Membership organisations now: review of MemCom 2014

Anthony Haynes writes: Yesterday to MemCom 2014, the latest in a series of annual conferences for membership organisation (MOs). MOs, along with organisations in allied areas (awarding bodies, learning providers) constitute our core marketand memCom provides a useful means of reviewing the state of the sector.

The event itself was excellent. The ambience of the venue — the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) — and the superb catering helped, but the most important factor was the quality of the speakers and of the chairing. The emphasis was on providing information and analysis with a minimum of fuss or pretension. If only more conferences were like this!

I was going to write here a summary of the main points (at least from our perspective) that emerged yesterday — but on discussing the event with colleagues afterwards, it struck me that more important was what was not said.

By which I mean: there was a conspicuous lack of negativity. Sometimes when people working in a sector come together for an event, a climate of moaning, or complaining, or blaming (the government, the economy, the weather, whatever) takes root and takes over.

Not yesterday. To its credit, the sector exuded a sense of quite self-confidence and looking forwards (both in the sense of looking ahead and of doing so hopefully). Nothing exuberant, nothing frothy – but a sense of programmes growing and opportunities opening up.

All good.

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