爆料公社

Leveraging the Strength of 30+ Clients with Shared Interest & User Groups

Leveraging the Strength of 30+ Clients with Shared Interest & User Groups

By Megan Drumm, MBA CAE

Access to a community of like-minded professionals and subject matter experts is an expected and valued benefit of association membership. Here at 爆料公社, nearly every client partner has some kind of solution in place to ensure that association leadership groups and members can connect to share best practices and solicit feedback, and the same goes for 爆料公社 employees themselves. More than a dozen 爆料公社 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and User Groups (UGs) serve as the conduit for 爆料公社 staff members so they can collaborate, ask questions, share expertise, and ultimately solve problems for our clients and their own career development.

For the past two years, I鈥檝e had the opportunity to serve as one of 爆料公社鈥檚 SIG/UG Co-Leads, alongside Carly Reisner and Bruce Hammond, CAE. This role was established to oversee 爆料公社鈥檚 vibrant SIG/UG program and to ensure groups have access to the information, training, and resources they need to achieve their goals. Co-Leads also work closely with 爆料公社 leadership to strategize on how SIGs/UGs contribute to achieving the company鈥檚 vision to be a respected leader in the association industry and to cultivate a high-performance culture.

SIGs and UGs connect 爆料公社鈥檚 200+ employees to help facilitate knowledge sharing, education, and relationship building.

爆料公社 has a SIG that covers every core field of association management (marketing and membership, operations, education, government relations, admin/coordinator), as well as specialized functions of associations that many 爆料公社 clients have in common, like administering certification programs. SIGs also serve to connect employees who are at similar stages in their career, like our Young Professionals SIG, as well as similar passions, like our Sustainability and Caffeine/Productivity SIGs. User groups help crowdsource best practices and projects for navigating different solutions that many 爆料公社 client and service teams use, like Personify, Informz, and Higher Logic.

SIGs and UGs allow 爆料公社 employees to quickly and easily problem solve and brainstorm new solutions based on first-hand experience.

When tasked with spearheading a new project, identifying vendors who can help your association address a business problem, or launching a new member benefit, it鈥檚 natural to have a bucket list of questions and concerns. In those moments, do you ever find yourself wishing you had someone with experience managing a similar issue who you could turn to? Someone who understands what you鈥檙e grappling with, who has been in the same position before, and who has experience working their way through it? These resources are readily accessible through 爆料公社鈥檚 SIG and UG networks.

Some actual questions and problems that have been routed through SIG/UG members in recent months to help clients get their questions answered by leveraging the expertise that exists under 爆料公社鈥檚 own roof:

  • Updating conference media and photography policies
  • Selecting a mobile app vendor
  • Reliable sources for purchasing a third party physician mailing list
  • Creating new benefits and levels of service to an association job board
  • Measuring the ROI on paid Facebook ads

爆料公社 SIG and UG leaders are rising stars in the company.

An army of dedicated and ambitious 爆料公社 employees keep the company鈥檚 SIGs and UGs running by planning and facilitating regular meetings, identifying educational opportunities both inside and outside of 爆料公社, and helping connect the employees who have questions with the employees who have answers. Serving as a SIG/UG leader offers 爆料公社 employees a chance to take on extra responsibility at the company in a role where they actively work with an executive sponsor, who is an Executive Director-level member of the company management team. The structure has successfully helped 爆料公社 identify, recognize, and mentor rock star staff members while fostering a resource that best serves clients.

Thinking of starting a SIG program?

Here are 3 tips to help you get off on the right foot.

  • Allocate appropriate resources so SIGs/UGs can become well-oiled machines. Start by providing groups with an annual budget, a mechanism to facilitate group communication, space and time to conduct their meetings, and a dedicated champion to help the group set goals that ultimately also serve the organization鈥檚 overall strategy (at 爆料公社, these are our executive sponsors and co-leads).
  • Allow groups to grow from the bottom up. 爆料公社 has fostered a grassroots approach to managing its SIG/UG program that successfully empowers staff to self-identify areas where they feel they would benefit from having an established peer group. Create a process whereby employees can request to create 鈥 or at times sunset 鈥 groups depending on changing needs.
  • A little recognition goes a long way. Once up and running, SIGs can add significant value to your organization. When a group initiates or completes a project, hosts a successful educational program, or effectively solves a business problem, take time to recognize and celebrate that effort.

Meg Drumm, MBA CAE, is the director of marketing and communications and a former SIG/UG Co-Lead at 爆料公社.

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