How is Your Association Tracking with 2019 Trends and Predictions?

Revisit these key industry topics to see if your organization is keeping pace

At the end of each year, you likely read articles from organizations setting forth their take on trends and predictions for the following year. But do you revisit those trends during the year to see how your association is keeping pace?

Here are three key industry trends for 2019 and some related resources. Take a look and see how your association is tracking so far this year:

Artificial intelligence (AI)

Two hot topics for 2019 trends and predictions were artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots (a form of AI). AI adoption has been expected to continue in 2019 and beyond:

  • According to PwC 2019 AI Predictions: 20 percent of companies plan to deploy AI enterprise-wide in 2019
  • A study by Spiceworks showed that by April 2019, 40 percent of large businesses (those with more than 500 employees) expected to implement one or more intelligent assistants or AI chatbots on company-owned devices.
  • Oracle research revealed that 80 percent of businesses want to have chatbots in place by 2020.

Meanwhile, Salesforce’s recent State of the Connected Customer report, points to the significance of artificial intelligence for businesses. It found that a majority of customers (51 percent) say their expectations are already impacted by AI. In addition, the study found that:

  • 59 percent of customers are open to companies using AI to improve their experiences
  • 67 percent recognize the good that can come from AI
  • 61 percent believe the technology presents positive opportunities to society

As for-profit companies provide increasingly personalized experiences using AI, your members will expect the same in more areas of their lives – including their experience with your association. Your association needs to meet, and ideally exceed, member expectations to attract and retain new members.

In a nutshell, AI is something associations need to figure out in order to remain relevant, retain or grow membership, and increase revenue. If you haven’t already dipped a toe in the AI waters, it’s time to move forward.

Learn more about how to start using AI for your association. Read the ebook: What Every Association Should Know About Artificial Intelligence

GDPR compliance

As you may know, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is legislation passed by the European Union (EU) Parliament, focusing on the protection of the personal data of EU residents. The legislation is unique as it sets forth regulations for any business that controls or processes EU resident data, regardless of the organization’s location.

In late September 2018, research by TrustArc showed that 74 percent of companies expected to be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the end of 2018, and 93 percent by the end of 2019.

GDPR and other data privacy regulations aren’t going anywhere. In fact, several U.S. states are working on laws modeled on GDPR.
Every day, associations use data intelligence to understand and serve members and potential members. Has your association prepared for and adhered to the changes brought about by GDPR?

If you’re still working toward GDPR compliance, read the paper, General Data Protection Regulation: Understanding its impact on your organization. You’ll learn more about GDPR and its potential impact on your organization.

IT investments

According to Spiceworks’ 2019 State of IT Survey, 89 percent of companies expected IT budgets to go up or remain on par with 2018. Of those companies, the top three factors leading to IT budget increases in 2019 were:

• The need to upgrade outdated IT infrastructure
• Increased priority on IT projects
• Increased security concerns

If you’re in the process of upgrading your IT infrastructure (or plan to this year), and an association management system (AMS) is on your list, read The Association Management Software Buyer’s Guide It will help you understand functional and technical considerations for your new AMS, how to build a case for new membership software, and important things to prepare for as you move to a new system.

While your association may have its own unique business goals and challenges, it’s important to keep up with industry trends that affect your organization and your members. Take time to revisit key industry topics and consider how your association is approaching them, and you’ll be well on your way to ensuring your association grows and thrives for years to come.

Learn more about NetForum Enterprise and what it can do for your organization.

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