Newsletter – May/June 2021

Food for Thought: Agility or Sociality? Let’s exploit associations’ natural advantages rather than mimicking corporate-world fads

Global Association Hubs media partner Boardroom has just published our new article on the hot topic of “Agility”, a word whose meaning has morphed over the last decade from a general description of mental and operational nimbleness into a tech-world-originating business and project-development methodology, with its own priesthood, rituals, and arcane vocubulary!  

Our counter-argument is that associations should embrace management theories and practices that have “sociality” at their centre, rather than those that come from the profit-driven world.  Maybe we even need to start creating some Big General Theories of our own, now that so many companies are desperate to work out how to create viable, vibrant communities and purpose-driven strategies!  

For far too long, associations have seen their own inherent strengths and community-driven successes as somehow inferior to management systems championed by corporate entities and their CEO-gurus.  The post-pandemic world offers the perfect opportunity to up-end the status quo.

Agility or Sociality?  What’s your view?

Martin Sirk
Global Association Hubs International Advisor

Dubai Association Centre presents: Resilience & Reinvention

We encourage international association executives to register for this interactive online event taking place on 15 June 2021, moderated by Global Association Hubs’ Martin Sirk.  Click on the article title to go through to the event registration link.

Washington DC’s key regional partnership organisation, “Connected DMV”, announces major new development 

Regional partnerships involving public, private, academic and community organisations are the logical way for cities to build sustainable development advantages that benefit both citizens and visitors, including those attending international associations’ conferences.

Washington DC is working across all these sectors with more than 50 partner organisations and with political support from the States of Maryland and Virginia, to generate initiatives that would have been impossible to achieve through a traditional city-limits-only strategy.  Now Connected DMV, the partnership organisation, has formally set up the “DMV Regional Congress”, a permanent institutional structure to build on the foundations of the past two years’ collaboration, during which post-Pandemic recovery has been a primary focus, but which now requires a longer-term strategic vision.

Major success stories so far include the creation of the Global Pandemic Prevention & Biodefense Center, a state-of-the-art Hydrogen Center, the Potomac Quantum Innovation Center, and the “Connectivity for All” initiative to overcome inequity in citizens’ digital access, all of which are sources of unique intellectual capital, offering a deep pool of thought-leaders and inspiring projects, resources that are sure to be of interest to international associations and their members.

And with Washington DC recently announcing that it is officially reopening for Business Events, this boost to the local and regional knowledge economy is perfectly timed!

ASAE Annual Meeting education session that international association executives shouldn’t miss: 

“New Global Paradigm – Innovating for a Post-COVID-19 Global Ecosystem” 

For any international associations struggling to imagine what the post-Pandemic world might look like and how to secure a prime place at the table rather than scrapping for crumbs, sign up for this year’s online-first ASAE Annual Meeting taking place 13-18 August and look out for this session, co-designed and moderated by Global Association Hubs and featuring a great line-up of opinionated association leaders, with over 100 years collective experience in global association affairs: Sylvia Gonner from CultureWiz, Tommy Goodwin from Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance, Alfons Weestgeest from top global AMC Kellen, and Elissa Myers from the Academy for Eating Disorders.

We’ll be talking (and disagreeing with each other!) about risk, uncertainty, innovation, agility, competition from emerging new associations, event strategies, what associations need from partnering cities, and what different versions of “global” might look like in the near future!

Register to attend this ASAE event by clicking on the title of this article, and look for our title in the extensive line-up of over 100 great topics!

Brussels Association Bureau accelerates its move towards digitalised services for International associations

The recent online-only European Association Summit has stimulated Brussels Association Bureau to accelerate its digital offerings to international associations, whether related to their events (online or hybrid), advocacy, or setting up offices or other operations in Brussels.

Singapore re-invents MICE events

Having now organised more than 60 business events involving 7,000+ in-person domestic and international attendees over the last 9 months, Singapore’s long-running, carefully-planned and minutely-evaluated experiment in running hybrid and face-to-face events during the Pandemic has given the city-state a head start in readying itself for the post-Pandemic meetings environment.

Follow the link in this article’s heading to find out more about how Singapore has tackled this uniquely challenging situation, and for more information about international associations and Singapore’s support for this sector, please follow this link.

Deep Dive: a wide-ranging conversation with AMI

Fed up with Zoom meetings and want to rest your eyes?  This podcast could be the solution you’re searching for!

Martin Sirk recently spent 45 minutes in deep discussion with Association Meetings International (AMI) editor James Lancaster, covering a wide range of topical and sometimes controversial topics (“vaccine passports” anyone?).  Click here to access the recording, and see below for advice on timings to find some of the key issues being discussed.

Why thinking in ‘national’ terms risks disappointment (0:45); how associations are committed  to meeting in-person (3.56); how the pandemic has forced associations to think about their mission (5:02) and completely re-evaluate how they think about risk (5:55); why associations are now laser-focused on meeting outcomes (8:45); why we’re already well on the way towards using  vaccine passports’ (10:45); why meeting designers need to focus on what’s hard to replicate online (18:35); how the relationship between cities and associations has shifted from transactional to partnership (21.00); the defining role of sustainability over the next decade (27:14); why we need much better metrics on meeting outcomes (30:00); his predictions for the next 12 months, five years, and 10 years (35:43); and the best book he’s read this year (40:37).

Latest edition of Boardroom magazine now available for download!

Global Association Hubs’ media partner has recently released the May digital edition of their magazine, packed with great articles. The main theme is “How to adapt to a fast-changing environment”, a challenge that all associations are wrestling with!

Download via this link.

Association Laboratory Inc final workshop deadline:

Looking Forward Together

The final workshop in this series is taking place very shortly on 2 June!  Just enough time to sign up!  

Tackling the biggest challenges identified by association executives, these workshops combine expert analysis and peer collaboration, to help you fully tackle each topic. Attendees receive 3 CAE hours, as well as access to the Looking Forward dashboard and a post-event executive summary.

If you missed previous editions, recordings are available on a wide range of essential association leadership, management and development topics.

June 2 – Leadership: The ethics of a diverse leadership model

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