2017 – The Year of the Leadership Revolution

Executive Transitions Driving Change and Modernization

In 2017, there is a strong undercurrent driving change— Baby Boomers are retiring at a rate of about 10,000 each day resulting in an unprecedented, seismic shift in the labor force. In the last quarter of 2016, the labor force participation rate for the 65+ demographic dropped to 23.6%, a full percentage point lower than the previous quarter and a pattern that is expected to continue this year.

Millenials have replaced the Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation and along with the smaller GenX demographic are rapidly transitioning into leadership roles left vacant by their predecessors.

These new leaders are approaching their roles with a fresh perspective, taking an introspective look at their organizations and questioning everything:

  • Why have things always been done the way they have?
  • What can we be doing better?
  • How can we move faster?
  • How can my organization and our activities remain relevant in an uncertain future?

Three areas of focus where new leaders have been engaging IMN include: organizational design, convergence and branding.

Organizational Design

As new leaders take the helm, they are taking a structured and analytically driven approach to building a framework through which their organizations aim to realize their purpose as specified in their vision and mission statements. For many resource limited associations this includes evaluating which functions are best served by investing in staff versus outsourcing. Associations are tapping into the purchasing power and economies of scale AMC’s offer in more creative and customized ways resulting in more strategic use of dollars and cents.


Convergence is a growing trend in event design. With technology impacting every industry, where everything and everyone is connected, there’s a growing interest among event organizers around pairing together speakers, experiences and content where previously, they may have been considered more dichotomous. This trends even expands to Convention & Visitor Bureaus (CVB’s) who are developing broader connections and partnerships in their cities such as with the private sector, economic development agencies and universities. Innovative planners can work with destinations to explore convergence opportunities. Today, convergence is the new innovation in event design.


Associations are increasingly starting to understand the importance of developing and maintaining a strong brand as well as recognizing the vital role events play in the marketing mix as they are experiential brand marketing platforms. New leaders are evaluating the state of their brands and refining their unique value proposition. 2017 is about understanding the “why” of everything and ensuring the brand answers this question consistently.

  • Members question: “Why should I join this association”?
  • Delegates are asking: “Why should I attend a specific meeting?”
  • Corporate decision makers want to know: “Why should we sponsor a particular event or invest in this organization?”
  • Association executives ponder: “Why do we exist?”
  • Meeting planners wonder: “Why would today’s highly distracted attendee engage with our content?”

As Boomers exit the workforce, answer the above questions and partner with the next generations to ensure your association is prepared to conquer the future.