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Connections that count…

January 14, 2019

Last week’s post – the first of the New Year – outlined some of the specific steps we have planned to accomplish one of our primary advocacy goals: Promoting awareness of the Alliance and the individual contributions of the fraternal community to members of Congress.

That is an “evergreen” goal – one that we’ve done for decades and will continue to do for as long as fraternals serve their members and their communities.

But Alliance members demand that their trade association do more than advocate on their behalf. And while I’ve never met a member who discounted the value of the Alliance’s advocacy initiatives, I’ve also never met a member who felt that advocacy was the only benefit of membership.

So, when the Alliance reorganized itself to focus more of its resources on being a more effective advocate, we made sure that enough resources were allocated to fulfilling our second most important mission: Networking. And we’re going to accomplish our networking mission in exactly the same manner as our advocacy mission: TOGETHER.

You see, fraternal folks – CEOs, C-suite executives, managers, and board members – want to connect with one another. It’s in our DNA. And they look to the Alliance to help facilitate those connections – especially the in-person variety where ideas get shared, deals get discussed, and change happens.

In 2019, the Alliance has scheduled two major conferences and four regional events to bring members together to learn, laugh, and get a little bit better at what they do – securing peoples’ financial futures and improving the quality of lives in the communities where members live and work.

First up is the Spring Symposium, May 28-30 in Chicago. This is THE fraternal networking event of the year, with education sessions designed by and for members that cover everything from good governance to ways to grow your societies. There will also be plenty of time for informal discussions with peers in the hallways, lobbies, and lounges – that’s the value-added portion of the meeting that is not reflected in the registration fee. And you’ll have a chance to see and hear the latest news on new products and services offered by our Associate members sponsors.

But meetings like this are only successful if members participate. We’ve purposely scheduled this meeting in Chicago because it is within driving distance for a large percentage of members. And we’re holding it at a hotel adjacent to O’Hare Airport to make it as easy as possible for members to fly in and out without wasting travel time or spending needless additional nights in a hotel.

We’ve kept the registration fee low to make it as affordable as possible for member society professionals from a variety of different disciplines – fraternal, communications, IT, sales and marketing, executive, and others – to attend. And we’ve built the education sessions around topics our members tell us are most important to them.

I’ll talk more about the Executive Summit (the Alliance’s invitation-only conference for C-suite executives, September 23-25, 2019 in Washington, DC), and our four “Meet and Eat” programs beginning on February 28 in San Antonio, Texas, in future posts. But for today I want you to do one thing: Register for the Spring Symposium. Your participation will contribute to a better educational and networking event not just for you, but for your peers and colleague from the Alliance community.

Got a suggestion on how we can make our education programs and networking events more effective? Send your thoughts to me at jannotti@fraternalalliance.org.