Creating an Association

Over the years I have worked with a number of membership based organizations. Often, it seems, the power of online tools is not utilized to its fullest potential. This presentation provides a simple outline for the creation of a membership based organization and some ideas for how to bring more benefits to the members. of th

Example Tourism Association 

The mission of the Example Tourism Association is to grow tourism and improve rural economic opportunities for businesses, agriculturalists and citizens, in a sustainable way protecting the environmental, social and cultural/historical character of communities and regions throughout Iowa. A primary aim of the Association will be to enhance diversity of economic activities utilizing a creative, cooperative organizational model to expand tourism and complimentary activities to grow regional, national and international markets. The means by which we will accomplish this mission will include, but not be limited to:

      - effective and audience appropriate educational programs.
- utilize collaborative/cooperative networking practices and technologies.
- employ creative and ethical marketing attraction programs and techniques.
- employ internal and external evaluative practices to keep the Association’s
   services current and beneficial to the membership.
- establish relationships with appropriate organizations, institutions and policy
- maintain open and effective internal and external communications, especially
   to serve the best interests of the members.
- provide greater use value and benefits than the cash value of the membership
   fees and services.

How will the ExampleTourism Association serve its members?

      - Produce “Guidebooks” and feature member businesses and attractions.
- Create a “collaborative network” giving them access to state-of-the-art Web
   presence and networking tools and educational resources.
- Provide discounted educational programs and materials.
            a) Courses (online and classroom) in collaboration with institutions.
            b) Workshops, seminars and short courses.
            c) Online tutorials and access to expert advice and “white papers”.

      - Marketing, Promotions and attraction and advertising.
            a) Through the Association’s marketing efforts.
            b) Regional, national and international.
            c) Co-op advertising.
            d) Marketing educational programs and consulting assistance.
            e) Members will get preferred rates for advertising in materials
                 produced by the Association (e.g. Guidebook, magazine).

      - Membership to a “cooperative” that will effectively leverage the collective
   interests of the individual members.
            a) With policy makers.
            b) With important regional, national and international organizations.
            c) With travel agencies and online marketing organizations.
            c) Building a team to pursue grants and external funding for business
                  and other purposes.
- Provide services that are complimentary to regional tourism development
            a) Value-added agriculture.
            b) Innovation in agriculture for diversification
            c) Environmental conservation (e.g. habitat protection).
            d) Cultural/historical protection and enhancement.
            e) Social “good works” in collaboration with service organizations and
                 governmental programs.
            f) Hospitality (hotel and restaurant).
            g) Festival and event planning.