dues, to spend their limited resources elsewhere.

Here’s the good news. You can deliver on the promise to be a trusted, reliable partner who also provides a big dose of WOW. .orgCommunity’s Solutions Day is an example of the wealth of support and expertise that is available to help you give your members what they want and receive a great return on that investment.

Solutions Day, which takes place on September 29 at the OLC Conference and Education Center in Rosemont, Illinois, is a unique event. We invite our industry partners to demonstrate how they support association leaders through the toughest challenges. Each 20-minute presentation offers an innovative strategy for using technology to:

  • Grab your members’ attention
  • Make the most out of tech tools you already own
  • Discover new platforms that make work easier
  • Use data to grow engagement and loyalty
  • Automate tedious routines
  • Introduce AI and other cutting-edge innovations to operations

Be a Digital Leader

Digital leadership is increasingly significant for our future success. Associations are an endangered business model. Traditional structures are crumbling under the weight of customer expectations for innovation and growth.

Even if you have the latest software and hardware; digital transformation, or the ability to use technology to deliver member value, can’t happen without operational and cultural shifts. I’ll be kicking off the conference with a conversation about how to design staffing configurations that keep pace with digital markets.

Explore Emergent Issues

Our partners’ flash learning opportunities will be bookended by headline presentations exploring top-of-mind questions.

This year we’re welcoming a Nashville vibe to the conference. Keynote speaker, Tiffany Kerns, is the Executive Director of the Country Music Association Foundation and Vice President of Industry Relations and Philanthropy for the Country Music Association.  

Data plays a critical role in the fundraising process, and Tiffany is an accomplished digital leader. She’ll describe how the CMA Foundation uses information to better understand members and how she motivates and inspires her team to anticipate the future and adapt to the rapid changes we all confront.

Tiffany oversees the strategic direction and management of CMA’s membership events, initiatives, and programming. She is also responsible for the CMA Foundation’s charitable investments and partnerships. In that role, she works to ensure every child has access to high-quality music education and every music educator has the resources to create a thriving program.

We are thrilled to partner with the CMA Foundation to support that mission. We’ve agreed to donate 10 percent of the conference registration fees to the foundation.

Bring Culture Forward

It seems contradictory that with the increasing focus on technology, there is also growing concern with people and how they behave. This new awareness isn’t surprising. Many groups experienced difficulty with communication and motivation during the pandemic. Remote work continues to make some employees feel isolated and disengaged.   

A robust profession with members who are eager for new products and services is not enough. Culture is the foundation that allows you to be sustainable. When associations understand that powerful idea, they can weather the storms and grow.

As our closing keynote, Al Dea is going to explain how to lead organizations and teams to success, despite change and uncertainty.

Al is the Founder of Betterwork Labs, an advisory firm focused on helping leaders create cultures where their people thrive. He is an author, speaker, consultant, and researcher on the future of work, talent management, and organizational strategy.   

Passionate about guiding people to realize their potential, Al helps leaders and their executive teams to gain foresight and insight, adapt to trends, drive performance, and succeed in transitional environments.  

Explore the Full Menu of Ideas

In between Tiffany’s thought-provoking appetizer and Al’s rich dessert, we’re offering an exciting tasting menu. Our partners have stories to tell that include innovation, surprises, and examples for comparison to your own experiences. Here is the agenda:

The Value of User Journeys for Digital Transformation

Jake Toohey, Senior Digital Consultant, Adage Technologies and Jon Forst, Chief Information Officer, American Retirement Association

User Journeys are a path to the grail of member centricity. Jake and Jon worked together to map a journey that helped the ARA to identify pain points, improve customer experience, and attract the right audience. They’ll explain how the process enhanced ARA’s digital strategy and how you can chart a  course toward better engagement.

Leverage Data to Inform Key Business Decisions – Multiple Association Use Cases

Greg Pollack, VP Sales and Mark Lowry, President and Chief Revenue Officer, Association Analytics

One of the challenges with data is that sometimes there is just too much. Understanding exactly where to look for information to guide key business decisions can be confusing. Greg and Mark are going to use case studies to explain how professionals can bring a more strategic approach to that process. They’ll provide useful tips on finding the nuggets of truth inside growing seas of content.

