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The Next Step for Greenfield: Taking Over the Management of CanSPEP

Greenfield Services is pleased to announce it is undertaking association management for the Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners (CanSPEP).  As of August 1, 2014, the company will be providing strategic business development and stakeholder engagement support for this association of independent meeting professionals.

CanSPEP represents a powerful group of entrepreneurs, many of whom are recognized leaders in the meetings and events industry.  Formed in 1996, the organization provides a forum in which members meet to exchange ideas, develop skills through educational programs, and share partnership opportunities that foster business growth.

CanSPEP is an active member of the Business Events Industry Coalition of Canada and an organizational leader in the meetings and events industry.  The average buying power of CanSPEP members contributes over 65,000 room nights and $30 million in revenue to the industry.

In a recent message to its members 2013-2014 CanSPEP President, Catherine Paull, CMP, announced,

Over the past few months the Board of Directors, with assistance from the Past Presidents’ Council, carried out an extensive RFP process for association management services for CanSPEP.  As a result of this diligent process, the Board of Directors has made the decision to engage Greenfield Services Inc. for association management, effective August 1, 2014.  

CanSPEP has grown to become the vibrant association it is today and that would not have been possible without the dedication and efforts of Carol Ford.  Please join the Board of Directors and the Past Presidents’ Council in thanking Carol Ford for her past service and tremendous dedication and extending a warm welcome to Doreen Ashton Wagner and the Greenfield Services team.

Greenfield’s Chief Strategist, Doreen Ashton Wagner, explained the company’s decision to move into the association management company (AMC) space: “Since 2003 professional and trade associations have been turning to Greenfield for project-based member recruitment, retention and engagement.  We’ve also been executing more sponsorship and exhibit sales programs.  But as our associations see shifts in the landscape – with very rapid changes due to demographics and technology – many are choosing to become more strategic.  This means focusing on the “big picture” for their industry, handing the reigns to a proactive, hands-on partner who goes beyond administration.  We’ve been preaching engagement, pull marketing and the smart use of technology for years.  This was a natural evolution for us.

For more information on CanSPEP or Greenfield’s association management services, please call 1-866-488-4474, extension 4512 for Doreen Ashton Wagner, or extension 4517 for Meagan Rockett.

#Engageassn – A Successful Summit

Last week, Greenfield Services, along with its partners, held its first annual Engaging Associations Summit, at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, ON.  We welcomed 74 people to the event: 52 executives, and 22 partners and speakers.

The launch of the Engaging Associations Summit represented a significant shift for our company.  The decision to create this event for the association industry helps us have a deeper understanding of challenges, best practices and successes of our clients, prospects and the industry in general”, says Doreen Ashton Wagner, Greenfield’s Chief Strategist.

While the decision to create this event was ours, we certainly did not do it alone.  It truly was co-created; from our focus groups last Fall, to our amazing partners this year.  And I was truly speechless when people started to arrive – it was wonderful to see the buzz the Summit created before, during, and after the event!” adds Meagan Rockett, Director of Client Solutions.

Our commitment to the industry and the Summit’s participants won’t stop there – stay tuned for event re-caps in blogs, a case study of the event,  and a live debriefing of the event at the PCMA Canada East Canadian Innovation Conference in November.

And, of course, we have announced tentative dates for 2015, so block Thursday and Friday, July 23-24 on your calendars!

We look forward to watching the ideas and best practices exchanged at the Summit grow, and keep the momentum of engagement going!

When Change Causes Pain, Conflict and Excitement

We have all been there.  When your employer, your industry or your competitors make a change, it can unsettle, disrupt and even cause major friction.  Whether it’s a change in the law, a change in operations or even a move to raise the bar in an industry, change is never comfortable.

Why is this painful?

When one creates change the intent is likely to improve people’s conversations, processes or policies.  Take Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation for example, at the base level, the intent of the legislation is to stop spammers from disseminating unwanted messages, which have nothing to do with your business.

However, when you dig deeper into the legislation, it will actually dramatically change the way small business, and associations market their products, services, events, and membership.

We all knew this law was coming for a while, and when the dust settles, we will all be wiser – and have smarter marketing practices.  BUT the pain is happening now – questions are being raised such as “What do I have to have in place to comply?”, “How much will this cost me to have systems available for tracking?”, and “How much of my communication is actually affected?”

Why does it cause conflict?

Change can cause conflict when groups of people do not believe that you can (or, should) implement this change.  They believe that for the greater good of the company, or the industry, that you should not be the one to make the change.  These are the people who say “When it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

But this thought process is all wrong.  Jeff Hurt recently addressed this in his blog.  He maintains that, when things are going smoothly, it is exactly the right time to look at ways to improve it.  Change BEFORE your process gets boring.  Those who dare, win.  Not everyone will agree, but those who are forward-thinkers, and innovators in your industry, will recognize the attempt to make change for what it is:  someone filling a gap or a need that has been swept under the carpet for too long.

Why is it exciting?

Of course change is exciting!  But why?  Because you are trying to get people to believe in your cause, your process, or your new product/service.  Because you saw a need, heard the feedback, and created something that will help.  And it is a wonderful feeling when you see who will be the first on the bus with you.

Change is going to happen anyway – so it may as well be you who creates it, and reaps the benefits.

What is your organization doing to create change for your members, or for your industry?