’m back in the office following an amazing week in St. Petersburg for Xperience 2015, YM’s annual customer conference. For three days we had the opportunity to meet with over 300 association professionals focusing our discussions on YM’s vision for the industry and where we expect to take our Member Engagement Platform in the months and years ahead.
JP Guilbault, YM’s President and CEO, did a masterful job of presenting YM’s vision while addressing some very big and noteworthy changes going on in the tech world that will present challenges to associations and non-profit organizations in the very near future. The recent acquisition of Lynda.com by LinkedIn, and its likely affect on all associations commanded a lot of attention.
JP took a look at the past six months focusing on YM’s acquisitions of Job Target’s Career Center Division and Learning Management System provider, Digital Ignite. These additions are having a significant impact on our new Member Engagement Platform, which JP demonstrated during his presentation. We also introduced our first mobile event application, powered by QuickMobile, which through gamification we used to connect and engage our conference attendees allowing them to get a hands on look at the technology we are offering. It was a huge hit. Mobile is a big part of our future and the future of our customers and their members.
Keynote speaker Reggie Henry, CIO for ASAE, opened his presentation by referencing a quote from the movie The Matrix, “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”
Reggie went on to add “There are a lot of technology companies in the association space right now and they’re talking the good talk; and I am really glad for you guys, because YM gets it. I’ve spent some time with JP talking about the (YM) roadmap, talking about the strategy, talking about what’s next, and talking about the way to bring people along as they go – and they absolutely get it. You’re in really good hands here.”
This point was driven home by Ben Martin, CAE on his Online Community Results Blog:
If you haven’t noticed, lemme point it out to ya: YourMembership is making waves in the association technology market.
What I saw there (at Xperience 2015) is impressive. While the prevailing direction in the association technology sector is a move towards connecting disparate “best of breed” technologies by way of APIs and custom development, YourMembership (YM) is swimming against the tide by gathering common technologies into one ecosystem.
It is exciting and gratifying to see others in our industry acknowledge the value in the path we have chosen. We are making the shift from disparate software offerings to a true platform. We see the technologies of today working discreetly where we believe they should work together. We would like to see the organizations we work with focus less time on technology and more time on their members.
The new platform we are building will look vastly different from what our customers experience today; and yet at the same time, it will look very familiar to the technology members and staff are experiencing today outside of their organizations. Usability and interaction experiences are all shaped by the things we experience on the outside every day. With that in mind, our technology needs to be highly configurable and personalized to create an experience that will have association members wanting to come back and use it daily.
This is just the beginning of where we are headed as a company to fully serve the needs of our customers and their members. With more than 4000 organizations serving more than 20 million members, the work we do has never been more important.
As Reggie Henry said at the end of his presentation, “it is time to rethink and reimagine what we offer based on the tools and technologies available today. Let’s make “magic” happen for our members – that’s the new normal.“
As a reminder, YM’s next Thought Leadership Webinar will be held on May 20th, titled Leading Engagement from the Outside In: Become an Indispensable Partner in Your Members’ Success. Please join noted speakers Anna Caraveli, PhD and Elizabeth Weaver, Engel, MA, CAE as they share the stories of associations who’ve transformed themselves to become engaging, emerging as necessary partners in helping members achieve their most important goals, and becoming financially healthy, vital, growing, mission-driven organizations as a result.