We’re about six weeks away from what will be the Association of Marketing Service Providers’ first Mid-Winter Conference. Like other conferences, it will be the latest of what attendees describe as ever-improving events, offering a variety of interesting and useful information. But, like other conferences, it may suffer from a lack of attendance. Our staff spends a lot of stomach acid trying to get everything right – the hotel accommodations, food and beverage service, meeting rooms, speakers and topics, and all the other details – only to have members not take advantage of what’s available.
This year, among the other presentations, I’ll give the customary postal update but, more importantly George Heinrich and I will be introducing the accreditation program for mailing service providers. When it’s available next Spring, the program will be the first of its kind, and will let participating companies be evaluated objectively against basic performance, quality, and operational criteria. Companies who are accredited will be able to claim that achievement as evidence they’re a step above their competitors – something that in today’s business climate can make a real difference when clients make their decisions.
But those presentations, and those of other speakers, won’t be of any benefit to members les machines a sous en france who aren’t there. And those members who aren’t there will be less informed, less equipped, and less prepared to succeed in 2013 than will be their colleagues who do attend. I’m well aware of the reasons members don’t attend – their shop is too busy (a problem that some might wish to have), they can’t afford the expense or time away, or they don’t get anything out of attending. I’m in no position to evaluate anyone’s reasons for not attending, but I do know that members who do attend consistently get something worthwhile from the experience. They learn something in a session or from another member that makes a difference back home. And some of those “somethings” just might make the difference between a successful year and a visit to the bankruptcy attorney.
Let’s be honest: you pay your dues, you expect value from your association in return. The conference represents part of that value, but you have to go to get it.