Partners Make It Possible

This phrase helps qualify how we view our supplier members: as an invaluable part of our business and our industry.

By Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE


Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE President & CEO, Association Forum

At Association Forum, we are fond of saying “Partners Make It Possible.” It’s a phrase you’ll find on our media kits, in our email signatures and across a variety of supplier agreements. We use this phrase to qualify that we view our supplier members as an invaluable part of our business and our industry. We use the word “partner” with purpose. Our affiliation with our supplier members is a reciprocal relationship, one that we highly value and respect, because we truly could not do all that we do without the support of our partners.

Our partners make it possible for us to provide consistently high levels of education for association professionals. Our partners make it possible for us to gather CEOs together at the Healthcare Collaborative for important conversations about the future of medicine and healthcare in the U.S. Our partners make it possible for us to put on networking receptions where are members can connect with peers, colleagues and future employers. Our partners make it possible for us to establish new programs aimed at closing the gaps around diversity and inclusion in the association industry with our Welcoming Environment initiatives.

We also know that the world is changing and that we too need to support our partnerships. On page 34, we interview Don Welsh of Destinations International. In recent years, publicly-funded destination organizations have faced increased scrutiny, making it more difficult to make large investments. Welsh and his team are working diligently to provide research and advocacy that will help these CVBs continue to demonstrate their incredible value to the communities that they serve.

We have introduced a number of resources aimed at supporting our partners. We updated our Economic Impact Study to quantify the value of the association marketplace in Chicago. That study demonstrated that our members represent more than 40,418 association professionals from nearly, 1,725 Chicago organizations—a 4% increase from 2012. These organizations serve 29 million individual members, who could fill Soldier Field nearly 240 times.

We have also heard the call for better data on the meetings market in Chicago. To that end, we launched an initiative to help planners and partners better understand the value and metrics of the meetings that are produced from our community. This program, the Association Industry Meetings Metrics (AIMM), is a vehicle that provides real-time data and intelligence on the meetings market in Chicago.

For the second year, we are proud to include a stand-alone, printed version of our Buyer’s Guide with the August issue of FORUM. We encourage our members to use this guide as resource when seeking business services of any form. No matter your business need, just turn to the Buyer’s Guide and find that partner who will help make it possible.

About the Author

Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE President & CEO Association Forum

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