Strategic thinking and planning for Trade Associations: key drivers for value creation

MAY 2015. Maria Teresa Scardigli, Vice President of Kellen presented at the Press Club. She underlined that strategic planning might occur at any given moment during the annual cycle of an association’s activities. It can be used, for example, to draw up the annual plan, to re-examine the governance structure or to assess the added value to the membership. Key steps begin at the information gathering stage and cover implementation and execution. Emphasis was placed on the agreement and buy-in of all stakeholders to the plan.

Maria Teresa then described the use of diverse tools including environmental scanning and a mapping exercise before providing examples of strategic planning agenda points. Finally, the presenter provided participants with 10 overall considerations for success in strategic planning.

The participants, divided into 3 random groups, addressed 3 case studies respectively in a workshop. The strategic planning processes dealt with were triggered by a competing association, a new Board Chair and the reallocation of funds between the national ad EU level associations. Three points might be retained from this interactive lunch session:

  • Know when to trigger a planning process but also when to end it. This exercise can be unsettling for all involved!
  • Ensure the involvement of all parties and stakeholders directly concerned with the matter at hand. Lack of consultation of interested parties will jeopardise success at the implementation stage and support of your members.
  • Use the right tools for each type of outcome desired and forecast the personnel hours and costs involved from the planning, through the implementation stage, to the measurement and benchmarking of outcomes.

Please click here to view or download the presentation.

For more information please contact Dr. Rachel Barlow on or 00 32 478 88 22 27.

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