Embracing Docuseries Models to Future-proof Your Profession/Industry with Jeff Baker, Association Solutions, Workerbee.TV 

Jeff Baker, Association Solutions, Workerbee.TV

You don’t need to be Francis Ford Coppola to produce a docuseries. This is a fun strategy for engaging a new generation of members and for creating major buzz around professional opportunities. Jeff will tell us how to use video to promote, grow, and educate. It’s easier and less expensive than you think!

Conference Planning Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful

Jason Daiger, Vice President of Events Products, Community Brands

I welcome any and all ideas for taking the stress out of conference planning. Wouldn’t it be a relief to eliminate pre-event headaches? Jason has strategies to improve on details like planning for speaker needs and budgeting. I’m looking forward to more stress-free events in 2023.

The AI Fueled Association – Redefining Your Membership Strategy

Patrick Dorsey, SVP Marketing, Impexium

Is your association ready for AI, or does that sound like a plan for the distant future? The one certain thing about technology is rapid change. Forward-thinking organizations are already embracing AI techniques. Patrick will describe case studies that demonstrate how AI is being used to boost engagement, enhance the adoption and acquisition of products, and transform the member experience.

How Automation Helped a Medical Association Digitally Transform

Jeff Golembiewski, Sales Engineering Vice President, Community Brands

Automation is another technology that is rapidly gaining traction in associations. Jeff will explain how automation helped the American Society for Surgery of the Hand through its digital transformation. He’s also going to share trends from Community Brand’s 2020 research study.

Learning on the Go: What Tomorrow’s Professionals Expect

Thomas Wong, Director of Business Development, 360Factor and Martha Zaborowski, Director of

Product Strategy and Evaluation, the American College of Chest Physicians

Busy members want professional development on their own terms. If you can’t provide that experience, someone else will. Thomas and Martha collaborated to deliver on member expectations by providing the organization’s entire educational curriculum on a native IOS and Android platform. I’m excited to hear their story.

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Let Your Data Work for You | A case study with the Leadership Institute

Melissa Miller, Principal Consultant, IntelliData and John Davis, Vice President for Growth and Development, the Leadership Institute

A strong analytics platform is an essential tool to making statistics meaningful and helping leaders see beyond the trees to the forest. Melissa and John will review IntelliData’s customized analytics solutions and explain how they simplified data management and put the ROI where it counts, with the organization’s donors.

Become the Most Interesting Person in the Room: Your Association’s In-house Futurist

Michelle Brien, Vice President Marketing and Product Strategy, WBT Systems

I love the title of this presentation. Michelle has tips for seeing around corners and spotting trends. Learning how to shift our everyday thinking and notice what others aren’t seeing is a skill we can all aspire to.

What’s in Your Leadership Toolbox? 5 Strategies to Build High-Performing, Engaged Teams

Mark Sehmer, Chief Technology Officer, Web Courseworks

Along with keeping an eye on trends to predict the future, leading strong teams is another essential skill that professionals need to succeed in digital markets. You’re only as good as your team. Mark is going to help us get groups working more collaboratively and efficiently together.

Connecting Membership Dollars to Outcomes

Kim Sorin, Director of Sales Marketing and Partnerships, Aura Innovative Technology and Pete Bradley, Associate Director of IT, American College of Surgeons

The goal of all these strategies is to create great outcomes for members. But I’m sure many of you have experienced how those results can be impacted by the technology Tower of Babel, or multiple systems that don’t speak the same language. Kim and Pete will describe how a new cloud-based ERP platform helped to integrate ACS’s data and connect membership dollars to outcomes.

How the American Heart Association Digitally Transformed Their Education Program

Diane Perrino, Senior Director, Association Solutions, Impelsys and Joe Shirey, Director, Commercial Technologies, American Heart Association

Education is another area where many groups are looking to make improvements, especially around providing both in-person and online offerings. Diane and Joe are going to describe how AHA digitally transformed education offerings and launched the AHA Intelligo Professional Education Hub.

Build Relationships

The final event is a Bourbon and Bubbles reception. We’re showcasing the perfect spirits to get the conversation flowing. Don’t miss this chance to meet colleagues and discover your next great idea.

Relationship building is at the heart of every successful association. Solutions Day is an opportunity to make connections that can put the WOW in member experiences and keep your organization off the chopping block.

If you’re still not convinced, let me just say, barbeque, mac and cheese, and a doughnut truck will be making surprise appearances!