Taking a Look at the Year Ahead

The new year brings new forecasts and trends. Be it in fashion, music or policies and procedures – there is always something new around the corner. Technology is no different. Here are some trends for 2014 Association Management Software providers.

1 – Going Mobile: Stats show that in 2009, mobile internet traffic only accounted for 0.9% of total internet traffic.  In 2013 it accounted for 15% with research suggesting it will be close to 30% by the end of 2014.  People are accessing information through smart phones and wireless tables more than ever.  To meet the need Association Management Software is offering social media platform or integration with third-party programs, integration of mobile apps, and ability to access the datebase remotely.
2 – Social Media: Rather than using third party social media programs, ASM vendors are offering their own platforms – known as community platforms, chat rooms, blogs, wikis, and other tools – as part of their main product.  Associations can then avoid having many conversations with members across many platforms. By utilizing a built-in system, conversations take place through one portal.
3 – Cost Effective: Systems that used to cost hundred of thousands of dollars can now be implemented for much less.  They only catch – sometimes less is not more. With systems hitting the market that can rented for a nominal cost, it can be tempting to take advantage of the cost savings. However, what you save on price you can easily loose on functionality and ultimately you run the risk of failing to meet the needs of your members.
4 – Built in Websites: The fewer programs you have to open to manage your association the better. ASM are offering complete management of the website through the software program. By accessing the website through the ASM software, multiple people can make changes to the site with ease.
5 – Gamification: This is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems. Gamification is used in applications and processes to improve user engagement, return on investment, data quality, timeliness, and learning. Basically, you create a game or reward system to further engage your members.  For example, fill out your application in full by deadline and get 10 credits towards and upcoming event. Gamification has proven to have a large impact on member retention
These are just a few of the trends for 2014. Not every trend is right for your organization but being aware of what’s happening in the market place is key.
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