Selecting an Association Management Company is a time intensive and comprehensive process. Whether you are a stand-alone association moving to the association management company model or currently receiving services from an AMC, it can be a stressful process. Whether you are familiar with the process or not, here are 9 of the top things to consider when doing your search and ultimate selection of a new association management company.
- Is the firm accredited by the Association Management Company Institute? This designation shows that the AMC has established processes and procedures verified by a third party.
- Current client demographics. An AMC that has worked exclusively with manufacturing trade associations may not be the best fit if you are a healthcare society. Ensure they are the right fit and industry overlap to ensure the AMC is up-to-date on industry trends.
- Average client length of service. Ask what the average duration of service is to current customers. High turnover spells trouble.
- Services offered. Understand the services that the AMC provides versus what is outsourced. Clarity on what services are provided saves time and headaches down the road.
- Staff structure. Ask for a sample organizational chart and understand if you will be maintained by a dedicated team or department. Knowing that you have a dedicated team that you turn to each day is critical for continuity.
- Fees should be easy to understand and transparent from the start.
- Staff credentials. Part of being with an AMC is access to higher level staff. Ask to know how many Certified Association Executives or Certified Meeting Professionals are on staff.
- Company longevity. How long has the AMC been in business?
- Company culture. Take time in the interview process to learn about the company culture. How does the company assess employees? How does the company motivate and keep employees happy?
Most Association Management Companies provide similar services. Most will tell you they can manage your membership, plan your conference and support your committees. But what ensures a truly successful relationship between an AMC and an association? The people involved. A team that knows each other and cares for the success of both parties concerned will result in a much more successful relationship.