Meetings & Conventions • mcmag.com 27 August 2014
By Lisa A. Grimaldi
In the association world, retaining members, attracting new recruits and building atten- dance at events are continual challenges. And, effective solutions go well beyond the annual meeting. Groups like the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Medical Staff Services are discovering that year-round engagement is essential to their survival
Following is a look at how NAMSS successfully turned its fortunes around by connecting
with members 365 days a year.
How research led to action
The National Association of Medical Staff Services was founded in 1978 to represent professionals who accredit physicians to work at hospitals and other medical facilities. By 2008,
membership had dropped by nearly 25 percent
(from 4,353 to 3,396) in the space of two years.
The recession was an obvious contributing
factor, but association leaders thought there
was more to it than that. They conducted a series of focus groups and surveyed members,
former members and potential recruits. The
conclusion: NAMSS was not meeting the various educational needs of members, nor communicating effectively with them.
A key finding was that newer members were
joining solely to obtain a certification required
for the medical staff services field, notes Chris
Murphy Peck, senior director, education and
learning services, for Chicago-based SmithBucklin, which manages NAMSS. (The association offers two such programs, for the Certified
Provider Credentialing Specialist and Certified
Professional Medical Services Management designations.) But beyond the certification, they
How to keep