The Victorian-Era Club: Why Professional and Trade Associations Need to Change for the 21st Century

Presented by: Pat Wagner

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Program Number: AM 110

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Imagine it’s 1890; you want to exchange ideas with your trade and professional colleagues. Time, money, and distance determine when and how you meet. Meetings are run by written rituals; hierarchies are demonstrated in the roles of officers. Today, you can attend meetings and classes, visit with like-minded professionals, read the latest news, and vote–at your convenience with people from all over the world. Does your association know it is the 21st century?


  • Introduction: A Brief History Of Clubs And Organizations
  • The Key Idea: How Are Associations Changing?
  • What Are The Goals Of Your Association?
  • How Do You Measure Success? Will That Change?
  • Question The Traditional Tools, Such As Minutes And Elections
  • How To Meet In Cyberspace
  • Endgame: Is It Time To Close Your Doors?


  • Take better advantage of technology to run the organization.
  • Attract more, younger, active members.
  • Focus more on outcomes rather than elections and status.

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