What’s the International Future for Associations?

June 16, 2021

For many associations looking to grow, globalization is the next frontier.

From benchmark research to member marketing, associations are busy finding ways to remain relevant and grow their membership.

New sources of revenue allow associations to expand their influence, be more innovative, increase membership, and recruit new talent              

As promising as the future looks, it can be daunting or complex to expand internationally, but it doesn’t have to be.

Factum Global conducted a snapshot survey earlier this year where we asked respondents how they are adapting their practices and mindsets for 2021 and beyond. Here are five key takeaways:

1. The future of global expansion remains strong

Despite continued concerns about the pandemic, 30% of respondents expect growth this year and beyond and 33% of respondents reported an expected increase in global expansion.

While entering new markets during a pandemic still presents its challenges, organizations have found a way to adapt, grow, and expand globally.

2. How do leaders measure up?

Nearly half of respondents expressed unsure or no confidence in the leadership of their organization. That’s a sobering realization but also an opportunity to reevaluate how leaders should move forward.

3. Engagement vs. Growth: What metric do you use to measure success in your association?

Our survey respondents said that the two most-commonly used metrics to measure their association’s success was member growth and mission impact.

Member engagement versus just membership numbers was the new trend during the pandemic. The corporate sector saw a huge increase in virtual event participation throughout the pandemic from international members — ultimately increasing online brand impressions, awareness, and trust.

4. Technology is here to stay, so embrace it

While COVID disrupted in-person events, associations with existing technological infrastructure pre-     pandemic adapted quicker — resulting in higher international engagement rate. In fact, respondents reported feeling a greater connectedness to their organization thanks to availability of virtual programming in multiple languages. Today, associations have an opportunity to focus on engaging their      international offices, members, and other stakeholders online in real time.

5. What’s stopping associations from going global?

The two most common barriers to international growth are financial resources and international know-how. The global impact of COVID is just now being measured and the global economy is shrinking, according to the World Bank. For many, despite challenges, globalization is the way to the future. It unlocks new revenue channels and broadens their mission and expands their reach.

What does it take to go global?     

If you’re considering globalization for your organization, having a partner who’s done it will save you time and hassle. Schedule your free consultation to assess whether globalization is right for you.