Two big bangs in the information management industry thrilled in Orlando at last month’s AIIM Conference:
- Gartner’s recent bombshell announcing the “death” of ECM—learn more about a possible successor, Content Services, here.
- John Mancini’s mic drop reveal that AIIM believes the landscape has expanded beyond “ECM” – to “Intelligent Information Management.” See John's keynote slides here.
But the most charming ‘flip-the-script’ moment came from AIIM president Peggy Winton, likening AIIM’s role in the community to that of a matchmaker, the “eHarmony” of information professionals.
It’s a fun, but surprisingly well-fitting look for the association, which brings together budding knowledge professionals with info-pros and solution builders. This year 50% of all attendees to AIIM 17 were newcomers to our annual event, and one of the greatest values of the AIIM conference is bridging connections between first-timers and veteran members.
This was also my first AIIM conference as an AIIM Analyst, and after helping to foster connections between information professionals, I began to think about another aspect of building relationships—making them last. For us newbies, our first time at the AIIM conference is like falling in love—an electrifying period of discovery. But in the weeks and months after leaving the conference’s orbit our excitement and connection with the AIIM tribe often dims or burns out.
How then do we take the best practices, insights, and feeling of community we find at the AIIM conference back with us to our offices?—and how do we sustain our connection after the honeymoon period is over?
Engagement is a top priority of AIIM, and just as much as AIIM is a matchmaker we are equally a relationship builder, counselor, and guru for our community. But reciprocation of our members is just as important. If you utilize association resources, attend webinars, consume infographics and eBook content, or participate in professional membership with AIIM, you must think of this as being in a long distance relationship, and dedication is required to ensure its continued value in your professional life. It’s not easy to stay in touch, but here’s what you need to be doing to keep the fire burning with all your professional networks and associations:
- Be active on message boards and online forums, follow industry thought leaders on social media, and add to the discussion with blog posts of your own.
- To bridge the digital gap, rely on opportunities for face-to-face interaction through local chapters or affiliations.
- Engage with association research surveys, content offerings, and give feedback to help improve services.
- Drop a fellow community member a line on LinkedIn, invite them for a virtual drink to grow your network.