Why Membership in an Industry-Specific Association Is Beneficial to Your Career
Knowledge is power. Membership-based organizations have a purpose of educating and connecting people within a certain industry or mission. Interaction and collaboration are encouraged. Because many organizations and companies require employees to continue their professional development, a key benefit that increases value for association members is a strong, engaging education program that empowers members to keep coming back for more training.
Corporate training departments often have limited bandwidth, and association education programs provide an extension to corporate training, offering opportunities for continuing education and certification which can boost career prospects for their members.
Membership-based associations want to make their members aware of important issues facing their industry. They must remain relevant, and members today are expecting to be kept up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies. In a recent poll by Association Adviser, readers identified continuing professional education as a top member priority. But, exactly how do educational programs increase value?
These programs provide members an opportunity to connect and network with fellow members and those with expertise in their industry. Many associations offer easy access to support and resources for members’ daily activities, whether it be online or through physical booklets, manuals, and materials taken home with them the day a specific course is completed. Educational programs give members access to relevant and current information about their industry, professional development, accreditations, and certification programs.
Continuing professional development is important to members because it represents a commitment to learning and ensures they are keeping up with the best practices and trends needed to maintain and increase skills. It allows a member to keep certifications current.
Are managing workshop and course registration bogging down your team with too many administrative tasks? Is the production of course materials taking too long? Consider a digital workflow that includes a storefront solution to streamline the entire educational material creation process. Or, better yet, collaborate with a trusted partner that can create a custom solution that works specifically with your needs.
Consider the following when producing coursework materials:
- Market your upcoming courses well. Try targeted email blasts to members and timely, relevant social media posts. Keep your website current and have a CRM in place that captures when your members engage with the content you’ve created to market your coursework.
- Expertly-written course content is key to success. Be sure your internal or external teams have the skills and knowledge to write clear, concise content and the ability to interview industry experts and instructors.
- A successful educational program requires getting coursework materials to members correctly, to the right location, and on time. Be sure all content is designed to the correct specifications to avoid delays in the production process and delivery to course participants.
- Have a good back-up plan should the materials not arrive at their destination when expected.
- Give members plenty of time to plan for the course and decide to register. Course registration should be closed no earlier than a week before the course. This will allow for a maximum number of participants.
- During the courses, good visuals and presentation programs will help members visualize course content. Make presentations concise, eye-catching (think infographics), and easy to understand.
- Understand how participants benefit from your course offerings, and what they want in future courses. As the course is complete, provide surveys for members to complete and leave behind. For those who do not complete a survey, consider emailing them one within 24 hours of course completion.
- Analyze data collected from the survey to improve what is being offered to your members.
Need Help Making It Happen?
Graphcom can plan, create, deploy, evaluate, and evolve your educational materials.