There is always that one executive or association that seems to be out in front of the crowd. She never forgets an appointment; he’s always in contact with and directing his team, even when he’s at a four-day conference…and between sessions...silently! Or the association that is on top of its community’s issues, translating that knowledge to profit.
What are they doing to be so successful? Part of the answer lies in the technology they are using. They’ve found the perfect tool that helps them to stay on top, or at least on top of things.
What are the technologies that successful association executives can't do without? We asked:
Inexpensive online surveys. There are many out there, that gather your answers and can have charts, reports and analyses to you in one click. Depending on what level you’ve signed up for, you can customize your survey with your logo, corporate colors, etc. so it has your association brand. “If we were STILL using only paper I don't know how we would get a good ‘snapshot’ of member engagement, initiatives, preferences, etc. from a majority of our membership,” one grateful executive said.
Calengoo. A calendar app with features for syncing with Google Calendar and the iOS/iCloud calendars. “It is the ultimate tool that connects my calendars with who I want for everything personal and professional in real time on all my devices. It helps to never have a paper calendar or to-do list anywhere,” a busy executive said. CalenGoo runs on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices.
Slack. A cloud-based team collaboration tool. The name is an acronym for "Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge.” Slack offers features such as persistent chat rooms organized by topic, as well as private groups and direct messaging. Everyone on your team has a transparent view of all that’s going on. "It's quickly replacing email for me,” one very organized executive said.
SAS. A well-known business data analytics company and software that has been around for 40 years.“I’ve had it for 30 years now, comes in handy for just about any dataset, even if it's hardly changed in all that time other than gotten progressively more expensive every year,” a loyal executive said.
Moble phone. Hands down, association executives can’t do without their mobile phones, or as one executive calls it, “mobile personal computing device.” Some comments:
“I use it to stay in touch with board, staff and everyone.”
“If you lost all of your other techology, you can at least conduct business with your mobile phone.”
“Can still send emails and text messages. Can check and connect with people on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You don't even have to use the phone part of a smartphone to get tremendous communications value from these devices. And, of course, maps and weather are important too!”
“I think the term ‘phone’ is a throwback, and devices we use now to stay connected have a more complex role as an all-in-one mobile personal computing device. Also, I couldn't be at all as effective without cloud/VPN access.”
“You are right about the term ‘phone.’ We had it ‘more’ right way back when. It truly now is a PDA (personal digital assistant).”