It’s been said many times that connections are the things that hold people together. In the world of association leadership, the same concept applies. Having a comfortable culture of networking in your association is vital to allow your association to broaden its knowledge and gain a sense of community in its industry. Networking allows association leaders to build relationships that can assist in growing or strengthening one’s association and boost your association’s overall visibility. Networking can also foster loyalty among members and, therefore, increase membership rates. Therefore, this blog will explore how networking can help association leaders build relationships, connect, increase visibility, and advocate for a cause.


Build Relationships and Connect

There are many opportunities provided to association leaders to connect and build relationships. Associations often have annual events, whether a conference, AGM, trade show or seminar. These events provide various opportunities for members to connect with other professionals, exchange ideas, and share best practices. These events not only allow an opportunity for members to meet face to face who otherwise would not, but they also allow for valuable connections to take place between members. These opportunities to build relationships and connect are important to allow for connection between members. These connections can foster a sense of loyalty among members and increase membership and renewal rates.


Increased Visibility

Increasing visibility, or put another way, the degree to which something is seen, is a vital aspect of successful association networking. This increase in visibility can be done in many ways; however, one of the most effective ways to increase your visibility in not just your association but in your field is to volunteer in a leadership role. Serving on the board is valuable to gain visibility within your association. It also allows you to connect with your fellow industry professionals and to build relationships that undoubtedly expand your professional network. Being a board member also grants you a rare opportunity to gain insight into your industry, which you otherwise may not be able to obtain. Having highly visible board members, that network effectively has many benefits for the health of an association as well. It can expand their reach and influence in their industry and attract new members to your association, leading to growth in your association. This growth can also lead to the creation of new opportunities for your association.


Inspiration and Fresh Perspectives

Effective networking can also grant the opportunity to connect with not only members of your own association, but within your industry as well. Having these connections allows the opportunity to discuss industry challenges and share goals and new experiences. This exchange of ideas and insight can lead to new perspectives, solutions and growth for your association. Networking provides a platform for members to learn from each other. This knowledge can convert to improved practices, goals or ideas to your association, leading to a more well-rounded approach to your industry.


In summary, opportunities to network in associations may come in many forms. What they have in common is a space for one to use an event, role or idea with other members of their association and industry. This can lead to not only the improvement and growth of your association but, if done correctly, the growth of your industry as well.