23 Jun 2023

Flying the flag for British tech

Last week we went to Chicago for AMS Fest where associations of all shapes and sizes gathered to hear the latest developments on everything AMS - association management systems.

Some things are undeniably bigger and showier in the US - like the views of Chicago from the conference centre roof!  As with geography, US associations' structures, needs and challenges can be very different from their British equivalents. Here’s our fast Friday take:

Surveying the tech landscape

It’s clear from talking to tech consultants and association professionals at AMS Fest that they are very familiar with all-in-one platforms like ours that let you do everything from managing your website, events and awards to your subscriptions management. 



What they’re really struggling to find are single platforms that give them lots of flexibility with UX & design and allow them to really personalise the digital user experience. It’s clear our platform is different by design and in approach!

Big associations, big opportunities

US associations are much bigger and more complex as organisations with multiple “chapters” or branches, spread across the country. Geographical segmentation is important with the need to manage memberships in multiple languages and currencies in different regions - simultaneously.

There’s an exciting opportunity for platforms like ours to also work with international US-based associations who operate globally.

It’s also clear to see that being a member of an association in the US is a real “badge of honor” - even when it’s not compulsory.  There is also a much more defined and formal career path for association professionals with qualifications like the Certified Association Executive (CAE) certification that need to be renewed every three years.

Close membership cousins

For all the differences however, this visit has shown us that there are similarities between US and UK associations’ challenges, needs and goals - and that we’ve got the tech to match them. There’s much that we can learn from each other and we want to share our insights with you.  Look out for our on-demand webinar with experts from both sides of the pond - coming soon.

Back via the big apple

After our whistle stop tour of the Windy City we headed back home via New York City, reflecting on the big insights and opportunities at AMS Fest.  We’re looking forward to heading over the pond again - next time to Washington and maybe grabbing a big slice of pizza and an association while we’re there.