In our latest reader poll, we’ve found that associations contract with association management companies for two main reasons: financial help and assistance hosting events. In this casual poll, exactly half of respondents chose “Finances/Accounting” as their reason for contracting with an AMC while the other half chose “Event Planning/Management” as their motivation for working with an AMC.
Considering the importance of staying on top of your organization’s finances, if your staff doesn’t include a proficient financial employee, it’s wise to outsource this type of work to people who are accountants by trade. A trained financial expert will guide your association through the legally required paperwork and disclosures your organization must complete annually to ensure a solvent, healthy organization.
It’s not surprising that our poll respondents report seeking assistance with event management, either. According to our annual Association Communications Benchmarking Study, traditional conferences and events are THE most valuable way of communicating with members. Eighty-seven percent of respondents consider events extremely valuable to their association’s operations.
In addition, this same percentage of respondents say they use face-to-face interaction at events, including town halls, conferences and onsite meetings, to gather feedback about member needs. So it’s important for associations to ensure their events are an enjoyable, value-adding experience.
“Outsourcing areas of operations such as event management adds capacity when and where the association needs it. Working with an AMC typically costs much less than increasing an in-house association staff or developing that expertise in-house,” explained Wendy Weiser, founder and president of WJ Weiser & Associates.
Do you agree with these results? Why does your association outsource certain functions, and what benefits do you enjoy from your third-party partnerships?