Thinking Forward events set for 2017By Paul Flemming, AEM Senior Director, Membership and Engagement

It’s been said that member engagement is the lifeblood of an association. Active, engaged, passionate members renew their memberships and help bring even more new members into the fold.

But getting and keeping members engaged can be a challenge. This is especially true at AEM, where we have several levels of membership and companies ranging in size from very large to very small.

In 2017, we’ll be changing a few things in the membership area just to make sure we’re fulfilling our mission – to be the leading organization in North America enabling equipment manufacturers to be successful in the global marketplace. 

Here’s what’s ahead:

1. Tracking  Engagement

2017 will be the year of engagement. New engagement metric reports will help us gauge member activity. They’ll also allow us to build customized engagement plans for members and be proactive in our outreach to those who are under-engaged.

Armed with this information, the AEM membership team will be hitting the road to meet with members throughout the year at industry events and at member facilities.

2. Measuring satisfaction

A member may be highly engaged but not satisfied with AEM services. We want to measure where we are successful and where there are opportunities for us to improve. 

We wrapped up a brief overall satisfaction survey at the end of 2016. The survey was sent to Official Company Representatives (OCRs) and the division representatives of our member companies. It asked about their satisfaction with AEM overall and in core services such as statistics, advocacy, market intelligence and technical/safety services.  

The next phase will be sending surveys to AEM meeting attendees. Results will be broken down by department and type of meeting and will provide us with information to improve meetings and services.

Please encourage your teams to complete these brief surveys when they receive them and to be on the lookout at year-end for the overall AEM satisfaction survey.

3. Thinking Forward

Another big change will take place at our 2017 member events. We're excited to announce a shift in focus from member orientation to thought leadership in order to help members prepare for and manage future challenges like big data, advanced manufacturing and a changing workforce.

The theme for these events will be “Thinking Forward,” and there will be eight stops throughout the year in different areas of the country.  Each event will have a speaker discussing a different thought leadership topic. These events will also include market updates, peer-to-peer networking and a brief AEM services overview. 

The first session is set for May 4 at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) near Knoxville, Tennessee. ORNL’s Lonnie Love will discuss the advantages of additive manufacturing, including lower costs, shorter lead-times and less waste.

A second event on smart cities is scheduled for May 9 at CNH Industrial in Burr Ridge, Illinois. Featured speaker is Dr. Larissa Suzuki, a Ph.D. in software systems engineering and smart cities at the University College of London. 

Sign up today to attend one of these new and exciting events to help keep your company thinking forward.

Here to Help

Finally, the AEM membership team is here to help your business. Please give me a call at any time, 414-298-4150.