Preparing for the ASAE Technology Conference
As we prepare to pack-up for Washington and set-up our booth for this year’s American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Technology Conference next week, my mind is focused on the challenges this market is facing. Just like for-profit companies, Associations are struggling with staying relevant to their members in this tough market and are looking for new ways to increase non-dues revenue. One such channel is though their publications. Association publishing is big business and will continue to grow in the years to come. According to the recent Folio Magazine Survey, 29 percent of associations publish five or more magazines, and 12 percent publish 20 or more titles. But today, revenue from these publications is still low, with 24 percent of associations saying that magazines account for between one and nine percent of their entire revenue stream.
Looking to the future, associations need to embrace a dual channel publishing model, keeping their print titles and offering an online alternative. While print is still king in terms of revenue for these association publications, creating both a print and online model is key to their success. According to the Folio survey, online media today accounts for about 8.9 of association publication revenue, up from 5.9 percent last year, so association publishers are going there, but many are not moving fast enough to offer their members an engaging digital alternative to print.
In looking at the early results from a recent Association Publishing Survey we conducted, associations are dabbling with digital versions of their publications with more than 74% of them offering PDF versions of their publications online, and 15% offering ePub formatted versions. In our survey, fewer than 8% of associations offered any form of mobile presence for their publications (either web apps or native mobile apps), yet 43% indicated a need to offer mobile digital publications and another 31% stated that they don’t need to offer a mobile publication option now, but will need to offer one in the future.
If you are attending the ASAE Technology Conference next week, swing by and see Jason MacDonald, Nadine Husain, and I at booth 422. We'd be happy to share with you more results from our survey and we’ll have some interesting new demos to show off. Plus, we will be giving away an iPad at the booth. We hope to see you in Washington next week.