Presidents Message – Strategic Plan Edition

I write this at the recent conclusion of our November RAC Board of Directors meeting.  At that meeting, the Board unanimously agreed to approve the strategic plan document meant to guide RAC business for the period of 2013 – 2015.  This plan will serve as a departure from previous strategic plans, as previous versions generally covered 36 month periods.  This plan is a formalization of the manner by which the Board experimentally conducted its business in the 2013 calendar year.

After a period of discovery with Strategic Plan facilitator Michael Woody, CAS, the group participating in the exercise concluded that our focus be limited to the next 24 months rather than 36 months and should work to solve communication issues between RAC, the regional associations and PPAI.

At the conclusion of the 48 hours of hard work, we emerged with 2 specific goals and 8 measurable strategies to help implement those 2 goals over the next 12 months.  Our goals are:

1)To be the indispensable industry resource for Regional Associations by providing tools and resources to address their top four pain points: membership recruitment & retention, volunteer leadership development, trade show decline and alternative revenue development

2)    To better position the RAC Board as a critical component of support and advocacy for the regional association community as it relates to PPAI, identify common opportunities and challenges that impact all industry practitioners, regardless of member affiliation.

I believe the Board emerged with a better understanding of RAC from a historical perspective, and a much improved understanding of how we perceive our role to be of value to Regional Associations and the industry as a whole going forward.

One strategy to achieve our biggest goal is ambitious, and slightly controversial.  We were urged by our constituents to approach the exercise, and after careful consideration we’ve agreed that the RAC Board would like to lead those Regional Associations willing to participate in a benchmarking exercise.  This exercise is meant to give each Regional the opportunity to help RAC determine a set of relevant measurement statistics by which to conduct the exercise, and then submit individual answers for review against mean and median measurements of the group as a whole, as well as by segmentation.  (Geography, Size of Membership, Show Size and Frequency, etc)

Simply put, we’ll facilitate the creation and implementation of a survey.  The survey questions will come from you, the Regional community.  We will gather each of your answers to these questions, and then provide an impartial report that merely provides averages of what was reported, with some segmentation provided to allow you to measure yourself against organizations of similar size and scale.

Participation in the exercise should be enlightening to both Regional Boards as well as RAC, and our interpretation of the information will help inform how we will work for you going forward.  For instance, if a number of Regionals are struggling with member recruitment, it might raise the urgency with which we work to grapple with that issue and the resources we ask for as a result.

More information will be coming soon, but I welcome the opportunity to discuss this topic with you individually should you be sufficiently interested in hearing more in the short term.  I and the rest of the Board are excited to provide this remarkable opportunity for every participating Regional to learn how they’re faring.

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