Posted July 17, 2018 in Membership
By Larry Kirlin, CALSPro President
It’s official. Our association is growing again. We have more members today than we had last year. While that may not seem like a big deal, it certainly is. I was the membership committee chairman back in 2010 and I know we weren’t growing then or any year since. In fact, associations all over America have been contracting for more than a decade and many are still heading in the wrong direction.
So what happened to us?
How did we reverse the trend this year? First of all, it wasn’t easy. Brute force by the individuals on the membership committee is the biggest factor but they couldn’t do it if the association wasn’t offering a good value to the members.
What changed is our focus.
We rallied the industry leaders together for a strategic planning session (SPS) last summer to determine the cause for our perpetual decline and a plan to change course.
I have written about the outcome of the SPS in previous articles so I won’t rehash old news. What I will say is that we purposely asked our members for their opinions and put as many suggestions into place as possible. I have kept the list of recommendations on my desk for the past year and refer to it any time I’m confused about my direction. By staying focused, our leaders have implemented 90%+ of the recommendations already. As evidenced by the growth in membership, I can proudly proclaim the changes are working.
One of the most significant changes we made last year was the creation of the Independent Contractor category. This new, lower-priced, option reduced the barrier for entry for smaller companies and sole proprietors. A predicted side effect of this lower rate was lower revenue. We knew we would have to make up the difference in volume. We are still a little short on revenue this year but we have a plan for bridging the gap:
1) Continue to recruit new members in all categories
2) Sell advertising and sponsor packages
3) Make 2018 the best annual conference in CALSPro history!
How can you help?
Refer to 1, 2 & 3 above. Especially #3. The theme for our conference is our 50th anniversary but the hot topic will be the effect of the Dynamex decision on our industry. Plan on being in Sacramento on October 5-7 so you can be a part of this historic event.