More than 300 association executives from around the world took part in a full day of professional development and networking at this month’s 10th IMEX Association Day in Frankfurt. Delegates stepped back from day-to-day business to discuss future strategies and current challenges with their peers and senior industry leaders. The newly designed programme of events featured various ‘deep dive’ and workshop sessions, covering issues such as trends in technology, the meaning of community in the 21st century, managing change and sustainability as a driver for success.
Social media is fast becoming one of the most important forms of sparking interaction among members. The greater the opportunity for members to share information and best practice, the more value they derive from their membership. We are consistently noting a strong interest in association LinkedIn groups, as professionals embrace the concept of sharing and discussing ideas and challenges more openly. Meanwhile, Twitter remains an important means for disseminating news, valuable tips and advice.
Charities are increasingly embracing social media as a means of reaching out to new and existing donors. While UK charity shops are experiencing record profits, with reported takings up £34m year on year, more traditional fundraising methods have typically suffered during the recession, leading charitable organisations to seek alternative methods of raising money. The answer, reports the Institute of Philanthropy , is social media, which is fast becoming an essential tool for securing donations.
Charities throughout the country are busy tweeting, blogging and creating Facebook apps and social media games, including the RSPCA, Dyslexia Action and our very own J’s Hospice in Essex.
Forward-looking marketers throughout the UK are focusing their attention on the power of email marketing as they review their direct marketing budgets following Royal Mail’s shock price hikes. While many businesses were left reeling from the news of the forthcoming increase in the cost of First Class stamps, we have already noticed an increase in the number of enquiries from companies and associations keen to embrace the benefits of targeted email marketing campaigns.
Email marketing remains highly cost-effective and consistently proves its worth as a primary means of engaging directly with members. Additionally, with explosive sales of smartphones and iPads recorded over the past year, email is being accessed more regularly than ever before, providing a golden opportunity to target core audiences with highly tailored messages.
All VAT-registered businesses in the UK will now have to submit their VAT returns online, and pay electronically, for periods starting on or after 1 April 2012.
The Government are introducing legislative change in 2012 so that health and safety law will no longer hold employers to be in breach of their duties in civil law where they have done everything that is reasonably practicable and foreseeable to protect their employees;
- giving the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) authority to direct all local authority health and safety inspection and enforcement activity, in order to ensure that it is consistent and targeted towards the most risky workplaces. A code based on existing powers will be introduced in April 2013;
- amending the Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 to remove the requirement for HSE to approve the training and qualifications of appointed first-aid personnel. Revised guidance aimed at small business will be published by May 2012, and provisions repealed by October 2012;
- amending the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation (RIDDOR) and its associated guidance to provide clarity for businesses on how to comply with the requirements by October 2013. This is in addition to the legislative change being made in April 2012 to extend to seven days (from three) the period an employee needs to have taken off work before an injury or accident needs to be reported;