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present. To them, loyalty is not something you do "just because;" it is something that is earned. * Community vs. Globalization Members of the older generations are more likely to define community as knowing your neighbors and participating in association events. Generation Y thinks of community as having access to and interacting with a global network via social media. As a result, some Ys won't see the need to be organized by geography or physical location and will desire the option to be organized by common interests instead. * Status vs. Inclusion Leadership is no longer synonymous with experience. Gen Y is the most racial and ethnically diverse generation in history, the most tech-savvy and entrepreneurial, the most educated, and the first to have more women than men obtain postsecondary credentials. Associations need to take note and reformat their boards of directors to allow for the participation of members from all ages and backgrounds. * Jobs vs. Entrepreneurs In recent years, more workers have detached from conventional jobs to take on contract work, 16 > Fall 2016 the demand for flextime has increased, and Ys have launched a record number of start-up businesses. The world of work is moving into an entrepreneurial mindset. Associations will need to reconsider their benefits considering people may not have the time or affinity to a profession to want to join an association. * Sales vs. Service Gen Y is turned off by anything resembling a sales pitch. They are extremely savvy consumers, seeking a meaningful relationship and expecting exceptional service. Ys want personalized, knowledgeable human interaction when they interact with your association. They want to see that the association is connected to and responsive to their specific needs. They want to feel appreciated, valuable, and important. * Control vs. Freedom Associations were founded on the premise that certain rules needed to be followed and traditions upheld. This left little room for innovation or change. However, Gen Y has been raised in a world driven by knowledge, innovation, and technology. They will expect associations to forego operating in a controlled environment and be open to new ideas emerging everywhere, from everyone. Critical to that last point is the fact that associations will be challenged to innovate not just a little bit or once, but significantly and diligently, without pause. The relentless pursuit of innovation is a common expectation for a generation raised during an era of rapidly changing technology, customization, and instant gratification. Furthermore, the trends and influences introduced and shaped by Gen Y are having a 'trickle-up' effect - changing the value of membership and expectations of the membership experience for every generation. In other words, if membership is declining in value for Generation Y, soon it will decline in value for all generations. This would seem like "The End of Membership As We Know It," but it actually marks the beginning of unparalleled opportunity for those associations willing to embrace change and innovate. Like the Air Traffic Controllers Association, which shifted its focus onto Generation Y, resulting in a 30 percent membership increase and 25 percent increase in event attendance of all generations of members. Equally impressive, the association's bottom line emerged from losing $300,000 per year to establishing a healthy and growing financial reserve. Or the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which launched a Young Leaders Advisory Council, and observed a 200 percent membership increase and $100,000 revenue increase. These are two examples of the Trickle-Up Effect at work. Focusing on the successful engagement of a Gen Y membership significantly improved engagement and revenue for the entire membership. You can choose to dwell on the challenges that lie ahead and the unprecedented and significant shifts leading to irrelevance, or you can dwell on the opportunities and create something of unprecedented and significant relevance. One thing is certain-whatever choice you make from here on out, it will begin and end with knowing Y. Sarah L. Sladek is author of two best-selling books, Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now and The End of Membership As We Know It (Association Management Press). In addition, she is co-producer of the Millennials to Members online course, and CEO of XYZ University, the only firm in North America specialized in helping associations engage younger generations. Her expertise has been featured in media and keynotes worldwide.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Fall 2016

Message from the Chair
GSAE News & Events
New Members
AWI Improves its Industry through Member Engagement
Engaging with Generation Y Members
Member Engagement is a Journey, Not a Transaction
What Matters Most to Members?
Don’t Settle for ‘Good’
Professional Development vs. Career Management
GSAE Fall Events
Congratulations to the GSAE Leadership Academy Class of 2016
Meetings Thought Leadership
Destination: Nashville’s Neighborhoods
Choices: Travel through Time
Index of Advertisers
Connections - Fall 2016 - bellyband1
Connections - Fall 2016 - bellyband2
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover1
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover2
Connections - Fall 2016 - 3
Connections - Fall 2016 - 4
Connections - Fall 2016 - 5
Connections - Fall 2016 - 6
Connections - Fall 2016 - Message from the Chair
Connections - Fall 2016 - GSAE News & Events
Connections - Fall 2016 - 9
Connections - Fall 2016 - 10
Connections - Fall 2016 - New Members
Connections - Fall 2016 - AWI Improves its Industry through Member Engagement
Connections - Fall 2016 - 13
Connections - Fall 2016 - 14
Connections - Fall 2016 - Engaging with Generation Y Members
Connections - Fall 2016 - 16
Connections - Fall 2016 - Member Engagement is a Journey, Not a Transaction
Connections - Fall 2016 - What Matters Most to Members?
Connections - Fall 2016 - 19
Connections - Fall 2016 - Don’t Settle for ‘Good’
Connections - Fall 2016 - Professional Development vs. Career Management
Connections - Fall 2016 - 22
Connections - Fall 2016 - GSAE Fall Events
Connections - Fall 2016 - Congratulations to the GSAE Leadership Academy Class of 2016
Connections - Fall 2016 - 25
Connections - Fall 2016 - Meetings Thought Leadership
Connections - Fall 2016 - 27
Connections - Fall 2016 - Destination: Nashville’s Neighborhoods
Connections - Fall 2016 - Choices: Travel through Time
Connections - Fall 2016 - Index of Advertisers
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover3
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover4
Connections - Fall 2016 - outsert1
Connections - Fall 2016 - outsert2
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